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Milwaukee Brewers 2019 Draft Preview: College Hitters

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-TCU vs Texas A&M Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

On, on, we’re on to the next one. Our final look at the talent pool heading into the draft is here. We’re checking out the potential Brewers farmhands from the stock of collegiate hitters.

College hitters is a very deep group in the 2019 draft. Not only is the group deep, but it’s very talented and heavily located on the left side of the infield. The Brewers have taken a collegiate bat in two of the three drafts with David Stearns leading the organization.

The Scouting Report

Will Wilson, SS
#21 MLB Pipeline | #22 Baseball America

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

Michael Busch, 1B/OF
#26 MLB Pipeline | #24 Baseball America

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

Kody Hoese, 3B
#25 MLB Pipeline | #29 Baseball America

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

Kameron Misner, OF
#30 MLB Pipeline | #26 Baseball America

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

Braden Shewmake, SS
#32 MLB Pipeline | #27 Baseball America

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

The Lowdown

If the top of the draft is heavy in anything, it’s third basemen and shortstops. Will Wilson is our first infielder on the list. Wilson is one hell of a hitter. He has patience, makes consistent contact (BA says he has a 60 hit tool) and shows that he’ll be able to hit the ball out of the park. The biggest concern is that he hasn’t had much success once he starts hitting with wood in his hands. Still, Baseball America says that scouts truly believe he’ll continue hitting when he goes pro, and has the instincts to remain at shortstop, despite a lack of speed. Worst comes to worst, he moves to defense where he projects as an average defender and above average hitter.

Michael Busch is one of the few hitters we’ve covered whose predominant position isn’t on the left side of the infield. Whereas Wilson only hit collegiately, Busch has hit everywhere he’s gone and shown exceptional patience at the plate. He could even have plus power at maturity. The issue with Busch is where he plays. Some scouts see him as a first baseman, others think he can play left field, and a few even think he could cover second base, a position where he has some history.

Then there’s Kody Hoese. Hoese has been phenomenal this season, leading the country in homers and hitting .400. Scouts are skeptical because he hasn’t really shown the ability to hit before this, at college or Cape Cod. He’s also a fringe defender. If this season was more consistent with his history, we’d be talking about Hoese as a top-10 player. If scouts can validate his performance this season, he’d be a great late round steal.

Heading back to the outfield, Misner can play anywhere in the outfield and has the tool potential to be a superstar. Despite the tools, Misner has had some injury issues in his past and struggled to produce in 2019. Baseball America points out that he’s struggled against SEC competition, suggesting that he can’t hit pro-level hitters. Teams drafting Misner will also have some trouble evaluating his hitting ability since he has been toying with new mechanics throughout the Spring.

Shewmake is a great late-round shortstop selection. He can hit, he still has a projectable frame for adding power, he runs well, and he’s a solid shortstop. If he continued hitting homers after his freshman season, he’d be a top-of-the-draft candidate. That’s not the case, but scouts like that he’s consistently able to hit against SEC competition. If he bulks up and adds power, he might have to shift positions, but scouts believe he can play second or any position in the outfield.

How They Become Brewers

The college section of our draft preview truly comes down to scouting. Hoese, Wilson and Bush could all be top-15 talents to any organization that evaluates them just the right way. Think Wilson can hit with a bat and stay at shortstop? He’s worth an early pick. Think Hoese’s 2019 season is a true reflection of his talent? Any team would be lucky to add that to the org.

While the talent can all go quickly because of that, the Brewers also have the chance to get a huge talent steal at the back end of the draft thanks to the volatility of the players’ faults. All it takes is a little bit of confidence that the organization can work through some of the struggles (preferably finding a position for a player who needs no help hitting, like Busch) and the front office to pull the trigger.

The group is exciting and all will likely have the cap flexibility and the talent to justify going at 28 to Milwaukee. Although, the Crew could pass on the talent here if they were looking for substantial bonus cap savings early in the draft.