MLB Draft

Posted by Steve

Interesting game today, to say the least. The Brewers are on fire, they have Greinke going for the sweep tomorrow, and best of all…

OMG THE MLB DRAFT IS TOMORROW!!@$@!

One of my favorite days of the year… And I’ll actually be able to watch! This is a particularly exciting draft this year, for two main reasons: this is considered a particularly deep draft, and the Brewers have two high picks–12 and 15 (comp pick for not signing Dylan Covey last season).

This first round is deep in college pitching, but I’m actually not sure that’s the route the Brewers will go. As I say every year I do this entry, check out Brewerfan.net for outstanding free draft coverage. It’s where I start my reading on the draft every year. Anyway, here are a few names being thrown around for the Brewers at 12 and 15.

Francisco Lindor, High School Shortstop

Lindor is a plus defender at shortstop with good speed and athleticism. He’s a switch hitter–another big plus. He even profiles as a leadoff hitter, as he has been praised for his contact ability and plate discipline. He’s probably the number one ranked high school position player.

Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt has sure graduated some top pitching prospects in the last few years, from Casey Weathers to David Price to Mike Minor. Sonny Gray is another one who will go in the first round. Gray is a shorter pitcher at 5’11”, which of course has led to comparisons to Tim Lincecum, another college pitcher.

Now here’s the exciting part. For the first time in this blog’s history, I can claim to have something of some inside information. A buddy of mine works with the Vandy baseball team, and he was talking to me about Gray. Even though everything I’ve read profiles Gray as a starter, he sees Gray as a future reliever. Gray only has two good pitches at this point, which is what probably led him the reliever projection. If that’s the case, I’m less interested in Gray.

Interestingly enough, my friend spoke even higher of another Vanderbilt pitcher, Grayson Garvin. Garvin is a 6’6″ lefty, and after looking at his numbers, I don’t understand why he’s not projected to go in the first round. He has 89 ks to just 21 BBs this season, a better ratio than Gray’s 115 ks to 39 BBs. His report on Garvin: “I think he would fly through the system. The coach says he is better than Mike Minor at this point in their careers.”

Garvin is projected to go in round 2 or maybe the supplemental round. You (probably) heard it here first: Here’s hoping the Brewers can get Grayson Garvin in round 2.

Taylor Jungmann, University of Texas RHP

Another big college right-hander at 6’6″ and 220 pounds, Jungmann will be taken somewhere in the first half of the first round. He’s got pretty stats to go with the frame as well: 128.1 innings, 119 strikeouts, 29 walks. He’s not as flashy as top 5 picks like Gerrit Cole and Danny Hultzen, but Jungmann looks like he could be a workhorse 2/3 starter. I’m a sucker for control pitchers, so I’d be pleased with Jungmann at either 12 or 15.

Archie Bradley, High School RHP

Listing him here may even be a stretch, as it seems he is moving up boards in the last week or so. Bradley is a big right-hander who throws hard and has a power curve. Both his fastball and curveball project to be plus pitches. The Brewers haven’t had a ton of luck drafting high school pitching (or pitching in general), but Bradley is considered a better prospect than Dylan Covey was last year. He’d instantly become their number one pitching prospect.

George Springer, CF, UConn

Springer is considered maybe the only 5-tool player in college baseball. He plays a good center field, and he projects to have plus big league power. He’d be an exciting pick, but I’d be a little surprised if he was still around at pick 12.

Javier Baez, High School Shortstop

Unlike with Francisco Lindor, scouts question whether Baez can stay at short; many project a move to third base is in his future. Either way, his bat should play at either position. He’s been putting on shows in batting practice, and he projects as an above average offensive third baseman with a competent glove. Despite the lack of pitching in the Brewers’ system, I’d be plenty happy if they came away with Lindor and Baez in the first round: two players who project to be good defenders and above average offensively at their positions.

Taylor Guerreri, High School RHP

Guerreri is another good high school pitcher who might not be around for pick number 12 in many years. His fastball is supposedly 92-97 mph, and he throws a curve, changeup and cutter.

C.J. Cron, 1B/C, Utah

Cron catches some, but he projects to be a first baseman in the majors. He has great power and plate discipline, as shown by his hilarious 1.320 OPS. Picking him would be pretty identical to their selection of Matt LaPorta a few years ago, and that worked out just fine for the Brewers. They sold him at his highest value, although LaPorta is doing pretty well with Cleveland this year. Cron would be a logical heir apparent for Fielder, though obviously not for a few years.

Other possibilities:

Matt Barnes, RHP, UConn

6’4″ right-hander with impressive numbers. Potential frontline starter.

Alex Meyer, RHP, University of Kentucky

Meyer has had an impressive season after struggling his first two years, which fits the profile of Eric Arnett, a first rounder from a couple years ago who’s looking more and more like a bust. It will be interesting to see if the Brewers shy away from him for this reason. If they do take him, I’m pretty sure Brewerfan.net will collapse on itself and disappear from the internet.

Daniel Norris, High School LHP

Norris is considered the best prep lefty.

Mikie Mahtook, CF, LSU

One of the best college OFs, Mahtook can probably stick in CF.

Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

He’s considered the second best lefty behind sure-to-be-off-the-board Danny Hultzen of Virginia.

Prediction?

It’s obviously very tough to project, but I’ll rank the players in order of their likelihood to be drafted by the Brewers at either 12 or 15.

1. Javier Baez
2. Taylor Guerreri
3. Taylor Jungmann
4. Francisco Lindor
5. Sonny Gray
6. Archie Bradley
7. C.J. Cron
8. Jed Bradley

Remember, that’s what I think will happen, not necessarily what I’m hoping for. I’d be thrilled to get two of George Springer, Archie Bradley, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Taylor Jungmann,  Taylor Guerreri, and C.J. Cron. Cron doesn’t fit as big of a need, but I’d probably develop a mancrush on him similar to LaPorta. And remember, gimme Grayson Garvin in the second round.

With all that said, the Brewers have had much better luck developing offensive players from the first and second rounds over the last several years. I’d be plenty happy drafting hitters in the first round or two, then stocking up on pitchers over the next several rounds and hoping you find one or two who stick.

That’s all I’ve got. Happy draft day, everyone!

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