If you've still got Draft Fever after the NFL Draft this past weekend, you can start looking ahead to the upcoming MLB Draft. High school and college seasons are underway and the draft board is still moving and taking shape as scouts get more and more looks at this year's class of players.
MLB's Draft is quite unpredictable as there are smokescreens galore, bonus money games, and the fact that no team drafts for immediate big league need. Still, talent is talent and teams want the best talent on the board. Mock drafts generally have a lot of variations between them, and especially early on in the process here, there's a lot of different ways the Draft could go.
The Brewers select 18th overall in the first round this year. They were unable to win a spot in the top six in the Lottery held back in December.
Who could the Milwaukee Brewers select with the 18th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft? Here's what different mock drafts had to say.
Prospects Live - Tommy Troy, INF, Stanford
An up the middle college player sure sounds like a Brewers selection. Milwaukee has gone with a college bat that plays an up the middle position in the first round in the last three drafts. Tommy Troy is a disciplined hitter with plenty of power that makes consistent, hard contact. Troy is versatile and can play any infield spot and even some outfield if needed. He also has above average speed.
Prospects Live has Troy listed as a second baseman, but he's played shortstop in the Cape Cod League and is playing a lot of 3rd base this spring for Stanford.
Prep Baseball Report - Hunter Owen, LHP, Vanderbilt
The Brewers have used a first round pick on a pitcher just once since 2015 (Ethan Small, 2019), and Milwaukee's farm system has grown light on high-end pitching prospects. They'll need to replenish their stock of arms and Prep Baseball Report has them adding a lefty, always a valuable commodity, in Vandy's Hunter Owen.
Owen can touch 97 on his fastball that has some carry, and complements it with a plus slider and a curveball as well as a changeup. He's big at 6'6" tall and there's not much physical projection left at 261 pounds. He throws strikes and is likely the best lefty starter in the Draft. He possesses traits the Brewers tend to like in their pitchers, so this pick would make a lot of sense.
Future Stars Series - Brock Wilken, 3B, Wake Forest
Brock Wilken is a traditional power hitting corner infielder. Immense power from the right side of the plate, hitting 23 homers last season, a strong throwing arm, but he struggles with strikeouts. He struggled particularly with breaking balls and his hit tool is graded as below average.
Based on the Brewers recent draft history and trends, I don't think Brock Wilken is a very likely pick for them. He just doesn't fit the mold they've been targeting. If they do select Wilken, he would give the Brewers a legitimate third base prospect that they haven't had in a long time. The position has been a bit of a revolving door for the last several years but Wilken is a risky prospect and a type they don't usually target.
Perfect Game - Hurston Waldrep, RHP, Florida
Brewers fans should be quite pleased if Hurston Waldrep is the selection at 18 overall this July. MLB Pipeline currently has Waldrep ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect in this class and he has high ceiling arm written all over him.
Here's what Perfect Game put in their writeup on this selection.
"Waldrep has among the best pure stuff in the entire country, with upper-90s heat, a 70 grade splitty, and two breaking balls that flash plus at times. He’s been inconsistent results wise but Milwaukee is adept at unlocking arm talent through pitch design, selection, and usage so the Brewers PD staff would welcome Waldrep with open arms."
Throwing pure gas with nasty secondary stuff is a recipe for a top tier arm, exactly the kind the Brewers farm system needs. They've been very good at maximizing the talent of the pitchers they do have and as PG suggests, the Brewers staff would have a field day with Waldrep. He has some command issues at the moment, but nothing that can't be fixed going forward.
We're just about two and a half months away from the MLB Draft getting underway. Maybe one of these early mocks will turn out to be correct.