Milwaukee Brewers: Final 2017 MLB Draft Preview
We are less than 24 hours away from Commissioner Rob Manfred announcing the first pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. We’ve been preparing you for weeks about what could happen with the Milwaukee Brewers in the draft. A general draft primer and previews of the first base, shortstop, outfield, and lefty and righty pitcher positions are all included in those preparations. Now, as the draft is about to begin, here is the final, complete preview of the 2017 MLB June First-Year Player Draft.
It’s the only draft in professional sports that occurs in the middle of the regular season. Also, it’s the only draft that doesn’t provide an immediate roster spot to any player drafted. It’s the only draft that lasts for 40 rounds. Finally, it’s the only draft that doesn’t have any draft-day trades. Let’s face it, the MLB Draft is in a class of its own.
So why should fans get excited for the MLB Draft? We won’t see any of these players for a couple years and a lot of them won’t even make it to the Majors, so why bother? By now, every Brewers fan knows that the team is rebuilding and GM David Stearns’ mantra is “acquire, develop, and retain young talent” in order to make the team competitive. There are two ways to acquire this talent: making trades, and the draft.
Most of the blockbuster trades have already happened and only a few minor deals are left to be made. Those trades won’t bring in the prospect haul that Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy did. So now the main way to acquire young talent is to draft it. Prospects are the best hope that a rebuilding club has. The Milwaukee Brewers have a lot of them, and they figure to add a lot more. Now that the first wave of prospects have begun to arrive this past week, it’s time to add more.
The Milwaukee Brewers hold the ninth overall pick in the draft and will certainly add a top-10 talent to their already deep farm system. So there’s at least one reason to be excited for the draft.
Who Will Be At The Draft?
Unlike the NFL or NBA drafts, there aren’t any screaming fans filling an arena and there aren’t any red carpet fashion shows as all the projected top picks walk in. The MLB Draft is held in MLB Network’s Studio 42 in New Jersey. The only people that will be there are team personnel, Commissioner Rob Manfred, media members, and only a small group of draft picks.
In fact, there will only be four projected first rounders that will be attending the draft. Interestingly, all four of them are high school players. They are:
- RHP/SS Hunter Greene
- OF Jordon Adell
- LHP Trevor Rogers
- OF Bubba Thompson
With a lot of high school players, the ability to sign them away from their college commitments can be a major issue. But given that these four will voluntarily attend the draft in person, it seems rather likely that they will sign with whatever club that drafts them.
The Milwaukee Brewers have been connected to both Adell and Rogers in the past, but we will get to more on that later. The Brewers team representatives at the draft are former assistant GM Gord Ash and former Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Corey Hart. Hart will announce the Brewers selections in the CBA Round and Round 2 on Monday night.
The First Eight Picks
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Since the Milwaukee Brewers hold the ninth selection in the first round, that means that there will be eight players taken before they can get them. Rumors have begun to fly as we approach draft night and one of the players the Brewers have been thought to like may no longer be available.
High School outfielder Austin Beck has had private workouts with both the Braves and the Athletics who pick at five and six, respectively. It is unlikely he gets past those two clubs now.
Louisville’s two-way star, Brendan McKay now figures to be the first overall selection to the Minnesota Twins instead of Vanderbilt righty Kyle Wright. Wright now could fall considerably in the draft if he does not go first overall. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has said that there’s a good chance he could fall past the fifth and sixth selections. It’s highly unlikely that Wright would fall to the Brewers at 9, but there’s a small possibility.
The top five players in this draft seem to have separated themselves from the rest of the group. Those five players are, in no particular order: LHP/1B Brendan McKay, RHP/SS Hunter Greene, RHP Kyle Wright, SS/OF Royce Lewis, and LHP Mackenzie Gore. Here are the first eight picks from Baseball America’s most recent mock draft.
- Twins: RHP Kyle Wright
- Reds: RHP/SS Hunter Greene
- Padres: LHP Mackenzie Gore
- Rays: LHP/1B Brendan McKay
- Braves: SS/OF Royce Lewis
- Athletics: OF Austin Beck
- Diamondbacks: OF Adam Haseley
- Phillies: RHP J.B. Bukauskas
Recent speculation has McKay being the first pick instead of Wright but no mock draft was ever perfect. Given this scenario, the Milwaukee Brewers would have a plethora of options to choose from.
The Top Five Candidates For The Ninth Pick
Based on rumors as to who the Brewers like and who is expected to be available, it’s likely the ninth pick will be one of these five players. Some have a chance to be selected prior to the Brewers chance to get them but there is a very good probability that all five of these players will be available.
Tom Haudricourt recently interviewed Scouting Director Tod Johnson and Johnson said that some of the players attached to the Brewers bring out chuckles in the war room. If the mock drafts are so off they’re causing Brewers scouts to laugh, which players could these drafts be selecting? The only two names connected to the Brewers in mock drafts are Adell and Faedo. Of those two, Adell seems most likely to cause a draft room to chuckle given concerns about his bat. Faedo has far fewer concerns about his ability to pitch
There were other players connected to the Brewers that were not included in this list. Austin Beck now stands to be selected well before the Milwaukee Brewers are on the clock so he was excluded. Trevor Rogers, the high school southpaw, does not figure to be in the conversation with the ninth overall pick. He looks like a mid to late first rounder and likely won’t last until the 34th selection that belongs to the Brewers.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ best case scenario would be one of the top players in the draft falling in their laps somehow. If Smith and Haseley aren’t there, Alex Faedo makes the most sense. He’s connected to the team, succeeded in one of the best rotations in college baseball, and fits the bill as the best available player.
The connections to both University of Virginia players could only be the result of speculation and not concrete information like we would prefer but the connection is notable nonetheless.
Next: Who Won The Mike Fiers / Carlos Gomez Deal?
The Draft will begin at 6 P.M. Central Time on MLB Network and MLB.com. The Milwaukee Brewers will have three selections the first night of the draft at 9, 34, and 46. With the sixth-largest draft pool this year, the Brewers have plenty of firepower to sign their top guys.
One final reminder that there are no 100% “sure things”. Any player may end up as a bust. It’s just the chance nature of the draft. It’s impossible to judge an entire draft class right after the draft’s completion.
We will provide full scouting reports and analysis of each of the Milwaukee Brewers’ Day 1 selections. The MLB Draft is finally here, and although it receives little fanfare, it provides the building blocks of organizations for years to come.