We’re coming up on just over a month away from the 2020 MLB Draft somehow, and mock drafts are starting to pop up.
You thought Mock Draft Season was over? Nope. With the NFL Draft finishing up over the weekend, now all of us draft aficionados can move on to the normally much longer and definitely much more difficult to predict MLB Draft. Although I think it’s fair to predict the Brewers will pick the same amount of wide receivers as the Green Bay Packers just did.
Per the recent agreement between MLB and the Players’ Association, the 2020 MLB Draft will be reduced to somewhere between 5-10 rounds, far fewer than the original 40 rounds the Draft usually goes.
That change obviously hurts the 1,000+ players that were going to get selected between rounds 6-40, but it also hurts the Milwaukee Brewers ability to get talented players in the organization. It means they are going to need to hit on their early picks and the pressure will be on to maximize their selections.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com just recently posted a first round mock draft, and he has some interesting thoughts for the Brewers first selection.
The Milwaukee Brewers select…
Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
No, this is not the same Westlake HS in California that current Brewers superstar Christian Yelich attended. Harvard-Westlake is about a 30 minute drive away from that one and is the same school that Jack Flaherty and Lucas Giolito attended.
Pete Crow-Armstrong is a speedy, left-handed hitting outfielder with a strong hit tool and a chance to stay up the middle in centerfield as a big leaguer. Sounds like the type of prospect that the Brewers can’t get enough of.
MLB Pipeline ranks him as the 20th best prospect in this draft class in their recently released Top 150 Draft Prospects List. Coincidentally, the Brewers have the 20th overall selection in this year’s draft. Here’s a snippet of MLB’s write-up on Crow-Armstrong.
"A combination of being under the microscope for so long and a more uneven summer has led Crow-Armstrong’s star to fade a bit, though a big push at the start of the spring moved him back up Draft boards."
To me, that sounds a lot like the scenario that Brice Turang found himself in heading into the 2018 Draft. Turang had been known by scouts forever and since he wasn’t consistently dominating every game, he fell down draft boards a bit. Turang was once thought of a No. 1 overall pick and the Brewers grabbed him at No. 21 overall and are in a similar spot in the draft order this year.
Crow-Armstrong grades out at above-average or better with every tool except for power. According to MLB Pipeline, some scouts believe he will add some more pop as he matures and develops, but he’s not really a 30+ homer a season type hitter.
Defensively, Crow-Armstrong may be the best centerfielder in this draft class, and depending on how his timing and development works out, he could be the heir apparent for Lorenzo Cain in three years when his contract is up. However, the Brewers do have several other outfield prospects already in the pipeline.
Jonathan Mayo also listed another possibility for the Brewers with the 20th overall pick. If they don’t want to go with Crow-Armstrong, and instead opt for a pitcher, Cade Cavalli from the University of Oklahoma would also make sense.
Cavalli is a 6’4″ RHP with a big fastball that tops out at 98 MPH and sits in the mid-90s and pairs it with a plus-curveball. He also possesses a cutter and a developing changeup and could end up with a 4-pitch mix. He’s got the upside of a frontline starting pitcher, and the Brewers certainly can never have enough guys like that. Staying healthy has been an issue for Cavalli in the past, which would make him risky in the first round of a shortened draft, but that risk could pay off if they keep him healthy.
With the MLB Draft scheduled for early June, we still have to wait on the final details to come out about how many rounds it will go and how draft war rooms will be able to be set up, but it will happen, and it may be the first baseball we get since things were shut down. The 2020 NFL Draft was its most-watched ever and I have a feeling the 2020 MLB Draft could be the same if we don’t have any other baseball going on.