The 2023 MLB Draft is coming up fast. The Milwaukee Brewers hold the 18th overall pick in the first round and have three of the first 54 selections. They will make 21 total picks in this year's Draft.
As the Draft approaches, we will take closer looks at potential prospects the Milwaukee Brewers could select in the first round and beyond.
In order for us to better prepare you for the Draft and better understand which direction the Brewers might go, we need to understand what their preferred type or mold of prospect is in the Draft. What are the traits they tend to target in players? What traits do they avoid?
Let's take a look at what the Brewers like to target in position players in the MLB Draft.
The Brewers have a history of targeting position players in the Draft with these three specific traits.
In recent years, the Brewers have been hitter-heavy atop the Draft. They've selected a position player with 7 of their last 8 first round picks and each of the last three. It stands to reason they will do so again. They've also primarily targeted college hitters over high school. Of the 23 hitters the Brewers have drafted in the top 10 rounds of the last four drafts, 21 have been out of college. Their most recent high school selection in the first round was Brice Turang in 2018.
Whether it be college or high school bats, the Brewers seem to be relying on three distinct traits that they like to target in any hitter they draft.
1. Plus hit tool/contact skills
2. Up the middle premium position (C/SS/CF)
3. Elite athleticism
Any player with a combination of these three traits has been high on the Brewers draft board. What do Brice Turang, Garrett Mitchell, Sal Frelick, and Eric Brown all have in common? They're plus hit tools that make consistent, hard contact, they all play premium positions up the middle, able to stick at shortstop or centerfield, and they're incredible athletes. Yes, professional athletes are all elite athletes compared to the rest of us, but the Brewers are looking for elite of the elite athleticism.
The Brewers have prioritized hit-over-power types early on. Most position players are above average at either hitting for average or hitting for power. Rarely is a player exceptional at both, and those players don't last long in the Draft. Milwaukee has prioritized the hit tool, relying on the power to come with maturity and simply making enough hard contact that home runs are inevitable. It's easier to teach a good natural hitter to tap into some power than to teach a power hitter to develop a feel for hitting for average. Many power-over-hit types struggle to make enough regular contact to tap into their power consistently at the big league level. Turang, Mitchell, Frelick, Brown, and Tyler Black all fit the hit-over-power bill.
Up the middle positions are called premium positions for a reason. It's hard to find players that can stick in center field or at shortstop or behind the plate defensively. If they're already off one of those positions as an amateur, the Brewers have stayed away from those prospects, at least early on. Shortstops can play every infield spot if needed but every infielder cannot play shortstop. Centerfielders can move to a corner if needed but not all corner outfielders can play centerfield.
Last year, the Brewers took Eric Brown despite most in the media not having Brown as a first round pick and one of the primary factors for that was the exceptional athleticism that Brown has. Being that athletic will allow him to adjust and improve as he goes along with the rest of his game in a way that inferior athletes would not. It makes his ceiling and his floor that much higher. Frelick was a three sport athlete and that impressed the Brewers a lot. Mitchell's athleticism is off the charts.
When it comes to looking at Draft prospects the Brewers could potentially select, the players that exhibit these three traits are the ones most likely to hear their name called by Milwaukee.