Day 1 of the 2021 MLB Draft has concluded and the Brewers have opted to take two position players. The night started with a bit of a surprise with Henry Davis being taken #1, but overall 36 young men heard their names called and dreams became reality.
Milwaukee made two picks on the first day, one based off their finish last season and the other being a Competitive Balance Round A pick thanks to being a smaller market, low revenue club.
So in true post-draft reaction fashion, let’s grade the Milwaukee Brewers Day 1 picks in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Round 1 Pick 15: Sal Frelick
For the Crew’s first pick, they selected Boston College center fielder Sal Frelick. The first thing to highlight is Frelick’s knack at getting on base. He is adept at making contact and even drew more walks than he had strikeouts back in 2019 and 2020 combined. The power isn’t necessarily there for Frelick right now but scouts believe he can at least develop average power and still has the bat speed and deceptive pop that can net him extra-base hits.
Milwaukee has their hands on another outfielder that can fly around and make plays defensively. The 5’9” Boston College Eagle started his collegiate career in right field but then moved to center field this past season and he thrived. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts that included 126 putouts in 127 chances, 0 errors and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
The last thing to note about the new Brewer is possibly his best attribute and that’s speed. He grades a 70 on the ‘run’ tool according to MLB Pipeline and that speed will be hopefully put to good use as the Crew sit in the top 10 in stolen bases at the All-Star break.
Overall there is a lot to like about this pick as Frelick was the projected 11th best player in the draft and he fell right into Milwaukee’s lap. Once again, the MLB Draft differs a bit from other sports and there’s no sense in reaching for a player that was in a position of need. I would love to see an outfield consisting of Sal Frelick and Garrett Mitchell someday.
Round 1 Comp A Pick 33: Tyler Black
Tyler Black, like Sal Frelick, is a former hockey player that decided to trade one stick for another and it’s safe to say that decision has worked out pretty well for him. The first Canadian-born player taken in the draft possesses some hitting tools that get scouts and front office members excited. He has great plate discipline, a solid frame at 6’2” and a leg kick that helps generate his power.
Defensively, Black manned second base this past year at Wright State after starting out at the hot corner in 2019 as a freshman. A shoulder surgery in 2020 during the pandemic prompted him to learn the new position as he did lose some arm strength after the injury. He had six errors in 2021 and a .986 fielding percentage with the Wright State Raiders and 82 putouts.
Tyler Black did swipe 11 bags in his 2021 campaign but his speed won’t blow you away. He picks his spots well and knows his limitations on the basepath. Scouts believe he has plenty of speed to play second base, has quick hands that aid him in turning double plays and he has a good feel for his surroundings around the base.
Black was MLB Pipeline’s 57th best player available so it would’ve been interesting to see if he was still there for the Crew’s second round pick at 51. But those rankings and projections don’t mean anything to the men in suits making the selection and there were reports of Black making late moves up boards.
They obviously liked what they saw in Tyler Black enough to take him in their Comp A slot, which will make it seven position players in a row that the Crew have chosen.
As with any draft selection, it’ll be a few years before we can get a true grade on these picks, but for an immediate reaction, this is the grade they get.
A huge congratulations to both of these guys on being selected and we here at Reviewing the Brew along with Milwaukee Brewer fans all around are thrilled to have them.