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Milwaukee Brewers 2021 MLB Draft Preview: College Pitchers

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Which near-top prospects will be available for the Crew’s #15 pick?

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Mississippi State v Texas Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB draft kicks off in three days and in preparation, we’re taking a look at potential top picks for the Brewers. This is the second in this series, this time, featuring college prospect pitchers. For prep pitchers, check out Tuesday’s post.

There’s a flurry of impressive college pitchers at the top of the draft who will be long gone by the time the Crew’s #15 overall pick rolls around. For this post, we’re featuring prospects who we can covet ahead of Sunday, but who still have some chance of still being on the board for the Crew’s first round pick.

Ty Madden, RHP, #9 (MLB Pipeline), #12 (Baseball America)

Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Ty Madden, along with his velocity and stuff, will probably be off the board by the time the Brewers’ first round pick rolls around. He certainly has the stuff to be a top-10 draftee. If front offices shy away from Madden, he would be a huge pickup for the Crew.

Madden works primarily with a fastball-slider combination, both of which have impressive drop. His fastball carries as much velocity as higher picks, sitting in the mid-90s, regularly hitting 99, and touching triple digits without much fanfare. His slider arrives in the mid-80s and drops late. The two create a very effective 1-2 punch.

For a first round pick, Madden has less movement on the fastball than other Top-10 prospects, and there are some questions about his pitch mix (for a first-rounder). He does have a solid changeup and a curve available in addition to the fastball-slider combination, but the curve is fringy and he’s shied away from the changeup recently. His top slot delivery means his high fastball is unusually hittable and his low fastball performs unusually well down in the zone.

These oddities could prompt other teams to pass on the otherwise stellar righty. If he is within reach of the Crew in the first round, it could be a good fit. The Brewers have a track record of leaning into a player’s skills rather than fretting over trends like fastball high proficiency. That said, with the right to boast over homegrown pitching, the Brewers could likely sure up the areas where Madden otherwise raises questions as a first rounder, and Madden has gotten better every year of his career.

Sam Bachman, RHP, #14, MLB Pipeline, Baseball America

Fastball: 70 | Slider: 65 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Scouts like Sam Bachman’s fastball-slider combo even better then Ty Madden’s. His fastball sits 95-97, regularly hits triple digits, and has plenty of action. It’s been called the best in the draft class, and his hard-thrown and lively slider has come up in conversation as the best breaking pitch. Both pitches have received at least some elite ratings. An average changeup gives him a third option, but he seldom uses it.

Bachman presents some risk for an early pick. He’s got a delivery that raises flags for some scouts. He’s also missed a couple starts with arm soreness and his starts don’t go deep into games. If the Brewers are willing to take those risks for Bachman’s elite fastball-slider offerings, he’s likely to come off the board right around their first pick.

Jordan Wicks, LHP, #16 (MLB Pipeline), #13 (Baseball America)

Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Curveball: 45 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Despite likely being the first LHP off the board, Jordan Wicks could available for the Crew by their #15 overall pick if other teams are enticed by velocity and flashier stuff.

Wicks’ low-to-mid 90s fastball is nothing to pass up, though, as it has enough late break to draw plenty of swings and misses. His changeup has been called the best in the draft class. His slider, though not his dominant out pitch, flashes plus too. He has an average curveball available to keep hitters on their toes and round out the pitch mix. Wicks is a decorated competitor with a lot of success with Kansas State that will probably follow him wherever he ends up.

Gunnar Hogland, RHP, #22 (MLB Pipeline), #19 Baseball America

Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Control: 60 | Overall: 50

Hogland’s stock has dropped since he was in the Top 10 projected draft picks earlier this year. In May, he injured his elbow and required Tommy John surgery. Though some front offices might be a bit flippant about elbow injuries and TJS, the timing of the injury means that Hogland will likely be on the board at the #15 pick and will definitely be sidelined until mid-2022.

Hogland throws three above-average pitches with precision and for strikes in any count: a fastball that sits in the low-90s, a low-80s slider, and a low-80s changeup. He relies on control to get outs and has an easy delivery that balances out the risk from the elbow injury. If the Brewers are the first team willing to eat the time Hogland will miss in recovery (or able to negotiate a deal in exchange for it), he would be another huge pickup for the team.

The first day of the draft kicks off on July 11 at 6:07 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on MLB Network and ESPN. July 12 and 13 will be streamed on MLB.com.