On the ball, Crew snares multisport Missouri prep star

On the ball, Crew snares multisport Missouri prep star

MILWAUKEE -- Monte Harrison can dunk a basketball and catch a football as well as he can hit a baseball, and the Brewers know they face a challenge convincing him to commit to the diamond.

But when Harrison's name was still on the board when the Brewers made their final selection on Day 1 of the First-Year Player Draft, they couldn't pass him up.

"We know it's going to be probably a tougher sign," Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said, "but at the same time, you have to take opportunities like this. If we can make it work, we'll make it work."

Harrison, of Lee's Summit (Mo.) West High School, went 50th overall to the Brewers in the second round of the Draft on Thursday. Earlier in the night, the Brewers spent the 12th overall pick on left-hander Kodi Medeiros and the 41st overall pick on shortstop Jacob Gatewood.

All three are high school players with very high upside.

Harrison batted .429 in 84 at-bats for Lee's Summit and stole 24 bases. He drew comparisons to Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford during the MLB Network broadcast and to former first-round pick Bubba Starling in Baseball America, and was No. 23 on MLB.com's list of the top 200 prospects entering the Draft. He has committed to play both baseball and football at the University of Nebraska, where the baseball coach (former All-Star outfielder Darin Erstad) once did the same.

Agent Rob Martin is advising Harrison. Major League Baseball assigned a slot value of $1,100,300 to the 50th overall pick.

Harrison was one of the players in attendance on Draft night at MLB Network studios, but he had departed with his family before the Brewers selected him in the second round.

Brewers area scout Drew Anderson spoke to Harrison on Thursday night, and Seid planned to make contact on Friday. Teams have until July 18 to sign their selections.

"The expectations on him are really good," Seid said. "I don't ever want to put names to a player, but All-Star comparisons have come up on him. He has a chance to play center field. He has good instincts out there, his strides are outstanding. He has a plus arm, plus raw power and his speed is above average. It's just like anything, it's about playing the game, getting enough at-bats and being patient in watching him develop."

"I think it is good players play other sports," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "There's a lot of talk about injuries, but a lot of times they get so burnt out with all the 100 games they play as amateurs. I think it is good they play the other sports -- football, basketball or whatever."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.