Best Infielders the Brewers drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft
Best Brewers First Round Draft Pick At First Base: Prince Fielder
First basemen generally aren’t first round selections, unless they’re a unicorn combination of power and hitting ability at the position. The Brewers had drafted just one first baseman in the first round prior to 2002 and that was Dan Thomas in 1972. He didn’t pan out.
Fielder would go on to become the youngest player in MLB history to hit 50 home runs in a season, have two Top-3 MVP finishes, another Top 5 finish, three All-Star nods, two Home Run Derby titles, and finish his Brewers career with 230 homers.
Fielder finished his career with 319 homers after a neck injury abruptly ended his playing days. He left Milwaukee after seven seasons with the Crew as he signed a huge free agent contract with Detroit after the 2011 season. But in an all-time Brewers first round draft pick lineup, Prince Fielder is the perfect guy to have in the middle of the order.
Best Brewers First Round Draft Pick At Second Base: Rickie Weeks
Shake and bake! Drafted in back-to-back seasons and making their debuts at the same time, Weeks and Fielder were the combination on the right side of the Brewers infield for a long time. It was a productive combination and Weeks gave the Crew some good years.
Rickie Weeks‘ hit tool may have never lived up to the hype he had coming out of college as a prospect, but he wasn’t atrocious with the bat, posting a career .249 average with the Brewers. It’s not spectacular, but its solid. Weeks also had a .771 OPS and 105 OPS+ with Milwaukee so he was a slightly above league average hitter.
From 2005-2011 Weeks was a solid contributor and regular presence in the Brewers lineup. He struggled mightily in 2012 and 2013, which has soured the opinion of him in the minds of many fans, but overall he was a solid player. He was never really a big star and may not have lived up to all the hype, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a valuable contributor on those teams.
Best Brewers First Round Draft Pick At Shortstop: Robin Yount
This choice is pretty clear. Robin Yount, a Hall of Famer, was the 3rd overall pick in the 1973 MLB Draft and the best draft choice the Brewers made in their franchise history.
Yount’s resume speaks for itself: 3,142 hits, 20 seasons all with the Brewers, two MVP awards, nearly every single record in the Brewers record book at the time of his retirement, oh yeah and the Hall of Fame.
Really the only question about Yount being on this list would be at what position? He was the Brewers shortstop from 1974-1984 and then moved to the outfield in 1985 and played at a high level in center field through the end of his career. But, he gets placed at shortstop as there is no more iconic shortstop in Brewers history than Yount.
Best Brewers First Round Draft Pick At Third Base: Paul Molitor
Talk about another clear choice and another dynamic duo on one side of the infield that played together for a long time. Paul Molitor, another Hall of Famer, was the Brewers regular third baseman for a number of years in the 1980s.
Molitor was initially drafted as a shortstop with the 3rd overall pick in the 1977 Draft, but Yount was already entrenched there and Molitor had to find a new position and eventually settled at third base for a while.
Again, the resume here speaks for itself: 2,200+ hits with Milwaukee, a .303 batting average, 125 OPS+, All Star nods, Silver Sluggers, and of course, he’s a Hall of Famer.
Molitor only had three seasons in his career with a below-average OPS+. Those seasons were his rookie season in 1978, his final season in 1998, and in 1984 when he only played in 13 games due to an elbow injury.