The first round of the MLB Draft is just one day away. We’ll be looking at a few more prospects all the way up until the Brewers are on the clock.
So far, we have looked at a number of potential pitching options that the Brewers could target with the 20th pick of the first round, a common positional prediction for Milwaukee. We’ve also given looks to a handful of position players.
If none of the Brewers pitching targets are available at No. 20, they could choose to address infield depth instead. Casey Martin, while generally ranked a little lower than Milwaukee’s draft position, could fill that need.
Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
Yes, Martin could be a bit of a stretch, seeing as he is ranked No. 30 overall by MLB Pipeline. But he is the third-ranked middle infielder in the entire draft according to them and the Brewers could stand to gain some depth in that area of the organization.
In just over two seasons at the University of Arkansas, Martin slashed .310/.389/.542, good for an impressive .931 career OPS. He showed some good power, slugging 30 career homers with a career high 15 in his sophomore year.
But Martin’s top quality is his athleticism and speed. Though you wouldn’t know it by looking at his college stolen base numbers (he only swiped 24 bags as a Razorback) he was graded a 75 in speed by MLB Pipeline, making him one of the fastest prospects in the entire draft.
Martin grades anywhere in the 45-55 range in the other tool categories and is described as an athletic speedster with some pop. One possible MLB comparison for him based off that description could be Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner.
MLB Pipeline rated Turner as having 80-grade speed going into the 2014 draft and 50 grades everywhere else with the exception of power, where they graded him out at 35. That said, Turner has developed some mild power of his own, hitting 19 homers in each of the last two years in the majors.
There are two big differences here. Turner had already translated his speed to steals in college, stealing 56 total bases in two years at NC State. Martin also showed much more of a propensity to strike out in college, doing so in 24.1% of his plate appearances while Turner did in just 10.5% of his.
Middle infield might not be the first need you’d think the Brewers would consider, considering they have three young middle infielders with potential in the majors right now in second baseman Keston Hiura and shortstops Luis Urias and Orlando Arcia (though Arcia may be falling out of favor). They also drafted shortstop Brice Turang just two years ago and he is currently the team’s top prospect.
However, that’s largely where the depth ends. MLB Pipeline does have international signee Eduardo Garcia, another shortstop, as the No. 7 prospect in the organization. But at just 17 years old and not having advanced past Rookie ball yet, he is far away from playing in the majors any time soon.
With this draft class lacking much in the way of top level middle infielders, guys like Martin might move up the board a little bit.
Check out all of our other draft prospect profiles all the way up to the Brewers’ first pick on Wednesday, June 10th.