3 MLB Draft prep pitching prospects who could be next Brewers pitching lab success story

As the MLB Draft approaches, these pitchers seem perfect to add to the Brewers pitching lab
2023 MLB Draft presented by Nike
2023 MLB Draft presented by Nike / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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The Milwaukee Brewers have a reputation for developing pitchers that they've earned over the last several years. When they renovated the Maryvale spring training complex, they put in what was dubbed a "pitching lab" that was so secretive, no reporters were ever allowed in. It's existence was all we knew.

That pitching lab helped turn Corbin Burnes from a disaster in 2019 to a Cy Young winner in 2021. It's helped a number of Brewers pitchers maximize their potential, add new pitches, optimize pitches, and overall improve their results.

When it comes to the MLB Draft, the Brewers have targeted pitchers with great ability to spin the ball, as that allows them to add new pitches or adapt as necessary as they develop. Josh Knoth was a prime example in last year's Draft. Knoth possessed a 3,000 RPM curveball on top of big velocity and his stuff was prime for work in the Brewers pitching lab. Jacob Misiorowski in 2022 is another example, with his nasty stuff as well as his size, the pitching lab has helped turn him into the Crew's top pitching prospect.

In the 2024 Draft that starts on Sunday night, which pitching prospects stand out as the next possible Brewers pitching lab success story?

1. William Schmidt, RHP, Catholic (LA) HS

William Schmidt is arguably the best prep right-hander in this year's Draft and it's easy to see why. Standing at a tall but slender 6'4" and 180 pounds, Schmidt has a starter's frame and room to add more strength as he matures. He already possesses a mid-upper 90s fastball that moves well with a 3,000 RPM hammer of a curveball.

That foundation alone is enough to pique the interest of a team like the Brewers. Schmidt doesn't have much of a changeup for his third pitch, considering he hasn't thrown it much and hasn't needed it, but the Brewers pitching lab can likely help him develop that pitch quite easily.

Provided that third pitch comes along, Schmidt has ace-level upside as a starting pitcher. There's risk as well, as there always is with high school right handers. Because of that risk, the Brewers are unlikely to take Schmidt with the 17th overall pick. However, at 34th overall, the risk-reward equation starts to balance out a bit. The Brewers like safer picks in round one and take upside selections later.

The issue is there's a very good chance Schmidt doesn't last to the 34th overall pick. He could go mid-late first round and some other team between 17 and 34 may not want to let him pass them by. It'll likely take an over-slot deal to prevent the Baton Rouge product from going to LSU.