The Milwaukee Brewers have drafted toolsy outfielders in the first round in each of the last two drafts. With the team loaded with outfield talent, it makes little sense to add yet another athletic outfielder in 2017. Very few infielders are ranked among the top 10 prospects in this year’s draft. Those that are in the top 10, are unlikely to be available at the ninth pick. The Brewers will likely target pitching this year.
The team at Reviewing the Brew has taken a break from reviewing old trades, current concerns, and outstanding performances. We’ve got three names that you should know heading into the 2017 MLB first-year player draft on June 12, 2017.
Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
Faedo would be a lock for a top-five pick, but he has two surgically repaired knees. He has the polish that teams expect from a college pitcher. He has two solid pitches and a developing change-up in his repertoire. His fastball sits in the low 90s with movement and his slider has swing-and-miss potential, but TWO SURGICALLY REPAIRED KNEES. Drafting the guy with the questionable injury history is rarely a good idea.
Faedo has looked fantastic heading into the draft, and that’s great. Hopefully he’ll pitch for 20 years without incident. But the best predictor for future injury is past injury, and he’s a risk the Milwaukee Brewers don’t need to take with the ninth pick.
Shane Baz, RHP Concordia Lutheran HS
Baz wins the award for this year’s “18-year old from Texas who throws really, really hard,” but that’s not all he is. He has five competent pitches at his disposal, a rarity for prep pitchers. He’s got a cutter, a slider, a curve, and change-up that he clearly has confidence in. While he still needs to develop his breaking stuff, his cutter grades out almost as well as his heater. Speaking of the radar gun, Baz boasts a fastball that hits 95 MPH.
He’s remarkably advanced in his development, and may not be there when the clock starts for the Brewers at pick nine.
There are also known signability issues with Baz. He’s committed to TCU and may be headed there. If it’s known that Baz won’t sign, there’s no way he’ll be selected in the first round.
The Brewers have shown a willingness to draft high schoolers in the past, so it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see a pitcher with such clear upside as Baz come to Milwaukee…if he’s still on the board or if he truly wants to turn pro.
D.L. Hall, LHP, Valdosta HS
Hall is probably the most likely of the trio we’ve profiled to be available at the ninth pick for the Brewers.
He may be the best left-hander in the draft not named Brendan McKay or MacKenzie Gore. He features a dynamic 95 MPH+ fastball and an equally good curveball. Hall will need to develop a third pitch to succeed as a starter, but he’s added a change-up that has a chance to develop into a Major League-quality pitch. He’s also a great all-around athlete and his makeup is considered a plus as he’s remarkably competitive.
His delivery may need a few adjustments, and there are concerns about his overall command, but that’s true of every 18-year old. He’s viewed as likely to sign and that may help his draft stock as June 12th draws near.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ brain trust may continue to stockpile toolsy guys, or they may add arms to the farm system. Either way, there is plenty of talent in the first round for the Brewers to find another key piece for the current rebuild. They don’t have to hit a home run with the ninth pick for the rebuild to succeed, but a solid double with a young arm would be a welcome addition.