The 2023 MLB Draft rolls on to Day 2, including rounds 3 through 10. We'll go over each of the Brewers picks today with some instant takeaways on each of them. This article will continue to be updated with more notes as the picks roll in.
Brewers 3rd round pick (87) - Eric Bitonti, SS, Aquinas (CA) HS
- The Brewers go back to the prep ranks and take another power-over-hit player after being practically allergic to them the past few years. The upside is high, but the risk is high as well. MLB Pipeline ranked Bitonti 68th on their big board.
- The first thing that stands out about Bitonti is his size. He's 6'4" and 218 pounds as a shortstop. That leads to a lot of power, but also questions about his ability to stick at shortstop, with third base being a likely fallback option defensively.
- Bitonti was on the Brewers Area Code Games showcase team last year. The Brewers have drafted a player from each of their Area Code teams every year since 2005.
- This will likely be an over-slot signing
- A left handed hitter, Bitonti has some questions about his ability to hit, but if the Brewers can develop the hit tool and close some of the holes in his swing, there's some real upside here. He's just 17 years old, just like Comp A pick Josh Knoth. He's likely a long ways away.
Brewers 4th round pick (119) - Jason Woodward, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast
- This is the first pick that stumped Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis on the MLB Draft broadcast. None of Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, or Future Stars Series had Woodward on their big boards.
- Woodward is a 6'1", 180 pound right handed pitcher. He made just three starts this year for FGCU before an injury prevented him from pitching again this year. In his 13.2 IP, he allowed just two runs, struck out 18 and walked six. He had a 1.32 ERA. Played on the Cape last summer and had a 8.10 ERA in seven starts.
- Woodward underwent Tommy John surgery after that injury, so we won't see him on the mound until late 2024 at the earliest. He'll sign for well under slot.
Brewers 5th round pick (155) - Ryan Birchard, RHP, Niagara County CC
- The Brewers continue their trend of Junior College arms, taking a very talented one in Ryan Birchard, and one with a lot of late helium.
- Birchard shows a lot of good pitch traits, with a mid-90s fastball that goes up to 98 MPH. He pitched well in the Draft league, pushing up his stock. He has a good feel for spin, with a 2,500 RPM curveball.
- This year for Niagara County, Birchard pitched in 10 games, had an 8-0 record, a 1.09 ERA in 50 IP with 95 Ks and 28 walks.
- He's another fun project for the pitching lab. The projection is likely as a reliever at the next level, but he has the pitches to be able to start. It's a matter of refining them and improving the command.
Brewers 6th round pick (182) - Cooper Pratt, SS, Magnolia Heights (MS) HS
- This is a huge upside play and will cost a lot of money, but the Brewers believe they can prevent Pratt from going to school. Pratt was rated as a definite Day 1 talent, potentially a first rounder and the Brewers land him in the 6th due to signability concerns. Pratt was ranked 45th on MLB Pipeline's big board.
- Pratt is a 6'4" shortstop with a plus hit tool and solid power to boot. He has some of the best bat to ball skills in the entire prep class this year. He drives the ball well. He doesn't chase and makes a ton of contact.
- Despite his size, Pratt has the range, speed, and throwing arm to stick at shortstop long term. The ceiling is very high here and there's a lot to dream on. There's always a solid fallback of third base.
- Pratt was Gatorade's Mississippi Player of the Year
- The bat has impact potential and it's a steal in the 6th round if they can get him to sign.
Brewers 7th round pick (212) - Tate Kuehner, LHP, Louisville
- Kuehner is a college senior, which means the Brewers will save some slot money with this selection. Those savings will be used to help sign their 6th round pick, Cooper Pratt.
- Kuehner is a left handed reliever, posting a 3.99 ERA this year with 5 saves. He struck out 54 in 38.1 IP with 21 walks allowed. He was in a swingman role, making two starts for the Cards this year, but is likely a strict reliever going forward. Can never have enough left handed relievers.
- Kuehner sits in the 92-95 MPH range with his fastball with some run. Has a lower arm angle, with a nasty breaking ball. Sounds a lot like Hoby Milner. Funky lefty kind of guy.
Brewers 8th round pick (242) - Craig Yoho, RHP, Indiana
- It's not a Pirates life for him as Craig Yoho goes to the Brewers in the 8th round. He's a 5th year senior with a checkered medical history, making him a well below slot senior sign.
- Yoho is a 6'3" right handed reliever who had a 3.41 ERA in 18 appearances out of the bullpen for the Hoosiers this year. He struck out 63 in 37 IP and walked 19.
- Yoho's pitch data is solid. His fastball-curveball combo is nasty and has tons of break. Fastball runs up to 95, and the curveball flashes plus. There's characteristics here the Brewers pitching lab can refine and work with. He also has a changeup and a sinker. Will be a Pitching Lab darling.
- Prior to transferring to Indiana, Yoho pitched for the University of Houston. He missed the last two seasons due to Tommy John surgery. Prior to this year, Yoho hadn't pitched in a game since March 2020.
- The Brewers are finishing out Day 2 with senior signs to save bonus pool money to sign Eric Bitonti and Cooper Pratt.
Brewers 9th round pick (272) - Mark Manfredi, LHP, Dayton
- Add to the list of senior signs to finish out Day 2. Manfredi is 23 years old and a grad student senior out of Dayton.
- This year for Dayton, Manfredi had a 4.99 ERA in 16 outings and 79.1 IP. He struck out 96 and walked 38
- Manfredi ranked 500th on Baseball America's Top 500, just barely making the list. He's a 6'4" left handed pitcher. Low 90s fastball, deception are part of his profile. Sidearm arm slot, funky lefty kind of guy.
- Manfredi has a four pitch mix, with a slider, curveball, and changeup. His slider is his best secondary offering.
- He performed well on the Cape, as the Brewers do love to take players who perform in the Cape Cod League.
Brewers 10th round pick (302) - Morris Austin, RHP, Houston Christian
- The Brewers take four straight college senior pitchers to round out Day 2 of the Draft. They took a lot of upside early on Day 2 that they will need to sign to big bonuses and the seniors late here will save money.
- Morris Austin is a 3 pitch guy, up to 95 on the fastball, with a slider and changeup. 6'2" righty who made just 9 appearances for Houston Christian this year with an ERA of 7.00.
- Morris has just 44 IP under his belt in three years at Houston Christian. There's clearly some pitch data that the Brewers like here they will look to work with.