The Brewers have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Ethan Small, who was selected by the team out of Mississippi State University in the first round (#28 overall) of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft. The announcement was made by Director – Amateur Scouting Tod Johnson on Tuesday.
Small, 22, went 10-2 with a 1.93 ERA (107ip, 23er), 176 strikeouts, a 0.87 WHIP and a .164 (61-for-372) opponent batting average across 18 starts this season as a redshirt junior with the Bulldogs, leading the program to its 11th appearance in the College World Series.
He recorded double-digit punch outs on 11 occasions en route to establishing a new single-season program record and leading all NCAA Division I pitchers in strikeouts. He finished the regular season third in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in ERA and ranked among Division I leaders in WHIP (2nd, 0.80) and ERA (13th).
Small was named the 2019 SEC Pitcher of the Year, joining Chris Stratton (2012) as the only Bulldogs to take home the award, and became the program’s first to earn College Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year honors, which has been handed out since 2009 to a list that includes Stephen Strasburg (2009), Trevor Bauer (2011) and Aaron Nola (2014). In addition, he earned First Team All-SEC honors and was named a First Team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), College Baseball, Perfect Game and D1 Baseball.
Small finished 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA (218.2ip, 74er) and 318 strikeouts across 36 starts in three seasons as a Bulldog, becoming just the sixth Mississippi State pitcher with multiple 100-strikeout campaigns and the third to record 300 career punch outs.
The Brewers’ selection of Small marked the fourth time the team selected 28th overall (most recently in 2012). It was the first time they selected a pitcher in the first round since 2015 (left-hander Nathan Kirby) and the first time they selected a pitcher with their first selection in the Draft since 2014 (left-hander Kodi Medeiros).
(The Milwaukee Brewers contributed information to this article.)