19. LHP Nick Bennett
Left-handed pitcher Nick Bennett is the first of the Brewers’ 2019 draftees to enter our Top 25 list. Drafted in the 6th round out of Louisville, he was the third of several left-handed pitchers that were taken by Milwaukee in last year’s draft.
Bennett’s college stats were largely solid, ending his collegiate career by going 20-6 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.214 WHIP and totaling 206 strikeouts to 70 walks. His numbers ballooned just a bit in his final year at Louisville, jumping to a 4.40 ERA and 1.398 WHIP, but that was largely due to a forearm strain that he suffered that year. That could be part of how the Brewers were able to get him as late as they did.
Bennett was assigned to organization’s Rookie Advanced League affiliate Rocky Mountain Vibes in July to begin his minor league career. All he did there was give up just two whole earned runs in 12 2/3 innings, good for a 1.42 ERA, over six appearances.
That performance got him a swift promotion to the Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, where he continued to impress. There he compiled a 2.21 ERA in five outings, held batters to a .192 batting average, and struck out 24 while walking just four. His final three appearances were all starts.
Bennett is said to have good control and uses as his main pitches a low-90s fastball along with a big, quality curveball that he has the confidence and competence to throw whenever needed.
Bennett will likely start the year back at Wisconsin with the chance of quickly moving to High-A Carolina if he continues on his current track. We’ll see if he profiles as a reliever or starter, but at this point we place him at No. 19 on our Preseason Top 25 list.