The prospects’ losses might wind up being the Milwaukee Brewers’ gain.
The Brewers snagged a pair of prospects that were projected as possible late first-round picks much further down the draft board.
Milwaukee took shortstop Jacob Gatewood of Clovis (Calif.) High School with the 41st overall selection at the end of Compensation Round B and with their pick at No. 50 overall in the second round, the Brewers tapped another top-20 prospect in outfielder Monte Harrison of Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West High School.
The Brewers had earlier taken Hawaiian left-hander Kodi Medeiros with the No. 12 overall pick.
Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk was impressed with the audacity of the Brewers’ picks.
Gatewood was the No. 21 player on the [Baseball America] board. No. 20 was … Harrison. … If the Brewers can land both he and Gatewood, they’ll look like the big winners of day one here. Even if they sign just one of the two, they will still have done pretty well for themselves.
Gatewood is committed to USC if he doesn’t sign with the Brewers. The 41st overall pick has a slot value of almost $1.4 million.
A big shortstop at 6-foot-5, some scouts believe Gatewood will eventually have to move to third base, particularly if he fills out. He is projected as a future 30-home run hitter who put on some shows in home run derbies.
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Gatewood reached the third deck at Citi Field in New York during the junior portion of the All-Star Home Run Derby last July and in another derby, he cleared the bleachers at Wrigley Field.
Gatewood hit .389 with five home runs in 113 at-bats as a senior at Clovis High School.
Harrison hit .429 at Lee’s Summit West in 84 at-bats, with 24 stolen bases. During MLB Network’s telecast, he was drawing comparisons to Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gatewood has committed to play both football and baseball at Nebraska, where he will attempt to pull off the same double that Huskers baseball coach Darin Erstad, a long-time major leaguer, once did.
“We know it’s going to be probably a tough 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.”
The slot value for the No. 50 pick is slightly more than $1.1 million. Harrison attended the draft at MLB Network studios, but left with his family before he was chosen by Milwaukee.
The Brewers have until July 18 to sign their picks and Seid told MLB.com he planned to reach out to Harrison today.
“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.”
The third through 10th rounds are Friday beginning at noon Central and live-streamed at MLB.com. The final day of the draft is Saturday, where Rounds 11 through 40 will also be live-streamed at MLB.com beginning at noon Central.