Last season the Milwaukee Brewers had zero picks in the top 50 selections of the MLB draft. Their first pick did not come up until they were finally able to nab Devin Williams with the 54 pick of the 2013 draft. This season however the Brewers had three first day selections in the top 50 picks. These three high school picks have tremendous upside to beef up a vastly underrated farm system that many rank as the worst in baseball. Here is a look at their first day haul.
With their first pick the Brewers selected Kodi Medeiros. The Hawaiian high school prospect became the highest a player from the state that has ever been drafted. After working out with the club earlier in the week, Medeiros climbed up the Brewers draft board. By selecting Medeiros, the club passed on several college arms including Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede and TCU’s Brandon Finnegan. Originally, recruited to play at Pepperdine University, Medeiros has a tremendous amount of upside. He possesses a fastball that clocks in the low-90s that he occasionally can crank up to 95, and a tight slider that can be unhittable when he locates. His fastball is not only blazing, but it is also constantly moving and deceptive which often leads to swings and misses. During his senior season, Medeiros went 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA with 83 strikeouts. Throwing from an almost from an unorthodox, three-quarters delivery, he has the makings of a smaller Madison Bumgarner. Some questions have arisen as to whether he has what it takes in his motion to be a reliable starter in the major leagues. But if he can put together a solid third pitch and harness his command, he has all the makings of a frontline starter.
With the 41st pick the Brewers selected Jacob Gatewood, the giant USC shortstop recruit. In Gatewood, the Brewers drafted a player who has tremendous raw power. MLB.com ranked Gatewood as the 22nd best prospect in the draft. Twice last summer Gatewood won homerun derbies during showcases. At six-foot five inches tall, Gatewood has the frame to develop into a monster. As he grows he should develop power that can make him into a legitimate 30 plus homerun bat. The only area the scouts question is his bat. Even with a quick lightning quick wrists, too much movement may make it hard for him to hit for high average. As a shortstop he has a tremendously strong arm, but his towering height may eventually call for a shift to third base as he moves up the system.
Athletically the Brewers’ final pick of day one, Monte Harrison, may be the most gifted. Not only is an outstanding outfielder (ranking as the fourth best by MLB.com), but Harrison is also committed to Nebraska to play wide receiver and he was recruited to play college basketball, too. He has a rocket-like arm that has been recorded at 97 from right field and has speed that can be a force on the bases. While it will take time for him to grow, if he signs the Brewers have a player that MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds claimed could be another “Carl Crawford” type player as he continues to get at-bats. The pick does not come without risk, but if he signs he could develop into a star.
References: MLB.com Top 200 Draft List