"I talked to them right after they got drafted and told them congratulations," Hillis said. "They're guys that I like and I hope to spend more time with them."
Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said he likes the Brewers' Lee pitching picks, especially the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Hillis.
"Hillis is a big fella that throws hard," Seid said. "In the 11th round, you give me those all day and I'll be really happy with it. I'm really happy with what we got with him."
Hillis began his college career at Tennessee, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and never pitched for the Volunteers. He transferred to NAIA powerhouse Lee, where he was used as a closer.
His fastball sits in the mid-90s and has been clocked as high as 99 mph this spring. He also throws a slider, but Hillis relies on his fastball.
Hillis, who struck out 66 hitters in 37 1/3 innings and finished with a 0.96 ERA this season, grew up in Brentwood, Tenn., about 15 minutes from Nashville where the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds play.
"I've always gone to those games, so I think it would be great to play with them someday," said Hillis who noted the Marlins and Diamondbacks also showed interest in him this week. "I'm stoked to be a part of the organization. I've heard nothing but good things about the Minor League system, and hopefully I'll be able to come in and fill a role."
Scouts view Hillis as more of a thrower, but if he can improve his breaking ball, he profiles as a high-impact reliever.
In the Pipeline:
The Brewers ended the Draft with 40 selections, 23 pitchers and 17 position players. Of the pitchers, six are left-handed. Milwaukee chose eight outfielders, seven infielders and two catchers.
They drafted 28 college players and 12 high school players.
Seid said he likes how the pitchers from this Draft class will fit in behind the already well-developed arms in the Brewers' farm system.
"I know people talk about our pitching here, but from Triple-A on down to our low A team, we have anywhere from two to four guys at each level that have a chance to be Major League pitchers," Seid said. "I'm confident with our development. I'm confident with the guys we're sending out, and I think we're definitely strengthening the system down there."