Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Brewers Grab Hard Throwing Eric Arnett in 2009 MLB Draft
Twenty years ago, the Brewers entered the June draft in need of pitching help and turned to a big, hard-throwing right-hander from a Big Ten school.
Back then, it was Cal Eldred from Iowa.
Tuesday night, it was Eric Arnett from Indiana.
The Brewers took Arnett, who just finished his junior season with the Hoosiers, with the 26th pick in the first round. Arnett, 21, the Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-Big Ten selection, posted a 12-2 record and 2.50 earned run average. He recorded six complete games, struck out 109 batters in 108 innings and limited opponents to a .212 batting average.
Pre-draft scouting reports indicated that the 6-foot 5-inch, 225-pound right-hander's fastball clocks around 94 mph.
"I feel with the selection of Eric Arnett, we took the best player available," Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said. "He is someone that will be a great fit in our organization and will make us a better as a whole."
In an interview with bigtennetwork.com, Eldred -- who now works as an analyst for the network -- was asked what he liked about Arnett.
"No. 1 his size," Eldred said. "I think he has good arm strength and arm speed. He already has what I would call a workable off-speed pitch. Some reports call it a slider, but I call it more of a curve.
"I think there's more room for development with him, and that's obviously what they are drafting on -- potential."
Arnett, who grew up in Pataskala, Ohio, was a four-year letterman in baseball and also earned three all-conference selections in football and two in basketball.
During a conference call with Milwaukee media Tuesday night, Arnett talked about his involvement with the Hoosiers basketball team and coach Tom Crean.
"I ended up walking on," he said. "They asked me to come try out before the season started. (Crean) liked what he saw. I ended up making the team, the only thing was that I counted towards a basketball scholarship and they didn't have any. I ended up being a practice player. I dressed and traveled with the teams, I just wasn't able to play in the games."
Arnett said Crean was "awesome" as an advocate. "He's been awesome.. calling people. (I've been) using him as a reference and everything. I know he knew Mr. Melvin (general manager Doug) with the brewers. I know Crean talked to him and a number of different GMs and scouts."
Asked which current big-league pitcher he patterns himself after, Arnett replied: "I get that question asked a lot. I don't know if I can name (anyone)."
Arnett mentioned the Phillies' Ryan Mattson, who is tall, and Jonathan Papelbon, because of his mentality. "I don't know if I have that look he does," Arnett said. "I've got a pretty good slider. Hopefully, I can work on the changeup a little more to perfect that and improve my split(-finger fastball)."
Arnett, who said he does not anticipate problems with contract negotiations, said he does not know a great deal about the Brewers beyond "what you see on "SportsCenter" every night." But, he worked out last weekend at Miller Park and was impressed.
"It was just a remarkable place. I really enjoyed it."
The Brewers had two supplemental first round picks. They took outfielder Kentrail Davis from the University of Tennessee with the 39th overall selection and chose right-handed pitcher Kyle Heckathorn from Kennesaw State University at 47.
In the second round, the Brewers drafted outfielder Maxwell Walla from Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico with the 73rd pick and grabbed catcher Cameron Garfield from Murrieta Valley (CA) High School with the following pick.
In the third round (105th overall), Milwaukee selected shortstop Joshua Prince from Tulane University.
Story courtesy of Drew Olson and Onmilwaukee.com