Milwaukee Brewers 2020 mock draft roundup

Major League Baseball’s draft takes place June 10-11 and needless to say this will be unlike any other in history before and, likely, ever.

First off, the 2020 draft has been carved down from 40 rounds to five.

Due to the cancellations of seasons stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, teams have had to scout players based on past video or whatever players might have gotten in before things were shut down.

Heck, right now we have no idea how (or if) a baseball season will look like. And the minor leagues, well … this year’s picks likely aren’t going to have anywhere to play.

All that being said, the show will go on with the first round being conducted Wednesday and the final four rounds Thursday.

Despite all that has gone on, the blue-chip prospects remain the blue-chip prospects. There’s some thought that high school kids might not get drafted as much this year due to fewer resources being allotted to sign picks (and free agents). But that doesn’t apply as much to the first round.

Of course, MLB is different than other sports in that first-round picks are even more hit-and-miss and many never make it to the big leagues.

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For what it’s worth, in David Stearns’ first three years as Milwaukee’s general manager he’s selected three college players (outfielder Corey Ray, second baseman Keston Hiura and pitcher Ethan Small) – and two out of high school (outfielder Tristan Lutz, a Competitive Balance selection, and shortstop Brice Turang).

Stearns and the Brewers will be picking at No. 20 overall in this year’s draft.

Here’s a look at mock drafts – and some analysis of those picks when given – from around the web for the Brewers’ first-round pick as we close in on selection day:

Jonathan Mayo of Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia. “A lot of college arms start coming up at this point in the Draft, and you’ll see many more in this mock. The Brewers start the run with Wilcox here, though they could be looking at someone like Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler if they want a bat.”

Mike Axisa of Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn. “The Brewers surely want to replenish their pitching pipeline — their pipeline of “out-getters,” as manager Craig Counsell calls them — and a college arm with the potential to climb the minor league ladder quickly makes sense here. This draft class is deep in pitching and about a dozen college players are possibilities here, though Burns has the best track record and great Trackman data (spin rate, etc.), something the Brewers prioritize during the evaluation process.”

Ian Smith of Prospects 365: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East (Pa.) HS. “After opting for a pitcher in the first round of the 2019 draft in southpaw Ethan Small, Milwaukee follows suit by going with another arm in the 2020 first round. In my eyes, Nick Bitsko is the best player available at this pick. Reclassified from the 2021 class, Bitsko won’t turn 18 until the week after the draft. His 60-grade curveball is the gem of his arsenal and allows his mid-90s fastball to be increasingly effective at the top of the zone. Bitsko possesses a big, projectable frame and he’ll be to tough sign away from Virginia, but being selected in the middle of the first round should be enticing enough.”

Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech. “Milwaukee’s past Alex Claudio acquisition (they traded a comp pick for him) tells us a lot about how they value ready-made relief contributors, and Beeter’s stuff could get big leaguers out tomorrow assuming he throws strikes.”

Keith Law of The Athletic ($): Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State. “Dingler is a reasonably high-floor guy because of his catch-and-throw skills, and he was working his way into the top half of the round when the season ended. There are still some concerns about his durability at a position that’s very physically demanding.”

Joe E. Doyle of Lookout Landing: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee. “If Crochet falls into the Brewers lap at 20, it’ll be a match made in heaven. Josh Hader reincarnate. The acquisition may even open the door for a Hader trade in 2021. Dingler makes the most sense as a college bat, while a few other college arms should start to pump off the board at this stage as well.”

Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech.

Bryan Mcwilliam and Michael Bradburn of The Score: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) HS.

Matt Weyrich of NBC Sports Washington: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech. “The choice at No. 20 for the Brewers likely comes down to preference between Beeter and Georgia right-hander Cole Wilcox. Even though Beeter is a former Tommy John recipient, he should be enticing for Milwaukee based on his curveball alone—it just might be the best pitch of any prospect this year.”

Dan Zielinski III of Baseball Prospect Journal: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech. “Clayton Beeter enhanced his draft stock in his four starts this spring. The 6-2, 220-pound righty served primarily as Texas Tech’s closer as a redshirt freshman last season. He earned All-American honors last year and returned this season as Texas Tech’s No. 1 starter. In 21 innings, Beeter recorded a 2.14 ERA with 33 strikeouts (14.1 per nine innings) and four walks allowed this season. He has an electric repertoire that’s headlined by his mid-90s fastball and above-average breaking ball.”

Tim Kelly of Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio (Texas) HS. Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee.

Nick Schnider of Draft Site: Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock (Calif.) HS.

Scott Mitchell of TSN: Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami.