The Milwaukee Brewers had plenty of options available to them on the board in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, and they took one that no one was expecting.
After 14 players went off the board, the Brewers were on the clock and added themselves yet another outfielder.
With the 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers drafted Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College.
Despite a talented prep shortstop (Kahlil Watson), college shortstop (Matt McLain) and several talented pitchers (Ty Madden, Jordan Wicks, Gunnar Hoglund) on the board, the Brewers went with a centerfielder with a solid hit tool with Sal Frelick.
He’s a top of the order type guy with good hitting ability, but is 5’9″ and has very little home run power. He’s fast and can stick in centerfield, which I’m sure the Brewers love. But they also have Garrett Mitchell as their top prospect who can play a much better defensive centerfield and Mitchell provides much more with the bat.
MLB Pipeline gives Frelick a 60 grade hit tool and ranked him 11th overall in this draft, so it’s fairly good value.
This is an interesting pick, especially given their hopes and beliefs around Mitchell in center. Frelick can play some infield and might be a second baseman going forward, which might be his likely home if he sticks in the Brewers organization.
If so, that would mark the second time in four years the Brewers will have selected a second baseman with their first round pick.
His bat should play, and he’s a left-handed hitter, which is nice to see. He hit .359/.443/.559 this season for Boston College, with six home runs, 13 stolen bases, 27 walks, and 28 strikeouts.
Frelick was in the second tier of college bats, along with Colton Cowser and Matt McLain. Frelick and McLain were both available, as well as a number of college pitchers. The Brewers love sweet-swinging outfielders, but was this the best choice given who was on the board?
Time will tell how this draft pick turns out, but the Brewers stick to simple athleticism as one of their determining factors, and Frelick is as athletic as anyone in this draft. Milwaukee drafts the hit tool and will worry about the rest later.
Milwaukee will pick again at 33 overall in the Competitive Balance Round A. They should be in a good spot to add some falling talent.