Brewers Select Hometown Kid 3B Alex Binelas In 3rd Round Of MLB Draft

Louisville's Alex Binelas fields during a team scrimmage on Friday, February 5, 2021.Alexbinelas05
Louisville's Alex Binelas fields during a team scrimmage on Friday, February 5, 2021.Alexbinelas05 /

The Milwaukee Brewers have finally done it. They have addressed the corner infield positions early on in the MLB Draft.

After neglecting third base and first base for a number of years early in the draft, the Brewers not only got one of the best at that position group, they got a local player as well.

With the 86th overall pick in the MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Alex Binelas, 3B, Louisville.

Binelas grew up in Oak Creek, WI, so he’s a local product, a Brewers fan, and now he can play for his hometown team. But this isn’t just a feel-good story, Binelas is a big-time prospect.

Coming into the spring, Binelas was considered a first round talent, being thought of as a potential Top 10 pick with a good junior season at Louisville. He got off to a slow start this year, which pushed him down boards, but had a strong stretch towards the end.

He slugged 19 home runs for Louisville this year, with a .256/.348/.621 slash line.

If you exclude the first month of the season, Binelas hit .282 in 124 ABs with 18 of his 19 home runs hit. His strikeout rate cut way down, and he was looking every bit like the college power bat he was expected to be.

But that month-long slump to start the year pushed his stock down enough for the Brewers to snag him in the 3rd round.

The Brewers haven’t drafted a third baseman this early since they took Lucas Erceg out of Menlo College in the 2nd round in 2016. The last time the Brewers had a homegrown third baseman post a 2.0 WAR season or better was Ryan Braun in 2007. Braun had no future at third, so if you want a long-term third baseman that was drafted and developed by Milwaukee with a 2.0 WAR season or better, you have to go all the way back to Jeff Cirillo, who was drafted in 1991.

It obviously remains to be seen if Binelas can provide that kind of production, but he has plenty of raw power.

Standing at 6’3″ and 225 pounds, Binelas has raw power for days from the left side of the plate, which is exactly what the Brewers need more of in their system. There’s hope Binelas can stay at third base with a little more defensive work, but his arm should be good enough for the job. If he can’t stick there, a move to first base makes a ton of sense.

The question, as with most power hitters, will be whether he hits enough to make use of his tremendous raw power. Erceg and Tristen Lutz are the two big, traditional power bats in the Brewers farm system currently, and both have struggles with making enough contact.

Brewers minor league hitting coordinator Sara Goodrum will have the responsibility of tapping into Binelas’ toolset and helping him make enough contact to get to where he and the Brewers want to be.

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This was a great pick that not only filled a need, but brought in arguably the best talent on the board, and is a local product that will cherish playing for the team he grew up rooting for.