In the 27th Round of the MLB Amateur Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers selected RHP Brady Schanuel, making him the fifth Hawkeye selected overall and the third on Day 3 of the draft.
Although Schanuel came into the season pegged as the Big Ten’s seventh best draft prospect per Baseball America, he was never able to live up to that billing as a Hawkeye. A two-time All-American at Parkland College, Schanuel went 5-7 with a 5.94 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts) in 2018. While he racked up high strikeout numbers all year (65 total!), he also demonstrated a complete lack of command at times, walking 43 batters in 53 innings of work and finishing the season with a 1.77 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched, for the uninitiated). By the end of the season, he ended up losing his spot as a weekend starter to true freshman Jack Dreyer and pitched once from the bullpen, where he threw a scoreless inning against Penn State.
This is the third time that Schanuel has been selected in the MLB Amateur Draft. He was previously drafted in the 36th round of the 2015 Draft by the Oakland Athletics and then made a tremendous jump the following year, when he was a 20th round selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016. It’ll be particularly interesting to see if he makes the jump to professional baseball after this season because he didn’t live up to expectations, and that’s shown by him dropping seven rounds from his selection two years ago. While that’s the case, he still has leverage because he does have his senior season of eligibility remaining and could use that to secure some funds via a signing bonus, and it’s no guarantee that he’d make another jump even if he has a good 2019 season. With a mid-90s fastball and a strikeout mentality, Schanuel has a lot of potential to at least become a solid bullpen weapon for a Major League franchise somewhere down the line, and it could be worth it for him to try and untap that potential with the Brewers organization.
With five picks in the 2018 Draft, the Hawkeyes have tied a program record for most players taken in a single draft. The record was originally set in 1992, then tied in 2015, Rick Heller’s second year as head coach of the program. This pick also marks the 20th selection in the MLB Draft under Heller, which equals the amount of Hawkeyes that had been drafted in the 10 years prior to him taking the reins.
Congratulations to Brady on being drafted a third time!
UPDATE: Schanuel will sign with Milwaukee.