The 2021 MLB Draft is fast approaching. Who could the Milwaukee Brewers select in the first round?
Here at Reviewing the Brew, we’ve been profiling several of the top MLB Draft prospects to get fans familiar with some of the potential next Brewers prospects. Today, we look at Mississippi State righty Will Bednar.
You can’t do much more to boost your draft stock than what Will Bednar just did for the National Champion Mississippi State Bulldogs. In Game 3 of the College World Series Final (essentially MLB World Series Game 7) Bednar pitched on three days rest and threw six no-hit(!) shutout innings against a vaunted Vanderbilt lineup.
It was the biggest game of his life and the biggest high-pressure moment you could conjure up and he dominated it.
Bednar was originally planned to throw just a few innings, as they wanted to protect him on three days rest. But he locked in, pitched efficiently, and effectively argued his way into pitching the fifth inning, and then argued to pitch the sixth. It looked like he won the argument to pitch the seventh until Mississippi State’s offense exploded for more runs to take a 9-0 lead and then he was taken out. That competitiveness, that desire for the ball in big moments is what you want.
In a previous huge game against Texas, Bednar went six innings and struck out 15.
Overall in the College World Series, Bednar’s stats look like this: 18.1 IP, 1.47 ERA, 26 strikeouts, and a .084 opponent batting average. Bednar won the CWS Most Outstanding Player award as well.
Bednar has a mid-upper 90s fastball with lots of movement on it. His secondary pitches include a plus slider and an above-average curveball. He also has a changeup to give him a solid four pitch mix.
One thing that will also catch the Brewers’ attention is his penchant for throwing strikes. The Brewers favor guys who already have good command of their pitches and Bednar fits the bill. The latest Mock Draft from Prospects Live has Bednar going to Milwaukee at 15.
He’s a high-level college performer that has the ingredients to succeed at the next level. His toughness and competitiveness make him a safe bet that he’ll make it as well.
If you look at most of the pitching prospects the Brewers have drafted in previous years, they’ve focused on college performers with traits like Bednar. Ethan Small, Corbin Burnes, Aaron Ashby, and Drew Rasmussen are just a few examples.
Prior to his College World Series performance, Bednar was likely a Comp A round or early Round 2 selection. Now, his stock has been rising and teams that may have had enough questions about him to avoid him in the first round probably have had those questions answered. He could end up being the guy at 15 overall.
If he’s on the board and there are a number of other college pitchers available at 15 overall, it will be interesting to see if the Brewers go with Bednar over someone like Jordan Wicks, Ty Madden, Sam Bachman, or Gunnar Hoglund. All are pretty much in the same tier of college arms right now, so there’s a strong chance at least a couple of those arms will be on the board and the Brewers will have their pick of the litter.
If the Brewers select Bednar, there’s a chance that in the near future that 60% of the Brewers starting rotation would be comprised of Mississippi State Bulldogs (Bednar, Brandon Woodruff and Ethan Small).
The MLB Draft is just a week away and Bednar’s name is rising at the right time. He could end up becoming a Brewer with the 15th pick.