With the 20th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers select Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock (CA) HS
Previous selection: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
This is a change from last week’s mock draft where we went with Carmen Mlodzinski, the college right hander from South Carolina. In this version, it’s the high school catcher Tyler Soderstrom from Turlock, California.
Soderstrom is a bat-first catcher that hits from the left side. He’s more of a hit-over-power kind of guy with a very strong 60-grade hit tool. For comparison’s sake, that’s the same hit tool grade that Keston Hiura had on him heading into the 2017 draft. As we all know, that man can hit.
Soderstrom is a polished hitter for his age and he has some solid raw power that he can grow into as he matures. At just 18 years old, Soderstrom has plenty of development left to go.
As far as speed goes, Soderstrom has elite level speed…for a catcher. He’s got above-average speed in general, but catchers are traditionally slow. That speed should help him in case he needs to move to a different position, which is entirely possible.
Like I said, Soderstrom is a bat-first catcher, and his defense is considered sub-par behind the dish. He has a very strong throwing arm, but in terms of framing, game calling, and blocking, he doesn’t stack up very well. That is going to have to improve and the Brewers are going to have to give him the time to improve those skills.
However, his bat could advance him to the big leagues far quicker than his glove would. If his bat proves to be close to big league ready far before his catching skills are, there’s a good chance the Brewers would have to move him off the position. Third base or the corner outfield are possible landing spots for Soderstrom. Positional versatility has been key for the Brewers in the draft over the years.
Over the past few years, the Brewers have shown to be willing to draft the bat first, and worry about the player’s defense later. If they were to follow that strategy again in 2020, Soderstrom makes sense as the selection.