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The Future Helena and Arizona Brewers -- 30th round 3B/OF Dedrick Signs


We'll post news itmes and articles from the web here as it becomes evident when draft picks sign.

 

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John Delaney Taken In 25th Round Of MLB Draft By Milwaukee Brewers

Written by: QuinnipiacBobcats.com

 

HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac senior infielder John Delaney (Hanson, Mass.) was selected on the second day of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 758th overall pick in the 25th round. Delaney will report to the Brewers' rookie training camp in Phoenix, Ariz. on Sunday, June 8. From there, Delaney will either play out the season in the Arizona League with the AZL Brewers or with the Brewers' Short Season rookie team in Helena, Mont.

 

"This was a crazy day," Delaney said. "I was projected to go between the 15th and 25th rounds and Milwaukee and Pittsburgh showed the most interest leading up to today. I saw that Pittsburgh was taking a lot of pitchers early. Once it got to the later rounds, my father and I were glued to the computer tracking all their picks. When I finally saw my name come up under Milwaukee, there was just an eruption in the house. It was an amazing feeling."

 

Delaney's older brother, Jason, is currently playing for the Altoona Curve, the Class "AA" affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. While playing for the same organization as his brother was a possibility early on, Milwaukee looked like a good fit for Delaney.

 

"I had an opportunity to play out there last summer," Delaney said. "I was around the Milwaukee area for some time. It's a great city and I'm pretty excited at the possibility of working my way through the system and possibly playing there some day."

 

Delaney's selection comes after he was named to the all-Northeast Conference First Team, closing out a collegiate career that saw the infielder earn all-conference accolades for three straight seasons. He finishes his Quinnipiac career with 206 hits, good for 4th place all-time at Quinnipiac while also totaling 45 doubles, tying him with former teammate Wilson Matos "06 for 3rd place.

 

This year, Delaney led the Bobcats in most offensive categories including home runs (9), runs batted in (40), hits (66), runs scored (49), at-bats (196), batting average (.337), doubles (15), slugging percentage (.571) and triples (2). In addition, Delaney hit .357 (20-56) with runners in scoring position while leading the team with 13 two-out RBI. Delaney also posted a team-high 20 multiple hit games, including seven with three or more. His 12 multiple RBI games also led the team. His 15 doubles this season rank 6th all-time while his 66 hits are the 5th highest in Quinnipiac history.

 

Delaney's older brother, Jason, currently plays for the Altoona Curve, the Class "AA" affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also joins three former Quinnipiac baseball players currently playing minor league baseball in Tim Binkoski (Philadelphia Phillies), Randy Gress (Atlanta Braves) and Pat Egan (Baltimore Orioles). Former players Ari Kafka and Bryan Sabatella (Seattle Mariners) also played affiliated ball recently.

 

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Additional John Delaney Info, including colbyjack's analysis, within his post in the Official Draft Pick Selection Thread

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Again, while not an "official" signing, it's pretty apparent 14th round pick, catcher Corey Kemp, out of East Carolina, is joining the Brewers. Also out of ECU, second baseman Ryan Wood was picked up by the Brewers in the 42nd round, although his signing status is less certain.

 

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ECU's Kemp, Wood selected by Brewers

By KEVIN TRAVIS, Washington (N.C.) Daily News Sports Editor

 

GREENVILLE - Corey Kemp's vacation to Hilton Head looks like it will be cut a bit short, but that's just fine with him.

 

Kemp, East Carolina's catcher, was selected in the 14th round with the 428th overall pick in the Major League Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. The affable ECU senior said he found out about the selection while talking with teammate and roommate, Ryan Wood.

 

"I've been driving in the car and I was talking with Ryan on the phone," Kemp said. "He was watching the draft and about two seconds into the conversation, he said, 'congratulations, you were just picked by the Brewers in the 14th round.' I thought he was joking because we joke around a lot.

 

"About two seconds later, the Brewers called me and told me about it. I guess he wasn't joking."

 

The Franklin, Tenn., native said he'll be able to relax now knowing where he's headed.

 

"I was a little on edge (Thursday) about where I was going," Kemp said. "Now that I know where I'm going, there's a sigh of relief. I'll be nervous for my teammates the rest of the day, but I can breathe a sigh of relief now."

 

Kemp, the Conference USA Player of the Year, led the Pirates with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs. The home run total is tied for eighth all-time in a single season by a Pirate, while the RBI total ranks third best all-time.

 

He also hit .341, which ranked fourth highest on the team.

 

Kemp said the team took precedent over any of his personal accomplishments.

 

"The whole season was amazing," he said. "We put in a lot of hard work to reach 40 wins (42) and get to the regionals. We didn't end up where we wanted, but it was an amazing season."

 

A co-captain with ECU this year, Kemp said he was surprised to be drafted so high.

 

"I'm shocked and amazed," he said. "God works in mysterious ways. I really didn't have a gauge on where I'd go but, to me, 14th round is pretty high."

 

Kemp said he's excited to play with the Brewers.

 

"The Brewers are a great organization," he said. "Their Triple AAA team (Nashville Sounds in Nashville, Tenn.) is in my back yard from where I grew up and I went to a lot of their games. It's a great organization to get drafted into."

 

Kemp said he was awaiting a follow-up phone call from a Brewers' scout to tell him where and when he'd be going. Milwaukee's minor league affiliates include the Arizona Brewers, the Helena (Mt.) Brewers, both rookie league teams, and Class A teams the Brevard County (Viera, Fla.) Manatees and the West Virginia (Charleston, W.V) Power.

 

"I'm just excited to go play," Kemp said. "ECU has prepared me to play at the next level. I'm ready and I couldn't be happier."

 

Junior second baseman Ryan Wood was picked up by the Brewers in the 42nd round with the 1.268th pick. Wood finished his junior campaign with 13 homers, 51 RBIs and a .306 batting average.

 

Lots more, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report on Kemp, here

 

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Once again, while not official, it's apparent 10th round RHP Greg Miller, out of Seton Hall, will be signing.

 

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Brewers draft Hammonton alumnus Greg Miller

By MICHAEL McGARRY, Atlantic City (N.J.) Press Staff Writer

Greg Miller wasn't even 2 years old when he used to wake his dad, Gene, up at 6:30 a.m. for batting practice with a Wiffle ball.

 

Those early mornings paid off for the Hammonton resident Friday afternoon.

 

The Milwaukee Brewers selected the Seton Hall University standout in the 10th round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft. Miller, a 2005 Hammonton graduate, was the 308th pick.

 

"It's a great day for me and my family," Miller, a pitcher, said. "It's always been a goal of mine to be a professional baseball player. I'm glad it came true."

 

Miller, 21, was watching the Georgia-North Carolina State college baseball game on television at the Red Bank home of friend and Seton Hall teammate Corey Young when his advisor/agent Jon Pridie called to tell Miller the Brewers had selected him.

 

Young had reason to celebrate a few moments later as the Texas Rangers selected him in the 12th round.

 

The Brewers selected the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Miller as a pitcher. He was 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts and 12 appearances this season.

 

Miller also excelled as an outfielder, however, batting .340 and earning third-team All-Big East honors.

 

"I don't care what they need me to do," Miller said. "I'll still get to hit some because I'm with a National League team."

 

Miller first rose to prominence at Hammonton High School, where he was a Press All-Star in 2004 and 2005. Miller batted .373 for the Blue Devils as a senior and knocked in 31 runs. He hit .403 as a junior.

 

Miller first worked out for the Brewers while still in high school.

 

"Ever since then, they've been looking at me while I was in college," he said.

 

The Brewers have a history with local players. Milwaukee took Darren Ford of Vineland in the 18th round of the 2004 draft. Ford is with Milwaukee's high single-A team, the Brevard County Manatees. The Brewers signed George West, a former Buena Regional and Monmouth University standout, as a free agent in 1998.

 

Miller said he and Pridie planned to speak this weekend with the Brewers. Miller probably will soon be headed to Milwaukee's Rookie league team in Helena, Mont.

 

Miller can't wait.

 

"I'm ready and excited to go there and do something that I've always wanted to," he said. "Playing before fans, having little kids come up to ask for your autograph, that's what it's all about."

 

Much more, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report on Miller, can be found here

 

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This signing is official.

 

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Brewers select ACU's Watten

By Daniel Youngblood

youngbloodd@reporternews.com (Abilene, TX)

Abilene Christian University pitcher Trey Watten wasn't taken on the first day of baseball's 2008 First-Year Player Draft as he had hoped to be.

 

But the Milwaukee Brewers made sure the 6-foot-4 right-hander wouldn't have to wait long to be selected on the second day.

 

The Brewers took Watten in the seventh round with the 16th pick of the day on Friday, making him the 218th selection of the 2008 draft.

 

Watten's already decided: He's turning pro.

 

"I'm glad it's all over. It was nerve-racking," Watten said. "I wanted to get taken in the first day just so I could get it over with. But it's good to finally get taken. It was definitely worth the wait."

 

Watten's selection comes after a stellar junior season in which he posted 10 wins and a 2.56 ERA in 98 1/3 innings.

 

In just two years as a pitcher for the Wildcats, Watten went 20-3 with a 2.74 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 167 1/3 innings.

 

Watten's seventh-round selection makes him the second-highest ACU player selected in the draft, behind only Bill Gilbreth -- a third-round selection by Detroit in 1969.

 

"It's a great feeling because I now know what I'm doing for the next three or four months of my life," Watten said. "Baseball's my priority now and not school, which has never been the case. I've been playing baseball my whole life and it was always school work first. Now I'm playing baseball for a living, and I'm just looking forward to the next thing that happens."

 

Watten has already agreed to terms on a contract with the Brewers, and he will be fly to Arizona on Sunday for a minicamp with other Brewers draftees.

 

After that, he said he will likely head to Montana to play for the Helena Brewers, Milwaukee's short-season Single A affiliate.

 

"I'm glad he got that contract signed and done with as soon as possible," said ACU coach and Watten's uncle, Britt Bonneau. "The good thing is he's going to get to go and get a short season under his belt. He had such a good April and May, and I hope he's able to show that to (the Brewers) and get better."

 

Heading into the draft, the Brewers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers had shown the most interest in Watten.

 

Watten had pitched for scouts for all three teams, but a trip last week to pitch at Miller Park -- the Brewers' home field -- got the 22-year-old excited about the opportunity to pitch in Milwaukee.

 

"I've always been excited about pitching in the major leagues, but after leaving there and that atmosphere, it just increased my excitement," Watten said. "Not only am I going to get to play professional baseball, but it's in a great city and for a great organization. It just gives me something to look forward to if I work hard enough."

 

Before 2007, the notion of Watten pitching in the major leagues might have drawn blank stares. He came to ACU as a shortstop and spent his first year as a position player.

 

But he began experimenting on the mound the summer after his freshman year and his career took off during his sophomore and junior seasons.

 

He was able to mix a 92-93 mph fastball with two solid off-speed pitches to have immediate success for the Wildcats.

 

Bonneau said he believes Watten's lack of experience on the mound actually improved his draft status.

 

"Nobody knows what his ceiling is because he's only pitched two years. He's just now developing into kind of knowing what to do," Bonneau said. "I think that's a positive on his side because I think scouts knew here's a kid that's fresh.

 

"He's a kid that doesn't have a lot of experience and he's a quick learner. Once he gets into the organization, in two or three years, here's a kid that's going to be 25 years old and have a chance to be in the big leagues."

Much more, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

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More official "unofficial" turning pro updates --

 

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VMI junior pitcher Michael Bowman was taken by Milwaukee in the ninth round, the highest a Keydet has been drafted since Ryan Glynn went in the fourth round in 1995.

"It's crazy," Bowman said. "It shows how VMI has taken off."

Bowman said he will skip his senior season and turn pro,

Bowman wasn't the only Keydet that Milwaukee liked. The Brewers took junior catcher Michael Roberts in the 38th round.

Bowman and Roberts became the first VMI juniors to be drafted since Glynn.

Roberts said he is leaning toward skipping his senior season to turn pro.

 

Much more on Michael Bowman, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Michael Roberts Photo:

 

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Again, looks like it will happen --

 

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Shortstop Mikey Marseco became the highest draft choice in Samford history when he went in the 11th round to Milwaukee.

 

Samford's Marseco will begin negotiations with the Milwaukee Brewers today and hopes to get a deal completed quickly.

"I'm going to go off my gut feeling," he said. "I hope to get something worked out. I don't really think it will take too much. I'm happy to have this opportunity."

Marseco was the Ohio Valley Conference's co-player of the year after setting Samford single-season records with 93 hits and a .419 batting average. In just three years, he ranks third at the school in career hits (247, 18 short of first place), batting average (.353) and runs scored (132 ).

"I was hoping to go as high as possible, but the 11th round is still a great opportunity," he said. "I got about three phone calls in a row. They asked, `Can we draft you in the ninth round?' I said yes. `Can we draft you in the 10th round?' Yes."

 

Much more, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Please keep in mind we have posted several day-after-draft newspaper links and updates on other Brewer draftees who may or may not sign. Those updates can be found in the threads on the Draft Forum discussing specific rounds of picks.

 

We are hopeful that you are enjoying both our pre-draft coverage, courtesy of colbyjack's efforts, and our post-draft updates, which we are striving to make as timely and informative as possible. Thanks to all who continue to contribute to our effort.

 

I'd also be remiss in not thanking again several of our moderators (you know who you are) who were all over the "during draft" coverage. So pre-, during-, and post-, we've got you covered.

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Looks like he's on his way for sure --

 

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Baseball Draft: Brewers take Sherrill in 12th round

By Mike London

Salisbury (N.C.) Post

 

KANNAPOLIS - The wait was a little longer than Appalachian State junior right-hander Garrett Sherrill anticipated, but he was still ecstatic to be picked in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday.

 

The Milwaukee Brewers made Sherrill, a 2005 A.L. Brown graduate, the 368th overall selection.

 

That's No. 368 out of hundreds of thousands of draft-eligible high school and college players, so that's not bad.

 

Sherrill was following the draft on the Internet when he got a call from the Brewers. Milwaukee representatives asked a few questions about his monetary expectations, heard what they wanted to hear and announced his selection a few minutes later.

 

"I expected to go a little earlier, to be honest, but I'm definitely happy," Sherrill said. "The 12th round was about my cutoff for signing instead of going back to school for my senior year. All the teams knew that."

 

Sherrill anticipates a signing bonus in the $60-65,000 range and expects negotiations between the Brewers and his advisor to be settled fairly quickly. His unofficial advisor will become his official agent if a contract agreement can be reached.

 

"I expected it to be either the Brewers or the Chicago Cubs taking me all along, so that was no surprise," Sherrill said. "I'd talked to eight or nine clubs, but those were the two teams that seemed most interested."

 

Sherrill, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, was a phenomenal high school athlete at Brown, scoring 1,000 points for the basketball team, booming field goals for the football team and batting .400 and dominating on the mound for the baseball team.

 

He won 26 games on the mound for Kannapolis American Legion squads and starred on three Area III championship teams.

 

Sherrill began his career at ASU as a starter and was moved into the closer role as a sophomore.

 

Sherrill ranks second in ASU history with 14 saves. He had six saves this season in a roller-coaster year in which his fastball was clocked at 93-94 mph. He fanned 45 batters in 35 2/3 innings, but his other stats - 1-4, 5.05 ERA - weren't that impressive.

 

"I really wanted more consistency this year," Sherrill said. "There were times I felt like I couldn't be hit. There were other times when my arm felt a little tired, but I still wanted to be in there at the end of every game. That was my job."

 

Sherrill's status was enhanced by a strong showing for the Hyannis Mets in the Cape Cod Baseball League the summer between his sophomore and junior years. He reported to Hyannis as a temporary roster player and emerged as a closer in the nation's elite wood bat league for college players.

 

"I think the Cape experience was huge as far as scouts seeing me do well against quality hitters," Sherrill said. "The lineups there, the No. 8 and 9 hitters are the 3 and 4 hitters on their college teams, but they're also swinging wood instead of aluminum. Guys swinging wood, you can get away with a lot of pitches that aren't perfect."

 

Sherrill's role as a pro will most likely be in the bullpen.

 

The Brewers believe his fastball/slider combination works best as a reliever. The Cubs liked his changeup as a quality third pitch and envisioned him as a possible starter.

 

"I'm open to any role," Sherrill said. "But I really like to close."

 

Sherrill says his arm feels the best it has in a long while, and he's looking forward to his next assignment.

 

Assuming he signs quickly, he'll probably be assigned to Helena, Montana, in the Pioneer League, but there's also an outside chance he could start out in the low Class A South Atlantic League with the West Virginia Power.

 

West Virginia plays in the same league as the Kannapolis Intimidators, which would make for an interesting homecoming to Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium- and lots of ticket sales.

 

"Getting drafted is one of those things you dream about from the time you start playing ball," Sherrill said. "The dream started to get more realistic when my teammates Zach Ward and Brett Bartles got drafted. This is a great opportunity, and I'm grateful to my family and coaches for everything they've done to get me here."

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Brewers draft, sign Kalamazoo's Ritchie

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

BY NICOLE WATKINS

nwatkins@kalamazoogazette.com

KALAMAZOO -- Its been a heck of a ride for Kalamazoo native Brandon Ritchie. First, there was May's National Junior College Div. II Baseball World Series in Millington, Tenn. Next, Ritchie was fielding letters and calls from more than 20 different Major League baseball teams.

Add last Saturday's 30 hour, 2,500-mile round trip to Tampa with his parents, Ron and Nolene, for a tryout with the New York Yankees, and that equals some anticipation.

On Saturday, at home and surrounded by his family, Ritchie ended any uncertainty by signing with the Milwaukee Brewers and making a dream he's had for almost his entire life a reality.

``It's been my dream since I was a little kid, so it's what I wanted to do,'' Ritchie said by phone, just minutes after signing.

The Grand Rapids Community College left-hander was selected in Friday's draft in the 24th round with the 728th overall pick, but also had about a 60 percent scholarship offer to Indiana State University to consider.

``That was kind of tough,'' the 21-year-old said about the decision to accept the Brewers offer. ``I know that it would be good for me to go and get the rest of my education, but at the same time, this is something that I wanted to do for a long time and I wanted to take the next step, so I decided to take it.''

That next step for the Schoolcraft High School grad includes a week-long trip to Arizona to train and then a more permanent stop in the rookie minor league Helena Brewers in Montana.

Ritchie said he receives a ton of support from his parents, whose feelings about the change are very similar to his own -- ``nervous and excited at the same time.''

``Were feeling good and little nervous, too, 'cause he's going to be a long ways away, but he's pretty mature about it, so he's going to be all right,'' Ritchie's father said.

Although Ritchie had Major League scouts eyeing him since high school, it was his performance in Game 2 of the NJCA Div. II World Series in May that may have sealed the deal.

In GRCC's 5-1 win over Monroe CC, the southpaw pitched a nine-inning complete game with five strikeouts and no earned runs, allowing just one walk.

``He was expecting (to be drafted), but I think it really came to fruition when he pitched a nine-inning complete game,'' Tom Fitzgerald, Ritchie's uncle, said.

The dream starts for Ritchie on Monday when he leaves for Arizona.

``I hope I can make it to the majors, that's my ultimate goal,'' Ritchie said. ``Getting stronger and throwing hard is part of (getting there), but it's also getting my mechanics down to where they're perfect.''

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Another signing becomes official --

 

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Former Choate pitcher Liam Ohlmann drafted in 20th round by Brewers

By: Record-Journal Staff

 

The Milwaukee Brewers had selected Ohlmann in the 20th round (608th overall). Brewers scout Rene Mons called shortly thereafter .

 

"I had known that they were going to take me for about a month," said Ohlmann, a 6-foot-1, 220 pound right-hand pitcher out of Choate Rosemary Hall and Manchester Community College. "I just wasn't sure if anybody was going to grab me before them. I'm ecstatic. It's the culmination of years and years and years of hard work and I couldn't be happier."

 

Ohlmann signed with the Brewers at his home Friday night for undisclosed terms and leaves for mini-camp in Tempe, Ariz. on Sunday.

 

Much more, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Thanks to Brewerfan poster "Bambi's Bombers", who placed this initially in our draft forum as well.

 

Looks like 31st rounder Brandon Rapoza will be signing with the Brew Crew

 

Rapoza taken in MLB draft

 

Rapoza to Brewers

 

By STUART KORFHAGE

stuart.korfhage@staugustine.com

Publication Date: 06/07/08

Former Bartram Trail and Flagler College pitcher Brandon Rapoza was taken in the 31st round (938th overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers.

For Rapoza, Friday was a long, stressful day. The Flagler College closer said he followed the draft for a while before growing annoyed and going out with some friends. When the Brewers called his name, Rapoza wasn't even by his computer. He found out about his pick when a friend called him. And then the calls kept coming in, congratulating him on the accomplishment.

"It's real nice. I can't even really explain it," he said. "Honestly, I just wanted to keep playing."

Rapoza said he's meeting with a member of the Brewers organization today and expects to sign a contract.

It will mark a whirlwind courtship by the organization, which didn't really scout Rapoza during the season. However, when the team learned that others were interested in him, Rapoza was asked to throw in the bullpen for a scout. Clearly, they liked what they saw from the 6-foot-1 right-hander who throws in the 90s.

With the senior season Rapoza had, it's no wonder he drew interest. He had nine saves with an ERA of 0.97. He struck out 42 in 37 innings of relief.

"He's a competitor; he really goes after hitters," Flagler baseball coach Dave Barnett said. "He certainly deserves the opportunity. He was pretty much lights out if we were ahead late in ballgame."

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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There are many more, but this is confirmed signing # 4:

 

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Krestalude signs with Brewers

By Eric Pfahler, TCPalm.com

 

PORT ST. LUCIE - Former Port St. Lucie High pitcher Damon Krestalude opted to forego his college eligibility and shoot straight from high school to professional baseball. Krestalude signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers after being selected in the 17th round of last week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. Krestalude had signed previously to play at Indian River Community College.

 

"It feels great," Krestalude said Monday a day after inking the deal. "It's a load off my shoulders. I can focus on my professional career now."

 

Terms of the contract were undisclosed, but Krestalude said he will have a portion of his college paid for should he choose to attend.

 

Krestalude said he heads to Arizona on Thursday to begin work with the team.

 

***

 

This was an article we had linked to earlier confirming Krestalude's pre-draft visit to Miller Park.

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Link for official signing # 5:

Cimarron-Memorial High School graduate Mark Willinsky, a redshirt sophomore at Santa Clara, signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Willinsky, a right-handed pitcher, was selected in the 15th round of last week's major league draft. He went 4-2 with six saves last season for Santa Clara.

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Biggie here, official signing Friday --

 

Lintz will sign with Milwaukee Brewers

Anthony S. Puca, Marshall (TN) Tribune Staff Writer

 

Marshall County High School's Seth Lintz will become the latest in a long line of Tiger baseball players to sign a major league baseball contract after being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the MLB draft.

 

Lintz, selected fifty third overall, won 23 games in his last two years and sported an 11-1 record with an earned run average of 1.33 in his senior season. He will sign on the dotted line Friday for $900,000 and a provision for a fully paid college education at the institution of his choice.

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

Seth Lintz is off to Phoenix to begin his quest to reach the major leagues after signing with the Milwaukee Brewers this week.

Tribune photo by Louis J. Scheuchenzuber

 

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As our reader "battlekow" was kind enough to post elsewhere within our forums (thanks!), we'll archive the text of this article here for future reference:

 

Bucci a Brewer

SARNIA NATIVE SIGNS WITH MLB TEAM

Posted By BY DAVE BORODY, THE OBSERVER

 

Until yesterday, Sarnia's Nic Bucci was a Toronto Blue Jays fan.

 

That all changed Tuesday night.

 

The 18-year-old pitcher signed a professional baseball contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

Jay Lapp, a Brewers major league scout from London (ON), came to the Bucci home on Southern Avenue with a contract in hand.

 

Bucci signed a six-year contract (commonly referred to as a standard minor league contract - Mass Haas) with the Brewers along with a signing bonus. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

"This is a dream come true," said the soft-spoken Bucci. "It's a little bit overwhelming. It's been a long process and to finally have this happen is very exciting."

 

Bucci will graduate from St. Pat's in a week's time and then report to the Brewers rookie team in Phoenix, Ariz., where he will begin play in the rookie league there.

 

A few months ago Bucci signed a national letter of intent to attend Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., on a full baseball scholarship.

 

Then came the major league draft a week ago where the Brewers selected Bucci in the 18th round of the 50-round draft, 549th overall.

 

"I was at home following the draft on the computer, but after the 15th round I went out on the porch. But my dad kept watching and then I heard a big yell a few minutes later. I knew then something had happened."

 

As for signing with the Brewers, Bucci admitted it was a tough decision.

 

"This was the biggest decision of my life to sign with the Brewers. My family and I went over the pros and cons of everything and we decided to sign with the Brewers and to get into their system as quickly as possible." Bucci knows the journey to the major leagues is just beginning.

 

"For most players it takes four to five years to move through the system. Hopefully if I keep working hard it will just be a matter of time."

 

Bucci stands six feet, two inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He says he throws three pitches, a fastball between 87 and 90 mph, a curve ball and changeup.

 

Last year he played for Team Ontario and the Canadian national junior team and played in tournaments throughout the United States.

Lapp said he saw Bucci pitch many times.

 

"Nic is different than a lot of other players in that he has a competitive nature you can't teach. He has no fear on the mound and goes right after players. In Canada I have the unique opportunity to see high school kids like Nic play against players who have already been drafted and signed."

 

Lapp added, "I've been watching Nic since he was 15. He's made steady progress each year and as a scout that's what you like to see."

 

Parents Maurizio and Sandy Bucci are proud of their son.

 

"It's very exciting," said Sandy. "I'm going to miss my baby, but it gives us somewhere new to visit. It's always been his dream since he was a little boy to play professional baseball. The next step is up to him."

 

Maurizio said Father's Day came early this year.

 

"It's all a little overwhelming. Nic has always excelled in baseball and after he made the Canadian national junior team there were a lot of major league scouts and schools calling him. I'm glad this part is over. We are very proud of him."

 

Bucci says pitchers Dustin McGowan of the Toronto Blue Jays and Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves are his favourite players.

 

Bucci had several people to thank. "First my parents. The Sarnia Braves program where I grew up. Murray Marshall, coach of Team Ontario, and Greg Hamilton, coach of the Team Canada juniors."

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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Former Warren Central star drafted by Milwaukee Brewers

 

By ROB HERBST, The Bowling Green (KY) Daily News, rherbst@bgdailynews.com

Derrick Alfonso had been waiting for Friday's phone call since he was five.

 

The former Warren Central standout spent years dreaming and preparing to be a professional baseball player. On Friday, Alfonso became part of the Milwaukee Brewers organization when he was selected in the 26th round of the MLB Draft.

 

"It was nerve-racking," Alfonso said about Friday. "I had no expectations, but it was a dream come true."

 

Only weeks after wrapping up his senior season at the University of Louisville, Alfonso is already on his journey with the Brewers.

 

After inking his contract, which included a $1,000 signing bonus, on Monday in Louisville, Alfonso immediately flew to Arizona for a week of camp.

 

He'll then head to Helena, Mont., on Saturday, where he'll join the Helena Brewers - the Brewers' Rookie League team.

 

"I'm going to work hard to try and turn some heads," Alfonso said. "Who knows?"

 

But Alfonso didn't truly believe he was selected until he heard from Brewers scout Mike Farrell.

 

Alfonso didn't want his mind on the draft and elected not to follow it on the Internet. But his mother, Nancy, did and called home from work when she found out.

 

"My mom called and I heard people screaming in the background, then I got a couple text messages from some of my teammates saying congratulations," Alfonso said. "I figured something was up but I didn't want to know until I got the call from (Farrell). And I did like ten minutes later. But it kept getting more nerve-racking as the day went by and thank God I went where I did or it would have been horrible."

 

Alfonso's selection Friday helped ease the frustrations of his senior season. He played in only 33 of 62 games after breaking his throwing hand in a contest against the University of Kentucky.

 

Although Alfonso figured he had done enough throughout his Cardinals career to warrant being drafted, he didn't know where because his playing time had been limited.

 

"I think I would have had a much better grasp on (the situation) had I played all year and been healthy at Louisville and had a season I expected to have," Alfonso said.

 

"But all of the coaches were real optimistic and real helpful. They told me I had done enough at the university for four years to be drafted, no matter what happened this year."

 

But according to his father and high school coach Rick Alfonso, one final collegiate at-bat didn't hurt.

 

Alfonso homered off Georgia relief pitcher Josh Fields in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Fields was the 20th overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in this year's draft. And watching Alfonso's homer off the first-round pick was Farrell.

 

"He called him and he really, really wanted him and do everything in his power to get him," Rick Alfonso said. "It's crazy how that happens because Derrick wasn't due up until like sixth that inning."

 

Derrick Alfonso's bat could ultimately determine how far he makes it.

 

Defense is his strong suit. He threw out 20 of 32 batters in his senior season and gunned down 47.7 percent of runners throughout his four years.

 

He was on the Johnny Bench Award watch list heading into his senior year.

 

"The question is going to be whether he can be patient enough at the plate," Rick Alfonso said. "He attacks everything. He's got to learn to be more patient. They have no doubt he can hit a 95 mph fastball. He swings at a lot of bad pitches."

 

If Alfonso can progress through the Brewers' minor league system, he could be a part of a Bowling Green daily double in Milwaukee.

 

Former Greenwood standout Corey Hart was an 11th round draft pick of the Brewers in 2000 and has turned into a solid starting outfielder in Milwaukee.

 

"I wish I had an answer as to (what my chances are)," Alfonso said.

 

"Hopefully you'll see me and Corey Hart playing together in five years. Who knows? I knew him well in high school. He's a great guy and has done fantastic."

 

More, including colbyjack's Brewerfan.net Scouting Report, can be found here

 

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I'm guessing after reading this, we'll all be pulling even more for UNC senior closer and future Brewer, 13th rounder Rob Wooten, in the College World Series in Omaha.

 

By the way, we've emailed the author, Adam Lucas, to let him know we appreciated him putting together the story.

 

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Pitching Through The Pain

One of Rob Wooten's biggest fans won't see him pitch in Omaha

By Adam Lucas, Publisher -- Tar Heel Monthly

 

When Rob Wooten went to one knee, opened the box, and asked Katie Thomas to marry him, she didn't say yes.

 

The Tar Heel relief pitcher had been planning for this day for two weeks. He'd kept the ring out of sight of everyone, secure in his room. He'd lit candles, he'd arranged roses. But on the chosen day--December 15, 2007--Katie didn't see the flowers. She just saw the glittering ring in her boyfriend's hand, and she knew exactly what it was.

 

Her eyes widened and her heart skipped a beat, and all she could say was, "Is that my mom's ring?"

 

The ring did indeed belong to Markie Thomas, Katie's mother. It was a gift the previous Christmas, and it was gorgeous.

 

And now, if she could ever stop crying, if she could ever stop thinking about the past 38 days--"I had gone from one day having the perfect life to the next day having the worst day of my life, and I had to know that things weren't ever going to be OK again," Katie says now--it was going to be Katie's ring.

 

She knew she wanted to say yes. And she would, eventually. As soon as she stopped thinking about the heartbreaking--and heartwarming--events that had landed that ring in the hands of the man who was seconds from becoming her fiancé.

 

If you're a Tar Heel fan, this has happened to you before. An arch-rival is playing in a televised game -- any sport. Said arch-rival, say Duke, loses. Instantly your phone rings, and it's a Carolina buddy wanting to revel in the glory of the loss.

 

Rob Wooten had that buddy -- his girlfriend's mom.

 

That's the kind of fan Markie Thomas was. Wooten and Katie Thomas, a Sanford native, had started dating in 2005. Sometimes years run together and get jumbled. Not for Wooten, who was a loyal Carolina fan long before he ever became a Diamond Heel when he enrolled in the fall of 2004. He knows exactly what year he started dating Katie. "The same year we won the national championship," he says, and he's talking about Roy Williams's 2005 basketball Tar Heels.

 

Katie wasn't quite as committed to the Tar Heels, but her mother--a 1973 graduate--was fanatical.

 

"They would call each other during games," Katie says. "At the end of last season Rob and I were watching a game together. Duke was playing Clemson. Duke made a shot to win it but there was something funny with the clock and Rob's phone rang right away. I heard my mom say, `I can't believe that happened.' And Rob said, `They cheated.' That's the kind of fans they both were."

 

It's hard not to appreciate that kind of fandom. At some point, we've all made that call. You're not watching the game with someone, but you know they're watching it, too. No need to ask if they saw it. You know them, and you know they were as exasperated as you were.

 

In 2006, Katie had taken virtually every dollar of her babysitting money to buy a plane ticket to Omaha to watch the 2006 College World Series. Her father was skeptical. Her mother was excited: "I'd do it," she said to her daughter. When the Tar Heels made a return trip in 2007, Markie Thomas joined her daughter in Omaha. She wanted to see Katie's boyfriend pitch at Rosenblatt Stadium, yes. But she also went because she loved the Tar Heels and that's just what fans do.

 

On Nov. 7, 2007, Wooten was sitting in class when he received a text from pitching coach Scott Forbes, a Sanford native: "Call me right now."

 

Wooten's first thought: "What did I do?"

 

He stepped into the hall to call Forbes and heard his coach say, "You need to come by here." At the same time they were talking, Wooten missed a call from Katie's sister and a call from Katie's best friend. Three calls in the span of five minutes. That's when he knew something was wrong.

 

What Forbes knew, and what was making its way quickly through the close-knit town of Sanford, was that Markie Thomas had been on her way to work that morning at the same dentist's office where she had worked for 34 years. Somehow, her car left the road and slammed into a tree. She died instantly at the age of 54. In the ensuing days, Sanford-area florists would run out of flowers and 1,500 people would turn out at her funeral.

 

When he finished his conversation with Forbes, Wooten prepared to go see his coach.

 

"I got my stuff and left class," he says. "My sister called and she was crying. She told me what had happened. Life stopped right then. Katie didn't know, because she was at work. I called her best friend back in about 10 minutes, and I could hear Katie screaming and crying in the background. That was by far the worst moment of my life. I could hear her, but I couldn't imagine what she was feeling. It was awful."

 

Wooten left Chapel Hill immediately and drove straight to Sanford. He wouldn't leave for nearly two weeks.

 

"What Rob did for me that meant so much was that he never tried to tell me things were going to be OK," Katie says. "People say a lot of stupid things when something like that happens, and soon you get tired of hearing it's going to be OK, because you know it's not going to be OK. Rob understood that."

 

Shortly after the funeral, Katie's father approached Wooten. He asked the question that has shaken the hearts of even the most stout of males over the generations.

 

"Do you and Katie have any plans for the future?"

 

Right then, every possible answer rattles through your mind. Is he saying he wants there to be plans? Or maybe he doesn't want there to be plans? Maybe right now he needs his girl and doesn't want me to take her away.

 

The couple knew they wanted to be together. But Wooten knew he wanted a steady job, wanted a way to provide for his wife. He was just a college senior with a fairly uncertain professional future that could involve living anywhere in America and would likely include a significant amount of bus rides.

 

As it turned out, Katie's father wasn't trying to be intimidating--he was trying to be helpful. He wanted Rob to have the ring Markie had been given the previous Christmas, the one that was an upgrade on her original engagement ring.

 

"I had been thinking a lot about it," Wooten says. "Right then, that ring started burning a hole in my pocket."

 

With the help of Tim Federowicz and Federowicz's girlfriend, he began planning the proposal. Katie never suspected anything. For 38 days after her mother's death, she grieved. On Dec. 15, the clouds finally lifted. It wasn't that Katie stopped feeling sad. It was that she remembered it was OK to be happy. It was one month, one week, and one day after Markie's death.

 

"All I knew was that we were going out to dinner that night," she says. "I tried to convince him we didn't need to go to Chapel Hill, that we should go somewhere close to home because for that entire month, I never wanted to leave home. But I remember thinking that day when I was getting ready for dinner that I wanted to tell Rob thank you for everything he had done. I didn't want to thank him for anything more than being there for me, because he didn't have to do that."

 

When he proposed, with that ring, there were tears--and eventually there was a "yes."

 

Slowly, life moved on. Two months later, he was standing on the third-base foul line in Boca Raton, Florida, listening to the national anthem before Carolina's season opener against Florida Atlantic. He closed his eyes, said a brief prayer, and suddenly felt a strong presence he hadn't expected.

 

"I felt Katie's mom there so strongly," he says. "And when the anthem was over, I went straight into the dugout, grabbed the Sharpie that Coach Fox uses to make out the lineup, and wrote her initials on my hat."

 

That's where they've stayed for the remainder of the 2008 season. The Tar Heels have a host of different uniforms, and on every one of them, you'll find the initials "MT" just above the brim of Wooten's cap.

 

Katie wasn't in Boca, so she didn't see his uniform alteration. It wasn't until the Tar Heels played a home game that she wandered down to the fence after the game to exchange their usual postgame greetings and saw her mother's initials staring back at her.

 

"That's just like Rob," Katie says. "He didn't do it to impress anybody. He didn't tell anybody he did it. He did it because he wanted to and because she loved him like he was her own son."

 

Katie picks dresses and samples cake without the mother of the bride. She goes to work every day in the same dentist's office where her mom worked for over three decades. Occasionally, a patient will wrap her in a hug without saying anything, and she knows what they are thinking.

 

The wedding date has been set for October 25, 2008, which as Rob can tell you without hesitation, "is the day we play Boston College at home." Like Markie Thomas, he's the type of fan who has the football schedule committed to memory four months before the first kickoff.

 

She's also the type who might have tried to squeeze in both a football game and a wedding on the same day. The thought makes Wooten smile.

 

"You know what?" he says. "She just might."

 

Adam Lucas is the publisher of Tar Heel Monthly. He is also the author or co-author of four books on Carolina basketball.

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The text of an interview with 9th round RHP Michael Bowman out of VMI -- great job by several of the Brewer-related sites and blogs out there recently, this one again by our visitor "battlekow", over at Jeff Sackmann's BrewCrewBall site.

 

We have no problem giving due credit and kudos elsewhere whenever we see good work happening, goodness knows we know a lot of effort goes into something like that interview.

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I was just going through my projected Helena lineup, of which I scribed last September at the end of the minor league season, and after cross-referencing that with the players that still have not reported this year along with those that played at Arizona and the players the team just drafted, allow me to say that there are going to be a ton of transactions made in the next week or so.

 

Arizona for once might actually have a prospect-laden team, as you could very well see a pitching staff that includes names like Odorizzi, Fredrickson, Lintz, Lasker, Krestralude, Bucci, Ohlmann, Pascual and many others depending on where they're placed.

 

At Helena you have a very interesting pitching situation, with Efrain Nieves, Joel Morales, Chad Robinson, Luis Guerrero, Kristian Bueno, Adrian Rosario, Cody Scarpetta, Josh Romanski, Michael Bowman, Greg Miller, Trey Watten, Robert Wooten, Garrett Sherrill, Mark Willinsky, Lucas Luetge, Ben Jeffers, Brandon Ritchie and Cody Adams all in the mix for jobs, as well as some of the pitchers listed above. Some may end up at WV, and some down at AZ, while others are sure to be released (outside of the newly drafted players).

 

Since Lawrie was drafted as a catcher, do the Brewers begin his career with the Baby Brewers, or do they move his polished bat to Helena similar to Gindl a year ago? And what about Shawn Zarraga? DJ Neyens and Brett Whiteside are still with the organization (last I checked at least), while Corey Kemp is likely a lock for Helena and Derrick Alfonso has to fit in somewhere.

 

If Logan Schafer and Erik Komatsu are signed (which I'm assuming they will), where do guys like Chris Dennis, Erik Miller and Ryan Jensen fall? Back at Arizona? The Arizona OF may consist of Cutter Dykstra, Hitaniel Arias and Jose Garcia, which would form a very exciting and promising OF at Arizona, only creating that much greater of a logjam in the outfield in the Brewers system.

 

You would assume Jose Duran also starts at Helena, but again, where does Miguel Vasquez, if he's healthy, fit in, and does Edgar Trejo stay at Helena? Michael Marseco is probably Helena's utility infielder, but then you also have John Delaney, and Cequea seems to be one of the organization's better, unknown Latin prospects.

 

I would try to figure out the rosters, since it does interest me, but I figured I would wait a week and see how the pieces fall into place when the two rookie league teams begin their respective seasons. As always, I am more and more excited to watch these players perform via the box scores and game reports that Mass provides, since these are the players that for the most part we know the least about.

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I saw that (and nice job on all of your interviews, I know the hard work that is involved tracking down players for interviews), but we've heard players in the past say that they expect to go to a certain team only to start elsewhere, even if Fredrcikson is more likely to debut at Helena being a college pitcher and all.

 

But that only adds to my point. So many players slated for only so many spots...we're going to see a lot of transactions in the next week, which again adds to my excitement this time of year as the rookie league teams set to begin their long-awaited seasons.

 

The system keeps getting deeper and deeper.

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