Some incomplete thoughts on the Brewers' 2009 Draft

The deadline has passed with the Brewers signing each of their first 23 picks in the 2009 draft, and 32 of 53 overall. I'm not a draft expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I did notice some interesting trends, and I'd like to take a moment to go over them. Join me after the jump to read more.

Pitching

The Brewers drafted 25 pitchers (47.1% of picks), and signed 14 of them (26.4% of picks, 43.8% of signees). Of the 25, just seven (and only one of the team's first 25 picks) were high school pitchers, and Brooks Hall, who agreed to terms yesterday, was the only one who signed (signees in bold):

Brooks Hall, 4th round
Austin Pressley, 23rd round
Lex Rutledge, 26th round
Brady Rodgers, 39th round
Kyle Hansen, 40th round
Brad Schreiber, 42nd round
Jordan Wong, 46th round

Eighteen of the pitchers drafted pitched in college, and of those, thirteen of them signed:

Eric Arnett, 1st round
Kyle Heckathorn, Supplemental
Hiram Burgos, 6th round
Jon Pokorny, 9th round
Andre Lamontagne, 11th round
Rob Currie, 12th round
Del Howell, 15th round
Tyler Cravy, 17th round
Caleb Thielbar, 18th round
Mike Fiers, 22nd round
Ryan Platt, 27th round
Jose Oviedo, 31st round

Mike Ojala, 34th round
Matt Costello, 35th round

Cullen Sexton, 37th round
Kyle Hansen, 40th round
Andrew Morris, 44th round
Reynaldo Cotilla, 48th round

For whatever it's worth, the Brewers drafted nineteen right handed pitchers (signing ten) and six lefties (signing four).

Outfielders

The Brewers drafted 12 outfielders (22.6% of picks) and signed nine of them (28.1% of signees, 16.9% of picks). Only three of those outfielders were high schoolers, and only one of them was drafted in the first 24 rounds:

Max Walla, 2nd round
Demetrius McKelvie, 25th round

Chandler McLaren, 29th round

The other nine, and most of the early picks, were collegiate players:

Kentrail Davis, Supplemental
D'Vontrey Richardson, 5th round
Khris Davis, 7th round
Chad Stang, 8th round
Scott Krieger, 19th round
Franklin Romero, 20th round
Chris Ellington, 32nd round

Steven Sultzbaugh, 41st round
Trevor Kirk, 47th round

Infielders:

The Brewers drafted eleven infielders (20.7% of picks), and signed seven of them (21.8% of signees, 13.2% of picks). Of them, four were high schoolers, none drafted before the 16th round, and if Scooter Gennett hadn't reached a deal right before the deadline yesterday, none of them would have signed:

Scooter Gennett, 16th round
Brian Vigo-Suarez, 21st round
Jacobbi McDaniel, 33rd round
J.J. Altobelli, 49th round

Vigo-Suarez was the Brewers' highest pick who didn't sign, and the team's only unsigned pick from the first 25 rounds.

Meanwhile, six of seven collegiate infielders signed, including Kyle Dhanani, the only Brewer signee drafted after the 35th round:

Josh Prince, 3rd round
Sean Halton, 13th round
Mike Brownstein, 14th round
Peter Fatse, 24th round
Brandon Sizemore, 30th round

Casey Stevenson, 38th round
Kyle Dhanani, 43rd round

Of those seven picks, Prince, Fatse and Dhanani have already been promoted to Wisconsin, and Brownstein was promoted today.

Here's the positional breakdown for those players:

Four second basemen (three signed)
Four shortstops (two signed)
Two third basemen (one signed)
One first baseman (one signed)

Catchers

The Brewers drafted five catchers (9.4% of picks) and signed two (6.3% of signees, 3.7% of picks).  Interestingly enough, all five of the draftees were high school players:

Cameron Garfield, 2nd round
Tyler Roberts, 10th round

Geno Escalante, 28th round
Richard Stock, 45th round
Darren Farmer, 50th round

Conclusions

It's hard to draw definitive conclusions from one draft, even for someone with a much deeper draft background than I have. With that said, coming off the first draft in the post Jack Z. era, here's what I noticed:

Drafting pitchers still does not appear to be a priority. Despite a real lack of pitching prospects in the organization, the Brewers drafted just five arms in their first thirteen picks in the draft, and significantly less than 50% of both their picks and signings were pitchers.

College players appear to be preferred over high school players at all positions except catcher. The Brewers drafted two high school players in the second round and another in the fourth, but just five high school players with their first 23 picks. I would guess most teams end up with a draft board with half a dozen or more unsigned pitchers, but the Brewers signed just one of seven, compared to thirteen of eighteen collegiate arms.

On the other side of the coin, the Brewers drafted five catchers, all of which were high schoolers, and signed two of them.

The team added a lot of organizational depth here. Opening the franchise wallet to pay all of these picks, some of them significantly above slot, demonstrates a commitment to building the right way that should not go unnoticed. If this draft doesn't work out, it won't be because the Brewers went cheap.

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