The MLB draft can really sneak up on you. It's not a show like the NFL draft or the NBA draft and it's in the middle of the season, when plenty of other action is happening. The players selected won't see major league time for years after they are selected, and nobody other than the most hardcore of people know much about many prospects making their way through college and high school.
With that in mind, the MLB draft is in just a week-and-a-half, with teams starting to make selections on June 5 this year. Though it lacks the pomp and circumstance of the NFL and NBA events, make no bones about it: This day is one of the most important of the year for franchises, particularly those like the Brewers.
Numerous publications have begun coming through with their mock drafts. Here is who some of the most recent mocks have the Brewers taking at No. 12 this season:
|Keith Law||Max Pentecost||C||Kennesaw State University|
|Sports Illustrated||Touki Toussaint||RHP||Coral Springs Christian Academy (HS)|
|MLB.com||Max Pentecost||C||Kennesaw State University|
|Minor League Ball||Michael Chavis||3B||Sprayberry (HS)|
|MLB Daily Dish||Kyle Freeland||LHP||Evansville|
|Baseball America||Tyler Beede||RHP||Vanderbilt|
So, pretty much, there isn't a whole lot agreement on what the Brewers are going to do this year. In fact, several mockers have made note that the Brewers are a difficult team for whom to project. The team has been known for making picks that surprise people. Sometimes it works out a la Prince Fielder, sometimes it doesn't.
The one mock that I think is off is Sports Illustrated's. Since Bruce Seid took over in 2008, the Brewers have seemed to favor college pitchers who can (hopefully) move through the system quickly. Of course, they have gone against the rule a couple of times: Dylan Covey was the team's first rounder in 2010 and their first selection last year was high school pitcher Devin Williams. Still, they do tend to favor college pitchers. It's not that Toussaint won't be drafted by the Brewers, it's that I wouldn't hedge my bets on it.
Minor League Ball seems to be drafting for need a little bit. The Brewers don't have any third base prospects in the system and Chavis would help fill that hole. The only issue I see with it is the fact that if the team is drafting for need they would likely not take a high schooler who will take longer to develop.
Pentecost has been falling right around the Brewers often, and many think he may be an option for the team. He is regarded as the best catcher available who is almost certain to stick at the position. If he is chosen by Milwaukee, and if he plays well, it could spell a position change for Clint Coulter. The Brewers are trying to keep Coulter behind the player, but many envision a move to third base or first base in his future. If that is the case, it would help the Brewers strengthen a position where they are awfully weak, namely the infield corners.
Freeland and Beede could fit in more with the Brewers' penchant to draft college players. As recently as March, Beede was being projected as a top-5 pick. An up-and-down performance for Vanderbilt this season has his stock down slightly. Scouts seem to see a lot of potential in him, which could make him ideal for Milwaukee. Freeland was the MVC Pitcher of the Year. He's a big lefty with outstanding control, something southpaws will often struggle with. He seems to be among the most polished pitchers in the draft, albeit with a lower ceiling than some others.
I'm not going to venture a personal guess as to who the Brewers will pick. I don't watch a whole lot of college baseball, and I definitely haven't watched high school prospects. So, I'll take the word of those who have seen them more.
I don't really even have much of an idea what direction the Brewers will go. I would assume best player available. There isn't a spot in the organization where they just have too many darned prospects. The Brewers need to restock basically everything in the minor leagues. That could be any number of players, both college and high school alike. Above all, the Brewers need highly talented players, somebody with the potential to be a game-changer. We'll see who the team actually ends up with.