American Association Dispersal Draft: Milwaukee Milkmen
American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier examines the players picked by the Milwaukee Milkmen in the American Association dispersal draft held on Tuesday.
Milwaukee Milkmen Add Pop to Order
The American Association dispersal draft was Tuesday afternoon, with the Milwaukee Milkmen selecting first based upon last season’s record. New Manager Anthony Barone had the pick of the litter and he was not shy about going after talent to help bolster his lineup. The team added MVP candidate Chase Simpson as well as all-star Zach Nehrir and Dylan Tice. Barone then went for three right-handers to add some depth to his pitching staff.
A look at the team’s six picks. (Team player was drafted from listed in parenthesis)
Chase Simpson – IF (Cleburne)
Simpson was an MVP candidate last season, leading the American Association in RBI with 93. He also added 20 homers, fourth in the league, and hit .272 in 98 games. The infielder was among the league leaders in several categories, including fifth in slugging percentage (.536), second in doubles (32), second in walks (72), and second in extra base hits (54).
Last season was his second year in the league. Simpson was a Pittsburgh Pirates prospect after being drafted out of Wichita State in 2014. He spent four seasons in the Pirates organization, reaching AA in 2017.
In 2018, he signed with the Lincoln Saltdogs where he hit .288 in 41 games before being traded to the Railroaders. He would later be dealt to the Wichita Wingnuts, helping the team in their playoff push.
Including a brief stint with the York Revolution (Atlantic League) in 2017, Simpson is a career .261 hitter in independent ball with 41 homers and 168 RBI in 262 games.
Zach Nehrir – OF (Cleburne)
Last season was the second in the American Association for Nehrir as well. He hit .286 with 12 homers, 71 runs scored and 60 RBI in 97 games, and is one of the best outfielders in the league. The outfielder stole 13 bases last season, but recorded 38 stolen bases the season before to lead the American Association.
Nehrir was drafted in the 16th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015. He spent three seasons in the organization, reaching High-A Visalia in 2017. In 2018, Nehrir signed with the Wingnuts, where he hit .312 in 97 games. He recorded 11 outfield assists that season.
In his two years in the league, Nehrir has a combined average of .297 in 194 games with 136 runs scored and 121 runs driven in.
Dylan Tice – IF (Kansas City)
Tice is an outstanding infielder who can hit. In fact, he can handle the bat quite well. Tice finished 10th in the American Association with a .316 average last year and stole 20 bases. He was thrown out attempting to steal just one time, giving him a .952 success rate, third best in the league.
The infielder was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015 and spent two seasons with the club, reaching High-A Palm Beach in 2016. In 2017, he signed with the Rockland Boulders (Can-Am League) and came to Kansas City in 2018.
Tice was an instant star with the T-Bones, hitting .331 in 68 games. His contract was purchased by the New York Mets late in the year and Tice was sent to Brooklyn (Low-A). He hit .295 in 14 games, but an injury led to his release. He resigned with the T-Bones last season and appeared in 86 games, scoring 64 runs.
In three seasons in independent baseball, Tice has a combined average of .317 in 263 games. He has scored 196 runs and stolen 64 bases.
Dylan Baker – RHP (Kansas City)
Last season was Baker’s first in independent baseball. He finished 4-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 14 starts. The right-hander tossed 80.1 innings, allowing 74 hits and 29 walks while striking out 66. He was a key contributor for the T-Bones down the stretch, allowing two runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.
Baker was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 draft by the Cleveland Indians. He reached High-A Lynchburg in 2015, but an injury sidelined him for the entire 2016 season. Baker returned in 2017 and spent some time at AA before moving to the Dodgers organization. He pitched in AA-Tulsa in 2018 before being released.
In six seasons in the minors, Baker has a 3.91 ERA in 99 appearances, 48 of which were starts. He also has eight saves.
A.J. Schugel (Kansas City)
Schugel will be returning after being sidelined for the entire 2019 season. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 33rd round of the 2007 draft, but opted to go to college. Three years later he was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 25th round and would spend the next four seasons with the Angels organization.
In 2014, Schugel moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he reached AAA-Reno in 2015. That same season he appeared in five games for the Diamondbacks. A year later he joined the Pirates organization, splitting time over the next two seasons between AAA-Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
In 73 career appearances in the Majors, Schugel is 6-2 with a 3.19 ERA. He pitched 93.0 innings, allowing 89 hits and 32 walks while striking out 78.
Jack Alkire (Gary Southshore)
Alkire made his professional debut for the RailCats last season, going 1-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 22 appearances. The right-hander tossed 34.0 innings, allowing 38 hits and 19 walks while striking out 44. Alkire graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University where he was 8-3 with a 4.47 ERA in 44 career appearances.
The Sioux Falls Canaries selections will be posted next.
By Robert Pannier