Who should the Brewers take No. 5 overall? | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

Every Brewers fan is absolutely thrilled for tonight. If everything goes as planned, the player Milwaukee selects at the No. 5 slot is going to play an integral part in the quest of bringing the Commissioner’s Trophy and a World Series championship back to Milwaukee. For the last few weeks (or actually the last few months), MLB Draft experts have been publishing mock draft after mock draft, all leading up to tonight’s grand finale. However, what we have yet to see is a coalition of Brewers fans list who they want. I thought our readers may appreciate the writers here at DoU giving the top 3 players they’d like to see selected by the Crew. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3)
1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) HS — Previously Drafted: Never
Had this post been published not even a week ago, Delvin Perez would’ve been my No. 1 guy. However, with sources saying he failed a drug test, I doubt the Brewers select him, despite David Stearns preaching versatility in the infield. Groome has the tools to be a pitcher with a heavy arsenal. His 6-foot-6 frame helps him paint his fastball with speeds up to 96 MPH. He fools batters with his offspeed magnificently as well, as his curveball features sharp spin action and a tight drop. For me, the only real downside to Groome is his lack of time spent throwing and developing a changeup. However, his fluid mechanics are definitely enough to outweigh the negatives. The Brewers don’t really have a sure-fire ace in their farm system and Groome could immediately fill that hole. It’s just a matter of if he’s available at No. 5 or not.

2. Kyle Lewis, OF, Junior, Mercer — Bats: R Throws: R — Previously Drafted: Never
Recently named Baseball America’s Player of the Year, Kyle Lewis has been a force to be reckoned with at Mercer. He boasts a large amount of power from the dish, as he battled for the NCAA lead in both batting and home runs. Lewis couples that with a tremendous plate discipline, separating him from other players of his caliber. He tied the D-1 lead with 66 walks entering NCAA Tournament play, something that cannot be said for a lot of players that exhibit raw power. As of now, there’s some questions as to whether or not Lewis can remain in center field, as sometimes his speed can be a little uncertain. That could pave the way for him to developing into a power heavy right-fielder. Like Groome, the main issue with Lewis is whether or not he’ll still be available when the Brewers’ pick comes around.

3. Nick Senzel, 3B, Junior, Tennessee — Bats: R Throws: R — Previously Drafted: Never
I’m going to use the same hints from David Stearns that led me to believe he would select Delvin Perez with Nick Senzel. Slingin’ Stearns has preached versatility in the outfield, but more frequently in the infield. The third baseman’s stock rose emphatically when he participated in the Cape Cod League last summer — he led the Cape in runs (33), hits (56), doubles (16), RBIs (33), extra-base hits (21), total bases (86), slugging (.558) and OPS (.976). All of that transpired into him winning the league MVP and the league’s Top Prospect Awards from MLB scouts. A nice, patient approach at the plate helps Senzel send the ball to every field, possibly laying down the bricks for a player that can hit for both average and power. If there’s any questions about Senzel’s game, it would be in regards to his fielding skills (he was primarily a DH as a freshman and a second baseman as a sophomore), but he’s worked diligently in shoring up his issues.

Brad Ford (@BrewCrewBlue)
1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) HS — Previously Drafted: Never
The Brewers are in a situation where they really need to get the best talent off the board. If Groome is still available at No. 5, he is the consensus top prospect in the draft. He already has three average or better pitches, commands his pitches well and offers a huge ceiling. Drafting pitchers is always dangerous, but really, drafting anyone is a gamble and you have to err on the side of talent, something Groome offers a ton of.

2. Corey Ray, OF, Junior, Louisville — Previously Drafted: 2013, 33rd (987) — SEA
This is working under the assumption that Kyle Lewis will be long gone by pick No. 5. Ray is an advanced college bat who could shoot through the system. He can hit for a decent average, has power and a ton of speed. He could be a middle of the order bat in the lineup. I would want him more if the Brewers didn’t already have outfield prospects up to their eyes, but honestly, it never hurts to have a good bat in the system.

3. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS — Commitment: Louisiana State
Pint is very similar to Groome in the fact that both have huge amounts of talent and potential. Due to some mechanical flaws that limit his ability to throw strikes, he is less likely than Groome to actualize that talent. Pint’s pitching arsenal might be better than Groome’s. He has a 102 MPH fastball, a plus curveball and a changeup that will likely only get better as he’s forced to use it. However, throwing hard without control is a scary thing.

Steve Altstadt (@BrewersKeepTUTH)
1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) — Previously Drafted: Never
The Brewers never seem to really draft the flashy name with bonus demands, so I am not expecting them to draft Groome. If they did though, it would be a very exciting pick. He’s a 6’6″ left-hander with very good velocity and easy, repeatable mechanics. Unlike Riley Pint, his success isn’t as reliant on a huge fastball, as he also has great command on a curveball. He has true top-of-the-rotation potential, and comparisons to Clayton Kershaw are tough to ignore.

2. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade (Calif.) College Prep — Bats: L Throws: R — Commitment: UCLA
Rutherford has become my favorite hitter in this draft. The more I read, the more I like. He has a powerful and smooth lefty swing, good speed and a strong arm. He’s a five-tool player with superstar potential. The only downside I’ve been able to find with him is his age — he’s a high school player who just turned 19 years old. Even that can be spun, however, by arguing that he could move quicker through the Minor Leagues than most high school picks. The Brewers have a greater need for elite starting pitching, but drafting for need is basically never a good idea in baseball. Rutherford has the huge potential you should be looking for in a top-5 pick.

3. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS — Commitment: Louisiana State
This one was the hardest decision in my top three, as there is considerable risk. He likely has the biggest fastball in the draft, regularly sitting in the mid-to-upper 90’s. He lacks the polish of Groome, as his secondary pitches are not nearly developed as his heater. There are also questions about his durability due to an unpolished delivery. It is hard not to be reminded of Mark Rogers, a player the Brewers selected out of high school with the fifth overall pick in 2004. Rogers had a similar profile — a hard thrower with less than ideal mechanics and he suffered arm injury after arm injury. The top-of-the-rotation potential is there with Pint (along with the perfect last name to be a Milwaukee Brewer), so I wouldn’t blame the Brewers for taking a considerable risk for a potentially huge reward.

Other players that wouldn’t upset Steve: Mickey Moniak, Josh Lowe and Alec Hansen

Jake Covey (@brewersfan23102)
1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) — Previously Drafted: Never
What’s not to love about a 6’6″, 220 lbs. left-handed starter? His size and strength make his motion much easier than Pint’s, and he isn’t the typical flamethrower at his age — only sitting around low-to-mid 90’s (reaching 96 when he needs to) to compliment a solid curveball and a work-in-progress changeup. Not only that, but he’s in a pretty safe 3/4 arm slot for a lefty, allowing himself to still stay relatively tall and comfortable when he throws. My only worry about Groom is his potential bonus demand. He’s already ready to enroll in a Junior College rather than a 4-year, meaning he’ll wait until next year to get his demand. He might use that as leverage to gain a few more dollars on Draft Day, making him a difficult sign. If he doesn’t want to come to Milwaukee, the Brewers would be caught with their pants around their ankles. Nonetheless, that would mean they get an extra early first-round pick in next year’s intriguing class while being able to retain every other pick this year.

2. Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade (Calif.) College Prep — Bats: L Throws: R — Commitment: UCLA
I’m sure that my favorite selection will have the least chance of being drafted here, but I would definitely be satisfied with Rutherford at No. 5. I did a write-up on him a few weeks ago and analyzed where he could fit in. If any solid arms aren’t available, the Brewers will definitely go for a power bat — and Rutherford could be that guy. Right now, they don’t have a ton of power in the outfield, so he would be a welcome site in the organization. The left-handed hitting slugger has a really nice and polished swing and he has pretty good plate discipline along with speed for a 19-year-old. Although he’ll probably settle into right field, he could only take a few years to fully mature. Analysts and scouts have worried about his age and supposed “prospect fatigue,” but he’s produced in nearly every single instance. I think he’ll be a safer choice than other prospects. He just might not have as high of a ceiling as Lewis or Moniak.

3. Corey Ray, OF, Junior, Louisville — Previously Drafted: 2013, 33rd (987) — SEA
Although his value has skyrocketed as of late, I still think there might be a chance that Ray falls to No. 5. The 21-year-old outfielder has some upside in nearly every facet of the game. He’s got some raw power, a knack for stealing bases, solid corner outfield defense and consistent hard contact rates. Overall, he may not have the eye-popping part to his game like other major guys, but he’s a nice, well-rounded player. Some scouts have worrie about the left-handed hitter’s abilities to hit fellow southpaws, but he’s done well so far this season. I would be completely satisfied with the Brewers taking him in, and I’m sure he won’t be terribly difficult to sign since he’s already in college.

Other players that wouldn’t upset Jake: Nick Senzel, Josh Lowe, Kyle Lewis, Dakota Hudson and Zack Collins

Kyle Lesniewski (@brewerfan28)
I’m a firm proponent of taking the best player available in the MLB Draft, especially with the highest pick that the Brewers have had in over a decade. Therefore I will be rather disappointed if our beloved local nine passes up on higher rated talent at fifth overall in order to save on bonus slot value. According to Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, the most talented player in this year’s draft is prep LHP Jason Groome. It doesn’t appear as though he’ll be the top selection, however, with the latest rumors pointing to Mickey Moniak as the Phillies preferred choice at No. 1.

1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) — Previously Drafted: Never
Yesterday on 105.7 FM in Milwaukee, draft guru Jim Callis said that he didn’t believe that the Reds, Braves or Rockies, the other three clubs who pick before the Brewers, would be interested in selecting a high school arm with their first round picks given the volatility and increased injury risk that is often associated with prep pitchers. There’s a good chance, then, that Groome should be available when the Brewers pick at No. 5, and my hope is that they pull the trigger on the high-ceiling lefty. I prefer Groome to RHP Riley Pint, the other highly rated prep pitcher in this year’s class. Groome has been praised for his clean mechanics whereas one of the knocks on Pint is that his delivery is rather high-effort and his mechanics are inconsistent, leading to below-average command projections. The Brewers don’t have the best history with overhauling a pitcher’s delivery so it’s not hard for me to prefer Groome, and his projected above-average command of his three pitch arsenal.

2. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS — Commitment: Louisiana State
If Groome isn’t there though, I’d still probably roll the dice on Pint in spite of his flaws. He’s been clocked at 102 MPH, is projected with four average-0r-better offerings, and has been compared to Justin Verlander. Perhaps the Brewers’ new player development philosophy under Stearns will mitigate some of the issues with developing pitchers that we saw during Doug Melvin’s tenure.

3. Corey Ray, OF, Junior, Louisville — Previously Drafted: 2013, 33rd (987) — SEA
If it can’t be either of those two high-ceiling pitchers, I’ve warmed up to Corey Ray. He seems like a legitimate power-speed threat and if he an play center field like scouts think he can, he’ll be a terrific asset to have in the farm system. Yes, I know that outfield is a position of strength in the Brewers’ farm right now, but there’s nothing saying that all of those prospects will work out or that they won’t eventually be traded to address other needs. It’s all about stockpiling the best assets right now, regardless of position.

Ryan Topp (@RDTopp)
1. Corey Ray, OF, Junior, Louisville — Previously Drafted: 2013, 33rd (987) — SEA
Most of this spring, the Brewers were most often connected to Puerto Rican high school shortstop Delvin Perez with the fifth pick in the draft. With Perez’s apparent failure of a drug test that leaked earlier this week, the Brewers seem likely to move in another direction. If they do, one of the names they’ve been most commonly connected to is Louisville outfielder Corey Ray. ESPN.com’s Keith Law has consistently ranked Ray as the top talent in this admittedly weak-at-the-top class, citing his combination of speed and power and listing his floor as an everyday left fielder in the mold of former all star Ray Lankford. He may not possess the flash and huge upside of some of the other names available, but he is fairly close to being major league ready and does fit in well with new General Manager David Stearns’ preference for disciplined hitters.

2. Josh Lowe, 3B, Pope (Ga.) HS — Bats: L Throws: R — Commitment: Florida State
Another name that has been often connected to the Brewers at five as the draft has approached is high school third baseman/pitcher Josh Lowe. Considered a better hitting prospect, Baseball America has noted that Lowe would probably be a candidate for being drafted on the first day even if he was just a pitcher. Lowe is one of the more purely athletic players in this year’s draft, offering big time power upside and potentially outstanding defense at the hot corner if everything comes together. He’s also very raw and multiple outlets have commented on his inconsistency this spring. If the Brewers do take him at five, it will almost surely be because they have confidence in his ability to round into form with work and because he’s agreed to take substantially less than the $4.3 million allotted to the pick. The Brewers would then be free to turn around and spend the difference on a player that falls due to signability concerns when they pick again at 46.

3. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS — Commitment: Louisiana State
Pint may end up being the best player in the draft when all is said and done, based largely on the strength of a fastball that sits in the high 90’s and has touched as high as 102 this spring. That’s eye popping and surely will end up tempting some team (perhaps even someone picking ahead of the Brewers) into taking him. That said, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of Pint as well. While he does possess a potentially plus changeup, scouts are divided on whether or not any of his off speed or breaking pitches will ever be consistently plus. There are also major questions about his delivery, which when taken along with his amazing fastball velocity, has to make one wonder if he’ll stay healthy enough to use that big fastball on big leaguers for the long term. There is definite potential boom here, but the amount of bust is going to scare off a good number of teams.

Travis Sarandos (@travis_mke)
Foreword: I literally don’t know anything about any of these prospects. I have not seen any film, I have done no research, and I generally don’t care about who the Brewers *might* draft – it’s just not an interesting topic for me. I prefer to just wait until the draft happens and then look at who the Brewers have drafted once it’s over – it saves me from getting worked up about a player and crying into my beer when they PASS ON JOEY GALLO IN 2012 AND TAKE DANG MITCH HANIGER INSTEAD. Okay, I’m fine. I’M FINE.

1. Jason Groome, LHP, Barnegat (N.J.) — Previously Drafted: Never
Groome seems to be the consensus top talent in the draft, and the only reason it seems likely that he will be available when the Brewers make their selection at No. 5 are questions of signability. If you’re one of the many that’s been beating the #TeamTank drum, insisting that getting a slightly higher draft pick is actually important, this is where I get to prove you wrong: no one knows anything about anything, the best players aren’t always drafted first, and there are more things at play in the draft than mere ability. If Groome is available at No. 5, I’d love to see the Brewers take a chance and try to fill out the rest of the picks they’ll make tonight with guys that will sign for under slot so they can pay Groome what he’s going to demand. Groome is a 17-year-old prep lefty that plans to attend junior college, rather than Vanderbilt with whom he had previously committed, if he doesn’t find a professional home.

3. Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) HS — Commitment: Louisiana State
Buddy, if you think there’s a better home for a guy named Pint than with the Milwaukee Brewers, I’d be happy to hear your wrong opinion. Another prep arm, the 18-year-old flashes a fastball that has touched triple digits on the gun, a plus curveball and a couple of other average-to-above-average pitches. I honest to god don’t care about any of that though, just put the guy named after beer on my baseball team.

3. Nick Senzel, 3B, Junior, Tennessee — Bats: R Throws: R — Previously Drafted: Never
Alright, enough of these babies out of high school, let’s get ourselves a man you can have a beer with (legally). You’ll have to wait on that for just a couple of weeks, but Senzel, who turns 21 in August, might be the safest pick in the draft. Senzel has been tied to the Athletics at the No. 6 spot, but since the Brewers just swept the A’s in a two-gamer here in Milwaukee, legally they have to turn over all their notes on the draft to the Brewers and that could lead to Milwaukee swiping the junior out of Tennessee who slashed .352/.456/.595 in 2016. 

 

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