bsw-brewers-2021-mlb-draft-mock

Major League Baseball’s draft has a different look in 2021 – it was moved to July and begins on a Sunday, as the league heads into the All-Star break.

This year’s draft kicks off July 11 and runs through July 13 and will last 20 rounds. If you recall, last year MLB shortened the draft down from 40 rounds to five and have now set 20 rounds as the standard.

Milwaukee has two picks in this year’s first day – the No. 15 overall in the first round and No. 33 in the compensatory/supplemental round.

Tracking general manager David Stearns’ history, in his first four years he’s selected four college players (outfielder Corey Ray, second baseman Keston Hiura, pitcher Ethan Small and outfielder Garrett Mitchell) and two out of high school (outfielder Tristen Lutz, a Competitive Balance selection, and shortstop Brice Turang).

Here’s a look at mock drafts – and some analysis of those picks when given – from around the web for the Brewers’ first-round picks as we close in on selection day:

Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein of Fangraphs: No. 15 – Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State. “Milwaukee is believed to be lining up the second tier of college arms. ... If their board gets blown up by a run on college pitching, then they might cut a deep deal with a college bat like ECU’s Connor Norby or Trey Sweeney of Eastern Illinois.”; No. 33 – Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina. “Williams has been mentioned vaguely in the late teens and early-20s after nearly out-dueling Kumar Rocker in Super-Regional play, but not with any specific team. He’s a big-bodied kid with equally large velocity and a plus slider, but a questionable changeup and inconsistent command leaves some teams with lingering worries about his ability to start long-term.”

Keith Law of The Athletic ($) (first pick only): Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (Kennesaw, Ga.). “This name has come up a few times with the Brewers already, as they’ve scouted him heavily and seem to buy into his bat, even with questions about his ultimate position.”

Dan Zielinski III of Baseball Prospect Journal: No. 15 – Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State. “Cowser, a left-handed hitter, offers an intriguing combination of average and power offensively and hits the ball to all parts of the field. He also displays a notable strike zone discipline. He is an above-average runner who uses his speed on the base pads and in the outfield. Cowser has the intangibles to play center field in pro ball.”; No. 33 -- Doug Nikhazy, LHP, Ole Miss.

Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com (first pick only): Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State. “Over the last few weeks the Brewers have been tied to college pitchers more than anything, and Wicks fits their preferred profile as a command-over-stuff guy who could improve under pro instruction. There have been rumblings Milwaukee will pivot and take a high school hitter should their preferred college arms all come off the board before this pick.”

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (note: from June 30; final mock comes out July 11; also first pick only): Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State. “The options in this scenario seem to be the college bat in Houston or the college arm with Wicks, with Bachman as an outside possibility.”

Jim Callis of MLB.com (note: from June 23; final mock comes out July 11; also first pick only): Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State. “Like the clubs ahead of them, the Brewers are concentrating on the second tier of college talent. If all of those players are gone, they could look to Hoglund or Ford.”

Staff at Prospects Live: No. 15 -- Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State. “Bednar all but sealed his first round status with an incredible College World Series. He’s been mentioned as high as the Top 10, though he likely doesn’t make it much further than this. The Brewers have been connected to an assembly of arms with this pick, but Bednar’s ascent becomes to much to pass up.”; No. 33 -- Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina. “Williams has been mentioned as high as the top ten, so Milwaukee landing another explosive arm in Comp Round A would be quite some luck. Coupling Williams with one of Hoglund, Wicks or Bednar would make for two college arms that figure to contribute at the big league level by 2023. We’ve heard the team likes Doug Nikhazy a good bit here as well.”

Edward Sutelan of the Sporting News (first pick only): Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State. “Bednar did his draft stock plenty of good by helping propel the Bulldogs to a College World Series win. The Brewers have been linked to other college talents like Cowser, Frelick, Kansas State lefty Jordan Wicks and Miami (Ohio) right-hander Sam Bachman, but here they’re grabbing the fast-rising Bednar, who offers them a polished right-hander with an explosive repertoire with three plus or better pitches.”

Tab Bamford of Elite Sports NY: No. 15 -- Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College. “The top college outfielder in this year’s draft, Frelick has been mocked in the top ten overall and as low as the early 20s. Milwaukee has a need for outfield bats and this would be good value for the Brewers.”; No. 33 – Maxwell Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks (Calif.) HS.

John Moore of Dallas Sports Nation (first pick only): Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College.

Tim Kelly of Audacy (top-15 picks only): Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State. “Prospects Worldwide calls Cowser 'not an elite talent,' but they're high on him defensively, suggesting he could profile as a center-fielder at the major-league level, a position that's become increasingly hard to come by in recent years. While Cowser may not have the ceiling of other first-rounders, the Prospects Worldwide scouting report goes on to say the .354 career college hitter 'should compete in the Major Leagues with four tools graded above-average or better.'”

Jsutin Leger of NBC Sports Boston (first pick only): Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State. “Rumor has it the Brewers are looking at college arms, so in this spot they should look no further than Wicks. The southpaw's repertoire includes a nasty changeup that keeps hitters off balance, as evidenced by his 118 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings this past spring.”

Michael Dault of Through the Fence Baseball (first pick only): Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East (NY). “Mack has proven he’s a quality catcher offensively and defensively. While he is committed to Clemson, many believe if selected in the first round that he’ll sign. The Brew Crew haven’t had a good all-around catcher in a while. Mack could be their version of Joe Mauer.”

Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report (first pick only): Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State.

Christine Watkins of Sports Grind Entertainment (first pick only): Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State. “Bednar did his draft stock plenty of good by helping propel the Bulldogs to a College World Series win. The Brewers have been linked to other college talents like Cowser, Frelick, Kansas State lefty Jordan Wicks and Miami (Ohio) right-hander Sam Bachman, but here they’re grabbing the fast-rising Bednar, who offers them a polished right-hander with an explosive repertoire with three plus or better pitches.”

Mark Hulet of RotoBaller: No. 15 – Matt McLain, SS, UCLA. “McLain was a first-round pick of the Diamondbacks out of high school. He’s had an impressive run in college and looks like a player that can hit for a solid average, produce power, and steal some bases. I like his instincts and he can impact the game in a number of different ways.”; No. 33 -- Matt Mikulski, LHP, Fordham. “A college senior that was hurt by the shortened draft in 2020, this southpaw has looked excellent in 2021 with an improved delivery and a better slider. He’s also maintaining mid-90s velocity and hitting as high as 97-98 mph.”