The Milwaukee Brewers have made their first two selections in the Major League Baseball “Two-Thousand and Twelve First-Year Player Draft.”
(Yes, that’s an homage to the commissioner’s long-winded setup prior to each pick delivery at the podium.)
With the 27th selection, the Brewers took: Clint Coulter, a 6’3″ 215 lb catcher, out of Union HS in Washington State.
ESPN.com’s write-up of Clint Coulter notes that as “a state champion wrestler, (Coulter) brings that strength to the catcher position and into the batter’s box. He possesses plus arm strength and power at the plate. His swing is consistent and he’s shown the ability to hit the ball to right-center field.
“He should hit for enough average and power for pro ball, but his defense behind the plate is questionable, due to his lack of agility. His technique is sound, thanks in part to his work with coach and former big league catcher Tom Lampkin, and he’s an accurate thrower. If he can’t stick at catcher, the bat may play at first base. The power is easy and natural and he’s shown an ability to stay back on soft stuff and not drift out onto his front foot.
He’s drawn comparisons to Twins outfielder Josh Willingham and is committed to Arizona State. Coulter is a potential Day 1 selection, and if that rings true on draft day he’s not likely to see the Tempe campus this fall.”
MLB.com says of Coulter that as “the best player in the Pacific Northwest in 2012, Coulter has the chance to be a good all-around catcher at the next level.
“Strong and durably built, Coulter has some serious power potential, with the ability to hit the ball out to all fields. He might not be the best pure hitter in the Draft, but he won’t let any pitcher get away with a mistake. While he’s certainly not a burner, he’s not a slug on the basepaths, either. Behind the plate, his arm strength is a plus, but will need to work on his footwork as well as his overall receiving as he progresses. Few doubt he’ll get there though, as Coulter gets high marks for his all-out play and his work ethic. It’s those intangibles that should make him a good leader from behind the plate at the next level.”
Baseball America’s Jim Callis says that Coulter could be a “(Mike) Napoli type” as he is an offensive-minded backstop.
UPDATE: Coulter has had a conference call with the Milwaukee-based media. Here are some of his comments…
On whether he can do a backflip (like a fellow draftee did on live TV): “I don’t think I can do a back flip, but I can do a lot of push-ups.”
For how wrestling in high school has helped his baseball game: “I learned not to let emotions control me. I control my emotions.”
He said his nicknames were “Grunt” and “Country Strong”. Yeah, this kid might have a bit of power. He also told MLB Network that he once hit 29 home runs in little league.
And most importantly, on his chances of signing with the Brewers and forgoing his collegiate commitment: “That’s probably why I was drafted in 1st round.”
You can follow Clint Coulter on Twitter at: @ccoulter12