Brewers Weekly Prospect Watch: Checking in on the 2023 Draft class after one year

The Brewers had a loaded 2023 Draft class. One year later, how are they all doing?
Milwaukee Brewers v Colorado Rockies
Milwaukee Brewers v Colorado Rockies / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

We're less than a week away from the first round of the 2024 MLB Draft. That means we're closing in on one year since the Brewers drafted their 2023 class.

The Brewers 2023 Draft class was widely regarded as one of the best drafts in the league last year. They maximized every dollar available to them, loaded up with high upside talent, and played the board beautifully.

Of course, a lot of teams feel good about their draft classes in the moment. Only time can tell if the Brewers truly did have a great draft last year. Checking in at the one year mark, the Brewers should still be feeling pretty good. In this week's prospect watch, we're going to look at each member of the Crew's 2023 Draft class that signed.

Brewers 2023 Draft class shaping up well

First round pick Brock Wilken quickly rose to Double-A Biloxi after signing last year. He's spending the year in Biloxi in 2024 and results have been mixed. Wilken missed some time early this year with facial fractures after being hit in the face by a pitch. On the season, Wilken is hitting .226/.320/.396 with 10 doubles, nine homers, and 30 RBIs. Biloxi is tough on power hitters, but Wilken's 26.4% K rate also isn't doing him many favors.

Comp A pick Josh Knoth has had a solid season in Low-A Carolina. The Brewers have been careful with him, managing his innings and slowly stretching him out. In 14 starts, Knoth has a respectable 3.69 ERA over 53.2 IP with 61 strikeouts. He has struggled at times with free passes, allowing 32 walks, which comes out to a 5.3 BB/9. Knoth will be a slow moving prospect, but the ingredients are there for him to develop.

Second round pick Mike Boeve dominated High-A early this season, earning a quick promotion to Double-A. He's "slowed down" since joining Biloxi in the sense he's no longer hitting above .500, but he still has a solid .286/.347/.400 slash line with the Shuckers. Boeve didn't get much hype out of Nebraska-Omaha, but he's getting prospect hype now. He was a last minute scratch from the lineup last week and hasn't played since but still is not on the IL.

Third round pick Eric Bitonti was a high upside prepster who is delivering on his potential. For the ACL Brewers, Bitonti is hitting a spectacular .312/.438/.565 with 11 doubles, six homers, and seven stolen bases. It's come with a slightly concerning 28% strikeout rate, but the Brewers knew strikeouts would be a part of his game.

Fourth rounder Jason Woodward is finally back out on the mound in competitive games. Woodward was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery when the Brewers took him last year. He recently started a rehab assignment with the ACL Brewers and has made two appearances so far, covering two innings, allowing one run, and striking out two.

5th rounder Ryan Birchard was the Junior College pitcher the Brewers snagged last year. They take one every year and Birchard was trending up. He made one scoreless appearance early this year, then hit the IL and is on the 60 day IL for Low-A Carolina.

6th round steal Cooper Pratt was just named to the All Star Futures Game and has been lighting it up in Carolina. His on-base streak was finally snapped at 36 games the other day. On the season, Pratt is hitting .300/.398/.390 with 10 doubles, two homers, and 19 stolen bases. He's also kept a pretty low 19.8% strikeout rate.

The 7th through 10th rounds were a series of "senior sign" pitchers. There's usually not much upside in senior signs, but this group has dominated. 7th rounder Tate Kuehner has been stretched as a starter in High-A, posting a 3.35 ERA with 67 Ks in 53.2 IP. 9th rounder Mark Manfredi has also been starting in High-A with good results, posting a 4.18 ERA in 51.2 IP with 66 Ks. 10th rounder Morris Austin has stayed in the bullpen in Low-A with a 4.15 ERA in 24 appearances over 43.1 IP with 53 Ks.

8th rounder Craig Yoho, however, has topped them all and rapidly ascended his prospect status. Yoho dominated High-A with a 0.44 ERA before a promotion to Double-A. Yoho has made 11 appearances with Biloxi, posting a 1.88 ERA with 28 strikeouts and just four walks in 14.1 IP. That's averaging almost exactly two strikeouts per inning. This past week, Yoho pitched in three games, allowed no runs, and struck out five.

Day 3 picks also showing promise

  • 11th rounder Bishop Letson was a top 200 draft prospect when the Brewers signed him away from college. It was a massive steal with all their bonus pool savings and Letson has rewarded Milwaukee. Letson has a 3.23 ERA in 10 games, nine of them starts for Low-A Carolina. In 39 IP, he has 38 strikeouts.
  • 12th round pick Bjorn Johnson is the first guy from this class to have truly struggled in his performance. For the ACL Brewers, Johnson has a 9.45 ERA in 13.1 IP with 13 strikeouts, but also 14 walks allowed.
  • 13th rounder Brett Wichrowski saw his stuff immediately uptick this spring and he vaulted himself into Top 30 prospect status. He's up in Double-A Biloxi and just threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits in his last time out. On the year, Wichrowski has a 3.98 ERA in 14 starts over 54.1 IP. He's a quick riser putting himself on the radar for Milwaukee sooner than later.
  • 14th round pick Hayden Robinson has had good results in the ACL, pitching to a 2.41 ERA in six outings with 28 Ks and seven walks in 18.2 IP. He won Brewers Complex Pitcher of the Month in May. Unfortunately, he suffered a UCL injury in June that required surgery and he's out for the season.
  • 15th round pick Josh Adamczewski has also shown the good stuff. In 19 games for the ACL Brewers, he's hitting .333/.500/.460 with five doubles, a homer, five stolen bases, and 18 walks to just 16 strikeouts. He and Bitonti have been the two top hitters for the ACL Brewers all season.
  • Finally, 16th round pick Josh Timmerman has missed some time with injury this year. But he's still been able to pitch in Low-A Carolina, posting a respectable 4.30 ERA in 10 games with seven starts. He's struck out 45 batters in 37.2 IP

The Brewers did not sign their selections in the 17th, 18th, and 19th rounds while 20th round pick Justin Chambers was traded to the Dodgers for Bryan Hudson this past offseason. Overall, the 2023 Brewers draft class is off to a roaring start.