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Breaking down the Brewers’ selections in the 2023 MLB Draft

Learn more about the players the Brewers drafted this week

Notre Dame v Wake Forest Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The 2023 MLB Amateur Draft wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon. It was an interesting draft for the Brewers, who rolled the dice on some power-heavy bats, selected a potential steal in the sixth round, and added plenty of pitchers. Read on for more information about some of the Brewers’ most intriguing selections.

Rd. 1, No. 18: Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest (NC)

The Brewers selected one of the best power tools in this year’s draft class in Wilken, who smashed 31 home runs this year to break Wake Forest’s single-season record. MLB Pipeline assigned him a 60 power grade. Wilken is also a patient hitter with low chase rates and will wait to punish his pitch. The drawback to Wilken’s approach is a low contact rate. The Brewers have struggled to develop hitters with swing-and-miss tendencies (see Corey Ray, Tristan Lutz, Keston Hiura, and Joe Gray Jr.) but are taking a gamble that Wilken’s power will translate to results in pro ball.

The six-foot-four Wilken manned third base in college, and his cannon of a throwing arm suits the position well. However, a move to first base could be in his future. The Brewers will try to develop him as a third baseman.

Competitive Balance Pick A, No. 33: Josh Knoth, RHP, Patchogue-Medford HS (NY)

Knoth’s best pitch is his curveball, which features elite spin that regularly exceeds 3100 rpm. He reportedly touched 98 mph with his fastball this spring at age 17. He possesses the enticing profile with which the Brewers’ pitching development system has had plenty of success in recent years. Knoth is committed to Ole Miss, but the fact that the Brewers selected him in the first round demonstrates their confidence in their ability to sign him.

Rd. 2, No. 54: Mike Boeve, 3B, Nebraska-Omaha

Boeve has the high-contact profile the Brewers have targeted in past drafts with picks like Sal Frelick and Eric Brown Jr. Such an approach helped Boeve post high on-base percentages in college, but he did not show much in the way of power. The Brewers believe that they can unlock more power in Boeve’s swing. His ultimate defensive home is up in the air. Boeve played primarily third base in college but could also end up in a corner outfield spot.

Rd. 3, No. 87: Eric Bitonti, SS, Aquinas HS (CA)

Announced as a shortstop, the six-foot-four Bitonti is all but guaranteed to end up as a third baseman. The Brewers were familiar with him after he played for their Area Code team. Like Wilken, Bitonti is known for his power, but scouts question his hit tool. The 17-year-old projects to be more of a long-term project for the Brewers, who will work to develop his offensive ability.

Rd. 4, No. 119: Jason Woodward, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast University

Woodward underwent Tommy John surgery in March after making just three starts for Florida Gulf Coast and will not make his professional debut until later in the 2024 season. Woodward flashed plus strikeout stuff in college, thanks mainly to a mid-90s fastball.

Rd. 5, No. 155: Ryan Birchard, RHP, Niagara County CC (NY)

Birchard is a JuCo arm who burst onto the scene with a strong performance in the MLB Draft League. The Brewers were hoping to select Birchard as an under-the-radar pick in the later rounds but jumped on him in the fifth round after he established himself on more scouts’ radars. Birchard reportedly added velocity to his low-90s fastball this spring, touching 98 at times. He has indicated that he plans to sign with the organization.

Rd. 6, No. 182: Cooper Pratt, SS, Magnolia Heights HS (MS)

Pratt could prove to be the steal of the draft if the Brewers can sign him. The shortstop is a well-rounded athlete, and multiple outlets rated him as one of the better players in this year’s draft class. Scouts have compared him to Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson. He fell to the sixth round because of signability concerns. Pratt is committed to Ole Miss. The Brewers, who believe Pratt is still growing into his power, will have to go well over the slot value to sign him. Club officials and coaches have expressed confidence in their ability to sign Pratt.

Rd. 8, No. 242: Craig Yoho, RHP, Indiana

Yoho, a former position player, converted to pitching full-time in 2023. In his first college season on the mound, he struck out 63 of 174 batters faced for a 36.2% strikeout rate. He features a high-spin fastball that reaches 95 mph as well as a curveball, slider, and changeup that have all posted strong whiff rates. Yoho has indicated that he plans to sign.

Rd. 11, No. 332: Bishop Letson, RHP, Floyd Central HS (IN)

Letson’s four-seam fastball features elite spin, which gives it riding action at the top of the zone despite not lighting up the radar gun. He was between 88 and 94 mph with his fastball this spring. His best secondary is a tight slider. He also features a changeup. Bishop is committed to Purdue, and whether the Brewers are able to sign him remains to be seen.

Rd. 17, No. 512: Jacob Gholston, RHP, Flower Mound HS (TX)

Gholston’s arsenal is anchored by a sinking fastball in the 88-to-92 mph range and a sweeping slider. He figures to be an unlikely sign as a 17th-rounder and announced his commitment to the University of Oklahoma on Tuesday.