Brewers grab prep lefty Medeiros with 12th pick
Brewers select Hawaii high school left-hander Medeiros in Draft's first round
MILWAUKEE -- Kodi Medeiros was focused on the hitters, but he also saw the Brewers scouts, and he had a feeling they liked what they were seeing.
He was right. Medeiros, a left-handed prep pitcher from Hawaii, performed well enough in a showcase at Miller Park last week to cement him as the Brewers' first-round selection in the First-Year Player Draft on Thursday. Medeiros went No. 12 overall, marking the second straight season that the Brewers used their top pick on a high school arm.
"I think my workout went really well because I could see some of the expressions on the faces after I threw several of my pitches, especially my slider," Medeiros said. "My velocity was really good at that event, I overheard from a scout."
|1||HOU||LHP Brady Aiken|
|2||MIA||RHP Tyler Kolek|
|3||CWS||LHP Carlos Rodon|
|4||CHC||C Kyle Schwarber|
|5||MIN||SS Nick Gordon|
|6||SEA||OF Alex Jackson|
|7||PHI||RHP Aaron Nola|
|8||COL||LHP Kyle Freeland|
|9||TOR||RHP Jeff Hoffman|
|10||NYM||OF Michael Conforto|
|11||TOR||C Max Pentecost|
|12||MIL||LHP Kodi Medeiros|
|13||SD||SS Trea Turner|
|14||SF||RHP Tyler Beede|
|15||LAA||LHP Sean Newcomb|
|16||ARI||RHP Touki Toussaint|
|17||KC||LHP Brandon Finnegan|
|18||WAS||RHP Erick Fedde|
|19||CIN||RHP Nick Howard|
|20||TB||1B Casey Gillaspie|
|21||CLE||OF Bradley Zimmer|
|22||LAD||RHP Grant Holmes|
|23||DET||OF Derek Hill|
|24||PIT||SS Cole Tucker|
|25||OAK||3B Matt Chapman|
|26||BOS||SS Michael Chavis|
|27||STL||RHP Luke Weaver|
|28||KC||LHP Foster Griffin|
|29||CIN||SS Alex Blandino|
|30||TEX||RHP Luis Ortiz|
|31||CLE||LHP Justus Sheffield|
|32||ATL||OF Braxton Davidson|
|33||BOS||RHP Michael Kopech|
|34||STL||RHP Jack Flaherty|
He heard he touched 97 mph, though Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid and GM Doug Melvin said that number was high. Instead, they lauded the combination of Medeiros' low- to mid-90s velocity with terrific movement, and expressed hope about adding him to a growing stable of Brewers starting pitching prospects.
Medeiros became the highest left-handed Draft pick in franchise history, and the highest Hawaiian-born Draft pick ever. He was the first of three prep players selected by the Brewers on Day 1 of the Draft, with shortstop Jacob Gatewood (No. 41 overall in Compensation Round B) and outfielder Monte Harrison (No. 50 overall in the second round.)
"[Medeiros] just came here and emphasized that he was a guy we were really high on," Seid said. "No one ever said the workout was the end-all, but it certainly was the exclamation point."
Medeiros lives in Hilo, Hawaii, down the road from the Cardinals' Kolten Wong, a first-round pick in 2011 out of college, and received a "good luck" text on the eve of the Draft from another Hawaiian, Shane Victorino of the Red Sox.
He models his game after two top Major League left-handers, Madison Bumgarner of the Giants and Chris Sale of the White Sox. In his senior season at Waiakea High School, with Brewers area scout Josh Belovsky keeping tabs, Medeiros was 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA in 43 1/3 innings. He walked 15 batters and struck out 83.
Medeiros is represented by adviser David Matranga and committed to Pepperdine University if he does not sign with the Brewers, but the slot value assigned the 12th overall is significant: $2,805,700.
"It's just a dream come true," Medeiros said at MLB Network's studios in Secaucus, N.J., where he attended the Draft. "All the hard work and sacrifices and all the help from my family and my brother and everyone else who helped me along the way. It just paid off."
The hard work included that showcase at Miller Park one week earlier, when Medeiros impressed Seid and his staff with his performance on the field and off, where he and other prospects underwent a battery of psychological and physical tests. Medeiros checked in at 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds, topping some pre-Draft sources, and retired all four hitters he faced in an exhibition game. Medeiros said he struck out two of the batters and induced a pair of weak groundouts.
He also met with Brewers officials in Arizona, but remained unsure Thursday morning about where he'd end up.
"It was just a mixture of teams, from the Brewers to Diamondbacks, Royals, Indians and Red Sox, but I never had a 'for sure' feeling from any team," Medeiros said. "So it actually really surprised me. I think my performance at that workout really made an impact on me getting selected at 12."
Medeiros throws from a low arm slot and has notable movement on his fastball. Of the arm angle, Medeiros said, "It's just all different opinions. Some scouts say they like my style, they think I'm a starter, and some people think I'm better off as a reliever. I like the slot I throw from. I've got good deception on the slot and my 'velo' is still up there even when I throw from that slot. So that's why I do it. I'm comfortable throwing from that slot."
"He cannot throw a fastball straight," said MLB Network analyst John Hart. "Some people question start/relief. I don't. I like this guy as a starter."
So do the Brewers, according to both Melvin and Seid.
"Hitters talk about they don't like going up there facing him, and some catchers have trouble catching him, so he's a lot about movement," Melvin said. "This isn't a guy that throws 97-98. His velocity could increase, but if it doesn't he's got an above-average breaking ball. We saw him here, he worked out here and it gives you an opportunity to talk to the individual, to do the physical, the psychological stuff. A lot of things you do to get more information that in past years you didn't have the opportunity to do that."
MLB.com Draft guru Jonathan Mayo told an MLB Network audience that the Brewers got an "unbelievable haul" if they are able to lure all three Day 1 selections away from college and into the professional ranks.
"The idea is always to try to hit home runs" with Draft picks, Seid said. "I don't know if we ever went safe. We've made some picks before that have been pretty good, and some that have missed. But it's like anything else -- we're trying to bring in some serious talent, and we feel these three guys fit that bill."
The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 11:30 a.m. CT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 12 p.m. CT.
Brewers grab power-hitting high school shortstop
MILWAUKEE -- Power-hitting shortstop Jacob Gatewood joined a promising list when the Brewers made him the 41st overall selection in the First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.
Gatewood, from Clovis (Calif.) High School, was the final selection of Compensation Round B, and became the 11th shortstop in franchise history drafted before the start of the Draft's second round. Among his predecessors are some big-time big leaguers, including Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Gary Sheffield, Gorman Thomas, B.J. Surhoff, Bill Spiers and Dale Sveum.
Many of those players went on to man positions other than shortstop, and only a few possessed Gatewood's raw power. He reached the third deck of New York's Citi Field with a metal bat during the junior portion of last year's All-Star Home Run Derby, and cleared the bleachers at Chicago's Wrigley Field in another derby.
"I wouldn't put it past him if he stayed at short, but he can handle third or second if need be," Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said. "The bat has a chance to be a really good bat. It's a ways to go, but all of the ingredients are there."
Scouting reports praise Gatewood's strong arm but question whether he will stick at shortstop. He is committed to USC if he doesn't sign with the Brewers. The 41st overall pick has an assigned slot value of $1,384,900.
Gatewood is being advised by agent Danny Lozano.
"It was a stressful process, but I have great friends and family around me, and tonight was amazing," said Gatewood, who attended the Draft in person at MLB Network headquarters in Secaucus, N.J. "It's definitely a relief to know where I'm going to go and a relief to know I'm going to such a good organization. … I'm just enjoying it right now. We'll see what happens down the road, but I'm looking forward to playing in the Brewers organization."
Gatewood was already acquainted with the Brewers' other first-round pick, left-hander Kodi Medeiros (12th overall), from pre-Draft showcases. Medeiros and the Brewers' other Day 1 Draft pick, outfielder Monte Harrison (second round, 50th overall) toured Citi Field earlier Thursday with the group of players who attended the Draft in person.
"It felt like I could hear the crowd screaming again when I went out there, just because that experience was so awesome," Gatewood said. "It's something I'll never forget and to be back and be able to kind of be there when no one was in the stands was kind of cool."
His All-Star Game experience offered a brief taste of the big leagues.
"Without a doubt. We were treated like All-Stars, basically, down there," Gatewood said. It was just great. USA Baseball is awesome and MLB for putting that on. I was just glad to have the opportunity to be out there and it worked out pretty good. I mean, I had an awesome time."
Gatewood batted .389 and hit five home runs in 113 at-bats during his senior season at Clovis.
"I feel like I need to try to become more of an overall better hitter, hit for average as well as for power, because I know my power's there and the more consistent I make contact the better my power's going to play in the game," Gatewood said. "Obviously, if I get a chance to play shortstop, I need to work as hard as I can to stay there. I know it's not going to be easy being my height, but I know it's possible since there's guys that have done it before. That's all I need to know, that it's possible.
On the ball, Crew snares multisport Missouri prep star
MILWAUKEE -- Monte Harrison can dunk a basketball and catch a football as well as he can hit a baseball, and the Brewers know they face a challenge convincing him to commit to the diamond.
But when Harrison's name was still on the board when the Brewers made their final selection on Day 1 of the First-Year Player Draft, they couldn't pass him up.
"We know it's going to be probably a tougher sign," Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said, "but at the same time, you have to take opportunities like this. If we can make it work, we'll make it work."
Harrison, of Lee's Summit (Mo.) West High School, went 50th overall to the Brewers in the second round of the Draft on Thursday. Earlier in the night, the Brewers spent the 12th overall pick on left-hander Kodi Medeiros and the 41st overall pick on shortstop Jacob Gatewood.
All three are high school players with very high upside.
Harrison batted .429 in 84 at-bats for Lee's Summit and stole 24 bases. He drew comparisons to Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford during the MLB Network broadcast and to former first-round pick Bubba Starling in Baseball America, and was No. 23 on MLB.com's list of the top 200 prospects entering the Draft. He has committed to play both baseball and football at the University of Nebraska, where the baseball coach (former All-Star outfielder Darin Erstad) once did the same.
Agent Rob Martin is advising Harrison. Major League Baseball assigned a slot value of $1,100,300 to the 50th overall pick.
Harrison was one of the players in attendance on Draft night at MLB Network studios, but he had departed with his family before the Brewers selected him in the second round.
Brewers area scout Drew Anderson spoke to Harrison on Thursday night, and Seid planned to make contact on Friday. Teams have until July 18 to sign their selections.
"The expectations on him are really good," Seid said. "I don't ever want to put names to a player, but All-Star comparisons have come up on him. He has a chance to play center field. He has good instincts out there, his strides are outstanding. He has a plus arm, plus raw power and his speed is above average. It's just like anything, it's about playing the game, getting enough at-bats and being patient in watching him develop."
"I think it is good players play other sports," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "There's a lot of talk about injuries, but a lot of times they get so burnt out with all the 100 games they play as amateurs. I think it is good they play the other sports -- football, basketball or whatever."