The Milwaukee Brewers caught the league by surprise in 2017. There were no outside expectations around the team in spring, yet the club would go on to win 86 games and finish 2nd in the NL Central. Milwaukee was the final team eliminated from postseason contention, too, finishing just one game back of the Rockies for the 2nd NL Wild Card.
With the regular season now complete and new rules in place regarding the signing of a Qualifying Offer free agent, the MLB Draft order for 2018 has been set. The draft order is always determined by reverse order in the standings, but now under the new CBA teams no longer have to surrender their highest selection if/when they sign a free agent that has been offered a QO. When two or more teams share the same record, the team that had the lesser record in the 2016 season gets the higher pick in the 2018 draft.
By virtue of their 86-76 record, the Milwaukee Brewers will make their selection at #21 overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. Their pick is sandwiched between the Twins (85-77) and the Rockies (87-75). This will be Milwaukee’s lowest first round selection since 2012, when they held picks #27 and #28 in the first round. The team didn’t have a first round pick in 2013 after surrendering it to sign Kyle Lohse.
The organization has only picked at #21 overall one other time in franchise history, and that was way back in 1969 when they were still the Seattle Pilots. Hopefully next year’s pick works out as well as that one did. With the 21st selection in the 1969 MLB Draft, the Pilots chose shortstop Gorman Thomas out of James Island HS in South Carolina. “Stormin’ Gorman” eventually wound up in the outfield but would debut in the big leagues four years later. He went on to play 11 seasons with the Brewers, tallying a 119 OPS+ and 208 home runs across 1,102 games played.
In their first mock draft for 2018, Baseball America predicts that the Brewers will select prep catcher Will Banfield from Brookwood High School in Georgia:
Milwaukee can take some risks with a deep farm system; nothing's riskier than a high school catcher in the first round.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference