The 2018 First Year Player Draft is less than three weeks away. The Milwaukee Brewers are picking 21st overall in the first round. Could they look local when their pick comes up?
The recent mock draft from MLB.com’s Pipeline has the Milwaukee Brewers selecting a high school outfielder named Parker Meadows. While Meadows sounds like a solid pick who could realistically be there for the Brewers, the player that they had at the 16th pick is more interesting.
Pipeline had Waukesha’s own Jarred Kelenic going to the Rays at #16. It’s not inconceivable for Kelenic to go in the first 10 picks. But could he slide to #21? If he does should the Milwaukee Brewers take him?
Who is Jarred Kelenic?
Kelenic measures at 6-ft., 1-in., and 195 lbs. He hits and throws left-handed. Kelenic also attended West Waukesha High School in Waukesha, WI. He grades out with 55-60 tools across the board, and is considered one of the most polished hitters in the draft.
There’s a non-zero chance that Kelenic could go in the top 10 picks. He could also slide deeper in the first round if there’s a run on pitching or college hitters.
Should the Brewers take Kelenic if he’s there?
Another high-ceiling, toolsy outfielder? Absolutely. The MLB draft is such a crapshoot, that position goes out the window. Outfielder, pitcher, positions don’t matter in the draft. Teams should take the player they deem the best overall. If Kelenic is available at pick #21, and the Milwaukee Brewers have him as the best player on the board, they should absolutely take him.
While the Milwaukee Brewers have organizational depth in the outfield, they can still add. Selecting another top prospect who’s about four years away from the Major League roster is perfectly acceptable. By the time Kelenic is ready, Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana could both play for a different team.
Having Kelenic stay in his home state would be great for Wisconsin baseball, and great for Kelenic. He would get the benefit of staying reasonably local, but he would also start his career far enough away from local fans that there wouldn’t be any additional pressure.
He’d get to start his career in Arizona, then head to Helena, Montana before fans in Wisconsin would get to see him Appleton, WI. If Kelenic is as talented as he grades out, he wouldn’t stay there long. He would head to Carolina with a solid half-season for the Timber Rattlers. He really wouldn’t have to put up with local fans until he reached Milwaukee.