Our looks at MLB Draft prospects that the Milwaukee Brewers are likely to consider with their first round pick continues.
The Brewers hold the 20th overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft that, for whatever reasons, has been cut down to just five rounds instead of the usual 40 rounds. This will limit their ability to add strength and talent to the organization, especially in a minor league system as short on high-level talent as the Brewers is.
That will make hitting on these five selections even more critical. College players are generally safer picks. Let’s take a look at one of the top college pitchers in this draft class in Garrett Crochet.
LHP Garrett Crochet, Tennessee
The Milwaukee Brewers actually previously selected Garrett Crochet back in the 2017 Draft in the 34th round. He had his heart set on going to Tennessee, so his signability issues pushed him down that far and that decision to go to school has paid off. Perhaps the Brewers can grab him again after having previously built a relationship with him.
Crochet is a big left handed pitcher, standing at 6’6″ tall and 218 pounds. Unsurprisingly, he has a big fastball that sits in the mid-90s and during the 2019 fall season, he was reportedly throwing 96-100 MPH with high spin rates on his fastball. Scouts give it a 65-grade on the 20-80 scouting scale which makes his fastball a plus-pitch.
He has another plus pitch in his changeup that he throws at about 90 MPH, which is an incredibly hard changeup. Crochet also possesses a slider in his arsenal, which sits in the low-mid 80s that also has high spin rates.
If Crochet can improve his control, stay in the strike zone more, and walk fewer batters, he has every ingredient to be a prototypical frontline starting pitcher. His size, his velocity, his stuff, and most of all his left-handedness, all work in his favor and give him a very high ceiling.
In 2020, Crochet only got to start one game before the college season was cancelled, but he kept a pristine 0.00 ERA with six strikeouts in 3.1 IP of work.
In 2019, Crochet worked 65 IP and had a 4.02 ERA in 18 appearances, six of them starts. He also recorded three saves.
This would have been the year Crochet broke out, established himself in the rotation and he could have pushed himself farther up the draft board had he pitched well. A great, full season in 2020 would likely have vaulted Crochet into the Top 10, but instead he currently is ranked No. 18 by MLB Pipeline.
Instead, scouts are left with dreaming on his potential and believing that he had everything being put together with his improved arsenal in fall.
As a result, there is no long track record of success with his arsenal, which makes scouts less assured of his success and that pushes him a bit further back in the draft. That could push him all the way to the 20th selection, and if the Brewers believe in his arsenal and draft him, there’s a chance they’re getting an absolute steal late in the first round.
However, there’s also the risk that the improvements that he made won’t have any impact on his game performance since there hasn’t been any recent game action, and in a year when it’s critical to get the most out of your draft picks, that’s a risk that might be tough for some teams to take, even later in the first round.
The short track record could also be perceived as not having much mileage on his arm, which is a good thing for pro organizations when it comes to pitchers, as the lower amount of wear and tear makes it less likely they will breakdown with injuries.
The upside with Crochet likely outweighs any downside. If he’s available with the 20th pick, he would make a very intriguing selection with high upside. It would continue the trend from last year of stocking up on left handed pitching in the organization. Last year’s first round pick, Ethan Small, was a college lefty who is more likely to be a mid-back end starter in the big leagues. Meanwhile, Crochet’s profile would lead you to believe he can be closer to the front of the rotation, if he develops and refines his raw stuff.
If Crochet is available for the Brewers with the 20th overall selection, he’d be very tough to pass up.