Milwaukee Brewer Draft History 1969-1999

Ben Sheets was once selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round. Kurt Suzuki was once selected by Ben Sheets in the BFF round.

Since the draft is soon upon us, I thought it would be neat to look at the Brewers' draft history, and get an historical perspective of what is about to happen. Initially I thought it would be interesting to look at the Brewers' draft in the standard boom/bust template that we have all seen throughout the years, but I can sum up the boom/bust analysis with the following.

Boom = 1970's
Bust = 1990's

Have you ever wondered why the Brewers really sucked in the late 90s and early 00's? Bad drafting probably had a huge part of that, and Dean Taylor, definitely Dean Taylor.

Get ready to be delighted and then depressed.... Enjoy!


1969 1st round pick: With the 21st pick the Pilots selected Gorman Thomas.
Should have picked: Thomas. Stormin Gorman was probably the best player selected in round 1 of the 1969 draft, with the exception of fireballer JR Richard of the Astros, who might have had a HOF career, had he not suffered a stroke.
Other notable Brewer selections: Jim Slaton (15th round). In 1969 the Pilots set the table for the Brewers by drafting 2 of the more popular faces in the 1970s.

1970 1st round pick: With the 4th pick the Brewers selected Darrell Porter
Should have picked: Porter.  Porter, who would go on to win a WS MVP against the Brewers, was clearly the best player in the 1970 draft. Porter who was a very solid catcher for 17 years, would be traded by the Brewers a few years later for Bob McClure and others
Other notable Brewer selections: Bill Travers (Round 6) LHP

1971 1st round pick: With the 3rd pick, the Brewers selected Tommy Bianco, SS.
Should have picked: 1971 produced the first Brewer draft bust in Bianco. The Brewers passed on HOFer Jim Rice, and solid starting pitchers Frank Tanana and Rick Rhoden
Other notable Brewer selections: Charlie Moore (Round 5) C, RF

1972 1st round pick: With the 6th pick the Brewers selected Dan Thomas, 1b/OF
Should have picked: Dan Thomas was known as the "The Sundown Kid", for his religious beliefs which prevented him from playing on weekends. Thomas showed a lot of promise, and made a large splash in 1975, but in 1976 his major league career would be over, and then his life in 1980. The Brewers could have selected starters Dick Ruthven or Scott McGregor who both had solid careers, or the speedy OF Chet Lemon.
Other notable Brewer selections: None

1973 1st round pick: With the 3rd pick the Brewers selected Robin Yount, SS
Should have picked: With the 4th pick the Padres selected Dave Winfield, however Yount was the cream of the 1973 draft.
Other notable Brewer selections: None

1974 1st round pick: With the 6th pick the Brewers selected Butch Edge, RHP
Should have picked: Edge would later be selected by the Blue Jays from the Brewers in the 1976 Expansion draft. 1974 produced a number of solid major league players in the first round including, Garry Templeton, Lance Parrish, Willie Wilson and Rick Sutcliffe
Other notable Brewer selections: Moose Haas (2nd), Jim Gantner (13th), Jerry Augustine (15th)

1975 1st round pick: With the 5th pick the Brewers selected Richard O'Keefe, LHP
Should have picked: Rick Cerone, who ended up with the Brewers a dozen years later, was probably the best player selected in the first round of this draft. Clint Hurdle and Dale Berra were also other notable players in this weak draft class.
Other notable Brewer selections: None.

1976 1st round pick: With the 4th pick the Brewers selected LHP Bill Bordley.
Should have picked:  Bordley didn't sign with the Brewers, and it was probably for the better. The Brewers could have selected Leon Durham, Mike Scioscia or Bruce Hurst (also a LHP) but didn't.
Other notable Brewer selections: Lary Sorensen (8th)

1977 1st round pick: With the 3rd pick, the Brewers selected Paul Molitor
Should have picked: The Brewers struck gold with pick #3 again, drafting another future HOFer. There were some other solid players in this draft, Dave Henderson, Terry Kennedy and Bob Welch, but Molitor was clearly the best player available.
Other notable Brewer selections: Kevin Bass (2nd), Dave LaPoint (10th). While neither Bass or LaPoint contributed much to the Brewers as players, Bass would be traded to Houston for Don Sutton, and LaPoint would be part of the deal with STL that brought in Simmons, Fingers and Vuckovich

1978 1st round pick: With the 8th pick, the Brewers selected Nick Hernandez, C.
Should have picked: Hernandez never got past AA-ball, and the Brewers could have selected Kirk Gibson, or Tom Brunansky.
Other notable Brewer selections: None, although the Brewers selected future Mets teammates Tim Teufel and Kevin McReynolds, neither who signed with the Brewers

1979 1st round pick: In 1979 the Brewers lost their #1 pick to the Tigers for signing FA Jim Slaton (who had been traded by the Brewers for Ben Oglivie in 1978). The Tigers drafted Chris Baker with the #23 selection. The first player the Brewers selected was Mark Higgins in Rd. 2.
Should have picked: Signing Slaton worked out well
Other notable Brewer selections: Bill Schroeder (8th)

1980 1st round pick: With the 25th pick, the Brewers selected Dion James
Should have picked:  The Brewers picked at the end of round 1, the best player selected in round 2 was Dan Plesac. James was probably a fine pick for that slot.
Other notable Brewer selections: Randy Ready (6th)

1981 1st round pick: In 1981 the Brewers lost their first round pick to the Blue Jays for signing FA Roy Howell. The Blue Jays selected John Cerutti with pick #21. In the second round the Brewers selected RHP Scott Roberts who never made it out of the minors
Should have picked: Given the choice of Roy Howell, the #21 pick, Mark Langston or Frank Viola (who were selected in the 2nd Round) I would have opted for either of the All-Star lefties.
Other notable Brewer selections: Bill Wegman (5th) Bryan Clutterbuck (7th)

1982 1st round pick: With the 25th pick, the Brewers selected Dale Sveum
Should have picked: Instead of picking Sveum, the Brewers could have selected a skinny David Wells, or a future HOF SS in Barry Larkin. They also could have selected Barry Bonds out of HS, but he likely wouldn't have signed. As a side note, does anyone think that Sveum's career WAR is dropping because of the coaching job he has been doing? I sure think so.
Other notable Brewer selections: Billy Joe Robidoux (6th), Chuck Crim (17th)

1983 1st round pick: In 1983 with the 26th pick the Brewers selected LHP, Dan Plesac
Should have picked: The Brewers could have selected Dave Magadan, Bill Swift or Chris Sabo, however, I think an infield with both Sabo and Sveum would have been too much for me to handle. I like the Plesac pick.
Other notable Brewer selections: Glen Braggs (2nd), Mike Birbeck (4th), Joey Meyer (5th)

1984 1st round pick: With the 18th pick the Brewers selected Isaiah Clark, SS
Should have picked: In the first round, the only real notable players the Brewers passed on were Terry Mullholland and Norm Charlton. In the 2nd round, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Al Leiter could have been chosen.
Other notable Brewer selections: John Jaha (14th)

1985 1st round pick: With the 1st pick the Brewers selected BJ Surhoff.
Should have picked:  Take your pick from Will Clark, Barry Larkin, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro
Other notable Brewer selections: Doug Henry (8th)

1986 1st round pick: With the 6th pick the Brewers selected Gary Sheffield.
Should have picked: Either Sheffield or RHP Kevin Brown.
Other notable Brewer selections: Darryl Hamilton (11th)

1987 1st round pick: With the 13th pick the Brewers selected Billy Spiers, SS
Should have picked: Righty Pete Harnisch, and SS Travis Fryman would have been better selections, as would have catcher Craig Biggio.
Other notable Brewer selections: Jaime Navarro (3rd), Steve Sparks (5th), Troy O'Leary (13th), Jeromy Burnitz (24th didn't sign)

1988 1st round pick: With the 24th pick the Brewers selected Alex Fernandez
Should have picked: Fernandez was a fine selection, up until the point where he didn't sign a contract with the Brewers. If the Brewers knew that, they may have decided to scoop up OF Brian Jordan instead.
Other notable Brewer selections: Pat Listach (5th)

1989 1st round pick: With the 17th pick the Brewers selected Cal Eldred, RHP
Should have picked: Eldred was a solid pick, Mo Vaughn or Chuck Knoblauch would have been better ones.
Other notable Brewer selections: None, although the Brewers selected Jason Giambi in the 43rd round, but he didn't sign.

1990 1st round pick: In 1990, the Brewers sent the 14th pick over to the A's for signing FA Dave Parker. In the 2nd round the Brewers chose LaRue Barber, who never made it out of the minors.
Should have picked: Had the Brewers not signed Parker, they could have selected Mike Mussina.
Other notable Brewer selections: None

1991 1st round pick: In 1991 the Brewers got two first round picks, #5 (Kenny Henderson) and #15 (Tyrone Hill). The #15 pick came over via the Tigers for signing FA Rob Deer. Henderson never signed with the Brewers, and it probably was just as well, as Henderson never made it to MLB. Neither did Hill.
Should have picked: Could have picked Manny Ramirez AND Sean Green
Other notable Brewer selections: Nomar Garciaparra (5th Didn't Sign), Mike Matheny (8th), Jeff Cirillo (11th)

1992 1st round pick: With the 12th pick the Brewers selected Kenny Felder.
Should have picked: Now the busts are starting to add up. The Brewers could have gotten an OF in Shannon Stewart or Johnny Damon. Catchers Jason Kendall and Charles Johnson would have been better picks as well.
Other notable Brewer selections: Scott Karl (6th), Matt Morris (26th Did not sign)

1993 1st round pick: The Brewers had 4 picks in 1993 (for losing FA's Paul Molitor and Chris Bosio), them is good odds, right? They took Jeff D'amico (23rd), Kelly Wunsch (26th), Todd Dunn (35th) and Joe Wagner (39th).
Should have picked: Either recently HS graduated Jeff Suppan, or Scott Rolen
Other notable Brewer selections: Mark Loretta (7th)

1994 1st round pick: With the 4th pick, the Brewers selected Anthony Williamson, 3b
Should have picked: Probably could have just "passed" and done better. Otherwise, we could have selected Nomar (again), Paul Konerko, or Jason Varitek
Other notable Brewer selections: Steve Woodard (5th), Ronnie Belliard (8th)

1995 1st round pick: With the 9th pick the Brewers selected Geoff Jenkins
Should have picked: Roy Halladay, definitely Roy Halliday
Other notable Brewer selections: In the 58th round the Brewers selected Kip Wells. He didn't sign.

1996 1st round pick: With the 8th pick the Brewers selected the Chad Green.
Should have picked: Chad Green didn't make it to the bigs, so there were a bunch of guys we could have done better with, including Mark Kotsay, Eric Chavez, Jake Westbrook, Gil Meche, heck even R.A. Dickey.
Other notable Brewer selections: None

1997 1st round pick: With the 13th pick the Brewers selected Kyle Peterson
Should have picked: Jayson Werth, Adam Kennedy and definitely Lance Berkman
Other notable Brewer selections: None

1998 1st round pick: With the 13th pick the Brewers selected JM Gold
Should have picked: Could have gotten CC Sabathia with this pick.... or even Jeff Weaver... or even Kip Wells
Other notable Brewer selections: Bill Freaking Hall (6th)

1999 1st round pick: With the 10th pick the Brewers selected Ben Sheets
Should have picked: Ben Sheets -- Nailed this one.
Other notable Brewer selections: None.

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