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Milwaukee Brewers 2020 MLB Draft Preview: College Hitters

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There’s so many collegiate hitters...

2019 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

We’re continuing our dive into potential Milwaukee Brewers draft picks. When the draft hits #20, the Brewers could go in a number of ways to improve a universally criticized farm system. Today we’re checking out the college hitters.

The Scouting Report

Garrett Mitchell, OF
#6 Baseball America | #6 MLB Pipeline

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

Heston Kjerstad, OF
#15 Baseball America | #10 MLB Pipeline

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

Patrick Bailey, C
#14 Baseball America | #17 MLB Pipeline

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

Austin Wells, C
#21 Baseball America | #27 MLB Pipeline

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

Dillon Dingler, C
#37 Baseball America | #24 MLB Pipeline

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

Casey Martin, SS
#27 Baseball America | #30 MLB Pipeline

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 75 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

Nick Loftin, SS
#29 Baseball America | #36 MLB Pipeline

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

Jordan Westburg, SS
#33 Baseball America | #37 MLB Pipeline

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

Justin Foscue, 2B/3B
#40 Baseball America | #32 MLB Pipeline

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

Aaron Sabato, 1B
#35 Baseball America | #41 MLB Pipeline

MLB Pipeline Tools:
Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 30 | Arm: 40 | Field: 45 | Overall: 50

The Lowdown

Garrett Mitchell isn’t the type of prospect you’d generally see on a potential pick list for a team making its first selection at 20. Normally, top 10 prospects aren’t quite as polarizing as Mitchell is. Scouts are heavily torn on Mitchell’s swing. Some scouts don’t like his questionable health or endurance. He has even gotten flagged for having type 1 diabetes. Despite all of that, Mitchell has one of the best all around tool sets in the draft class, with exceptional speed, plus power and pretty good everything else. Other scouts will really need to hate those question marks to let him slide this far, although we’ve seen it before.

Then there’s Heston Kjerstad. He should become a Brewer because Heston and Keston just seems too easy to give up. Aside from that, you’re looking at the best lefty power in the draft class. Unfortunately, Kjerstad strikes out a lot in college for a player of his caliber. He can play a fine corner outfield, but he is a boom or bust batter and prospect.

Now we get to catchers. Patrick Bailey is the top of the class for being an all around threat. He’s been renowned as a good defender since high school, but college has given the opportunity to show off his bat. Bailey is a patient hitter, who draws a lot of walks and can hit for power. There are concerns that his power swing will eventually win out over his eye and lead to bigger strikeouts in the future.

Austin Wells is a hitter’s catcher. He has a great approach with good power. In fact, Wells walked more than he struck out in all throughout college. Baseball America points out concern about Wells’ receiving and blocking, along with a long-term elbow issue. Teams also fear that Wells can’t handle first base or the outfield. With the universal DH possibly becoming a league-wide thing, it might not be an issue, but not many teams like to draft a DH in the first round.

Dillon Dingler is the toolsy catcher of the group. He can throw hard, he can run fast (for a catcher). The big question for teams, do you believe his offensive performance in Spring? Before the season was canceled, Dingler showed a huge improvement at the plate, smacking five homers in 35 plate appearance. It’s a gamble teams will have to make.

Onto the shortstops! Martin is a fun prospect to watch. He plays shortstop well, shows plus speed and a good arm. Another victim of high strikeout rates, the concern is that Martin’s great tools at the plate won’t play up because he won’t make enough contact. If he does, he could be a premium player at an important position.

Meanwhile, Nick Lofton is the kid that does everything well, which isn’t generally exciting. He’s been steady a Baylor, showing great command of the plate and good instincts in the field. While he’s missing that eye-popping tool, he’s so solid it’d be hard for a team that values up the middle defense and needs hitters to come in without big holes in their swing to pass on him.

Jordan Westburg is the “project” shortstop. He does everything well to a point you get excited, but then he goes on a slump. Westburg has big strikeout numbers due to an aggressive approach that limit his potential offensive output. While he might be a good shortstop, he could potentially bulk up and require a move to third.

Then there’s Justin Foscue. A second baseman who can wow with the bat, he might be missing a defensive home. If he can’t stay at second, he’ll probably need to move to the corner outfield, where his offense doesn’t profile well. Still, the righty bat can produce when he’s in the groove. He’s the type of guy you draft for the bat and worry about the defense when you have to.

Finally, I included Aaron Sabato because who doesn’t like the collegiate first baseman that’s a fringe first rounder? The profile here is exactly what you’d expect this type of player to be: he has power, he’s produced very well in college, scouts are afraid he’ll strikeout too much. Yep, that’s a first baseman!

How They Become Brewers

It seems very logical that the Brewers could go after a college bat they trust. Hitters aren’t the system’s strength and getting a collegiate hitter who needs little more than time at the plate would be ideal.

If Mitchell were to fall, which continues to be a possibility, he might have too many issues for the team to fix. It’s not like the Stearns-era has done a great job developing hitters in the minors. Keston Hiura didn’t need much help with the bat. Trent Grisham seemed to fix himself by going back to what he did before they tried to “fix” him (that’s an oversimplification, but still). The extreme tools prospect is still an easy bet to make.

As far as the rest goes, it’s overly simplistic: they just need to like the player. All of these are flawed players that scouts either hate or love. If character matters to Milwaukee, Dillon Dingler seems like a great get. Collegiate catchers are very popular, he was voted team captain and seems incredibly versatile for a catcher. Unfortunately, the lack of a spring game means there’s a lot of assumption and projection here that leaves the mind guessing. Have these players solved their own issues? Could they be hitters that would have been propelled into the top 10 had the season not ended before teams played 20 games? I trust the front office to be see far into those scenarios, hopefully taking a premium offensive player.