Brewers 2023 first round pick off to a hot start at the plate in Cactus League play

Like his start in the minor leagues last year, the youngster is impressing quickly this spring.
Feb 22, 2024; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers infielder Brock Wilken poses for a portrait during
Feb 22, 2024; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers infielder Brock Wilken poses for a portrait during / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers generally received quite a bit of praise for the results of their draft class last summer. Among those picks was their very first selection, third baseman Brock Wilken out of Wake Forest University.

Selecting a corner infielder with the 18th overall pick went a bit contrary to the draft strategy of recent years, but it wasn't hard to see why the Brewers went that way. Wilken was a prodigious power hitter during his college years, setting both college and conference records for homers in his career.

While some recent draftees struggle to immediately adjust to the competition once they hit the minors, Wilken had no such issues. After a quick stop in the rookie league, he quickly moved to, and subsequently tore up, High-A to the tune of a .289/.427/.438 slash line in 34 games and even got a quick cup of coffee at Double-A to finish his first season in professional ball.

2024 brought the first chance for Wilken to join the Brewers during spring training and sure enough, he was named a non-roster invitee before players reported. Well Cactus League games have begun, and even though it's been a small sample size, the 21-year-old is impressing early.

Brewers 2023 first round pick Brock Wilken is off to a hot start in 2024 Cactus League play.

Wilken has played in four of Milwaukee's five Cactus League games so far this spring, coming off the bench in each of them. Just like the way he began his minor league career, it didn't take long for him to make an impact.

In the team's first game of the spring, Wilken drove a single to left in his first ever Cactus League at bat. Later, he would add his first ever Cactus League RBIs when he slugged a three-run double late in the game.

Wilken would see the plate two times in the team's next game, drawing a walk and earning his first strikeout of the spring. The game after that, he drew yet another walk and also came around to score his first run of the spring.

After a day off, Wilken played in his most recent game on Wednesday and added yet another single to his ledger in the final inning. That brought his spring numbers, albeit in a very small sample size, to a .750 average and a 1.857 OPS.

Wilken will get plenty more exposure this spring before he ends up finding out which minor league level he'll end up starting at for 2024. It's fun to think how he will take this experience and translate it into success in the minors when the regular season begins.