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Milwaukee Brewers 2019 Draft Preview: College Pitchers

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St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Draft day is almost here! Today, we’re looking at college pitchers who could end up being the Milwaukee Brewers’ selection with pick 28. Unfortunately, collegiate pitchers aren’t abundantly available in the first round like previous drafts. There are a handful at the top of the first round, according to rankings, and then a handful in the back end. Most years, there are also a few injured collegiate pitchers who can fall late in the draft. Nothing like that this year, either. So, let’s take a look at a group that’s bare pickings for the Brewers in 2019.

The Scouting Report

George Kirby, RHP
#18 MLB Pipeline | #20 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

Seth Johnson, RHP
#31 MLB Pipeline | #29 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 45 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

Matt Canterino, RHP
#46 MLB Pipeline | #35 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Fastball: 55 | Slider: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

John Doxakis, LHP
#44 MLB Pipeline | #54 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50

The Lowdown

First off is Kirby. The Elon right hander is a rare mix of high heat and command. While sitting in the low 90s with his heater, he can touch 98. He only allowed five walks in just under 80 innings this year. Despite an exceptional fastball and command, his secondary offerings are still raw because he hasn’t truly needed to use them. That fact gives some scouts the concern that he could be a reliever instead of a starter. Even if the Crew sees him as a reliever, if they give him the right grade, he’d hold plenty of value to the organization.

Johnson is in his first full season as a pitcher. He converted from shortstop in his Sophomore year, but only threw six innings all of last season. The fastball is his dominant pitch, which he can throw easily in the mid 90s. His slider is the best secondary offering of his four-pitch mix, but all three offerings need more consistency. Given his instinctual nature on the mound, teams could likely take a risk on his talent in hopes he continues to trend upward.

Canterino falls into the category of high-floor collegiate pitchers. His arsenal includes a low-90s fastball and an average slider that can grade out above average. All of his four pitches can work in the major leagues and he has found his command despite a weird delivery. He’s not a future ace, but likely a back end of the rotation option.

Finally, Doxakis is a sneaky option for collegiate arms. He specializes in deception and command, which helps him dominate opposing lineups. His pitches don’t offer anything that stands out, but his combination of skills help him be a very effective pitcher.

How They Become Brewers

Of the players needed, the Brewers would need the most help getting Kirby to fall. As stated, there’s worry that Kirby could just be a reliever. That’s not the worst situation for the Crew, which could use as many dominant arms in the bullpen as possible and as quickly as possible. With Kirby’s exceptional command, he could speed through the system to the pen in less than a full season.

Johnson is a very traditional draft pick. He slots in according to the estimations, and Milwaukee could likely save a little bit in cap space when drafting him just because he’s so raw. He’s more of a project pitcher, which isn’t something we’ve really seen Milwaukee take in a collegiate pitcher.

Canterino and Dozakis both fall into the categories of slot savers. They would offer some discount while being relatively safe prospects. Getting an all but guaranteed major leaguer in the back-end of the first round is certainly valuable and, as I mentioned in the high school pitchers article, Stearns and company will definitely need some extra flexibility for signings this draft.