Brewers unable to sign first-round pick Covey
Covey recently was diagnosed with diabetes, and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said that played a pivotal role in his decision not to sign.
"We were willing to sign, but he felt with the management needed and discipline involved with diabetes it was necessary to stay close to home," Melvin said. "This was all a sudden, unexpected, tough-luck happening."
Brewers scouting director Bruce Seid said Covey will attend the University of San Diego instead.
Seid said Covey and his family only found out recently about his diagnosis and were understandably overwhelmed.
"It was pretty devastating," Seid said. "No matter how much time you have, in this case, there's a lot of time needed to determine what's the best situation."
Covey's family did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press.
"The bottom line is, it was something that they're concerned about," Seid said. "It was such a whirlwind situation."
Covey, the 14th overall pick, went 7-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 3 saves for Maranatha High School in Pasadena, Calif. last season.
He was seen as a potentially significant part of the Brewers' long-term answer to pitching problems that have nagged the team for several seasons.
Seid, who was in California trying to get the deal done, said the Brewers were willing to work with Covey to manage his diabetes and made a "substantial" contract offer to him. Seid said they understand his decision and wish him the best.
"At the end of the day, he's (young), and this is something that kind of came into his life," Seid said.
Despite the setback with Covey, Seid is optimistic about several up-and-coming pitchers in the Brewers' organization — including a handful of hard-throwing right-handers from this year's draft class who already are showing potential.
Seid said second-round pick Jimmy Nelson, third-round pick Tyler Thornburg and fifth-round pick Matthew Miller all throw in the mid-to-high 90-mph range.
"The draft doesn't stop with the first pick," Seid said.