The MLB’s undrafted free agent signing period is open and the Milwaukee Brewers added two players on the first day.
This year we saw a shortened MLB Draft and the undrafted free agency period is also under new guidelines as well. Typically once the draft is complete, teams can sign any undrafted players immediately. But this year, there was a two-day dead period before talks and signings could begin.
On top of that, players can only sign for a maximum of $20,000. Under a normal year, that figure is $125,000. So as you can imagine, signing these undrafted free agents may be much more difficult with some choosing to head back to the college ranks for another year with the hope that 2021 is back to normal.
However, despite the unique circumstances, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to sign two undrafted free agents on the first day. They would land infielder, Drew Smith from Grand Canyon University, and pitcher T.J. Shook from South Carolina.
Drew Smith, INF
Before transferring to Grand Canyon University, Smith spent two seasons at Northeast Community College where he posted ridiculous numbers at the plate. For his career which spanned 347 at-bats, Smith posted a slash line of .427/.502/.807 with 29 home runs along with 123 RBIs. And get this, Smith struck out just 26 times. He actually had more home runs than strikeouts.
As impressive as those overall numbers are, Smith’s 2019 season was even better. He would record a .465 batting average and an OPS of 1.435 while being named DII JUCO Player of the Year.
In search of better competition, Smith would transfer to GCU but as we are all aware, the 2020 season was cut short. So in only 73 at-bats this season, Smith posted a .315 average along with nine home runs.
The addition of Smith gives the Milwaukee Brewers another solid bat in the organization with some decent power. And defensively, he has the potential of being an above-average second baseman.
T.J. Shook – Relief Pitcher
Throughout the draft, many Milwaukee Brewers fans were just waiting for the team to draft a pitcher. However, they would end up selecting five collegiate bats instead, and it was UDFA T.J. Shook of South Carolina who became the first pitcher added from the class of 2020.
Although he made nine starts during the 2019 season, Shook is a relief pitcher. During his career at South Carolina, he had pitched in 74 innings and posted a 3.04 ERA while his opponents batted just .237 against him. On top of that, Shook allowed only four career home runs, just 35 walks, and had struck out 92 batters during that span as well.
This season, Shook was off to a particularly hot start before play was halted as he recorded a 2.08 ERA, his opponents were batting just .107, and he struck out 16 in only 8.2 innings pitched.
As the Milwaukee Brewers continue to sign undrafted free agents, we will be sure to keep you up to date. So be sure to check back periodically.