Brewers Sign 1st Pick Arnett
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Eric Arnett had no warning that he was about to be selected by the Milwaukee Brewers. Agent Joe Speed had a premonition the morning before the draft.
Arnett, from Pataskala, Ohio, said his family pulled for him to be picked by the Cleveland, but once the Indians didn't he began to believe he'd go to Milwaukee.
"That would have been amazing to be the No. 15 pick, but I knew that once I wasn't called there I had a good shot of going here," Arnett said. "This was really, in line, the next team I wanted to go to."
Speed apparently knew it all along. He had written on a cocktail napkin at breakfast where he believed his client would be picked and told him he'd show the 21-year-old right-hander after the selection.
Speed showed off the napkin Sunday that said "Milwaukee Brewers, 26th pick" just after Arnett's introductory news conference.
"That was fun," Speed said, laughing at the notion he should take his good luck to Las Vegas.
Arnett, who will leave for Helena, Mont. for the rookie league on Monday, received a $1.2 million signing bonus as the 26th pick, the amount the commissioner's office recommends for that selection.
"I know I've still got a lot of work to do and it's back to the bottom," Arnett said. "Hopefully I'll see you guys back here in a couple of years and be able to put a real jersey on and walk out on the field."
Arnett's willingness to sign was a major reason the Brewers honed in on him.
"You talk about cashing in, he's going to cash in in the big leagues," Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said. "This is the start. This is the ground floor to catapult him to where he wants to be. To wait two or three months and start that dream was not in his plans based on our conversations."
Arnett just finished pitching at Indiana University and helped the Hoosiers reach the NCAA tournament with a 12-2 record and a 2.50 ERA. Scout Mike Farrell said the 6-foot-5 Arnett showed a physical presence and has a smooth arm delivery. The Brewers like Arnett's fastball and the ability to develop his slider into a strikeout pitch.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said with all the innings Arnett threw in college, he'll likely be limited to two to three innings per start in the rookie league in Helena. The league starts June 23.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)