Brewers Draft Grades - 3rd Round (87) - Eric Bitonti, SS/3B, Aquinas (CA) HS
Here's another power-over-hit profile, something the Brewers were previously allergic to. Eric Bitonti brings a ton of upside from the California high school ranks.
Bitonti is big and strong at 6 foot 4 with huge raw power. The Brewers have said they plan to send him out as a third baseman. There are questions about whether he'll hit enough. The Brewers must feel they can improve that area of his game, but they haven't taken on a lot of power over hit projects like this in recent years.
Bitonti was on the Crew's Area Code Team at the annual showcase event last year so the Brewers know him well and they believe they can make the adjustments necessary. If it all comes together, there's true impact potential.
Brewers Draft Grades - 4th Round (119) - Jason Woodward, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast
Jason Woodward wasn't on anyone's big board coming in, but the Brewers grab a small school pitcher in the 4th round to get some big slot savings.
Let's be honest, Woodward isn't worth a fourth round pick. He underwent Tommy John surgery a few months ago and won't be back on the mound until mid-2024. He made just three starts this year before getting hurt. He's got some good stuff with a fastball-changeup combo, but there isn't much of a book on him.
He's an intriguing arm but the Brewers didn't draft Woodward banking on him to be a big time piece of their future. They did it to save as much money in the 4th round as they could to sign Bitonti and their 6th rounder, Cooper Pratt. More on that coming up. If we didn't know this pick was to save money for other guys, the grade would be a lot lower.
Brewers Draft Grades - 5th round (155) - Ryan Birchard, RHP, Niagara County CC
It wouldn't be a Brewers draft without a junior college pitcher being selected in the first few rounds. Ryan Birchard is the guy this year and there's good reason to like him. This year he had a 1.08 ERA in 50 IP with 95 Ks. Birchard has a fastball-curveball combo, sitting in the mid-90s and spins a beautiful curveball.
The Brewers love spin rates and Birchard has the pitch data they want. He dominated the Draft League which is where the Brewers probably saw him that caught their attention.
Birchard's a reliever, but the Brewers have found success in the JuCo pitching ranks, so there's good reason to believe in him.