The time for projecting is over as the 2020 MLB Draft has concluded and the Brewers have made their selections. Let’s take a look at what happened over the last couple days.
The Milwaukee Brewers completed their 2020 draft yesterday, selecting five collegiate hitters over five rounds. The players addressed a number of different offensive positions, largely adding depth to positions up the middle of the field.
But what types of players were GM David Stearns and Scouting Director Tod Johnson able to get? And did they make sense at the spot they were picked? Let’s dig in and see how those picks grade out.
Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
What’s not to love about this pick? The Brewers get a player who was in the top 10 on the big boards of most MLB draft sites all the way down at the 20th overall pick. Whether teams were concerned about his swing or his Type 1 diabetes diagnosis (a condition he has managed since he was 9), it led Milwaukee to an absolute steal of a pick.
Mitchell is well on his way to developing into a full five-tool player, assuming his power develops the way that it should (he hit just six homers in college, but scouts say that the power is there). If he doesn’t find himself as the top prospect in the Brewers organization when Top 30 lists are updated, it would be a surprise.
Freddy Zamora, SS, Miami (FL)
If Mitchell was a gift for the Brewers, Zamora was a bit of a reach. He was the No. 100-ranked draft prospect per MLB Pipeline, quite a bit lower than the 53rd pick where he was selected. But the Brewers needed infield depth going into the draft and the slick-fielding shortstop fits the bill.
Zamora has two traits in his favor on top of having a solid bat: he is above average defensively and he has a good eye at the plate and keeps strikeouts to a minimum, two things that are tough to teach. It’s a solid pick, just somewhat of a reach considering potentially better players at the position like Casey Martin were still on the board.
Zavier Warren, C, Central Michigan
Many mock drafts had the Brewers targeting a catcher with their first round pick. They ended up addressing the position in the third with Warren, even though he hasn’t played the position regularly since high school.
With Warren, the Brewers get a switch-hitter who can hit solidly from both sides of the plate. Though he doesn’t bring a ton of power, he gets on base at a high rate and has a strong arm in the field. Milwaukee will attempt to transition him back to catcher, but even if it doesn’t work and they shift him to third base instead, a position he played in the Cape Cod League, it provides them with much-needed depth at either position.
Joey Wiemer, OF, Cincinnati
If it wasn’t already abundantly clear that the Brewers were stocking up on offense, it got that way with the team’s fourth pick. At No. 167 per MLB Pipeline, Wiemer represents a little bit of a stretch down the big board. But he brings some tantalizing tools to the team.
Wiemer has 60-grade speed (he stole 21 bases in 2019) and a 70-grade arm, but his 40-grade hit tool and 45-grade power mean he’ll be somewhat of a project. If the Brewers can get him to improve his swing a bit, he will add another toolsy outfielder to the prospect mix, but it might take some work.
Hayden Cantrelle, SS, Louisiana-Lafayette
The final pick for the Brewers was one of great value as they got MLB Pipeline’s No. 118-rated prospect all the way in the fifth round. Look past the .136 batting average that he had in a very small sample size in 2020 (17 games), and you see a player with plenty of potential.
Cantrelle has 60-grade speed combined with a 50-grade hit tool, which explains the fact that he stole 50 bases for his college career and was one of only six D-I players to collect 25 steals and 25 extra base hits in 2019. He has a chance to be an extremely well-rounded player, something you don’t always get in the fifth round.’
Overall Grade: A
All in all, this was an extremely solid draft for the Brewers, considering teams only had five rounds with which to work and they picked near the end of each round. Of the ten players in MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Brewers prospects list that the site had projected to potentially hit the majors in 2020, seven of them were pitchers. Thus, it completely makes sense that the team went hitter-heavy in the draft.
The Brewers went pitcher-heavy in last year’s draft and now balance it out with some more high upside hitters this year.
Milwaukee has a farm system that ranks at or near the bottom in most prospect projection sites, so adding all college players who are further along in their development and will be able to contribute more quickly was a smart strategy as well. Those additions should start moving the organization’s prospect rankings further up the ladder.
Now the next stage of this process is talking to the undrafted free agents and trying to convince them to sign.