We’re just a few days away from the 2020 MLB Draft. Here’s a look at a few organizational needs for the Milwaukee Brewers to address this year.
Team needs in the MLB Draft are far different than needs in the NFL Draft or the NBA Draft. The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t going to draft someone because they need them at that position right now. They won’t draft a third baseman simply because they currently need a third baseman. But in the NFL, if the Green Bay Packers need a wide receiver they simply just…..you know what, never mind.
The point is, the need a the big league level will not determine what players organizations draft. Perhaps if a team knows a hole will open up in 2-3 years, they can look to draft a player at that position who will be ready when the hole opens up. For the most part, however, teams will simply draft the best player on their board.
NFL and NBA teams will tell you the same thing, but in the MLB Draft, it’s the guiding principle across the league. That’s what makes predicting the draft so hard to predict, especially since teams will have varying opinions on every player.
Last year, when we talked about the Brewers needs for the 2019 Draft, we said that left handed pitching was a big one that needed to be addressed. They did so, taking LHPs with seven of their first 17 picks.
This year, let’s take a look at what the Brewers team needs are for 2020.
1. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching
There is no such thing as having too much pitching. Currently four of the Brewers top 10 prospects on MLB Pipeline are pitchers, with three of them being lefties and two of them drafted in 2019.
The Brewers have had some big pitching prospects graduate to the majors, such as Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Corbin Burnes. While only Woodruff has established himself in the rotation to this point, the Brewers do have some great young pitching.
But it is crucial to continue to stock the minor leagues with pitching talent. Most of the pitching prospects the Brewers have in the minors are likely back end rotation guys or relievers.
What they lack down in the system are starting pitchers who can fill the front or middle of the rotation. While finding a guaranteed frontline starter is difficult, especially in the bottom half of the first round, it can be done.
What’s important is the right development of those pitchers who have the tools but haven’t fully put everything together yet. Finding pitchers with the upside potential of a frontline or mid rotation starter and harnessing that will be key. With just five rounds, my guess is the Brewers will draft at least two, possibly three pitchers.
2. Versatile Infielders
The Brewers don’t have much in the way of top infield talent throughout the minors. They have Brice Turang, first round pick from 2018, but other than that, there really aren’t any infield prospects to get super excited about. Eduardo Garcia is the only other one in the Brewers top 10 and he’s just 17 years old.
Lucas Erceg was once a top prospect at third base, but he’s struggled recently and the only other true infielder on the Brewers top 30 is Jesus Parra, who is also 17 years old. Thomas Dillard can play first base but he’s also a catcher and an outfielder.
The Brewers could really use some more infield depth in their minor league system. Typically, the value is placed on up-the-middle players such as shortstops since they can move from there to third base or second base or even first base, depending on their size and other skill sets. Sticking at shortstop is obviously where the most value is held, but not every college or high school shortstop has the defensive chops to stick at the position in the big leagues.
What the Brewers need are some more infielders with strong offensive tools. Players with the power to be able to handle either of the corner infield spots would be great as the Brewers do lack organizational depth at those positions.
3. Big Hit Tools
In the David Stearns era of Brewers baseball, when the Brewers go for position players early, they have tended to go for someone with a great hit tool. Keston Hiura in 2017 and Brice Turang in 2018 are great examples of this. Of the players left on the board at the time, those two had the best hit tools remaining and the Brewers selected them.
Just like you can never have enough pitching, you can never have enough guys that are really good at getting on base.
If you can hit, a major league team will find a way to put you in the lineup. The Brewers have shown a willingness to draft the bat first, and worry about the defense later. Should the opportunity present itself, the Brewers likely won’t hesitate to do the same thing again.
Currently, Turang and 17 year old Hedbert Perez are the only Brewers prospects who have above-average (55 or better) hit tools. Adding another player or two to that list should be a priority.
The 2020 MLB Draft is just a few short days away. The Brewers are going to have to fill these needs somehow with only five selections.