18. C/OF Thomas Dillard
Catcher/outfielder Thomas Dillard is the next 2019 draftee on our list, having been picked in the 5th round last year right before Bennett. He was part of another draft trend for the Brewers, being the second of a handful of catchers that the team drafted in 2019.
Dillard’s offensive numbers in college at Mississippi were plenty impressive. He had a slash line of .286/.419/.505, good for a .924 OPS, in three seasons for the Rebels. He also clubbed 31 homers and swiped 34 bags while scoring 145 runs in 181 career games.
After playing just four games for the Brewers’ Rookie Arizona League Blue team, Dillard was promptly shifted to Low-A Wisconsin where he played out the rest of the season. He had a bit of a slow start there, but really came along to finish out the season.
In 51 games for the Timber Rattlers, Dillard slashed .246/.398/.386 while swatting six homers. His ratio of 43 walks to 50 strikeouts was right on par with his ratio on college and he continued to show the ability to steal a base when needed, nabbing seven steals while never being caught.
There’s a lot of reasons to be excited about Dillard. Drafted as a switch-hitting catcher who sometimes can play the outfield, he actually played 33 of 51 games at first base for Wisconsin, a position at which the organization could use much more depth.
A switch hitter with an knack to get on base who can play multiple positions is a great asset to have. If he continues to show the ability to do all those things well, he won’t be at No. 18 on our list for long.