Grading Debuts of 2023 Draft Picks
(1.18) 3B Brock Wilken: A+
As the Brewers' first-round pick out of Wake Forest, Brock Wilken did everything that you could hope for in his first minor league season. Wilken was drafted with the 18th pick in the draft after posting a .345/.506/.807 with 31 home runs in just 66 games, and he continued the success of this season into the Brewers' system.
He crushed his way through rookie ball, owning a 1.036 OPS in his seven games there, before spending a majority of his minor league season in High-A Wisconsin. In his 34 games with the Timber Rattlers, Brock Wilken reached base at a .427 clip (.865 OPS), splitting his time with 27 games at third base and 7 games at DH.
His season didn't stop there, as he would reach Double-A Biloxi for the final six games of the season and slash .217/.280/.565 with four extra-base hits. While the on-base numbers did dip a bit for Brock Wilken in his final stretch of games in Biloxi, even making it through three levels and into Double-A in his first season is nothing short of incredible.
(2.54) 3B Mike Boeve: B+
With Milwaukee's second-round selection, they opted to take another third baseman, this time selecting Mike Boeve out of Nebraska-Omaha after a crazy offensive season that concluded with a .512 OBP and a 39/29 BB/K ratio. Boeve came out of the gate scorching hot as he compiled 15 hits over 9 games for the ACL Brewers of the rookie league, posting.500 batting average and a 1.556 OPS in thirty at-bats with the club.
This start would lead to a promotion to High-A Wisconsin, where he would cool off a bit statistically (.250/.333/.333 in 19 games), but his overall season numbers would still be in a very good spot, ending his first season with a .329/.400/.529 slash in 28 games. Boeve should get his shot as the full-season starting third baseman for Wisconsin next year, and he will hope to sustain his early-season success there.
(3.87) 3B/SS Eric Bitonti: B-
The Brewers focused on some youth after selecting two college hitters with their first three selections, landing 17-year-old Eric Bitonti out of Aquinas High School (CA) with their fourth selection. Bitonti showed some flashes in his first short stint with the ACL Brewers, but he would also show some flashes of this youth.
In 48 plate appearances in rookie ball, Bitonti slashed .180/.333/.410 while walking nine times and striking out fifteen times. While his walk rate was very good at 18.8%, he struck out in 31.3% of his plate appearances, leaving some to be desired in that category. While his batting average was very low, he still held a decent OPS at .744, and four of his seven hits were for extra bases (2 HRS). As Bitonti is 2.8 (!) years younger than the average rookie league player, it is a very good start for him to get any at-bats at this age, and even though there was some struggle, there was a lot of good to pull from, as well.