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Top two draft picks sign right away

The Sports Xchange

Unlike last year, when their two first-round draft picks didn't sign until the last minute, the Brewers got their dual No. 1s signed quickly this time.

The Brewers introduced high school catcher Clint Coulter and college outfielder Victor Roache on Friday, announcing both had signed contracts. Coulter was the No. 27 pick in the first round and Roache came next at No. 28. Coulter was a compensation pick for losing free agent Prince Fielder to Detroit over the winter.

Coulter received a $1.675 million signing bonus, exactly the slot money recommended by MLB. Roache signed for $1.525 million.

The new draft rules, with teams having designated pools of money to sign all of their picks and a shorter signing period, have led to quicker deals. Last year, college pitchers Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley didn't sign with the Brewers until minutes before the mid-August deadline.

General manager Doug Melvin long has been a proponent of getting draft picks' professional careers started right away, so he was pleased that Coulter and Roache came to terms quickly.

"The system was put in place this year, and it really does benefit the clubs," said Melvin. "But most important, it benefits the players. The players that didn't sign until Aug. 14 last year really never put a Brewers uniform on until late in instructional league, and then spring training.

"Both these players sitting here today are officially Brewers."

Coulter, 18, will report to rookie ball in Arizona. Roache, 20, is still recovering from a broken left wrist suffered only six games into the season at Georgia Southern and won't play professionally this summer.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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