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An interview with Patrick Ebert on the Brewers draft Part 2

Patrick Ebert, the managing editor for Perfect Game, gives us his insight on some of the prospects recently drafted by the Brewers. In this last half of the interview we talk about Jacob Gatewood, Monte Harrison, and a little about rounds 3-10 of the draft.

Jacob Gatewood
Jacob Gatewood
Mike Ehrmann

This is the end of my interview with Patrick Ebert. I want to thank him very much for his time and for all the information he provided us. If you're on Twitter you should absolutely be following Patrick  @PGPatrickEbert and check out for year round coverage of high school and college baseball. You can find Part 1 of the interview here.

DH: I was pretty excited by the Brewers second pick Jacob Gatewood. I often hear "high risk/high reward" whenever people talk about him. Can you give us your impression of him?

PE: Gatewood definitely defines the high risk/high reward label. Great size, and a good overall athlete with a big arm. We rated Gatewood's power as the best such tool at the high school level for this year's draft, and he showed it off at the MLB All-Star Game last year by winning the high school version of the derby.

We had Gatewood ranked as one of the top 2-3 players in the high school class at one point for the combination of size, athleticism and his pure power potential, and he was a member of the PG All-American Classic at Petco Park last summer because of that, as were Medeiros and Harrison. He didn't hit as well as he had done in the past at numerous, notable travel events, and as a result his name slid down a little down our internal top prospect lists as other players were establishing themselves. We did hear numerous reports that Gatewood was making the necessary adjustments at the plate this year while still showing off his immense power from time to time.

Fans will have to be patient with Gatewood, but he has superstar potential. I think his 6-foot-5 stature will mean a move off of shortstop at some point during his career, and the Brewers may intend on moving him to third base to begin his professional career for all I know. You don't find too many 6-foot-5 players at third base either, so right field could also be a long-term option.

I do like the pick, although he likely will have to be signed for a bonus valued above his slot designation.

DH: I'm really interested to see where he ends up defensively. Part of me really hopes he can stick at SS if only so I can hold onto the hope of seeing him standing next to Scooter Gennett someday. If he does move, as seems likely, do you think Gatewood has the tools to be average or better defensively at third base and/or right field?

PE: As I noted just before, at 6-foot-5 Gatewood would be taller than your normal third baseman too. But yes, he has the tools to play either third base or right field as he has the athleticism and arm strength.

DH: The perception recently among Brewers fans is that they tend to go safer with their drafts. They clearly didn't take that approach this year as they continued the high risk/high reward approach by taking three sport athlete Monte Harrison. Assuming they're able to sign him, what do you think Brewers fans can expect from him and do you think it will help him refine his game by focusing solely on baseball?

PE: Focusing on baseball will definitely help Harrison. Baseball, like any other sport, or action for that matter, that requires a series of repeated motions, whether it be hitting or pitching, has as much to do with the experience as we most commonly associate with experience as it is for our bodies and muscle to remember those repeated movements. The more Harrison sees, the more he'll be prepared when he sees it again.

What's been most impressive about Harrison to me is that he doesn't look lost on the baseball field. Quite the opposite actually, as the game clearly comes very naturally to him. When you combine that natural ability with his physical ability you have a player that excites you to think what he could become. If he reaches his potential you have a perennial all-star, a five-tool player that can effect the game in a variety of ways. He has power, a cannon for an arm and speed, both on the basepaths and in the outfield.

DH: You brought up signability with Gatewood and Harrison. As you noted they might be able to find some of that money by getting Medeiros on an underslot deal, but certainly not all of it. That means they'll have to find the rest in rounds 3-10 and it seems like they've attempted to do that to some extent by signing 4 college seniors and a 4th year junior. Of course they wouldn't draft a guy solely to save money so I was wondering if there are any interesting names that stick out to you?

PE: Although the team grabbed three college seniors and a fourth-year junior, clearly to help save money for their other picks, there's something to like about each of the players taken in rounds 3-6.

Cy Sneed is the brother of Zeb Sneed, who is a strong-armed reliever currently posting pretty good numbers in the Royals system. Cy has enjoyed a productive career at Dallas Baptist, has pretty good stuff, and profiles in a similar fashion to recent Brewers draft picks Tyler Wagner and Taylor Williams.

Troy Stokes is a toolsy outfielder whose game is highlighted by his speed. He's not very big, but he can fly, and he has an idea of what he's doing at the plate.

Dustin DeMuth put up big numbers at Indiana, often providing more clutch hits than his teammates, which included a pair of day 1 selections in Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis. He'll have no problems hitting in the lower levels of the minors.

David Burkhalter is a loose and athletic, tall and lean projectable prep righthander. I've seen him up to 90 mph in the past, but with his arm action frame and baby face look to him, it's easy to dream on him adding velo over the next 2-3 years.