Round 2 (51): Russell Smith, LHP, TCU
Round 3 (86): Alex Binelas, 3B, Louisville
Round 4 (116): Logan Henderson, RHP, McLennan CC
The Brewers started off Day 2 very strong. Russell Smith was an under-slot target with plenty of upside. The savings on his slot value will be used later, but we’ll get to that.
Smith stands at 6’9″ and has plenty of projectability and a great foundation to work with. He has a repeatable delivery, and although he doesn’t have big velocity the Brewers have shown a knack for getting more velocity out of their pitchers in recent years. His secondary stuff could use some more work, but that’s another strength of the organization.
He has great command of the strike zone, which is difficult to teach. Smith can make his pitches be strikes, and the Brewers will help him improve those pitches to ensure he misses bats.
In the third round, the Brewers nabbed Alex Binelas, who was once thought of as a top-15 talent in this class. A slump at the beginning of the season pushed him down boards, but he bounced back and showed his immense raw power down the stretch. Binelas has some of the best in-game power in this class.
Binelas is also a hometown kid, growing up in Oak Creek. Not that he would work less if he were drafted somewhere else, but going to the team he grew up rooting for is just going to push Binelas to be the very best he can be and adds an extra layer of motivation. He can play third base, and the Brewers will give him every chance to be the third baseman of the future, but he can also play first base if needed.
This pick fills an organizational need, for both a corner infielder and a power bat, and it fills that need with a local kid.
Milwaukee took Logan Henderson in the 4th round. He led all of JUCO ball in strikeouts with 169 and had a sub-2.00 ERA. Henderson is another pitcher with advanced command of the strike zone, which is something the Brewers have coveted in recent years.
He has a nasty changeup, and a solid curveball to give him a three pitch mix to go along with his fastball. Henderson doesn’t have big velocity numbers, but again, the Brewers can help with that. Henderson also posts elite spin rates and is an analytics darling, giving Milwaukee another great foundation to work with.
A few adjustments and Henderson could become something special.