Posted by Steve
While fully acknowledging the poor effort shown by this blog so far this season, I couldn’t miss the draft preview post. I probably should call this a “Wishlist for pick #12” post instead of a preview, because I’ve really only researched first round possibilities, and I’ve really only zeroed in on possibilities for the Brewers at pick 12. And, as always, if you want extensive (or even anything more than my limited knowledge) draft coverage, head over to the Brewerfan.net draft forum.
It would be difficult for me to be as disappointed today as I was in 2011 when the Brewers drafted Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley ahead of Sonny Gray and C.J. Cron (both excelling in the majors by now, yay). True story: the last words I said before hearing “The Milwaukee Brewers select Taylor Jungmann” was “Just not Jungmann.” It’s only fair that I acknowledge both Jungmann and Bradley are in the middle of resurgent seasons in the minors, but those are both still looking like the wrong picks.
Anyway, like I said, I don’t see myself being that disappointed with the first round pick this year. Guys I want to see the Brewers avoid are the low-ceiling college guys (i.e. Jungmann and Bradley). I’d be happy if the Brewers got any of the following players.
Kyle Schwarber, 1B/C, Indiana University
As you can probably guess, Schwarber earns a lot of Prince Fielder comparisons due to body type and a powerful left-handed swing. He catches in college, but he’d be a first baseman in the big leagues. He’s the best power hitter in this draft, and as a college hitter, should move quickly through the minors. He’s regarded as a better player than Matt LaPorta, another former high Brewers pick. The Brewers need power hitting prospects, they need left-handers, and they just so happen to have a huge need at 1B. Not that they’d be reaching for need at all; there is some question as to whether Schwarber will be available. This draft is very heavy on pitching in the first round, but Schwarber is in my top two choices. They could take him and go pitching for the next couple picks, and they’d still be in great shape.
Grant Holmes, HS Pitcher
Holmes is probably the second or third best high school pitcher and my favorite among those who have a shot to still be on the board at number 12. Holmes has mid-90s velocity and apparently dazzled during a workout at Miller Park. He has a high ceiling, but has demonstrated better command than many of the high-ceiling high school pitchers. That is why Holmes is in my top two choices along with Schwarber.
Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita State
Gillaspie is not showing up in most mock drafts until the second half of the first round, but I can’t really understand why. He has made a joke of college pitching this year, hitting .402/.511/.687. He’s 6’4″ and has prototypical size for a first baseman. He is a better prospect that his brother Conor was at his age. If Schwarber is Prince Fielder, Gillaspie may be Mark Teixeira (switch hitter-ness included). It would be hard not to be excited about this. Both Gillaspie and Schwarber would immediately become the best power bat in the Brewers’ system.
Touki Toussaint, HS Pitcher
How about that for a name! Toussaint is in the discussion with Holmes for the best high school pitcher who could be available to the Brewers. He is likely a riskier pick than Holmes, but may also be more of a boom or bust pick. His fastball and curveball combo is great, but he also has issues with walks. His ceiling is high enough that some scouts are saying there is a chance he ends up as the best pitcher out of this draft.
I think I’ve settled on the guys here as my top four for the Brewers’ pick. Don’t be surprised if they select either Max Pentecost, catcher from Kennesaw State, or LHP Kyle Freeland from Evansville. Another name to watch is Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman, a RHP from East Carolina, was a projected top 5 pick before news broke that he needs Tommy John surgery. He’s a great talent, and he’s not projected to fall too far as a result. Teams are confident enough in Tommy John that they could still draft Hoffman high. He’d be an exciting yet risky pick at 12.
Enjoy the draft, and if you just haven’t have enough 2011 draft woes, enjoy watching Carlos Rodon, the Brewers’ 2011 16th-round pick who they failed to sign, be drafted in the top 3 tonight.