Baseball Draft: Brewers take Sherrill in 12th round
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó The wait was a little longer than Appalachian State junior right-hander Garrett Sherrill anticipated, but he was still ecstatic to be picked on the 12th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
The Milwaukee Brewers made Sherrill, a 2005 A.L. Brown graduate, the 368th overall selection.
That’s No. 368 out of hundreds of thousands of draft-eligible high school and college players, so that’s not bad.
Sherrill was following the draft on the Internet when he got a call from the Brewers. Milwaukee representatives asked a few questions about his monetary expectations, heard what they wanted to hear and announced his selection a few minutes later.
“I expected to go a little earlier, to be honest, but I’m definitely happy,” Sherrill said. “The 12th round was about my cutoff for signing instead of going back to school for my senior year. All the teams knew that.”
Sherrill anticipates a signing bonus in the $60-65,000 range and expects negotiations between the Brewers and his advisor to be settled fairly quickly. His unofficial advisor will become his official agent if a contract agreement can be reached.
“I expected it to be either the Brewers or the Chicago Cubs taking me all along, so that was no surprise,” Sherrill said. “I’d talked to eight or nine clubs, but those were the two teams that seemed most interested.”
Sherrill, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, was a phenomenal high school athlete at Brown, scoring 1,000 points for the basketball team, booming field goals for the football team and batting .400 and dominating on the mound for the baseball team.
He won 26 games on the mound for Kannapolis American Legion squads and starred on three Area III championship teams.
Sherrill began his career at ASU as a starter and was moved into the closer role as a sophomore.
Sherrill ranks second in ASU history with 14 saves. He had six saves this season in a roller-coaster year in which his fastball was clocked at 93-94 mph. He fanned 45 batters in 352/3 innings, but his other stats ó 1-4, 5.05 ERA ó weren’t that impressive.
“I really wanted more consistency this year,” Sherrill said. “There were times I felt like I couldn’t be hit. There were other times when my arm felt a little tired, but I still wanted to be in there at the end of every game. That was my job.”
Sherrill’s status was enhanced by a strong showing for the Hyannis Mets in the Cape Cod Baseball League the summer between his sophomore and junior years. He reported to Hyannis as a temporary roster player and emerged as a closer in the nation’s elite wood bat league for college players.
“I think the Cape experience was huge as far as scouts seeing me do well against quality hitters,” Sherrill said. “The lineups there, the No. 8 and 9 hitters are the 3 and 4 hitters on their college teams, but they’re also swinging wood instead of aluminum. Guys swinging wood, you can get away with a lot of pitches that aren’t perfect.”
Sherrill’s role as a pro will most likely be in the bullpen.
The Brewers believe his fastball/slider combination works best as a reliever. The Cubs liked his changeup as a quality third pitch and envisioned him as a possible starter.
“I’m open to any role,” Sherrill said. “But I really like to close.”
Sherrill says his arm feels the best it has in a long while, and he’s looking forward to his next assignment.
Assuming he signs quickly, he’ll probably be assigned to Helena, Montana, in the Pioneer League, but there’s also an outside chance he could start out in the low Class A South Atlantic League with the West Virginia Power.
West Virginia plays in the same league as the Kannapolis Intimidators, which would make for an interesting homecoming to Fieldcrest Cannon Stadiumó and lots of ticket sales.
“Getting drafted is one of those things you dream about from the time you start playing ball,” Sherrill said. “The dream started to get more realistic when my teammates Zach Ward and Brett Bartles got drafted. This is a great opportunity, and I’m grateful to my family and coaches for everything they’ve done to get me here.”
Contact Mike London at 704797-4259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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