The 2021 MLB Draft is almost upon us. It’s time to take a look at what the Milwaukee Brewers need to have on their shopping list in this year’s draft.
Team needs are always a big topic of discussion around sports drafts. This is a much bigger focus in the NFL and NBA Drafts, as those players will help out the drafting team immediately and go onto their roster. If you need a quarterback, or a point guard, you can draft one in the first round and that immediately plugs your hole.
In baseball, it’s a little different. If you need a pitcher, or a first baseman, you can’t just draft one in the first round and put him on the big league roster to plug the roster hole. It doesn’t work that way, at least not anymore.
The current big league roster needs are irrelevant to what the Brewers will do in the 2021 Draft. What is more relevant is the projection of what the Brewers needs will be in 2024 or 2025, which is when a lot of these draft picks this year will be ready to produce for the big league club.
Projecting team needs a few years down the road and looking at the current state of the farm system are important for determining “needs” to address. In 2019, the Brewers were short on left-handed pitching, so they drafted a bunch of it. In 2020, their system was light on hitters, so they drafted five college hitters in five rounds.
What are the Brewers team needs to address in the 2021 MLB Draft?
Brewers Draft Need #1: Right-handed pitching
Who is the Brewers top right-handed pitching prospect right now?
Zack Brown? He’s been Rule 5 eligible for two years and hasn’t been picked. He also hasn’t pitched yet this season with a shoulder injury.
Alec Bettinger? He’s been shuttled back and forth with little success in the big leagues so far.
Dylan File? He’s also missed time with an injury and is a similar pitcher to Bettinger.
We know all about the Crew’s left handed pitching prospects. Aaron Ashby, Ethan Small, and Antoine Kelly have high ceilings and clear, bright futures with the Brewers. Ashby has already made his big league debut and Small won’t be far behind.
They need some more right-handed pitching, although it can’t hurt to add more lefties either. The Brewers have shown a knack for developing pitching in recent years, turning Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes into All Stars and Freddy Peralta into a stud who should be an All Star. They’ve also churned out plenty of right handed relievers in the bullpen.
There are a number of quality pitching prospects in this draft and there should be a few available in the first round that would do extremely well in the Brewers system. But this will likely be a focus throughout the 20 rounds of the draft.