Milwaukee Brewers 2019 mock draft roundup

BY Dave Heller • May 31, 2019

Major League Baseball’s draft begins Monday with the first round and runs all the way to Wednesday for 40 rounds.

Unless you are a big expert on college and/or high school baseball, it can be hard knowing exactly who is who in MLB’s draft and which players might fall where.

Well, we’re here to help. At least in the opening round. We’ve scoured the internet for mock drafts and present our findings below for who the prognosticators predict the Milwaukee Brewers will select in the first round. We’ve also including their summary/reasoning (when given) to help give a little background on the player.

The MLB draft is a bigger hit-and-miss than other sports. Many selections in the first round won’t even make it to the first round and only a handful of players who do make it become superstars. But you can look at the current Brewers to see how important the draft can be. Milwaukee has three former first-round picks on the roster – outfielder Ryan Braun, second baseman Keston Hiura and reliever Jeremy Jeffress – each of whom is integral to this year’s success.

Milwaukee’s strong teams earlier this century had first-rounders Prince Fielder (2002) and Rickie Weeks (2003).

Not to mention a good first-round pick can be used as trade bait, as has been in the case recently with Mitch Haniger, Brett Lawrie, Matt LaPorta and Jake Odorizzi.

In general manager David Stearns’s first three years as general manager, the Brewers have selected two college players in the first round (outfielder Corey Ray at No. 5 overall in 2016) and Hiura (No. 9, 2017) and two high school players (outfielder Tristan Lutz, No. 34 in the Competitive Balance Round A, 2017) and shortstop Brice Turang (No. 21, 2018).

Milwaukee owns the No. 28 overall pick in this year’s draft.

With the draft closing in, here’s a look at mock picks for Milwaukee from analysts around the web:

Jim Callis of Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell. “Johnson's lack of history -- he didn't become a full-time pitcher until this year -- puts off some clubs, but Milwaukee is all about high ceilings. That philosophy also puts Memphis (Tenn.) University HS outfielder Maurice Hampton, IMG Academy third baseman Rece Hinds and some of the high school arms in play.”

Jonathan Mayo of Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence (Fla.) HS. “The Brewers would love for an arm like (prep pitcher Brennan) Malone to get here, and they could look at another prep arm like Goss. But if Malone is off the board, they would have interest in Callihan, one of the better high school hitters in the class.”

Eric Longerhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs: Round 1 -- Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.). “We think they’ll kick the tires on some pitching like Malone, [Cypress Ranch (Texas) HS's J.J. Goss, or [Bolles (Fla) HS's Hunter] Barco.”; Round 2 – Jamari Baylor, SS, Benedictine (Va.) HS.

Dan Zielinski III of Baseball Prospect Journal: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence (Fla.) HS. “Callihan is one of the better prep hitters in this year’s draft class. The biggest question mark is where he profiles defensively. Some believe he could be an offensive-minded catcher.”

Melissa Lockard of The Athletic ($): Keoni Cavaco, SS/3B, Eastlake (Calif.) HS. “Cavaco has been the fastest-rising high school prospect this spring, as he’s gone from a fringe Day 1 prospect to a likely first-round selection. Cavaco is very fast and looks capable of playing both shortstop and third base. He has shown significant power potential in prospect showcase settings. There are questions about his contact skills, but his power-speed combination is very enticing. He could go even higher, but the Brewers — who are never afraid to take chances on high-upside talents — seem like a good floor for the Southern California native.”

The Athletic staff ($): Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell. “This would mark the first time the Brewers have selected a non-position player in the first round since 2014, so this is a bit of a projection. But Johnson represents everything the club likes: a strong right-handed arm, projectability and upside. After primarily playing shortstop at Louisburg Community College (NC), he transferred to Campbell University, where he pitched more frequently. With a fastball that sits in the low- to mid-90s that can touch 96, along with what some scouts believe to be a good mix of off-speed pitches, he is a worthy selection at 28. He could fall a little further, considering he still has limited experience on the mound. But he has the upside that teams, especially the Brewers, covet.”

Brian Sakowski and Vincent Cervino of Perfect Game: Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy. “There’s likely to be a run on prep pitchers towards the end of the first round and the Brewers will pick up Espino before the end of the first round. He possesses the best stuff in the entire draft class and if the Brewers don’t grab Espino the other prep arms available here would be Jack Leiter, Josh Wolf, and Kendall Williams.”

Jeff Ellis of 247’s Scouting Baseball: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence (Fla.) HS. Sleeper: Braden Shewmake, SS, TCU. “The Brewers go for hitters with clean profiles and potential above average to plus hit tools. This is the profile for a first round pick under Stearns. They never get held up by what a player can’t do or what they have not developed but, instead, just focus on the hitter. Callihan is a potential above-average hit and power prospect who has played first, third, and catcher. He is a sub-six foot, but a well-built player whose ability as a hitter is why he is going to be drafted. The fact that he will turn 19 at the end of June and the questions about his position are why he is still on the board this late in the draft. I think he is a lot closer to Brett Baty than he gets credit for. If the Brewers want to go the college route, I would think that Shewmake, the polished infielder from Texas A&M, would make the most sense.”

Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report: JJ Goss, RHP, Cypress Ranch (Texas) HS. “The Brewers are in a position to go with the best player available at No. 28 overall. In this hypothetical, that appears to be Goss, a 6'3", 172-pound Texas high schooler who is among the most projectable arms in the 2019 class. His 60-grade slider is his best present pitch, and his fastball already touches 96 mph. It's just a matter of refining his changeup and packing on some muscle.”

Ryan Phillips of The Big Lead: Brett Baty, 3B, Lake Travis (Texas) HS. “Old for a prep player at 19 years old, Brett Baty has one of the best power bats in this year’s draft, as his swing from the left side generates consistent, heavy contact. His hit tool isn’t far behind his power and he possesses a great arm at third base. He’s a below-average runner but is a decent fielder and should stick at third base if he doesn’t add weight. He’s 6’3″ and 210 pounds now, and if he gets any bigger a move to first base or an outfield corner isn’t out of the question. The Brewers are always up for grabbing a high-upside bat, and they get that here.” Keoni Cavaco, SS/3B, Eastlake (Calif.) HS.

Nick Shnider of Draft Site: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence (Fla.) HS.

Mike Axisa of Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell. “Johnson spent his freshman and sophomore years as a junior college position player before making the transition to pitching full-time at Campbell this spring. He sports easy mid-90s gas and a quality slider, and, despite his lack of mound experience, his delivery is rather polished. Johnson is the rare college pitcher with projection and upside remaining and the Brewers love upside.”

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth's Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams - Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns

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