The Brewers selected left-handed pitcher Ethan Small from Mississippi State University with their first pick (#28 overall) of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft. The announcement was made by Director – Amateur Scouting Tod Johnson.
Small, 22, is 9-2 with a 1.88 ERA (96ip, 20er) and 160 strikeouts and has limited opponents to a .160 (53-for-331) batting average in 16 starts as a redshirt junior at Mississippi State this season. The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Super Regional with a win over the University of Miami on Sunday.
Small has recorded double-digit strikeouts in 11 starts and recorded his 300thcareer strikeout on Saturday against Central Michigan, joining Eric DuBose (428, 1995-97) and Jeff Brantley (364, 1982-85) as the only Bulldogs to reach the milestone. He is just one of six Mississippi State pitchers with multiple 100-strikeout seasons.
At the end of the regular season, Small ranked third in the SEC in ERA and ranked among Division I pitchers in WHIP (2nd, 0.80) and ERA (13th). The left-handed was named the 2019 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Pitcher of the Year, joining Chris Stratton (2012) as the only Mississippi State pitchers to take home the award, and also took home first-team All-SEC honors and was named a first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball this season.
In addition, Small is currently one of five finalists for the College Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year Award, which has been handed out since 2009 and has honored college pitching standouts including Stephen Strasburg (2009), Trevor Bauer (2011) and Aaron Nola (2014).
He was previously selected in the 26th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but did not sign.
This marks the fourth time that the Crew has selected 28th overall (most recently in 2012). It is the first time they’ve selected a pitcher in the first round since 2015 (left-hander Nathan Kirby) and the first time they’ve selected a pitcher with their first selection in the Draft since 2014 (left-hander Kodi Medeiros).
The Brewers have one more selection tonight (#65 overall) in the second round. Following the 78th overall selection this evening, the Draft will resume for rounds 3-10 at 12 p.m. CT tomorrow (with one-minute intervals between selections) and for rounds 11-40 at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday, June 5 (with no time delay between selections).