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Brewers draft roundup 6/8

June 8, 2010

With their biggest need at the big league level being pitching, the Brewers did their best to address that in the second day of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, selecting 18 pitchers in rounds two through 29.

And while Dylan Covey, their first pick on Monday was a high school pitcher, the Brewers targeted far more collegiate arms on the draft’s second day.

All but two of the 18 pitchers the Brewers selected on Tuesday were from college or junior college programs.

“The college guys right now, they show you the arm strength and they’ll show you the physicality,” Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said. “Those guys, as always, you hope that they’ll help you sooner than later.”

But while Seid and the Brewers targeted several players on the second day that could help the club in the not so distant future, they also selected a number of high-end young arms.

Along with Covey, the Brewers’ seventh round pick, Joel Pierce, is a high school right-hander from British Columbia. In the 15th round, the Brewers added a lefty high school pitcher in Chris Bates.

Regardless of age, the Brewers had specific criteria in mind.

“We [look for] physical, hard throwers that have opportunities to be starters and bullpen guys,” said Seid of their criteria, “and try to create some depth within the organization that the fans in Milwaukee to feel good about and bring success here to the Brewers.”

Round 2, James Nelson, RHP, University of Alabama

Nelson can run his fastball up as high as 94 mph with a nice slider — a tilted, hard, late-breaking pitch — to go with it. A Florida native, Nelson also has an average changeup to go along with his slider, and could soon be a good starting option for the Brewers.

Round 3, Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Charleston Southern

A junior from Atlanta, Thornburg throws a power fastball that can run up to 95 mph and an above-average changeup with excellent arm speed when he throws it. He will need to learn to throw his curveball for strikes to remain a starter, but could be a good arm out of the bullpen.

Round 4, Hunter Morris, 1B, Auburn

Morris, who was previously drafted by the Red Sox in 2007, has an above-average bat all around with impressive raw power as a left-handed hitter. A junior native of Huntsville, Ala., Morris also has the arm and athleticism to play a corner outfield position.

Round 5, Matthew Miller, RHP, Michigan

Miller, a 6-foot-6 junior from Zionsville, Ind., made 17 appearances in 2010, including 10 starts. He had a 3-3 record with a 5.06 ERA while striking out 43 batters and walking 28 over 41.1 innings. Miller was most effective out of the bullpen with a 2-1 record, 3.10 ERA and 17 strikeouts in seven appearances.

Round 6, William Hawn, 3B, Tennessee

Hawn, who goes by his middle name Cody, has been previously drafted twice, including once by the Brewers as a high school senior. Hawn was 11th in the SEC in both slugging percentage (.593) and RBI (61) this season while also belting 14 home runs.

Round 7, Joel Pierce, RHP, Vincent Massey Secondary School

Ranked fourth among Canadian prep players by Perfect Game, Massey stands 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, with a fastball that can reach 91 mph on the radar gun. In a Spring Training exhibition matchup, Pierce threw three perfect innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Round 8, Austin Ross, RHP, Louisiana State

Ross, a native of Shreveport, La., throws a two-seam fastball, sinker and slider. In the summer of 2008, he was rated the No. 2 prospect in the Central Illinois Collegiate League. In 2009, Ross was named SEC Pitcher of the Week twice in the month of March.

Round 9, Yadiel Rivera, SS, Manuela Toro High School

Rivera, is an excellent defensive shortstop, while still needing some work handling the bat. The Puerto Rico native is tall with good range, a strong arm and smooth mechanics in the infield, but will need to work on his strength to improve at the plate.

Round 10, Rafael Neda, C, New Mexico

An excellent offensive catcher, Neda is from Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. He attended high school in Arizona before signing on to play with the Lobos. Neda is far more advanced at the plate than behind it, and will need to work on his defense at the next level.

Round 11, Gregory Holle, RHP, Texas Christian

Holle is imposing on the mound at 6-foot-7 and was previously drafted by the New York Yankees in 2007. He made 12 appearances, nine starts, for the Horned Frogs in 2010, finishing the season with a 5-2 record. Holle struck out 26 batters in 41 2/3 innings while posting a 3.89 ERA.

Round 12, John Bivens, LF, Virginia State

A two-sport star in high school, Bivens originally chose to play football for the University of Virginia before transferring to Virginia State to play left field for the Trojans. Bivens batted .293 with five triples, five home runs, 33 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 2010.

Round 13, Michael White, RHP, Walters State CC

White posted an 8-0 record with a 2.14 ERA this season, tossing 80 innings in 12 starts, giving up just 29 runs — 19 earned — on 57 hits while striking out 84 batters and walking just 35. White finished the 2010 season 23rd in ERA among all NJCAA pitchers and was named a first-team NJCAA All-American.

Round 14, Michael Walker, 3B, U Pacific

A native of Marysville, Calif., Walker batted .327 in 2010 while leading the Tigers in home runs with 12 and RBI with 52. Walker’s defense is behind his offense, however, as the Pacific third baseman led the team in errors with 13.

Round 15, Christopher Bates, LHP, Regis High School

A 6-foot-4, 175-pound lefty from Ossining, N.Y., Bates participated in the invite-only National Pre-Draft Showcase in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in May, pitching in front of scouts from all 30 Major League clubs. Bates, who has signed with Tulane, throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball along with a curveball and changeup.

Round 16, Andrew Morris, RHP, Gulf Coast CC

A native of Prattville, Ala., Morris’ 12 wins in 2010 was the best among all NJCAA Region 8 pitchers. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound righty was a major factor in Gulf Coast CC being among the top-ranked teams all season. Morris received honorable mention All-American honors.

Round 17, Brian Garman, LHP, U Cincinnati

Garman, a 5-foot-11, 202-pound senior from Ohio, pitched 59.1 innings over 17 appearances — five starts — for the Bearcats this season, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.79 ERA. Garman struck out 65 batters while walking just 19 and gave up 31 runs — 25 earned — on 65 hits. Garman ranked eighth in the Big East in ERA and third in earned runs allowed.

Round 18, Thomas Keeling, LHP, Oklahoma State

A left-handed Texas native, Keeling, is a 6-foot-3, 184-pound junior has put up high strikeout totals in each of his last two seasons at Oklahoma State. Keeling struck out 92 batters in just 64 1/3 innings pitched this season while allowing 41 earned runs on 58 hits.

Round 19, Rowan Wick, RF, Carson Graham High School

Another Canadian draft choice, Wick has plenty of power potential as a 6-foot-2, 205-pound right fielder. Wick played for the Canadian national junior team and the Vancouver Cannons of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League. Wick also has a scholarship offer from St. John’s.

Round 20, Shea Vucinich, SS, Washington State

A 6-foot junior from Idaho, Vucinich has plenty of upside defensively and has been suggested as having the potential to be a plus defender up the middle. Vucinich is a free swinger at the plate, which has aided in his power output, of which he has plenty of potential.

Round 21, Kevin Shackelford, RHP, Marshall

Was the primary catcher for the Thundering Herd in 2009 before being moved exclusively to the bullpen this season. Shackelford posted a 1-1 record with a 7.50 ERA in 19 appearances, striking out four batters while giving up just 15 earned runs over 18 innings pitched.

Round 22, Kevin Berard, C, Barbe High School

A Louisiana native, Berard has committed to LSU-Eunice. Berard helped lead his high school squad to a 29-9 record in 2010.

Round 23, Ryan Bernal, RHP, Florida Atlantic

A senior from Florida, Bernal was 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 appearances out of the bullpen for Florida Atlantic this season. Bernal allowed 14 earned runs on 37 hits over 42 innings while recording 44 strikeouts to just 18 walks.

Round 24, Gregory Hopkins, 3B, St. John’s

A junior Massachusetts native, Hopkins batted .358 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs while slugging .521. Hopkins’ average tied him for third on the team while he was second with 32 walks and tied for first with 21 doubles. He was second on the team with 13 errors.

Round 25, Nicholas Shaw, SS, Barry University

Shaw batted .358 with three home runs and 41 RBI on the season for the Buccaneers, while adding 14 doubles and a triple. He also slugged .492 while walking a team-high 49 times, which contributed to his .482 on-base percentage.

Round 26, Daniel Gibson, LHP, Jesuit High School

In 2010, Gibson had one of the best seasons in the 106-year history of Jesuit High School. Gibson posted a 14-1 record with a 1.64 ERA while striking out 129 batters in 89.2 innings.

Round 27, Alexander Jones, RHP, Jacksonville State

A tall, side-armed reliever, Jones sat out a year after Tommy John surgery, but returned to pitch again in 2010. Jones posted a 1-6 record but had a 3.53 ERA and a team-high six saves to go along with 61 strikeouts in 51 innings of relief.

Round 28, Dane Amedee, LHP, LSU-Eunice

A 6-foot-1, 194-pound lefty, Amedee posted a 7-0 record with a 4.14 ERA on the season, striking out 61 batters to just 35 walks over 41 1/3 innings pitched. Amedee also gave up 19 earned runs on 28 hits in 16 appearances.

Round 29, Dan Britt, RHP, Elon University

Britt, a native of North Carolina, posted a 5-2 record with a 4.62 ERA for Elon this season, while striking out 25 batters. Has gone 18-7 with five saves and a 5.27 ERA in his career.

Round 30, Eric Marzec, RHP, Youngstown State

Named the top prospect in the Horizon League by Baseball America before the 2010 season, Marzec went 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA while striking out 56 batters in 39 innings over 20 appearances.

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