The 2010 and 2011 drafts were anything but ordinary for Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid. Extenuating circumstances led to Milwaukee not signing its top pick two years ago, and as a result the team had a pair of first-round selections last June. Seid used them on a pair of college arms, right-hander Taylor Jungmann — out of the University of Texas — and Georgia Tech southpaw Jed Bradley. Both agreed to deals, but not until the last minutes leading up to the August deadline.
Seid, on not signing first-round pick Dylan Covey in 2010: “It was an unfortunate situation. [The diabetes] is something he was unaware of when we drafted him. Before we began negotiating a contract, we had our medical staff do a full blood panel and it came up with some red flags. That was obviously surprising to all of us, but when it was all said and done, I felt good that we were able to help identify this for Dylan and the Covey family. It gave him a chance to deal with, and structure, his life and get back on track in his goal of becoming a major league player.
“We had scouted him to his last game. Just like any high-school pitcher, he had some ups and some downs during the season. The last two or three times that he pitched, we had a national cross-checker there — as well as our east and west coast scouts — and he was back on top of his game.
“The whole situation was tough. It was probably the day before the deadline when I started to get the feeling he wouldn’t be signing, that the whole thing — the health issue — was bigger than all of us. We understood that he wanted to get his health situation under control, and that he had to do what he felt was the best for him and his family. We felt that was honorable.
“The one positive for us was that we got the extra [first-round] pick this past year, and we feel we did pretty well with it. We were able to capitalize on that 15th pick with a guy we feel is an advanced pitcher. He may be able to start at a higher level than where Dylan would have been at this point.”
On drafting Taylor Jungmann with the 12th-overall pick, and Jed Bradley with the 15th, in 2011: “We didn’t vary from out board. We had a lot of discussion throughout the spring, putting it together. We lined the players up the way we saw them and picked accordingly. In reality, the draft went pretty much how we expected, so when guys started coming off the board, we felt we were in a good position to have some success.
“There is always the conversation of, ‘Who is going to take this guy?’ and in this particular draft, the Mets and the Marlins were between our two picks. We wondered if they had thoughts of taking Bradley, but if one of them did, we felt the next guy on our board was pretty good, too. We were confident, knowing that there were 15 guys on our board who we were really high on. We got two of them.
“Going by the information we had — and, obviously, no one tells you who is taking whom — we had an idea [the Mets and the Marlins] might be going a different route. But you never know. In any draft, someone can pull a player right out from under you who you thought you might get. We had a couple of surprises last year, but I’m sure we took a couple of guys who teams were hoping to have, too.”
On drafting Bradley instead of fellow college left-hander Chris Reed, who was taken 16th overall by the Dodgers: “They’re both good pitchers. We had a history on Chris Reed, going back to his high school days. He has a power skill set that he brings to the table, and we feel that Jed does, too. Jed had a little more experience, having pitched more at the collegiate level. In that respect, if we felt there was a comparison, we got to see Jed a lot more. Reed is good, though — a power arm — but we had a better feel for Jed.
“We had some history on Jed in high school; our scouts had seen him. At the time, he was a mid-80s type of guy, although really projectable. Personally, I saw him for two years, starting in 2010. I saw him when I went to watch Deck McGuire, and he was impressive. From there, the history grew. I probably saw him six times over the course of the two seasons, including three last spring. Our scouts saw him a number of times.
“Last year, Jed had a little bit of an up-and-down season, but when you look at the entire package — the body, the way the arm works and the stuff — he’s someone who gets you excited.”
On scouting Taylor Jungmann: “I saw Jungmann three times last spring, as well. We scouted him pretty extensively. We probably didn’t miss one of his starts from the middle of the season to the end. He fits our profile.
“I was very conscientious — we talk about this as an organization — about not only getting guys with stuff, but also feel. It’s one thing to bring hard throwers into the system, but how does it play? What is the skill set that comes along with the good arm? We won’t sacrifice talent, but if a guy has superb feel and a little less velo, that may differentiate him from someone who just has the arm.
“Taylor has pitched at the highest level collegiately. He’s won big games. He also has a feel for situational pitching; he knows how to make the right pitch. He’s an advanced guy. He has three pitches and plays around with a slider for a fourth pitch. I would classify him as a winner.”
On Baseball America saying that Jungmann has a short stride and effort to his delivery: “We looked at that and when it was all said and done, we felt it worked for him. The bottom line is that this is a guy who not only has stuff, we feel that his arm works well. We talked about his delivery — like everyone — and feel he will be fine.”
On going down to the last minutes of the August deadline to sign Jungmann and Bradley: “It was interesting. We went down to the last 20 minutes, if not the last two minutes. We had Doug Melvin, Gord Ash, Tom Flanagan, Todd Johnson and myself forming teams to talk to their agents. We set the groundwork early in the day, but we really didn’t start negotiating until the last 20 minutes. At that point, things start happening quickly. Fortunately, we got them both done.
“When it got down to those final 20 minutes, Gord Ash and Tom Flanagan became a team to talk with the agent for Bradley. I had talked with him early in the day, trying to get things set up, knowing that we’d probably come down to the last few minutes. Doug Melvin and I were handling Jungmann in the last 10 minutes or so.
“We had a plan as to where we were going, money-wise, with each guy. If one of them wasn’t going to sign, we weren’t going to throw extra money to the other. We were pretty confident. We looked at their value and did projections on them, and felt pretty comfortable on the dollar amounts we’d go up to. We weren’t going to pay more than that, just to satisfy them.
“We expected to sign both. We had a plan as to how we’d go about it, and it worked. Across the board, I think there were 17 or 18 first-rounders who were signed on the last day. We had the two, plus our 18th rounder, Chris McFarland. In the end, what matters is that you get them signed, and we did.”