Brewers: 6 options at pick No. 17 in MLB draft

The Brewers have had a clear MLB draft philosophy targeting college players in the early rounds in recent years. 

Typically, the Brewers have preferred up-the-middle position players, but they strayed slightly from that approach in the first round last year. The Brewers selected Wake Forest third baseman Brock Wilken with the 18th overall pick, and then New York prep right-handed pitcher Josh Knoth with the 33rd overall pick.

It marked the first time the Brewers selected a corner infielder since prep third baseman Brett Lawrie in 2008. It also was the first time they drafted a prep pitcher since lefty Kodi Medeiros in 2014 and a pitcher, regardless of level, since Mississippi State lefty Ethan Small in 2019.

This year, the Brewers are heavily connected to college position players with their first-round pick. Below are six potential players the Brewers could select with the No. 17 overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Cam Smith, 3B, Florida State

Smith is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed hitting third baseman who was a top-100 prospect out of high school two years ago. This spring, Smith had an extremely productive sophomore season, showing impressive, well-rounded skills at the plate.

Smith has a relaxed and wide stance with little wasted movement in his swing. His swing is built to hit line drives with plenty of power potential gap to gap. Defensively, Smith handles third base well. He showed an accurate and strong arm from third to first base.

Smith should go before the No. 17 pick. However, due to the parity among the second-tier hitters in this year’s draft, he may be on the board when the Brewers pick. It could be similar to last year when Wilken fell right into the Brewers’ lap.

Carson Benge, OF, Oklahoma State

Benge is a legitimate prospect as an outfielder and right-handed pitcher. However, scouts prefer him as a hitter because he has better present tools and higher upside in that area.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-handed hitter is known for controlling the strike zone and making hard contact to drive the ball to all parts of the field. He does a nice job of consistently using the opposite field. 

Right now, Benge is built to hit line drives but has flashed some power potential. He will likely have to make some slight mechanical tweaks to elevate the baseball more consistently to hit for additional power in pro ball.

Defensively, Benge has above-average arm strength, as his fastball has touched 96 mph on the mound. He has average speed and profiles best in a corner outfield spot. Some scouts believe he could handle center field in pro ball.

Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina

Honeycutt dominated the NCAA Tournament, causing him to receive a ton of buzz leading up to the draft. He is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed hitting center fielder with an extremely impressive toolset. He is a dynamic athlete with quality instincts and an improving hit tool. His power and speed combo is legit. Defensively, Honeycutt is an elite center-field defender due to his athleticism, instincts, arm strength and ability to cover tons of ground. 

Honeycutt is a polarizing prospect because of the swing-and-miss in his game. But overall, scouts rave about his upside. If Honeycutt can continue to develop and put all his tools together, he can potentially be a star in pro ball.

Read a detailed MLB draft profile on Vance Honeycutt and his skill set here.

Kaelen Culpepper, SS, Kansas State

Culpepper is a 6-foot, 194-pound right-handed hitting shortstop with an intriguing toolset. Culpepper uses a low-mechanic setup, quick swing, and strong contact skills to barrel up the baseball consistently and hit line drives. He shows improving power, especially to his pull side. He also boasts an exciting combination of athleticism and speed.

Defensively, Culpepper played third base his first two seasons but moved to his natural position of shortstop this spring. His athleticism allows him to cover plenty of ground and make all the necessary plays defensively. He also has above-average arm strength to handle either shortstop or third base in the future.

Culpepper profiles as more of a top-of-the-order in pro ball. A team will likely try him at shortstop to start. If he doesn’t perform well enough at the position, scouts believe he could be a Gold Glove third baseman.

Read a detailed MLB draft profile on Kaelen Culpepper and his skill set here.

Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford

Moore is a 6-foot-2, 216-pound left-handed hitting catcher who hits for plenty of raw power. He is a quality hitter who uses a unique, open stance with his hands low until he loads in anticipation of hitting the pitch. 

Moore showed quality skills at the plate with respectable plate discipline. The draft-eligible sophomore didn’t hit as high of an average this season as last year. He ran into some bad luck but showed similar power potential and improved plate discipline. 

Defensively, Moore displays average arm strength and receiving skills behind the plate. Scouts are split on whether he can remain behind the plate long-term, but a team known for developing catchers can probably get the most out of Moore, who possesses plenty of potential and strong makeup.

Read a detailed MLB draft profile on Malcolm Moore and his skill set here.

Brody Brecht, RHP, Iowa

Brecht isn’t as polished as the other top college arms in this year’s class, but he is athletic, has lots of arm strength and has frontline starter potential.

Brecht’s fastball is an elite offering in the high 90s and touches triple digits, including a 104-mph fastball against Maryland in 2023. His hellacious slider is an elite breaking pitch in the low 90s with plenty of depth. He can land his slider consistently for strikes, which is a nasty strikeout pitch.

Brecht started his collegiate career as a two-sport athlete. He has displayed tremendous promise in his three years at Iowa but needs to reduce his walks to reach his full potential. He allowed 61 walks in 77 innings in 2023 and 49 walks in 78 1/3 innings in the spring. Due to his inconsistent control, Brecht has some reliever risk. But with him focused on baseball, and if a team with a strong pitching development program selects him, the sky is the limit for Brecht. 

Read a detailed MLB draft profile on Brody Brecht and his skill set here.

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today,, 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.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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