To help prepare you for the 2022 MLB Draft, here at Reviewing the Brew we are profiling draft prospects that could be fits for the Milwaukee Brewers. Today, we’re going to look at James Madison OF Chase DeLauter.
The Brewers have selected college outfielders in the first round the past two years. Could they make it three years in a row? There are a number of college bats that should be available at the 27th overall pick, and a lot of them are outfielders, including Jordan Beck and Sterlin Thompson. Another member of that group is James Madison’s Chase DeLauter.
Should the Milwaukee Brewers look to select James Madison OF Chase DeLauter in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft?
Heading into the season, DeLauter was seen as more of a Top 10 selection. But, as a small school hitter, there are concerns about how he would perform against stronger competition. In the one series against a Power 5 school that JMU played this year, he struggled.
DeLauter rebounded against his conference opponents and hit .437 on the year in 24 games before a broken foot cut his season short. MLB Pipeline has him ranked 18th in the class, but most mocks are pushing him later and later.
He’s big at 6’4″ and 230 pounds and has a bunch of raw power. He’s a toolsy athlete, which the Brewers have historically liked.
However, there are concerns, and they lie with his swing. There are major concerns by scouts about his ability to make consistent contact. He’s going to need to make some major changes to his load and swing if he’s going to be successful at the next level and that should be concerning to the Brewers.
While the Brewers do love athletes in the draft, they also love big hit tools. DeLauter doesn’t seem to have that. His swing isn’t smooth, it isn’t consistent, and he hasn’t even faced a lot of high level arms in his college career.
There is a huge bust profile on DeLauter, more so than your average MLB Draft pick. The speed and size and power are all nice, but if that hit tool doesn’t come along, it doesn’t matter. He can’t utilize the speed if he doesn’t get on base consistently and he can’t show off the power if he doesn’t make contact consistently.
Based on the Brewers recent history with developing hitting prospects, I don’t entirely trust this organization’s ability to ensure DeLauter can make consistent contact and solidify an above average hit tool that scouts have given him based on his college performance. He will need to make adjustments to succeed at the next level, and I’m not sure the Brewers are the best team to help him make those.
They could be enticed by his athleticism, size, and power, but there is so much risk here that the Brewers should steer clear of Chase DeLauter.