Brewers Hone In On Draft Prospects

By DAN ZIELINSKI

The Brewers hold the 28th overall pick in Monday’s MLB draft. With one of the last picks in the first round and the second-lowest bonus pool allotment, it’s difficult to project who the Brewers will take with their selection. 

Over the last 10 years, the Brewers have had minimal success drafting in the first round. In recent years, they have leaned towards high-upside prep position players or high-end college hitters. They only have selected two pitchers with their last six first-round picks dating back to 2014.

With this year’s draft being so unpredictable, the Brewers could go in a variety of directions with their first-round pick. But expect them to stick to their recent mantra of selecting high-upside talent, regardless of if it’s from the prep or college level.

Here are four potential options for the Brewers with the No. 28 overall pick:

Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (Fla.)

Callihan is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound left-handed hitter. His best trait is his hitting ability. He has impressive raw power and consistently barrels up pitches.

Callihan primarily played shortstop for Providence High School in Jacksonville, Florida this spring. He also played “five or six games” at catcher.

Major league teams are split on Callihan’s future defensive position. He’s most comfortable at third base, but teams are open to trying him at second base or in left field, he told the Baseball Prospect Journal. A “couple” of teams have interest in him as an offensive-minded catcher, he added.

He’s one of the best prep hitting prospects in this year’s draft.

Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)

Malone, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed pitcher, throws a four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, slider and changeup. He has a low-effort, repeatable delivery and throws from a slight three-quarters arm slot.

His fastball reaches 97 mph and is one of the best in the draft. His fastball and slider are above-average offerings. He’s made strides at being a complete pitcher while also refining his command this spring.

There could be numerous prep arms available at No. 28, such as Malone, JJ GossDaniel Espino and Hunter Barco. If the Brewers chose to go prep hurler, it will come down to who they view as the best prospect available from that group.

Braden Shewmake, SS, Texas A&M

Shewmake is a 6-4, 190-pound left-handed batter who has been a consistent hitter in his three years at Texas A&M. He has displayed an ability to hit for average and power.

Defensively, Shewmake features an accurate and strong arm. His speed and athleticism also help him at shortstop. He improved his defensive skills this spring and has the ability to play multiple positions in the pros.

Shewmake hasn’t been connected to the Brewers as much as other players in this year’s draft class, but he’s a well-round player who could move through the minor leagues quickly.

Missouri outfielder Kameron Misner and Florida shortstop Brady McConnell also could be options if the Brewers elect to take a college hitter.

Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell

This spring marked Johnson’s first-ever season as a pitcher, as he transitioned from junior college shortstop to Division I pitcher over the last 10 months.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound right-hander throws a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. His mid-90s fastball is his best offering. He has control of the pitch and locates it well.

His slider has developed into his second-best pitch this spring. He throws it from the same release point as his fastball and it projects as an above-average pitch. It has tight, late-breaking action to it.

He has room to grow with his command and control, but his intangibles and clean delivery make him an intriguing option. Although he didn’t dominate college hitters in his first season as a hurler, he has a high ceiling. 

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