Brewers Prospects: Grading the Debuts of the 2023 Draft Picks

How did the newly-drafted Brewers do in their first minor league action?
Notre Dame v Wake Forest
Notre Dame v Wake Forest / Eakin Howard/GettyImages
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(6.182) SS Cooper Pratt: A

Milwaukee took a huge swing in the 6th round of the draft by selecting the Mississippi-committed Cooper Pratt with the 182nd selection and won big by signing him to a contract with a bonus that was over a million dollars over slot value. Pratt was rated as the 45th best prospect on the entire board in the 2023 MLB Draft, and his talent showed up quickly with the ACL Brewers.

Pratt slashed .356/.426/.444 in 18 games, including a 3-hit debut and a 1.250 OPS against left-handed pitchers. Pratt saw time at shortstop, second base, and DH over his time in rookie ball, seeing half of his games at the shortstop position. The only real knock on Pratt was his lack of extra-base hits, with just two doubles and a triple in these contests, but the rest of the stats jump off the page for the 19-year-old prospect. Pratt had an excellent debut in 2023, and it will be interesting to see what Milwaukee's plan for him is in 2024.

(7.212) LHP Tate Kuehner: B

Tate Kuehner was the highest-selected Brewers pitcher to debut in 2023, being Milwaukee's 7th-round selection after a successful four-year career at Louisville. Kuehner straddled between starting and relieving for Louisville over three years, but settled in nicely as a bullpen arm in 2023, pitching to a 3.99 ERA in 38.1 innings while striking out 54.

Kuehner landed in the middle with the ACL Brewers in 2023, making a relief appearance in his first outing and starting his second outing. In three innings for the ACL Brewers, Kuehner didn't allow a run, struck out two, and walked one. Albeit a very small sample size, Kuehner had success in these innings and was able to get his feet wet in the minor league system before starting his first full season next year. At 22 years old already, the Brewers could opt to move Kuehner up the system quickly, and it remains to be seen if that will be as a reliever or a starter.

(8.242) RHP Craig Yoho: D+

After spending three years at the University of Houston as a position player, Craig Yoho transferred to Indiana and performed well as a reliever, earning him an 8th-round selection by Milwaukee. Yoho had a 3.41 ERA in 37.0 innings pitched at Indiana, excelling with his swing-and-miss stuff. He struck out 63 batters in these innings (36.2% of batters), and Milwaukee hoped this would carry into his first minor league season.

Yoho made three appearances with the ACL Brewers and allowed a run in all three. He would end his first season in affiliated ball with a 10.13 ERA in 2.2 innings pitched, allowing six hits and striking out three. While I struggle giving a grade this low to anybody for such a small sample size, Yoho did struggle, and especially at his advanced age of 23 in rookie ball (1.7 years older than the average player), it is a bit discouraging to see these results. Yoho will get a fresh start next year, entering his age 24 season, and will look to grow from the ups and downs of his first MiLB experience.