2008 Draft Preview

3 06 2008

UPDATE 06-03-08 1:30pm – Make sure to read down on the blog a little bit. I bumped this post up to the top because I wanted to give it a little more face time. The draft is Thursday, so people should start to get to know some of the possible Brewers prospects.

ESPN.com has an article about the Brewers and the upcoming draft.  It basically talks about how Milwaukee has had zero margin for error in the past few years because of their lack of first and second round picks.  That is obviously not the case this year, as the Crew has six picks in the first 62 picks.

The article had a little something else though.  It connected the Brewers to a high school prospect named Destin Hood.  That got me thinking…

SS/OF Destin Hood (St. Paul’s Academy, Ala.) – Destin is a lot like current-Brewers prospect, Brent Brewer.  He has tons of athleticism, is a two sport athlete, but incredibly raw.  I have not seen Destin projected to go in the first round, or even the Supplemental Round, but it would be foolish to believe that we mere mortals can understand Jack Zduriencik’s draft philosophy.  If Destin is a guy the Brewers love and would like to target in the Supplemental Round or the second round, Jack Z will do it.  He’s not afraid to go out on a limb and get something he likes (a la Matt LaPorta).

Strengths: Destin is a very toolsy player.  He has a high amount of raw power, but it hasn’t been harnessed yet.  Like most high schoolers, it is to the pull side almost exclusively.  The young man has been recruited to play wide receiver at Alabama next season, so it’s clear that he has plenty of speed on the basepaths.  He could provide the system with someone that could be a star a few years down the road.

Weaknesses: Some scouts don’t trust his arm at short, so most see a transition to the outfield as unavoidable.  That brings down his draft value a bit, unless the team believes he can play center field.  There are not too many center field prospects with his kind of projectable power.  Destin does tend to swing and miss a lot.  His plate discipline is very poor, which is something the Brewers have not shied away from in the past.  In addition, the Brewers would have to be able to convince him to play pro baseball, rather than take his scholarship to Alabama to play baseball and football.  That may prove difficult to do.

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The MLB First-Year Player Draft will take place on Thursday, June 5th. I’ve been waiting to do a draft preview, and I think I’m going to do it in three parts.

Today: Position Players
Tomorrow: Pitchers
Thursday: Mock Draft

I’m not going to preview everyone, obviously. I will, however, take a look at some of the prospects that have been linked to the Milwaukee Brewers.

High School Prospects

3B/C Brett Lawrie (Brookswood SS, Canada) – With a strong performance down in the Dominican Republic, Brett has been flying up draft boards. The young man from Canada has amazing power for a high schooler, and it projects as being plus, plus power in the big leagues. We all know how much the Milwaukee Brewers love taking hitters with power in the first round. The knock on the kid is that he doesn’t project favorably to a position in the field. Some suggest he will be an outfielder because his hands are a bit stiff in the infield. Most believe that Brett can develop into a star behind the plate. He has the build to be a quick catcher, to block balls extremely well, and he also has a strong arm behind the plate.

Strengths: Out of all the high school bats in draft, Brett has the most power and the best projectability to the big leagues. He has a tendency to spin off balls at the moment, but he has shown flashes of big time power to the opposite field. Brett can rake.

Weaknesses: As said above, the young man from British Columbia doesn’t project as a premiere defender anywhere on the diamond. He could be a very fine catcher, but it would be a big developmental project in the minor leagues. If he can handle the infield, he may have a chance to stick at second or third base. In short, the Brewers would be drafting Brett for his offense, not his defense.

SS Anthony Hewitt (Salisbury School, Conn.) – No position player has been connected with the Milwaukee Brewers more than Anthony in the past few weeks. It has been reported that Doug Melvin and Jack Zduriencik absolutely love the toolsy shortstop. The young man is very raw and has not played against superior talent in the northeast, but his power and speed project extremely well at the big league level. For a high schooler, his upper body strength is fantastic, and he’ll have the ability to grow into his body even more. This move could make a lot of sense, as Milwaukee’s system doesn’t have too much brewing in the middle infield.

Strengths: Anthony has shown fantastic power, but it is still incredibly raw. It is mostly to his pull-side right now (which is expected in a high school prospect). His arm strength is also a plus attribute. Scouts say that it is certainly strong enough to play short in the big leagues. Anthony also has speed to burn out on the basepaths. Unlike most high school players, his speed is not raw. He is a very good baserunner and has a good feel for stealing bases.

Weaknesses: Anthony Hewitt is extremely raw, and it is unclear how his athleticism will translate to professional ball. He is very much like current-Brewers prospect Brent Brewer. Brent has not produced in the minors yet, even though he has the tools and athleticism to do so. It would be a risky pick for Milwaukee, but it could pay off big in the future.

Collegiate Prospects

C Jason Castro (Stanford U.) – The sweet-swinging left-hander has been projected as perhaps the most likely pick for the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round. I’m not sure why people have claimed the Brewers are incredibly thin behind the plate in the minors, as Milwaukee has Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy, but Castro is viewed to sure-up this weakness in the farm system. Jason has plus power for a catcher, and he is a left-handed bat, which is a commodity behind the dish. He is very polished defensively and could help the big league team in a couple years if all goes to plan.

Strengths: As I said before, Jason has good power for a catcher, and it’s from the left side of the plate. His power is mostly restricted to right field as of now. That could easily change as he gets into the Brewers system. He is perhaps one of the most polished catchers defensively available early in the draft. He would not be much of a defensive project. The Stanford catcher also has above-average speed for a catcher. Perhaps he could even swipe a few bags.

Weaknesses: Jason doesn’t have too many weaknesses, but he reportedly has trouble with off-speed pitches. That should be expected for a left-handed pull hitter. It is a concern, however. That flaw could be dramatically exposed in the minor leagues.

3B Connor Gillespie (Wichita State U.) – The seasoned third baseman is perhaps the best pure hitter in the draft. He is an absolute base hit machine. Throughout the year, his average has been above .400. He would be much higher on draft boards if he could supply some power at the plate, but that’s not what Connor does. He consistently pounds out base hits. Defensively, he is solid…not great, but not bad. Because of his lack of power, I suspect that he will not go in the first round. I’ve heard the Brewers could look to draft Connor with one of their two picks in the Supplementary Round.

Strengths: Connor can flat-out hit. He’s got a pure line drive stroke. Some scouts believe he can be a .300+ BA hitter in the big leagues because of his swing. He’ll be a serviceable third baseman. He has a solid arm and reasonably soft hands.

Weaknesses: The lack of power is a serious drawback to drafting a third baseman. Connor does not have have great speed or great range in the infield, so he appears to be stuck at third. That severely hampers his value as a hitter. In general, Connor will not impress anyone with his athleticism or tools. He can just flat hit the baseball.

2B Jemile Weeks (U. of Miami) – No, this is not simply because Rickie Weeks is his brother. Jemile is a scrappy, line drive hitter that can cause havoc on the basepaths. He projects as a true lead-off hitter, something the Brewers farm system lacks considerably. Some scouts are concerned with a hamstring injury that hampered Jemile’s ability to run in the past, but he appears to be 100% healthy. A couple of mock drafts I have seen project the Miami Hurricane to go before Milwaukee’s pick at #16, but several have Jemile slotted in the 20’s.

Strengths: Jemile hits for a very high average, and that appears projectable to the big leagues because of his line drive stroke. His main value lies in his plus speed on the basepaths, however. He can get the offense going at the top of the order and put a lot of pressure on the defense. On the defensive side, range has never proved a problem for the second baseman, but some feel a move to center field may allow teams to utilize his skills best.

Weaknesses: If he is truly over his hamstring injury, there is no need to worry about his speed. His rigid hands at second, however, are a bit of concern. Weeks is also inaccurate to first with his throws. Some feel he can make the transition to the pros at second, but some believe a move to center is in order. Another concern for scouts is his lack of strength physically. He’s still young and can fill into his body in the minors, but Jemile provides no power at the plate and a poor arm at second because of his lack of strength.

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3 responses

3 06 2008
Thomas

Dude…this is great. Anthony Hewitt sounds like a good pick here, but I don’t really know much about these guys. I look forward to the pitchers tomorrow!

3 06 2008
bernie carbo

I don’t remember how many Canadians we drafted last year, but it seemed like more than most teams. Does anyone know if Melvin has a specific scouting group that roams around Canada?

One other thing. Somebody over on Aaron’s blog mentioned Pat Vindette…that ambidextrous pitcher from Creighton. The Yankees drafted him last year, but he returned for his senior year. Does that mean the Yankees lose rights to him?

I’ve read that his stuff is not major league stuff….both right handed and left handed…but after seeing his senior year numbers posted, it sort of impressed me. Missouri Valley baseball is considered to be quality ball I think.

27 10 2009
Fucker

Whats the difference between a girl’s mouth and a girl’s vagina? There is none! Because I want my penis in both!!!!

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