Draft Report Cards: Milwaukee Brewers





QUICK TAKE
No draft looks as good when the first-round pick doesn't sign. The Brewers still found power arms in Nelson and Thornburg, and hope to hit on a lower pick to take some of the sting out of Covey's absence.
Bonus Spending: $2.4 million
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: In college, Tennessee listed 1B Cody Hawn (6) at 5-foot-11; the Brewers list him at 6-foot-1. Either way, he has a short, compact swing and got better as he healed from a left shoulder sprain that hampered him early in the college season. » BEST POWER HITTER: Hawn has power, but fellow Southeastern Conference 1B Hunter Morris (4) has more ability to loft the ball, as well as excellent strength. Some scouts liked his pure hitting ability coming out of college better than his power, as he lacks premium bat speed. » FASTEST RUNNER: Louisiana prep C Kevin Berard (22) has worked at second and is a plus runner, as are OFs Kenny Allison (39) and Johnny Dishon (42). Allison runs better under way and had the best debut of the group, batting .299/.350/.403 with 16 stolen bases at two Rookie-level stops. » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Lean and athletic, SS Yadiel Rivera (9) plays  with savvy, ease and grace thanks to smooth footwork and a fine arm.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: The Brewers went after velocity and got it in 5-foot-11 Tyler Thornburg (3), who elicits  Tim Lincecum comparisons with his height and delivery. He'll hit 98 mph in short stints and sat at 93-95 mph as a pro. RHP Jimmy Nelson (2) pitches at 92-93 and reaches 96 with his heater, which features boring action in on righthanded hitters. RHP Matt Miller (5)  has touched 97 and sits in the 91-95 range. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: The Brewers like Nelson's slider as a consistent average to plus pitch, while Thornburg flashes plus with his changeup. LHP Brian Garman (17) has a power slider that reaches the mid-80s.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: Hawn hit .308/.407/.542 with 13 homers, and Garman (3-1, 0.90, 9 SV, 42 SO, 30 IP) and Nelson (33 SO, 27 IP) formed a power duo in the bullpen to help Helena win the Rookie-level Pioneer League title. Miller (7-2, 4.06) and RHP Austin Ross (8), who went 2-1, 2.70 with a 52-6 K-BB ratio in 47 innings, anchored the rotation. » BEST ATHLETE: Allison and Berard factor in here as well, with Allison's explosiveness giving him a slight edge. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Gary Holle, father of RHP Greg Holle (11), played five games in the majors for the 1979 Rangers. Unsigned OF Chad Jones (50) had first-round tools and helped Louisiana State to the 2009 baseball national championship as a reliever but turned his focus to football. The New York Giants drafted him as a safety in the third round, but a June car accident nearly ended his NFL career before it started. He was rehabilitating to try to come back to play football. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Morris has polish and was expected to play in the Arizona Fall League. Thornburg could blow past him if he command the strike zone and settles in as a reliever. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Allison reminds the Brewers a bit of Lorenzo Cain with his tools and center-field profile. Garman has an average fastball at 89-91 mph to go with his plus slider and also could move quickly. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The signing deadline worked against the Brewers, who were moving toward a deal with RHP Dylan Covey (1) but discovered that he had Type 1 diabetes. Covey decided to attend San Diego, a decision the Brewers supported, but finding out so late precluded them from using the money elsewhere.