The Brewers have had a clear MLB draft philosophy in recent years. They have targeted up-the-middle college position players in the draft’s early rounds. The Brewers also have gone college-heavy in most drafts in recent years.
The Brewers haven’t selected a prep player in the first round since picking Brice Turang in 2018. The last time the Brewers drafted a pitcher in the first round was Ethan Small one year later.
This year, the Brewers are heavily connected to college position players with their first-round pick. Below are five potential players the Brewers could select with the No. 18 overall pick in July’s draft.
Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon
Wilson is one of the top college position players in this year’s draft. Scouts believe Wilson could be a top-10 pick. But every year, at least one player falls in the first round. This year, Wilson might be that player.
He’s a 6-foot-3, 190-pound shortstop with a well-balanced toolset. He has an advanced contact-oriented approach with a notable eye at the plate. He makes consistent hard contact and drives the ball into the gaps.
Wilson is a contact-first hitter who never strikes out. The concern about his overall impact offensively has hurt his draft stock, though, as he doesn’t profile to hit for a lot of power.
Scouts believe Wilson can remain at shortstop in pro ball. He also profiles as a quality second baseman or third baseman if he has to move off the position.
The Grand Canyon junior shortstop has tremendous work ethic, skill set, baseball IQ and passion for the game. He posted a .412 batting average with 17 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 61 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 217 plate appearances. He tallied 19 walks and five strikeouts.
Wilson is the son of former major league shortstop Jack Wilson, who spent most of his 12-year major-league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tommy Troy, SS, Stanford
Troy is a 5-foot-10, 197-pound middle infielder with a balanced toolset. The right-handed hitter has notable power for his size, consistently barrels up pitches and drives the ball to all parts of the field. He doesn’t strikeout often and does a respectable job of not expanding the strike zone.
Defensively, Troy has played second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field at Stanford. He has solid arm strength and athleticism to handle a middle infield spot moving forward. He is most comfortable at shortstop, he said. But might profile best as an offensive-minded second baseman.
This spring, Troy batted .394 with 17 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 58 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 293 plate appearances. He recorded 42 strikeouts and 35 walks.
Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland
Shaw is a 5-foot-11, 185-pound shortstop with a well-balanced toolset. The right-handed hitter has simple mechanics and a short swing that allows him to drive the ball into the gaps.
He hits for average and power and shows solid plate discipline. Besides his ability at the plate, Shaw possesses plenty of speed and projects to steal double-digit bases in the pros.
Shaw has displayed defensive versatility during his three years at Maryland. He was a utility player in his first season at Maryland, seeing time at second base, third base and left field. For the last two years, he was the team’s starting shortstop.
He is athletic and moves well, but some scouts believe his skill set fits better at second or third base long term.
As a junior this spring, Shaw hit .341 with 20 doubles, 24 home runs, 69 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 317 plate appearances. He recorded 43 walks and 42 strikeouts.
Nolan Schanuel, 1B/OF, Florida Atlantic
Schanuel was one of the top hitters in college baseball this year. He hit .447 with 18 doubles, four triples, 19 home runs, 64 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 289 plate appearances. He showed tremendous plate discipline with 71 walks compared to 14 strikeouts.
It’s easy to see why Schanuel had so much success. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound left-handed hitter has an advanced offensive toolset with an exceptional approach at the plate and a notable feel for the strike zone. He consistently barrels up the baseball, makes hard contact, and hits for average and power.
Defensively, Schanuel was a high school outfielder. As a freshman, FAU needed him to play first base. Schanuel accepted the challenge and thrived at that spot. He anticipated playing more outfield as a junior this year but primarily played first due to the team’s need.
Schanuel is willing to play a corner outfield spot or first base at the next level. He views himself as an outfielder and has the skills to succeed due to his solid athleticism and average speed.
Schanuel is a highly talented player with a well-rounded toolset. He isn’t a typical first baseman, showing defensive versatility and an ability to hit for average and power at the plate.
Yohandy Morales, 3B, Miami
Morales is a 6-foot-4, 218-pound third baseman known for his ability to hit for power to all fields. The right-handed hitter has streamlined his mechanics at the plate at Miami and now uses a simple setup and quick swing to hit the ball hard consistently.
He is an aggressive hitter who has above-average raw power. Scouts rave about his potential as a middle-of-the-order bat in pro ball.
Morales sometimes chases pitches out of the strike zone but has improved his plate discipline in college. In the middle of Miami’s lineup this spring, he was extremely productive, hitting .408 with 20 home runs, 70 RBIs, 55 strikeouts, and 30 walks in 278 plate appearances.
He is a quality defender at third base after mostly playing shortstop in high school. His arm strength, throwing accuracy, athleticism and instincts have allowed him to thrive at the hot corner.
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.