Brewers near deal with Draft pick Davis

With the deadline for signing 2009 Draft picks looming on Monday, the Brewers appear headed toward a deal with their highest remaining unsigned selection, University of Tennessee outfielder Kentrail Davis.

“The talks are good,” said Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid, whose policy is to not discuss agreements with picks until the contract is signed. “Although we’re not at 100 percent, I feel good about the direction we’re going.”

Seid was in Phoenix this week watching the Brewers’ rookie league affiliate there, but said his travel schedule would bring him to Miller Park over the weekend.

Davis was one of the Brewers’ two selections in the supplemental phase that followed the Draft’s first round. He was the 39th overall pick.

General manager Doug Melvin echoed Seid’s optimism about Davis, who is being advised by Scott Boras, and said the Brewers were also working toward deals with their only other unsigned selections in the first 20 rounds: Right-hander Brooks Hall (fourth round) and shortstop Scooter Gennett (16th round).

“We’re making progress with all three,” Melvin said.

All three players have some leverage in negotiations. Davis has two years of eligibility left at Tennessee, and Hall and Gennett are high schoolers. Hall has committed to the University of South Carolina, and Gennett to Florida State University.

In other Draft news, the Brewers formally announced a pair of signings that have been previously reported. Left-hander Del Howell (15th round) signed on Aug. 1 and reported to Arizona, and outfielder D’Vontrey Richardson (fifth round) signed on Aug. 10.

Richardson, interestingly, signed a 2010 contract. He was a two-sport star at Florida State who has given up football to sign with the Brewers.

“He’s probably not baseball-ready,” Seid said. “He’s a great athlete, but we would rather have him go the instructional league this fall to get ready.”

For now, Richardson is working out with the Class A Brevard County Manatees. Even though he will not play his first professional game until 2010, he will be considered a 2009 signee in terms of Minor League service time. That fact comes into play later, when the time comes for players to be protected on Major League rosters.

“We checked very much into that fact, and [signing a 2010 contract] doesn’t affect him one bit,” Seid said. “The important thing is the date the contract is signed.” 

Teams have until 11 p.m. CT on Monday to sign Draft picks. In most cases, unsigned players return to the Draft pool for 2010.


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