Major League Baseball held its annual Rule 5 Draft on Thursday and as expected, the Brewers were active, adding a pair of new players in the major league portion of the draft, and two more in the Triple-A phase of the minor league portion.
With the fifth overall selection in round one, Milwaukee tabbed infielder Colin Walsh from the Oakland Athletics.
Originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round in 2010 out of Stanford, Walsh spent four seasons in the Cardinals organization before being released in March of 2014. He was signed by the Oakland A’s shortly after and spent the past two season’s in Oakland’s system, advancing as high as Triple-A Sacramento in 2014.
A switch-hitter who has seen the majority of his playing time at second base, Walsh also has experience at third base and in left field. Last season, at Double-A Midland, he hit .302 with 13 home runs while posting a .447 on base percentage in 134 games.
In the second round, the Brewers looked to improve their bullpen, adding right-handed pitcher Zach Jones from the Minnesota Twins.
A fourth round selection by Minnesota out of San Jose State in 2012, Jones appeared in 114 minor league games over four seasons with the Twins, striking out 186 batters in 130.1 innings of work.
He pitched in the Arizona Fall League in both 2013 and 2014 and split last season between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A Chattanooga, going a combined 5-4 with a 4.18 earned run average.
In the Triple-A phase of the draft, Milwaukee selected left-handed pitcher Mitch Lambson (pictured) from the Atlanta Braves and right-handed pitcher Kender Villegas from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Selected in the 19th round of the 2011 draft out of Arizona State by the Houston Astros, Lambson spent parts of five seasons in the Astros organization, pitching for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League in 2014 and advancing as high as Triple-A Fresno last season before having his contract sold to Atlanta in July.
In 40 relief appearances last season, the 25-year-old Lambson went a combined 3-2 with a 2.51 earned run average.
Villegas, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, was signed by St. Louis as an international free agent in 2010 and spent the past six seasons in the Cardinals organization.
Playing at three levels in 2015, Villegas went 3-4 with a 4.03 earned run average, striking out 59 batters in 58 innings of work.