Draft Thread: First Day Recap/Second Day Discussion

First-round pick Eric Arnett (Bloomington Herald-Times)

Short and sweet, a list of each of the Brewers' six first-day picks, with links to his scouting video (freed of its slow-loading mlb.com Flash shackles) and Brewerfan.net's scouting report:

  1. RHP Eric Arnett, Indiana University
    Video :: Brewerfan.net scouting report
  2. OF Kentrail Davis, University of Tennessee
    Video :: Brewerfan.net scouting report
  3. RHP Kyle Heckathorn, Kennesaw State University
    Video :: Brewerfan.net scouting report
  4. OF Max Walla, Albuquerque Academy HS (NM)
    Video :: Brewerfan.net scouting report
  5. C Cameron Garfield, Murrieta Valley HS (CA)
    Video :: Brewerfan.net scouting report
  6. SS Josh Prince, Tulane University
    Video :: Brewerfan.net scouting report

The draft resumes with the 4th round at noon Central, with the Brewers picking at #135 and every 30 picks thereafter.

Follow the jump for much more discussion.

Eric Arnett was a great pick, as the Brewers' rumored interest in college pitching turned out to be spot on. Baseball America had him ranked #18 overall, and Baseball Prospectus had him as #21; Jim Callis of BA said the Brewers got one of the best deals of the first round, benefiting from a run on bats that allowed Arnett to drop to them. Arnett has a great pitcher's frame (6'5"/230) and two good pitches, a 92-95 mph fastball and a breaking ball that's been called a slider everywhere else but that Cal Eldred (yes, that Cal Eldred) says is more of a curveball; the main knock against him is that he doesn't have much of a track record. He posted a 2.50 ERA this season with a 109/39 K/BB and 82 hits allowed in 108 innings. You can follow him on Twitter and congratulate him.

The Kentrail Davis pick surprised everyone. First of all, he's a Boras client, and second of all, he's a draft-eligible sophomore coming off a down season--usually the kind of guy that wants to go back to school for his junior year and re-prove himself. The fact that he has both of those things going against him is almost a good sign, as it must mean the Brewers are confident they can sign him. A 5'9" lefty, Davis hit .330/.435/.583 as a freshman last year, but his .308/.424/.528 line this season doesn't show much improvement, though he was perhaps hampered by lingering hamstring and wrist injuries. He's got excellent bat speed and a good eye, but he's a tweener in the outfield, though Bruce Seid said "it's possible" he'll able to stay in center. He was ranked #39 by BA and was not in BP's top 50 prospects.

Kyle Heckathorn was another guy the Brewers were rumored to have interest in before the draft. At 6'6"/240, he's even bigger than Arnett and has touched 99 mph with his fastball in the past, but dialed down his velocity this year in the service of better command. Everyone seems to hate his arm action and divines from it injury in his future, so look for the Brewers to overhaul his mechanics. He was also knocked for being too hittable in a bad league, and a lot of people see his future being in the bullpen, though he'll begin his pro career as a starter. Overall this year, he had a 3.44 ERA and a 98/27 K/BB with 85 hits allowed in 86.1 innings. BA ranked Heckathorn #28 and BP #33, and he was rumored to be going in the bottom of the first round until very recently, so the Brewers might have gotten a steal here.

I love Max Walla. It sounds like scouts didn't get to see him as much as they did other guys, perhaps leading to the lefty slugger being underranked at #146 by BA, though his 5'11" height probably contributed as well. He impressed the Brewers in a workout, homering five times, including two upper-deck shots, and really seems like a prototypical Brewers draft pick as a guy with one truly exceptional tool:

A lot of exaggerations and rumors can get spread this time of year—and we weren’t present at the workout—we’ve been told that during his workout in Anaheim, Walla was thrown 60 balls during a BP session and put 38 of them in the seats for home runs.

His coach said that at a workout for some scouts this spring, they wanted to see him take 25 swings with a metal bat and then 25 with wood. He hit 18 home runs with the metal, switched to wood and hit 18 more over the fence.

Instant fan-favorite, am I right?

Cameron Garfield sounds intriguing. He draws rave reviews for his defense, but his offense at this point sounds like it's all potential and no reality. High-drafted prep catchers often turn out to be bad picks, but this was a strong class for them, and BA ranked Garfield #78 overall. The last prep catcher the Brewers took in the top five rounds was Angel Salome in 2004, and that's worked out okay so far, though ironically Salome was also noted more for his defensive tools at the time.

The first thing that jumps out at me about Josh Prince's line is the 48 steals in 55 attempts. The mlb.com broadcast said he wasn't an elite speed burner, but he's got to be pretty fast. He hit .353/.467/.541 this year, bouncing back from a terrible sophomore season that saw him hit .236/.315/.284, struggles attributed to astigmatism. That was his first season at Tulane; as a freshman at Texas, he was also excellent, hitting .371/.448/.449, though the stolen base didn't really become a part of his game until this year. John Sickels likes him and says Prince is "very reliable defensively", which is great and automatically makes him a more interesting prospect.

So, overall, the Brewers got two college pitchers built like horses and with legitimate stuff, a couple more short lefty hitters in the Caleb Gindl/Erik Komatsu mold (though with more upside than either of those guys), a stalwart defensive catcher with offensive potential, and a good-hitting shortstop that might actually be able to stick at the position. Seems like a pretty damn good haul to me.

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