It’s easy to write 1500 words on first round draft picks, but day two of the MLB draft is my favorite — you get a little bit of everything. Here’s a quick summary of the kids who will start filling out the lower levels of the minors. I already have a few favorites.
2. RHP Jorge Lopez, Puerto Rico (HS) – Big kid (6’4″), good athlete (used to play short), easy delivery with low-90s velocity that should improve as he gets stronger. Possibly the highest ceiling of any pitcher the Brewers took this year.
3. RHP Drew Gagnon, Long Beach State – Big (6’4″), can get the fastball up to 94, secondary pitches need work, got better every year in school, mid-to-back rotation potential.
4. 1B Nick Ramirez, Cal State Fullerton – First baseman size (6’3″, 225), but might not have first baseman power — like many others, saw home runs drop from 2010 (16) to 2011 (9), but showed a nice eye at the plate (.291/.391/.507) and hit 17 doubles in 213 ABs. Also closed for the Titans, but Brewers announced him as a 1B.
5. OF Michael Reed, Texas (HS) – Some think he has all 5 tools, some think he’ll be average. Could develop good power. May be a tough sign with a commit to Ole Miss, but he’s made it sound like he’ll forego school if his signing bonus “buys out” his education.
6. RHP Danny Keller, California (HS) – Look, another big (6’5″) righty. Turns 19 at the end of June, decent velo, but has trouble finding the strike zone. Committed to Cal State Northridge, but it sounds like he’ll sign.
7. RHP David Goforth, Ole Miss – Big arm (95-97) on a not so big frame (just 5’11″), and will be a reliever. Also throws a cutter. Love the idea of drafting some power relief arms that should progress through the system quickly.
8. C/3B Dustin Houle, Canada (HS) – Death, taxes, and the Brewers taking a Canadian. Doesn’t turn 18 until November, has more gap power than home run power.
9. OF Malcolm Dowell, Georgia (HS) – Nobody can seem to find much about him as a baseball player, but he is forgoing a potential football career to play baseball. Sounds like your typical toolsy-former-football-player the Brewers seem to draft every year.
10. LHP Mike Strong, Oklahoma State – Smaller than most pitchers the Brewers are drafting this year (6’0″), and it sounds like most like him as a reliever.
11. RHP Tommy Toledo, Florida – Back to big (6’3″) pitchers. Likely would have gone higher in the draft if he wasn’t a 4th-year junior after missing last year with Tommy John surgery after being struck by a line drive. Another big arm I like.
12. OF Andrew Cain, UNC Wilmington – Big body (6’6″), big power, “slow” bat according to Baseball America. Struck out 60 times in 215 ABs this year. If he’s not the next Russ Branyan, he’s at least the next Brendan Katin.
13. OF Mallex Smith, Florida (HS) – Fast little guy with a cool name. Makings of a fan favorite if he ever makes it, no?
14. RHP Jacob Barnes, Florida Gulf Coast U. – Nobody can seem to find much about him, but he did strike out 68 in 55 innings in 2011 (11.13 K/9).
15. RHP Andy Moye, Georgia Southern – Another big righty (6’5″), but seemed to struggle with control this year (4.56 BB/9). Sounds like he has a good sinker, even if the velo isn’t impressive.
16. LHP Carlos Rodon, North Carolina (HS) – Good lefty velo with what Baseball America calls two potential plus pitches in his curve and slider, but could be hard to get him away from an NC State commit.
17. C Mario Amaral, Florida (HS) – Sounds like a guy who could stick behind the plate as a catcher, but a commit to Florida State means he could be expensive to sign.
18. SS/OF Chris McFarland, Texas (HS) – Described as a “premium offensive talent” by Perfect Game USA, but also considered a very hard sign due to a commitment to Rice.
19. SS Renaldo Jenkins, Georgia (HS) – Sounds like a solid defensive player, fast, commitment to UAB.
20. RHP Brandon Williamson, Dallas Baptist U. – Threw 115 innings for Dallas Baptist this year, but doesn’t appear to fool many hitters with a K/9 of 5.23. Hard to find scouting reports on him.
21. 1B Mike Nemeth, UConn – Not the power you’d expect from 1B, but did hit .363/.464/.466 and drove in 50 runs in 251 AB this year for the Huskies.
22. OF D.J. Jones, Alabama (HS) – Plays center. Not to be confused with a D.J. Jones that was drafted by the Rays a couple years ago and is no longer playing professionally.
23. C Ben McMahan, Florida – Didn’t hit in college, but apparently a solid defensive catcher. Someone has to play there in Helena/Arizona.
24. RHP Michael Palazzone, Georgia – Good command, but not a strikeout guy. Likely won’t start.
25. C Parker Berberet, Oregon State – Like McMahan, likely roster filler for the Rookie League clubs. Nothing to really get excited about.
26. LHP Josh Smith, Wichita State – Likely a LOOGY if he ever progresses past the lower levels.
27. RHP Chad Thompson, Orange Coast College – The biggest of the big pitchers the Brewers have drafted so far — 6’8″.
28. C BreShon Kimbell, Texas (HS) – Described as having “plus upper body strength” by Perfect Game USA, could develop some nice power. Committed to Louisiana Tech.
29. RHP David Lucroy, Florida (HS) – Jonathan’s little brother.
30. 3B Trent Boras, California (HS) – Spawn of Satan.