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Milwaukee Brewers 2018 MLB Draft Preview: High School Hitters

A look at potential Brewers prospects.

MLB: All Star Game-Home Run Derby Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

We’re less than a week away from the MLB Draft, and we’ve made it to the final positional preview. High school hitters is one of the deepest areas of the mid-first round. It’s also the area that could have the biggest rewards of the draft. Let’s take a look at our potential Brewers.

The Scouting Report

Connor Scott OF
#18 MLB Pipeline || #23 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools Grades:
Hit: 55 || Power: 40 || Run: 70 || Arm: 60 || Field: 50 || Overall: 50

Triston Casas 1B
#20 MLB Pipeline || #25 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools Grades:
Hit: 45 || Power: 55 || Run: 40 || Arm: 50 || Field: 50 || Overall: 50

Brice Turang SS
#25 MLB Pipeline || #14 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools Grades:
Hit: 55 || Power: 40 || Run: 60 || Arm: 55 || Field: 55 || Overall: 50

Noah Naylor C/IF
#27 MLB Pipeline || #20 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools Grades:
Hit: 50 || Power: 55 || Run: 40 || Arm: 55 || Field: 45 || Overall: 50

Jordan Groshans 3B
#31 MLB Pipeline || #39 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools Grades:
Hit: 50 || Power: 55 || Run: 50 || Arm: 55 || Field: 50 || Overall: 50

Nick Schnell
#38 MLB Pipeline || #34 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools Grades:
Hit: 55 || Power: 50 || Run: 60 || Arm: 60 || Field: 55 || Overall: 50

The Lowdown

First off, we have two-way player Connor Scott. Scott is a solid left-handed pitcher who boasts a mid-90s fastball and average or better curve. His work on the mound isn’t what impresses scouts. Instead, Scott is a plus defensive outfielder who’s getting better every day with the bat. At 6’4” and 180 lbs., he could even continue to get better, especially in terms of his power. The problem with Scott is his projected development. If he adds weight, he’ll likely be forced to play a corner outfield position. If that weight doesn’t increase his power potential, he’ll be an underperforming offensive threat.

Next on the list is Triston Casas. Casas’ calling card is his extremely raw power. The corner infield prospect is lanky and has some swing and miss but had some of the best exit velocity numbers of the draft class. Scouts love his success against good high school pitchers. There are two questions about his profile. Casas has a powerful arm. If a team thinks he can play third base, he’ll likely jump to a much higher ranking on draft boards. The other concern is contact. Casas has a reliable approach, but if the team doesn’t think his hit tool is better than 40, he isn’t a first-round talent.

If the Brewers want a quality middle infielder, they could look towards Brice Turang. Turang is a polished left-handed hitter, Turang is one of the most highly regarded players in the draft. So, why isn’t he likely to go higher? Because Turang does a bunch of things well but no one thing exceptionally well. He can field, he can hit, he can run, his power is nothing to write home about, but he doesn’t have a tool that’s truly great or projects to greatness. Turang is a safe, high-floor high schooler, which is rare enough.

One of the most interesting prospects on the list is Noah Naylor. The brother of Padres outfielder Josh Naylor was a catcher in high school, scouts disagree on where Naylor will end up. He is athletic and could develop as a catcher. His incredibly strong arm also suggests he could be a third baseman. Naylor’s strong hit tool and projected power makes it so he can play any where.

Yet another power corner defender, Jordan Groshans could be a rare five-tool third baseman or second baseman. Groshan has above average speed to pair with a strong arm and good instincts. Groshans selling point is his bat. He has great bat speed and 70 raw power.

Finally, a toolsy outfielder. Nick Schnell checks all the boxes for the Brewers front office. He has defensive versatility, above-average tools, and a huge ceiling. The lefty could devour good pitching from the moment he enters the system. Schnell’s power will continue to grow and could be a plus or even plus-plus tool. He has great coordination which could also put his hit tool even higher.

How They Become Brewers

All of the high school players could be drafted depending on the Brewers’ evaluation of the player. That statement is a definite “no duh” comment, but the evaluations all come down to specific tools or abilities for each player. Scott needs to show that he will likely add power to his swing to be a true impact bat. The team’s evaluation on Casas will likely require some projection outside of first base or a substantially higher hit tool than Pipeline gives him. If the team project plus offense from Naylor, or thinks he can be a catcher, he’s certainly eligible to go at 21.

If the Brewers don’t find what they want out of those evaluations, Turang’s low floor could be very attractive. He’s a safe young player who could help seal up a middle infield position for a long time in Milwaukee.

Based on what we know about the Brewers’ front office, I think they’ll be most interested in drafting high-ceiling players like Groshans and Schnell. Either could be a five-tool player with plus offensive capabilities.

No matter what they pick, I know the player the Crew drafts will be exciting.