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Milwaukee Brewers 2019 Draft Preview: High School Hitters

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MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

We’re moving on from pitchers and on to hitters! As we continue our Milwaukee Brewers draft preview, we’re moving over to high school bats. While not as deep in talent as the pitching side of the prepsters, the bats still offer some intriguing talent and possibly safer talent. High school players can never truly be safe bets in the draft compared to their collegiate counter parts (none are truly “Safe”), but it’s a good mix of high-floor, low-ceiling talent.

The Scouting Report

Gunnar Henderson, SS
#27 MLB Pipeline | #30 Baseball America

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

Keoni Cavaco, 3B
#28 MLB Pipeline | #31 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

Maurice Hampton, OF
#29 MLB Pipeline | #35 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 65 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

Tyler Callihan, 3B
#35 MLB Pipeline | #37 Baseball America

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

Brooks Lee, SS
#37 MLB Pipeline | #38 Baseball America

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

The Lowdown

Gunnar Henderson tops our list of talented infielders and a singular outfielder. The shortstop has risen his stock quite a bit this season after showing improved speed and power. A hard hitter from the left side of the plate, he should be able to be a 20+ home run hitter as he continues to add muscle. While there’s belief he sticks at short, worst case scenario is that Henderson slides over to third and uses his great arm and instincts to be a great defense corner infielder.

Cavaco is a power hitting third baseman who’s amazed scouts in his senior season. The 55 power grade given by Pipeline is low by some scouts estimations, who see him as a potential 70 power tool hitter. His weakest ability is hitting, where he could struggle against more talented pitchers and breaking pitches once going pro.

Maurice Hampton is our lone outfielder. Hampton is a two-way player, starring on his high school’s football and baseball teams. Very athletic, but extremely raw, the speedy righty could be one of those players that shines brighter once he commits to a single sport. A certain center fielder, if he continues adding muscle and power with maturity, he can be a super star n the league. It’s still a significant gamble because a lot of his game is rusty at this point in time.

Oh look! Another lefty third baseman in Tyler Callihan. Callihan is a pure bat and has shown the ability to consistently barrel up balls and drive them deep into the outfield. His defensive position is up in the air, with some scouts hedging bets that he could eventually become a catcher. Where ever he ends up in the field, he’ll be carried through the minors by his bat.

Brooks Lee is the less exciting model of Brice Turang. A contact heavy switch-hitter, Lee is adept at using the whole field to get on base, but struggles driving the ball into the gap. That could change, as he’s still fairly slender at 180 lbs. and could get more power behind the balls as he develops. While he’s a solid defender, some believe his speed limits him to second in the future.

How They Become Brewers

Gunnar Henderson actually seems like a natural fit for the organization, he just needs to slide down to Milwaukee at 28. He’s shown the ability to be a true five-tool player, with a couple plus tools to boot. There’s some defensive versatility but he’s a high-risk player that still has a relatively high-ceiling as far as high school bats go.

Cavaco on the other hand, seems like the Brewers’ antithesis in the draft. He’s known for one skill set that truly hasn’t come to fruition yet and is extremely risky. The lack of hit tool feels very anti-Milwaukee considering their recent draft history in the early rounds.

Hampton is an interesting case because the Stearns draft team has shown interest in exceptional talents that need to iron out their game. If they want to save on draft capital AND get one of the higher high school ceilings in the draft, he’s an interesting selection.

The big unknown is Callihan, whose talent comes down to the scouting report for each individual team. If a team is confident in what position he can play, he’s a great hitter and could develop nicely. Should the team be afraid he won’t find a defensive home, the risk isn’t worth it. The front office hasn’t shied from guaranteed offensive talent in the past, and he could be a big sleeper for Milwaukee.

Finally, Brooks Lee seems unlikely. He’s a lesser version of Turang, as I mentioned above, and could be a hard signing. Lee is headed to Cal Poly to play for his dad. That type of leverage could cost the Crew a bit when it comes to signing bonus.