The Brewers have signed their top draft choice Devin Williams to a deal worth $1.35MM, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (via Twitter). The bonus is above-slot as the recommended value for the 54th overall selection is just over $1.017MM, per Baseball America. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports part of Williams' bonus includes compensation for forgoing a scholarship to the University of Missouri, which is common practice in signing high school picks.
Williams, who is advised by Jason Wood of Arland Sports, was ranked as the 20th best prospect in the draft by ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required) and number 43 by Baseball America. Law sees Williams as one of the top prep arms in the country, with an athletic build and delivery reminiscent of the Mariners' Taijuan Walker and a chance for three above-average or better pitches. Callis adds Williams has a loose arm and hits 91-95 mph with his fastball.
Williams touched 96 mph at a pre-draft workout for the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, according to McCalvy, but pitched mostly at 90-94 mph during his senior season at Hazelwood West Hight School near St. Louis, where he went 6-1 with one save and a 1.02 ERA, 93 strikeouts, a .102 opponents' batting average in nine games covering 48 innings.
Williams will report to the Brewers' Rookie League affiliate in Arizona tomorrow. The Brewers, who forfeited their first-round selection after signing Kyle Lohse, have now inked each of their first 11 draft picks.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.