Giving A Grade To The Brewers 2018 Draft Class Five Years Later

Kansas City Royals v Milwaukee Brewers
Kansas City Royals v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

You can't truly tell how good a draft class is in Major League Baseball until at least five years down the road. In the NFL, you usually need about three years, but MLB Drafts take a lot longer to bear fruit.

We are five years past the 2018 MLB Draft, meaning there has been plenty of time for the prospects selected to make their way to the major leagues or prove they are viable prospects that can still make the big leagues in the near future. If they haven't figured things out by now, odds are they never will.

The Milwaukee Brewers went heavy on high school prospects early in 2018, something they haven't done much of since. But how did the draft class work out? Let's dive into it.

Brewers 2018 Draft Class: The Good

There is a lot to like about the 2018 Brewers Draft, starting with their first round pick, Brice Turang. Milwaukee was selecting 21st overall in the first round and they were surprised when Turang, once thought of as a top five talent in the class, fell into their laps. They happily selected him and if given the chance, they'd happily do so again.

Turang went through a slow, methodical climb up the Brewers minor league ranks, and ultimately made the Opening Day roster in 2023 and has essentially been the Crew's starting second baseman all season.

In the 4th round, the Brewers took Crowder College lefty Aaron Ashby. Ashby quickly turned into one of the Crew's top prospects and made his MLB debut in 2021, then signed a long-term contract extension with the Brewers in 2022. Getting a good big league pitcher that the Brewers already wanted to sign to an extension in the 4th round is excellent value and a great pick.

In the 6th round, the Brewers picked up Drew Rasmussen, another excellent value on Day 2 of the Draft. He quickly made his way to the big league bullpen and was a dominant piece back there until he was traded to the Rays for Willy Adames. Turning a 6th round pick coming off two Tommy John surgeries into a starting shortstop is not a bad way for a draft pick to turn out.

The Brewers also drafted David Fry in the 7th round, who was traded to Cleveland for J.C. Mejia and he's now made his big league debut. Korry Howell was picked in the 12th round and was a solid prospect before being traded to San Diego for Victor Caratini. Reese Olson was the Crew's 13th round pick and was traded to the Tigers for Daniel Norris. Olson is one of Detroit's top prospects now.

That's four big leaguers the Brewers drafted and signed from their 2018 class. For an MLB Draft class, that's considered a roaring success.

Brewers 2018 Draft Class: The Bad

Following the selection of Brice Turang, the Brewers rounded out their Day 1 picks with two more high school hitters in outfielders Joe Gray Jr and Micah Bello. With the exception of the first half of the 2021 season, Gray has been a disappointment. Various injuries and roadblocks have prevented him from staying on the field at times but when he's on the field, he still strikes out too much.

Meanwhile, Micah Bello also struggled with injuries and underperformance and just recently decided to retire from professional baseball at the age of 22.

The 5th round selection of prep pitcher Justin Jarvis wasn't necessarily bad. He's still in the organization in Double-A and is pitching well this year but has been slow going through the minor leagues. The Brewers haven't selected a high school pitcher in the first five rounds since Jarvis.

Brewers 2018 Draft Class: The Grade

Grade: A

Despite not hitting on two of their three Day 1 draft picks, the Brewers easily earn an A for this draft. High school players have a much lower success rate in the Draft than college players, so getting one of them to hit is fantastic. And they hit on the most important Day 1 pick in Brice Turang, plus they got some incredible contributions from their Day 2 selections.

Aaron Ashby is a key piece of Milwaukee's future. Rasmussen was excellent and a steal and the Brewers turned him into Willy Adames, another key member of this team. Rasmussen himself has also been a stud for the Rays prior to coming down with an elbow injury.

Another Day 2 big leaguer in David Fry, even though he didn't make it with the Brewers, adds another level to the success of the Brewers scouting department for this draft.

Also of note, late on Day 3, in rounds 38 and 40, the Brewers selected a pair of high school players in Aidan Maldonado and Wes Clarke, whom they didn't sign then, but drafted later on as they were coming out of college and they're in the Brewers organization after all.

The Brewers turned this draft class into multiple key members of the organization. That's a successful draft.

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