Brewers, Tennessee's Davis still talking
[UPDATE at 3:30 p.m. CT — It doesn’t look like the Brewers and Davis will have anything to announce until Monday, the deadline for teams to sign 2009 Draft picks. So the following is an update to my post from this morning.]
University of Tennessee outfielder Kentrail Davis, the Brewers’ highest remaining unsigned Draft pick, visited Miller Park on Sunday but did not leave with a signed contract.
Davis, the 39th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft who is advised by Scott Boras’ agency, and the Brewers have until 11 p.m. CT on Monday to finalize an agreement. If they cannot, Davis would return to Tennessee for his junior season.
“I’ll say this: There’s no official announcement. We’re still talking,” Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said in the late innings of Sunday’s Brewers-Astros game.
Asked whether the delay indicated that talks had hit a snag, Seid said, “There’s no official announcement, but it was a good sign that he was here. That’s where we’re at right now. Talks are very good. We understand very clearly that [Monday] is the deadline, but we have nothing official at this moment.”
The sides were still in negotiations, Seid said. Draft picks must pass a physical exam before their contract becomes official, but Seid reported no medical hurdles with Davis.
Davis was Milwaukee’s second of 53 Draft picks and the first of two supplemental first-round selections. The team announced its deal with the other, Kennesaw State University right-hander Kyle Heckathorn, during a game at Miller Park on July 25 and then introduced the player to reporters in a workroom behind the press box. On Sunday morning, club officials were preparing to similarly unveil Davis, but it never happened.
Short by professional baseball standards (5-foot-9) and stout (200 pounds), Davis burst onto the scene at Tennessee in 2008, when he led the school with a .330 batting average, 68 hits, 13 home runs, 44 RBIs and a .435 on-base percentage. He got a bit pull-happy this year, according to scouts, but still batted .308 with nine homers and 30 RBIs.
Davis played center field for the Vols but scouts cite his average throwing arm as one reason his future home could be in left. A left-handed hitter and a right-handed thrower, Davis was eligible as a sophomore because he did not turn 21 until after the Draft.
Only three of the Brewers’ picks in the first 20 rounds remain unsigned: Davis, right-hander Brooks Hall (fourth round) and shortstop Scooter Gennett (16th round). Both Hall and Gennett are prep players. Hall is committed to South Carolina and Gennett to Florida State.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Brewers were still negotiating with both players, Seid said.
Even without Davis, Hall and Gennett in the fold, the Brewers have signed 29 of their 53 Draft picks including 19 of their first 22.