The annual MLB draft is almost upon us, and with that a chance for the Brewers to solidify their farm system. At the spot the Brewers sit in the draft (#21) it is expected that they will take the best player available rather than try any fancy draft pool manipulation. Here are five players I think the Brewers could target with their first pick. When looking at prospects it is fairly important to not focus on current Major League needs as the average first rounder takes over 3 seasons to make it to the majors. The Brewers farm as currently composed has depth across the board and a lot of talent at the top, that said I would expect their first round pick tonight to instantly become a top ten prospect for the Crew upon his signing.
Kumar Rocker, RHP
A 6’5” high school pitcher who has touched 98 with his fastball. Rocker has loads of projectability as he fills out his frame. Entering his senior year there was thought that he could be a top 10 pick, but his senior numbers were a little less than ideal. The sample size for a high school pitcher is not great though and Rocker has all the tools you want from a pitcher. High school pitchers might be the draft pick with the highest risk, but a pitcher with Rocker’s current talent level rarely makes it into the college ranks. He might not make the majors until 2023, but his upside is definitely tantalizing.
Tristan Pompey, OF
Pompey played the last three seasons for the University of Kentucky, after being drafted in the 31st round out of highschool he looks like a lock to be selected in the first two rounds. A switch hitting 6’4” outfielder who posted good college numbers potentially available at 21, what’s the catch? Well Pompey is a good athlete, his arm strength might make his future in the outfield questionable. Well he has the size to play first-base it would make his bat much less valuable.
Brice Turang, SS
Turang is a pedigree shortstop, prior to his senior season he was thought to be a guy who goes ten spots higher, but now seems like he might be available for the Brewers at 21. He has the tools to stick at shortstop and has great speed. His biggest flaw is that he lacks standout power in his bat, and is more of a contact hitter. Of course he is only 18 and he will likely fill out his frame and add some, plus he will likely spend the next five years in the minors adjusting his swing to be more effective. His defense at shortstop is considered good for his age group, so really it will be his bat that determines his ceiling.
Jackson Kowar, RHP
The University of Florida standout could be a good selection for the Brewers this evening. The right hander sits in the low 90s with his fastball with good movement, currently throws a three pitch mix with a changeup and curveball being the the other two components. His changeup is already considered plus, but his curveball is inconsistent. The key for him will be developing that curveball to complement his heater and changeup. The Brewers have not taken a college arm in the first round since they took both Jed Bradley and Taylor Jungmann in 2011 neither of whom lived up to their first round billing. (Nathan Kirby was a supplemental round pick)
Trevor Larnach, OF
The Oregon State standout has been often overshadowed in his career by teammate and likely top five pick Nick Madrigal, Larnach is a standout hitter in his own right. He has hit for power this year after a tweak to his swing, which has allowed him to become a more complete player at the plate. He already has shown good discipline at the plate with a good K:BB rate, hit for high average and on-base percentage as a junior at Oregon State. Not a speed threat which will limit him to a corner outfield slot, but does have a good enough arm to play either field.
The 2018 MLB Draft gets underway this evening at 6pm CST, the Brewers will make three total selection tonight at 21, 60, and 73.