The final day of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft took place Wednesday. How did the Milwaukee Brewers fare with their late-round selections?
The Milwaukee Brewers already made 10 draft picks prior to Wednesday’s session of the 2018 MLB Draft. Their selections were relatively balanced through the earlier portion of the draft, though pitching was the name of the game on day three. Of the 30 picks on the final day, 21 of the players were taken as pitchers. That’s not to say the position players they took aren’t notable, though. Here are a few players who stand out from the bunch taken during the draft’s finale.
12th Round Draft Pick: Korry Howell, SS, Kirkwood Community College (IA)
Naturally, numbers from a midwestern community college don’t hold as much stock as those from a southern Division I powerhouse. Nonetheless, it’s hard to deny Howell’s tools. During the 2018 season with Kirkwood, he batted .401 and stole 40 bases. He lacks power though, as he tallied just eight extra-base hits this season, and he also is still very raw overall. This isn’t the first time the Brewers took a chance on a toolsy position player, however. Canadian outfielder Demi Orimoloye was a similar story when he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. Orimoloye is starting to produce results in the pros after a couple years of development. Howell may take some time to fully develop, but he has the makings of a top-of-the-order speedster.
14th Round Draft Pick: Elijah Cabell, OF, TNXL Academy (FL)
Cabell’s biggest calling card is his power. In fact, he shows so much promise in that category that MLB listed him as the #101 draft prospect this year. Many teams were deterred by the swing and miss in his game and his average speed, causing him to careen down draft boards. The Brewers could wind up with an absolute steal if Cabell signs, although being taken in the 14th round may lead him to hold true to his commitment to play college ball at LSU.
17th Round Draft Pick: Clayton Andrews, LHP, Long Beach State (CA)
Andrews is small. Standing at 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, he’s one of the smaller players in the draft. However, his performance on the diamond completely overshadows his small stature. Although he batted .302 as an outfielder for the Dirtbags (yes, that is their school’s athletic nickname), he shined more on the mound. In 15 starts, Andrews logged a 1.99 ERA while producing an absurd 118:17 K:BB in 99.2 innings pitched. That’s ridiculous value at this point in the draft.
21st Round Draft Pick: Steven Hajjar, LHP, Central Catholic HS (MA)
Hajjar impressed scouts with a low-90s fastball and a future plus slider. His frame is also intriguing, as he stands at a tall 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 205 pounds. Given he’s just finishing high school, there’s also hope that he’ll add even more velocity onto his fastball. However, his delivery has a lot of moving parts and he hasn’t had to develop a third offering during his time in high school. Hajjar is also committed to play college ball at Michigan, so it may be tough to persuade him to go pro when he was only taken in the 21st round.
29th Round: Nander De Sedas, SS, Monteverde Academy (FL)
De Sedas possesses enough talent to warrant a first- or second-round selection. His raw power and excellent arm strength have excited scouts and even drawn comparisons to fellow Monteverde alumnus Francisco Lindor. How did De Sedas fall to the 29th round, then? For one, his senior season at Monteverde was a bit inconsistent. He began to fall down draft boards after failing to consistently bring his power into game action. It’s also very apparent that he’s new to being a switch-hitter. Secondly, he seemed to be leaning toward attending college instead of going pro. Sure enough, right after the Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the 29th round, De Sedas announced that he would not sign a professional contract. He will head to Florida State University to continue his amateur playing days. Even though he won’t be playing with the Brewers now, he’s certainly a name to keep in mind in the future.
It’s easy to overlook the later rounds in the MLB draft. As one can see however, there’s still plenty of talent to be had. Even if not all of them sign with the Brewers this time around, the future is still very bright in Milwaukee.