A Wrapup For The Brewers' 2011 Draft

Now that the deadline has passed we're finally in a position to take one last look at the players the Brewers drafted and signed in the 2011 draft, and see how this year's strategies compare to those used over the previous two years. For more on the comparison to previous drafts, check out 2010 and 2009's posts.

It's worth noting, as always, that this post would be much more difficult to write if not for work done by the folks at Brewerfan.net, who have done a phenomenal job tracking down information and updating this post to keep it all in one place.

Follow the jump for the analysis.

Pitchers

Pitching was a clear priority in this draft (again), with 24 of the 51 picks and 18 of the 33 signees coming from the mound. That's actually down a bit from 28 and 19 in 2010, respectively. For the second straight year the Brewers put a high emphasis on college pitchers. While two of the Brewers' first seven signees were high school pitchers, they only selected four overall:

2 RHP Jorge Lopez
6 RHP Danny Keller
16 LHP Carlos Rodon
29 RHP David Lucroy

In 2009 and 2010 the team combined to draft 15 high school pitchers but signed just four, so maybe they got tired of wasting the picks.

Meanwhile, they drafted 17 pitchers from four year colleges and signed all but two of them:

1A RHP Taylor Jungmann
1B LHP Jed Bradley
3 RHP Drew Gagnon
7 RHP David Goforth
10 LHP Mike Strong
11 RHP Tommy Toledo
14 RHP Jacob Barnes
15 RHP Andy Moye
20 RHP Brandon Williamson
24 RHP Michael Palazzone
26 LHP Josh Smith
31 RHP Sean Albury
36 RHP Mitch Conner
37 RHP Casey Medlen
38 RHP Chad Pierce
39 LHP Elliot Glynn

48 LHP Mike Francisco

And, just like last year, they selected three pitchers from junior colleges and signed one:

27 RHP Chad Thompson
33 LHP Steven Okert
43 RHP Clint Wilson

For whatever it's worth, the Brewers drafted 17 right handed pitchers (signing 14) and seven lefties (signing 4)

Here's the quick version, with numbers from 2009 and 2010 for comparison:

Year # Drafted % # Signed % HS Signed 4 Yr Signed JUCO Signed
2011 24 47% 18 75% 4 2 17 15 3 1
2010 28 56% 19 68% 8 3 17 15 3 1
2009 25 47% 14 56% 7 1 18 13 n/a* n/a*

Outfielders

The lower levels of the Brewer organization are really short on outfield help right now, and they're not going to get much assistance from this draft class. The Brewers drafted just eight outfielders and only signed three of them, the lowest total in the three years I've been tracking this. Seven of the eight players picked and all three signees were high schoolers:

5 CF Michael Reed
9 CF Malcolm Dowell
13 CF Mallex Smith
22 CF G.J. Jones
44 CF Steve Adam
47 CF Jecid Tarazona
50 RF Matthew Franco

The only collegiate outfielder the Brewers selected didn't sign:

12 OF Andrew Cain

No JUCO outfielders were drafted.

The fact that the Brewers didn't draft many outfielders and signed less is a large part of the reason they had to start a pitcher in the outfield in a recent AZL game. It's not entirely the Brewers' fault: They really had no reason to believe they wouldn't be able to sign Andrew Cain, and he and Mallex Smith were their top two unsigned picks.

Here's the breakdown:

Year # Drafted % # Signed % HS Signed 4 Yr Signed JUCO Signed
2011 8 16% 3 38% 7 3 1 0 0 0
2010 8 16% 5 63% 2 0 5 4 1 1
2009 12 23% 9 75% 3 2 9 7 n/a* n/a*

Infielders

Last year the Brewers drafted and signed eight college infielders, while leaving all the high school players for other teams. This year they took a more balanced approach, drafting six high schoolers and signing three:

18 SS Chris McFarland
19 SS Renaldo Jenkins

30 3B Trent Boras
41 3B Jalen Harris
42 SS Caleb Whalen
45 SS Ahmad Christian

They also drafted five collegiate infielders and signed four:

4 1B Nick Ramirez
21 1B Mike Nemeth
32 SS Alfredo Rodriguez
45 SS Adrian Williams
49 2B Gant Elmore

Here's a breakdown by position:

Two first basemen, both signed
One second baseman, signed
Six shortstops, three signed
Two third basemen, one signed

Here's the signing breakdown:

Year # Drafted % # Signed % HS Signed 4 Yr Signed JUCO Signed
2011 11 22% 6 55% 6 3 5 4 0 0
2010 8 16% 8 16% 0 0 8 8 0 0
2009 11 21% 7 64% 4 1 7 6 n/a* n/a*

And the positional breakdown by year:

Year 2009 2010 2011
1B 1 2 2
Signed 1 2 2
2B 4 0 1
Signed 3 0 1
3B 2 3 2
Signed 1 3 1
SS 4 3 6
Signed 2 3 3

Catchers

The Brewers added a lot of depth behind the plate, drafting eight catchers and signing five. Both of those numbers were the highest I've seen. Almost all of the depth came from the college ranks, but the highest pick was the only high schooler:

8 Dustin Houle
17 Mario Amaral
28 BreShon Kimbell
40 Keaton Aldridge

Meanwhile, all four collegiate players signed:

23 Ben McMahon
25 Parker Berberet
34 Adam Weisenburger
35 Doug Elliot

While Elliot technically counts as a signing, he's already out of the organization: He retired after four pro games.

The Brewers didn't select any JUCO catchers. Here's the breakdown:

Year # Drafted % # Signed % HS Signed 4 Yr Signed JUCO Signed
2011 8 16% 5 63% 4 1 4 4 0 0
2010 6 12% 3 50% 3 1 3 2 0 0
2009 5 9% 2 40% 5 2 0 0 n/a* n/a*

* - In 2009 I counted JUCO players as college players.

Conclusions:

The Brewers made a pretty significant commitment to the future here. Paying out the money to sign two first round picks and still getting all but four players from the first 21 rounds wasn't cheap, and the depth added because of that willingness to spend money could help an organization with very limited depth.

The team made a solid effort to fill in depth at positions of organizational need. Shelling out the cash to sign two high school shortstops (18th and 19th round picks Chris McFarland and Renaldo Jenkins) would imply that the organization recognizes the need to inject some talent there. With that said, they also didn't draft a non-1B infielder until the 18th round.

The lack of talented outfielders in the lower levels of the minors is a problem we're going to continue to see. The fact that the Brewers only added three outfielders from this entire draft means many of the lower level affiliates will have to continue to play players out of position out there, and they likely won't have much talent to use to replace players like Franklin Romero Jr (hitting .219/.234/.301 for Wisconsin) or Robbie Garvey (.218/.283/.280 between Helena/Wisconsin) anytime soon. Clearly this isn't a top priority, but the fact that the organization has drafted this few outfielders two years in a row is somewhat puzzling.

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