The 2023 MLB Draft is rapidly approaching. Mock drafts are becoming more and more frequent as the draft boards get finalized and things are becoming a little more clear. Granted, things are never fully clear about what will happen in an MLB Draft, but teams and pundits are getting a better sense of who might be available at certain spots on the board.
It's been a while since our first mock draft roundup and a lot of things have changed.
With just a week and a half to go until the Draft, let's take a look at the recent mock drafts to get a sense of who the Milwaukee Brewers might select in the 2023 MLB Draft.
MLB Pipeline - Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Florida Atlantic
Many of you are probably thinking "Finally! A first baseman in the first round!". Despite the high turnover at first base since the departure of Prince Fielder, the Brewers haven't drafted a first baseman in the first round since Matt LaPorta in 2007.
Simply put, the Brewers scouting department doesn't generally value corner infielders in the first round. But perhaps that could change this year. Nolan Schanuel is a rare hit-over-power first baseman but he's athletic enough to play the corner outfield if needed.
Schanuel has a true, plus hit tool, which is what the Brewers covet and could convince them to look past the fact that he's not an "up the middle" player. This year for Florida Atlantic, Schanuel hit .447/.615/.868 with 19 homers, 71 walks, and just 14 strikeouts. Yes, that's a .447 batting average and he reached base 61.5% of the time. He put up truly insane numbers. He'd break the mold, but that bat may be worth it.
ESPN's Kiley McDaniel - Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
Most mocks have had Jacob Wilson well off the board by the time the Brewers get on the clock. Wilson is a contact hitter that doesn't strike out much and he's the son of former Pirates infielder Jack Wilson. Even though he doesn't do much damage, Wilson has the type of hit tool the Brewers love and he can stick at shortstop.
If WIlson falls down the board far enough to be there for the Brewers at 18, I could easily see Milwaukee taking him, but that's a big if.
The Athletic's Keith Law - Tommy Troy, SS, Stanford
Tommy Troy played very well in the NCAA Tournament this year and he's been a commonly connected name to the Brewers in mock drafts. He checks the boxes of being an up the middle college player with an above average hit tool that the Brewers target.
In Law's write up, he says "There are too many good college bats in the first round this year and not enough landing spots for them in the top 15, so three or four are going to end up in the second half of the round and the teams that land them will be over the moon."
That quote right there is good news for the Brewers. While there are a lot of intriguing high school bats this year, the Crew historically prefers college players and having a couple of them available at 18 overall will be best case scenario.
Fox Sports - Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
Another popular name in the middle of the first round is Maryland's Matt Shaw. He fits the Brewers bill of an up the middle college hitter with an above average hit tool. He doesn't strike out much, he makes hard contact, and should end up with pretty good power as well.
Shaw is also extremely fast and can play just about anywhere on the field you need him to. Even among the other college bats that could be available, Shaw checks all the boxes and very well could be the selection if he's on the board at 18.
Bleacher Report - Jacob Gonzalez, SS, Ole Miss
Continuing the theme of college hitters to the Brewers, Bleacher Report gives the Crew Jacob Gonzalez. Gonzalez is another up the middle player with an above average hit tool and he has above average power to go with, with 25 homer potential.
For most of the draft process, Gonzalez has been ranked highly and was thought to be out of the Brewers reach. Gonzalez isn't a very good runner and that's leading some to question whether he has the speed and the range to stick at shortstop going forward. That could cause him to slip to the Brewers at 18.
However, if the Brewers feel he's unable to stick at short, they may not want him anyway even at 18 overall. Gonzalez could move to third base where the speed is less of a concern and his power profile will play. Regardless of his defensive position, Gonzalez should hit enough to be an everyday player.
There certainly doesn't seem to be a consensus on which player the Milwaukee Brewers might select with their first round pick in 2023, but one thing is clear: Everyone expects them to go with a college hitter.