Milwaukee Brewers

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 14 Dylan Covey RHP Maranatha HS, Pasadena, Calif. Calif.
Covey first grabbed the attention of California scouts at a San Gabriel Valley underclassman showcase in Alhambra in the summer of 2008. A sophomore at the time, Covey unleashed a series of throws from right field that exhibited his terrific arm strength. Not surprisingly, several scouts asked Covey if he was a pitcher and asked when he would be throwing next. Since then, Covey has matured, grown into his frame and improved his conditioning. The results have been sensational. Covey made all the standard showcase appearances in the past year, with uniformly outstanding performances. Covey, solidly built at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, hammers the strike zone with a 93-94 mph fastball that can touch 96. He adds a wicked 81-82 mph slider and has steadily developed his curve and changeup. Covey's arm works smoothly and his has solid mechanics, though he will need to fight a tendency to pull his lead shoulder open when tired. Resembling a younger, lighter version of Giants righthander Matt Cain, Covey profiles as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter with four average to plus offerings. A San Diego signee, Covey ranks a notch above the rest in a deep Southern California prep pitching class and figures to take a shorter path to the majors than his peers.
2 64 Jimmy Nelson RHP Alabama Ala. $570,600
Nelson emerged as the Crimson Tide's top prospect, surpassing middle infielders Josh Rutledge and preseason All-American Ross Wilson. He has the size (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) and hard, heavy fastball to profile as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Nelson has had an inconsistent career as he's honed his mechanics, and an inconsistent junior season, peaking with strong starts against Kentucky early in the season and with a complete-game gem against Mississippi in mid-May. The latter start was key, as many scouts weren't sure he wanted the ball in big-game situations. Nelson can run his fastball up to 95-96 mph at times, and he has learned to rely more on movement and less on velocity. When his fastball is in the 88-93 range, it has natural, hard sink. He complements it with an 80-84 mph power breaking ball that scouts call a slider, as at times it has some depth. At his best, both pitches grade out as above-average. His changeup remains below-average but has its moments, and he tosses in a curve from time to time that some scouts believe suits his arm slot better than the slider. Nelson's arm action is decent, but he still loses his release point from time to time and struggles to throw strikes. He has improved his mound demeanor and has matured so that fielding miscues or a lack of run support don't disrupt his rhythm as often. He failed in a try as a closer last season, and some evaluators believe being in a rotation suits him better. Teams that like him as a starter will be tempted starting in the second round, and he finished the regular season strong.
3 96 Tyler Thornburg RHP Charleston Southern S.C. $351,900
Scouts and opposing coaches inevitably invoke Tim Lincecum when discussing Thornburg, which certainly is a compliment. It started last summer, when Thornburg closed for Brewster in the Cape Cod League. He struck out 18 in 17 innings and racked up eight saves, using a delivery similar to Lincecum's, and his size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) is in the same ballpark, though he's thicker. That helped Thornburg hold up through the grind of being Charleston Southern's top pitcher as well as a middle-of-the-order hitter who often plays right field when he doesn't pitch. He made an early statement with a complete-game, 158-pitch victory against Florida, which won the Southeastern Conference regular-season crown. He also mixed in a loss at Presbyterian, the Big South's ninth-place team. A rough season with the bat and the impending draft prompted the Buccaneers to keep Thornburg's focus on the mound in the season's final month, and he ranked third in the Big South in strikeouts while leading the league with a .213 opponent average. He has top-five-rounds stuff with a low-90s fastball that has topped out at 95 mph. His fastball lacks life and can be pretty flat, which makes his power curveball his best pitch. Thornburg is still looking for a consistent third pitch to round out his repertoire. He's likely more of a middle reliever, a quick-armed set-up man in the Scot Shields mold who should be off the board by end of the fifth round.
4 129 Hunter Morris 1B Auburn Ala. $218,700
Morris spurned the Red Sox as a second-round pick in 2007, making him the highest unsigned high school draft pick to attend college that year. He was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2008 but stumbled as a sophomore, hitting just .282 and striking out 50 times in 50 games. Morris responded by getting in the best shape of his life, and this time the cliche was actually true: He lost 30 pounds and stunned scouts when he posted a 6.75-second 60-yard time on scout day in the fall. His leaner 6-foot-2, 220-pound body has allowed Morris to improve his bat speed, as he can hit velocity better than he used to, and has made his actions and swing looser. While he's still a below-average defender (though with a solid arm), he's no longer a total liability at first base, and he's a solid-average runner under way. Morris doesn't have explosive power and may have more pure hitting ability than raw juice, with both grading out as average or a tick above. He's likely to go out in the same range as he did out of high school.
5 159 Matt Miller RHP Michigan Mich. $157,500
While Oaks exceeded expectations at Michigan, Miller went in the other direction. He's 6-foot-6, 217 pounds and has a 92-94 mph fastball, but he went just 3-3, 5.12 and fell out of the rotation. Miller has a long arm action that makes it easy to see his fastball, which also gets straight at times. His slider is inconsistent and he doesn't command it well. Still, his size and arm strength could get him drafted in the first 10 rounds.
6 189 Cody Hawn 3B Tennessee Tenn. $125,000
Junior first baseman Hawn captured the Volunteers' season in microcosm. A pure hitter who hit .364 with 22 home runs as a sophomore, he got off to a slow start thanks to a sprained left shoulder and never got on a roll like he did in '09. He still wound up hitting .327/.441/.593. His bat will have to carry him, and at 5-foot-11 he doesn't have classic first baseman size.
7 219 Joel Pierce RHP Massey SS, Windsor, Ont. Ontario $175,000
Righthander Pierce is 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, with arms down to his ankles, in the words of one scout. His arm length helps him throw 90-92 mph, but he'll need to shorten his arm action. He gets swings and misses with his fastball because of its run and sink. He mixes in a slider and changeup that show flashes, but he needs to be more consistent and confident with them. Pierce could be a single-digit pick and is committed to Coastal Carolina.
8 249 Austin Ross RHP Louisiana State La. $100,000
With Anthony Ranaudo a shell of his former self this spring, righthander Austin Ross became Louisiana State's most effective starter, going 5-4, 5.22 with 98 strikeouts in 88 innings. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder also made eight relief appearances, and he projects as a middle reliever in pro ball. When he comes out of the bullpen, he has a 90-93 mph fastball and a solid breaking ball. He throws strikes, but perhaps too many to the extent that he's more hittable than he should be, and his well below-average changeup isn't effective at keeping lefties at bay.
9 279 Yadiel Rivera SS Manuela Toro HS, Caguas, P.R. P.R. $85,000
Rivera has a lean, athletic 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame. He's a legitimate shortstop with great range and smooth actions. He's an average runner and his arm is a little light for the left side of the infield, but he shows slick glovework. His swing is inconsistent and he doesn't have much strength yet, but his bat could come around when he adds muscle to his projectable frame. His offensive growth will determine whether he can start up the middle or serve as a reserve or utilityman.
10 309 Rafael Neda C New Mexico N.M. $100,000
The school year got off to a rough start for Neda, as he came down with swine flu in the fall and lost 15 pounds. Neda has always been a gym rat, however, and as soon as he was healthy he got back to work and rebuilt his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame. He has a rock-solid build without an ounce of fat. While offense can be difficult to judge in New Mexico's high altitude, scouts have no question Neda can hit, though his power is a question mark. In previous years he had a closed stance and a middle-away approach. This year, he narrowed and opened his stance a bit in an attempt to hit more home runs. He did that, though his contact rate suffered a bit and he still had just 10 homers on the season. He shows amazing raw power in batting practice, but scouts see him as a .280 hitter with average power. Defensively, Neda needs work. Early in the year he was setting up too deep behind the plate and had to stab at a lot of balls, but he is a solid receiver and adequate blocker, with soft hands. He has fringe-average arm strength, and his throwing is hindered by bad footwork. Some scouts expect him to lose a few pounds in the grind of catching a full pro season, which will help loosen him up and help his throwing. He's not the most vocal leader, but he is a smart player who leads by example. Neda profiles as a sixth- to 10th-round talent, but could go higher to a team that likes his bat and is willing to work with him behind the plate.
11 339 Greg Holle RHP Texas Christian Texas
12 369 John Bivens OF Virginia State Va.
13 399 Michael White RHP Walters State (Tenn.) CC Tenn. $125,500
14 429 Mike Walker 3B Pacific Calif.
Finding a talented senior with tools that profile well in the pro game is a valuable thing to a scout. Pacific third baseman Walker fits that description, as an athletic 6-foot-4, 215-pounder who can play the infield corners and possibly catch in pro ball. He has strength, fringe-average power, runs well and gets on base.
15 459 Chris Bates LHP Regis HS, New York N.Y.
16 489 Andrew Morris RHP Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC Fla.
A 44th-round pick of the Brewers in 2009, Morris has an average fastball in the 88-91 mph range, touching 92, and relies on his split-finger fastball as his primary secondary offering. His curveball has some depth and lacks power.
17 519 Brian Garman LHP Cincinnati Ohio
Brian Garman has been in and out of Cincinnati's rotation the last three years, and he figures to be a reliever as a pro. When he comes out of the pen, the 5-foot-11, 202-pound lefthander has a 90-92 mph fastball and can reach the mid-80s with his slider. He has a short, quick arm action and throws strikes. He usually commands his fastball well, though when he tires as a starter he'll leave it up in the strike zone. Though he's small, his strong frame should make him a durable reliever. He's the best senior sign in Ohio this year.
18 549 Thomas Keeling LHP Oklahoma State Okla.
The Yankees could have taken a huge bite out of the Oklahoma State rotation when they drafted Tyler Lyons (10th round) and Keeling (20th round as a draft-eligible sophomore) a year ago, but both lefthanders decided to return to school. Keeling has improved his stock and should go slightly ahead of Lyons in the fifth to seventh round this June, but he's still trying to figure out how to harness his quality stuff. Keeling would have placed fourth in NCAA Division I in strikeouts per nine innings (12.9) in 2009 if he hadn't fallen a few innings short of qualifying, and he ranked fourth with the same rate at the end of the 2010 regular season. Yet he didn't become a full-time starter until his redshirt junior season and went just 4-6, 5.74 this spring. Keeling's best pitch is a 90-93 mph fastball that tops out at 96 with riding life. The 6-foot-3, 184-pounder gets that movement by throwing across his body, which hampers his control and ability to throw a breaking ball. His slider has improved but he still can't consistently find the strike zone with it. After missing the 2007 season because the growth plate in his shoulder blade was irritating a muscle, Keeling has been healthy since. But he's still learning how to pitch.
19 579 Rowan Wick OF Graham SS, North Vancouver, B.C. British Columbia
Outfielder Wick is a thick 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. He has played catcher and has a strong arm, but doesn't have the mobility or receiving skills to play behind the plate as a pro. He'll have to watch his body and will probably end up in left field or at first base. Wick's frame and strength draw comparisons to another Canadian, Indians prospect Nick Weglarz. He has strength in his lefthanded swing and should have more as he matures. His trigger can be a little slow, although he has squared up good velocity in games the national team has played against extended spring training teams, and he hit a double off of a Gerrit Cole fastball in a game last summer. What really gives Wick trouble is his recognition of breaking balls and offspeed stuff.
20 609 Shea Vucinich SS Washington State Wash.
21 639 Kevin Shackelford RHP Marshall W.Va.
22 669 Kevin Berard C Barbe HS, Lake Charles, La. La.
23 699 Ryan Bernal RHP Florida Atlantic Fla.
24 729 Greg Hopkins 3B St. John's N.Y.
25 759 Nick Shaw SS Barry (Fla.) Fla.
Barry has another potential D-II position draftee in senior Nick Shaw, a shortstop who walked 49 times this year, the first time he failed to draw 50 walks in a season. Shaw lacks power but can handle the bat and has good offensive instincts. He's a fringy runner and fits better at second base than as at short but should be a nice senior sign.
26 789 Daniel Gibson LHP Jesuit HS, Tampa Fla.
Gibson led Tampa's Jesuit High to the state championship game at Florida's 4-A classification, where they lost to Nick Castellanos and Archbishop McCarthy. Gibson had won his previous four starts in the playoffs, and the Florida recruit kept climbing up draft boards as he pitched well. Prior to the state title tilt, Gibson was 14-0 and had allowed just 13 hits and two earned runs in 21 playoff innings, before giving up three runs in six-plus innings in the title game. Gibson has excellent size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and he maintains his solid-average stuff. His fastball usually sits in the 87-91 mph range, but he attracted more scouting attention by bumping up his velocity in shorter outings, at times reaching 94 mph. While his breaking ball and changeup flash potential, the slider ranks ahead of his changeup presently. Gibson isn't afraid to use any of the three and has better pitchability than most of his prep peers in Florida. His competitiveness, body and polished repertoire, as well as his jump in velocity, had some clubs pushing him into the first five rounds, especially in a draft short on lefthanders. Others believe more in the velocity they've seen over Gibson's career rather than the recent spike and see him as a solid, rather than spectacular arm. His signability will likely determine whether he goes in the first 200 picks.
27 819 Alex Jones RHP Jacksonville State Ala.
28 849 Dane Amedee LHP Louisiana State-Eunice JC La.
29 879 Dan Britt RHP Elon N.C.
30 909 Eric Marzec RHP Youngstown State Ohio
31 939 Mike Melillo C Elon N.C.
32 969 Jason Rogers 1B Columbus State (Ga.) Ga.
33 999 William Kankel LHP Houston Texas
34 1029 Conor Fisk RHP Grafton (Wis.) HS Wis.
The state's top prospect, righthander Fisk, needs polish before he'll be ready for pro ball. He has touched 92 mph in some indoor showcases, but usually works at 88-90 mph with his fastball and sometimes struggles to throw strikes. He'll flash an interesting slider but it too needs more consistency, and he also needs to firm up his 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame. He'll be draft-eligible again next year if he attends Wabash Valley (Ill.) CC as planned.
35 1059 T.C. Mark C Pinnacle HS, Phoenix Ariz.
Scouts are divided on catcher T.C. Mark. He didn't catch consistently for his high school team this year and his arm is average, at best, but some scouts think he'll be passable behind the plate, and if he is he offers an intriguing package. One scout compared him to Brad Fullmer, another bat-first prospect who tried to make it as a catcher before he became a corner infielder. Mark has strong forearms and a good line-drive approach from the left side of the plate. He has more of an up-the-middle and opposite-field approach now, and could hit for more power if he starts lifting and pulling the ball. He'll have to tone down his swing, as he has a lot of head movement and is inconsistent. He didn't crack BA's Top 200 but could get drafted in that range because catchers--especially those who can hit--get pushed up draft boards. If he doesn't sign, Mark will head to Arizona.
36 1089 R.J. Johnson RHP Starkville (Miss.) HS Miss.
37 1119 Seth Harvey RHP Washington State Wash.
Righander Seth Harvey is in his fourth year at Wazzu and is still a one-trick pony. It's fastball after fastball after fastball. His fastball sits 90-92 and has above-average life, but that's all he has.
38 1149 Mike Schaub RHP Loara HS, Anaheim Calif.
39 1179 Kenny Allison OF Angelina (Texas) JC Texas
40 1209 Scott Matyas RHP Minnesota Minn.
Righthander Scott Matyas set a Minnesota record with 15 saves as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2009, then turned down the Yankees as a 29th-round pick to return to the Gophers. He showed more velocity this spring, working in the low 90s and commanding his fastball well after recovering from an early-season forearm strain. An athletic 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, he uses a loopy curveball as his second pitch. He had Tommy John surgery in 2005.
41 1239 Derrick Shaw OF Florida A&M Fla.
42 1269 Johnny Dishon OF Louisiana State La.
43 1299 Steven Okert LHP Grayson County (Texas) CC Texas
44 1329 T.J. Mittelstaedt OF Long Beach State Calif.
45 1359 Lucas Moran RHP Lutheran HS North, Houston Texas
46 1389 Derek Goodwin C Diamond Ranch HS, Pomona, Calif. Calif.
47 1419 Billy Schroeder C Grand Canyon (Ariz.) Ariz.
48 1449 Marques Kyles LHP Limestone (S.C.) S.C.
49 1479 Alexander Simone OF Christian Brothers Academy, Syracuse, N.Y. N.Y.
50 1509 Chad Jones OF Louisiana State La.
If Chad Jones had stuck to baseball, he was gifted enough to be a potential first-round pick as either an outfielder or a lefthanded pitcher. A 6-foot-3, 220-pounder with super athleticism, he showed strength, speed, an 88-93 mph fastball and a power slider in limited baseball action at Louisiana State, playing a key bullpen role on the Tigers' 2009 College World Series champions. He also won a national title in football as a safety, and the New York Giants took him in the third round of the NFL draft in April. A baseball team will take a flier on Jones in case football doesn't work out.