BASKING RIDGE, NJ - After two-and-a-half days of waiting, firmer Watchung Hills standout Brandon Hylton found out late Wednesday afternoon that he had been selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
“Definitely a steal in the 33rd roound,” said WHRHS head baseball coach Joe Tremarco. “Seen a lot of players in the area over the years go a lot earlier, and I feel Brandon has many more tangibles this early in his career”
A left-handed hitting first baseman, Hylton was chosen in the 33rd round of the draft, which began Monday evening.
"I have been watching the draft every single day," Hylton told TAPinto Basking Ridge. "I have been on top of every one of the picks. Every morning, I've been waiting for the clock to strike 1:00 for the draft to begin. Every pick, my heart was racing. When I finally saw my name, I I had chills for the next 30 minutes. It was the best feeling for both me and my family."
This season, Hylton--who transferred to Ridge from Watchung Hills High School before his senior year--batted .328 with three home runs, 18 runs scored and a team-high 16 stolen bases. He had hit seven home runs in his junior season at Watchung Hills. But, indicative of how fearful opposing teams were of giving him strikes to hit, Hylton also drew 20 walks this spring, meaning he was given a base on balls in more than 23 percent of his 88 plate appearances.
"It has been an amazing experience being drafted by this incredible organization," Hylton said. "Words cannot explain how excited I am! I have been talking to them since the summer. They came to two of my high school games. They saw me play when I went down to Jupier, Florida. And, they saw a few of my summer games. I know they drafted a friend of mine last year, Nick Egnatuk (of Immaculata H.S. in Somerville)."
Ridge varsity baseball coach Tom Blackwell envisions big things for Hylton, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 220 pounds.
"Not only is he the most talented all-around player I have seen, he is the hardest working guy," Blackwell said of Hylton. "He absolutely loves the game and has fun working hard and getting better. He is a kid with the brightest of futures ahead of him, regardless of whether he decides to sign or go to college."
Hylton was set to attend Division 1 Stetson University in Florida before the Brewers drafted him. Hylton could still choose to forego signing a pro contract and attend college instead, with the likelihood that he might be drafted again in three years.
"We have not discussed the signing bonus yet," Hylton said. "I am still undecided as to where I will continue my athletic career. I know whichever decision me and my family decide to make, it will be the right one."
Blackwell said, "I can't wait to follow his progress. Stetson and the Brewers have gotten a heck of a kid and player."
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