The 22-year-old Small’s a former Mississippi State University left-hander who, according to pundits, didn’t rank as highly as the Brewers viewed him entering the draft. Baseball America rated Small 45th in the 2019 class, while ESPN’s Keith Law (No. 50), MLB.com (No. 56) and FanGraphs (No. 58) placed him lower. Small’s a former Tommy John surgery patient whose velocity hasn’t returned since the procedure, per Law, though he notes the hurler “has improved substantially as a pitcher.”
With Small under wraps, the Brewers have now agreed to deals with each of their first three draft picks. They previously inked second-round pitcher Antoine Kelly ($1.03MM) and fourth-round catcher Nick Kahle ($325K). The club entered the draft with the second-lowest pool available at $5,148,200.