Brewers pick Jones County's Roberts in 10th round

GRAY — Tyler Roberts dreamed of being drafted by the Atlanta Braves.

But the Jones County catcher had no problem settling for the team that replaced the Braves in Milwaukee.

“I guess it is funny how that worked out,” Roberts said.

The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Roberts on Wednesday in the 10th round of the major league draft with the 316th overall pick.

“It’s a dream come true,” Roberts said. “I can’t really describe the feeling. I have an opportunity to sign with a Major League Baseball team.”

Roberts said he had significant discussions with the Brewers throughout the draft process. He played for the Brewers’ East Coast Showcase team in Florida last summer. The Brewers sent scouts to the Greyhounds’ first-round playoff game in May.

But during the past two weeks, Milwaukee wasn’t one of the teams Roberts heard from. He did have an opportunity to work out June 6 in Milwaukee but passed to work out for the Washington Nationals, who hinted they might draft Roberts in the first four rounds. The Braves and New York Yankees also held workouts for Roberts.

By Wednesday morning, Roberts was fielding calls from nearly every team. But as the day wore on, Roberts just wanted to hear his name called.

“I couldn’t sleep for the last three nights,” Roberts said. “It just gets more stressful with every round.”

Roberts said he expects contract negotiations to continue during the next few weeks. He has signed a scholarship with Meridian (Miss.) Junior College.

“I’ve got options,” Roberts said. “If I don’t like the fit, I can also go to college.”

If he signs with the Brewers, Roberts would likely be sent to Helena, Mont., for advanced rookie league ball.

“The Brewers do a great job of building through their minor leagues,” Roberts said. “Most of their players came up through the organization. That tells me they are committed to building through the minors.”

Roberts hit .584 as a senior with 13 home runs and 51 RBI. He walked nearly 40 times.

“I’ve been coaching high school baseball for 20 years, and this is by far the best offensive season I’ve ever seen,” Jones County head coach Barry Veal said. “He is such a great hitter and never gets frustrated. He stays patient and produces.”