Brewers' draft becomes family affair
Milwauke selects Rickie Weeks' brother in eighth round
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' two-day draft odyssey is over. All that's left is a question-and-answer session with fans.Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik will spend an hour chatting online on Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. CT. Fans must register with MLB.com before the chat, and the room will open a few hours early for questions. There is plenty to ask about. Beginning with first-round selection (No. 5 overall) Ryan Braun, the Brewers picked 32 players from four-year, junior or community colleges, 17 out of high school and one from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Twenty-three of the 32 selections on Day 2 came from the college ranks. On Day 1, eight of the picks were pitchers (five right-handers and three left-handers), six were infielders, two were outfielders and 13th-round pick Ryan Babenau was the only catcher. On Day 2 the team focused heavily on pitching; 15 of the 32 picks were hurlers, along with eight infielders, six outfielders and three more catchers. There were some familiar names mixed in. After spending their eighth-round pick on Day 1 on Jemile Weeks, the younger brother of top prospect Rickie Weeks, the team on Day 2 used its 43rd round pick on Kyle Eveland, whose older brother, Dana, is one of the young aces at Double-A Huntsville. Jemile Weeks is an 18-year-old shortstop from Lake Brantley High School (Fla.) selected in the eighth round at No. 235 overall. "He's young," Zduriencik said. "He's a high school kid, and, you know, Rickie was small and undersized. Jemile is small in stature right now, but he's got great actions. We're going to sit down and talk to the family, see what their desires are." Weeks has a scholarship offer from the University of Miami, home of the Brewers' No. 1 draft pick on Tuesday, third baseman Ryan Braun. The switch-hitting Weeks has a quick bat and, according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, at least one National League scout says he is impressed with the way Weeks handles himself on the bases.
His older brother, Rickie, has been tearing through the Brewers' Minor League system. He is at Triple-A Nashville this year, batting .321 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs, all but banging on the Brewers' clubhouse door at Miller Park."The one thing you don't want to do is have Jemile hang on to Rickie or Rickie hang onto Jemile," Zduriencik said. "They are who they are. ... The fact that they are brothers is unique, but [Jemile] was drafted for his skill level. "The bottom line is you take good players," Zduriencik said. "If you draft enough good players, you'll find places for them to play." A round-by-round look at the Brewers' draft: Round 1: Ryan Braun, 3B, University of Miami Round 2: No pick. Round 3: William Inman, RHP, Tunstall High School, Dry Fork, Va.
Zduriencik was surprised by a report in Baseball America that said many teams shied away from Inman when his velocity dropped in Virginia's Commonwealth Games last summer. ... He is the state's career strikeouts leader and has a college commitment to Auburn. ... "I know that our guys were in there and saw him a lot," Zduriencik said. "We saw every outing for the last five weeks and we're impressed with the young man." Round 4: Matt Gamel, 3B, Chipola Junior College, Marianna, Fla.
"This kid's got size, he's got strength and he's a pretty good-looking hitter," Zduriencik said. "He may play third base, he may play first base, he may play left field. You never know with these kids. We'll get him in the system and let him run." ... Gamel was named a First-Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletics Association. ... He has signed with the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Round 5: Kevin Roberts, RHP, University of Houston
Wiry at six feet and 185 pounds, Roberts was a two-way standout at Houston who was named to the All-Conference-USA second team. ... "He played second base and he pitched as a starter and a closer," Zduriencik said. "He was a major part of their program and he did a lot of things to help them win a lot of ballgames. He has a real nice arm and a real nice curveball, and he played every day at second base when he wasn't pitching. The thought for us is that he's going to become a pitcher full time." Round 6: Steven Hammond, LHP, Long Beach State
"He's playing at one of the best programs in the country," Zduriencik said. "I watched him play right at the beginning of the season in late January against Arizona State and our guys continued to follow up with him. As the year went on we saw great progression. He's a little bit older, but in a lot of ways that wasn't bad. He was used primarily in a relief role, as a setup man, closer. We'll turn him over to Reid [Nichols, the farm director] and see what happens." Round 7: Michael Brantley, CF, Fort Pierce (Fla.) Central H.S.
Brantley's father, Mickey, played four seasons in the Minors and was traded to the Brewers in 1990, but he never played for Milwaukee. ... Mickey Brantley is now the hitting instructor for the Toronto Blue Jays. ... "Incidentally, I had hired Mickey when I was Minor League director of the Mets as one of our roving hitting guys," Zduriencik said. Round 8: Jemile Weeks, SS, Lake Brantley H.S., Altamonte Springs, Fla. Round 9: Carlos Hereaud, 3B, Lawrence Elkins H.S., Missouri City, Texas
The Brewers got a good look at Hereaud in the Area Code Games last summer ... According to Baseball America, Hereaud's parents moved their family from Venezuela to get their children a better education, so it may be difficult to sign him away from his University of Houston scholarship. ... "He played shortstop in high school and played some third base and some second base," Zduriencik said. "Carlos, again, is a guy who we think has a chance to be an offensive player, whether he plays third, second or left field. We like the bat. The kid is an athlete and has versatility." Round 10: Steve Garrison, The Hun School, Princeton, N.J.
Has a commitment to the University of North Carolina if he does not sign with the Brewers. "I'd love to play in the pros, but I'd also love to play at UNC," Garrison told the Trenton Times. "I'm kind of neutral right now. I have an idea of what it would take [to skip college]. It's not so much the round I'm chosen, as much as the money and whether the team would pay for college later on." Round 11: Brent Allar, RHP, Weatherford (Texas) College Round 12: John Alonso, 1B, Polk Community College, Winter Haven, Fla. Round 13: Ryan Babenau, C, Etiwanda H.S., Alta Loma, Calif.
One of 36 high school players competing in the national All-American Baseball Game on June 13 in Albuquerque, N.M. ... The only catcher selected by the Brewers on Day 1 despite a shortage of catching in the team's Minor League system. "You look at the board, and there's not a lot of catching up there," Zduriencik said. "You take the players where they are on the board. Catching is what it is." Round 14: Mark James, RHP, Sinclair Secondary School, Ontario
One of two native Canadians selected by Milwaukee, which has a number of prominent Canadians in the front office, including general manager Doug Melvin, assistant GM Gord Ash and advisor Dick Groch. "This is one kid Dick was certainly responsible for," Zduriencik said. "In my first couple years here, we didn't have good information in Canada. The fact that Dick is up there running our Canadian operations is a great benefit to us." Round 15: Michael Bell, 2B, Grayson County College, Denison, Texas Round 16: Andrew Bailey, RHP, Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y.
Underwent Tommy John surgery recently and will be out until next spring. "We liked his arm before the surgery," Zduriencik said. "With some of these things, you roll the dice. Maybe we'll uncover something here that could be good for us." Round 17: Timothy Smith, RF, Midland (Texas) College
Another Canadian native, Smith was drafted by the Mets last season but didn't sign. Round 18: Zach Braddock, LHP, Gloucester (N.J.) Catholic H.S. Round 19: Patrick Ryan, RHP, Embry-Riddle University, Daytona Beach, Fla. Round 20: David Welch, LHP, Texarkana (Tex.) Community College Round 21: Justin Stires, RHP, Saddleback Community College, Mission Viejo, Calif. Round 22: Kenneth Holmberg, 2B, Embry-Riddle University, Daytona Beach, Fla. Round 23: Brendan Katin, RF, University of Miami Round 24: Michael Ramlow, LHP, Owens Community College, Toledo, Ohio Round 25: Taylor Green, 2B, Cypress (Calif.) College Round 26: Jacob Arrieta, RHP, Weatherford (Tex.) College Round 27: Brad Willcutt, C, Southern Mississippi University Round 28: Scotty McKnight, SS, Saddleback Community College, Mission Viejo, Calif. Round 29: Dane Renkert, RHP, Washington State University Round 30: Omar Aguilar, RHP, Merced (Calif.) College Round 31: Patrick Murray, 1B, Marina H.S., Huntington Beach, Calif. Round 32: William Pennington, LF, University of Alabama Round 33: Jorge Core, RHP, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy Round 34: Riley "Brock" Kjeldgaard, RHP, Indian Hills Community College, Centerville, Iowa Round 35: Sebastien Vendette, RHP, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Round 36: Stephen Barnes, RHP, Lake City Community College, Jacksonville, Fla. Round 37: Christopher Hopkins, CF, Sierra Junior College, Rocklin, Calif. Round 38: Christopher Jean, RHP, Texas State University Round 39: Bradley Miller, SS, Cowley County Community College, Arkansas City, Kan. Round 40: Ryan Crew, SS, University of Texas-San Antonio Round 41: Jordan Lennerton, 1B, El Paso Community College Round 42: Chris Copot, C, Lethbridge (Alberta) Community College Round 43: Kyle Eveland, 2B, Palmdale (Calif.) H.S. Round 44: George Washington, RF, Demopilis (Ala.) H.S. Round 45: Ulrich Snijders, C, St. Petersburg Junior College, Clearwater, Fla. Round 46: Alex Lowrey, LF, Monsignor Edward Pace H.S., Miami, Fla. Round 47: Matthew Broughton, RHP, Triton Central H.S., Fairland, Ind. Round 48: Frederick Lewis, LHP, Buchholz H.S., Gainesville, Fla. Round 49: Cory Large, LHP, LD Bell H.S., Hurst, Texas Round 50: Garret Regan, RF, Sir Winston Churchill H.S., Calgary, Alberta
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.