Draft Outlook, 2007.

The Brewers have the 7th pick in this year’s draft, which takes place Thursday-Friday this week, and the first day, for the first time ever, will be televised. The Crew doesn’t have another pick until the 101st, because we signed Jeff Suppan, giving up our second rounder while contributing to the pool of supplemental round picks. Who the Brewers should pick is probably a subject for debate, especially considering that they have to make the most of their 1st round selection. Jeff Sackmann at Brew Crew Ball discusses and links to John Sickels’ mock draft, which has the Crew going with prep RHP Jarrod Parker. This would be right in line with what Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus thinks (you probably need a subscription), as he has Parker ranked 7th in his Top 50 Draft Prospects today. Sackmann thinks that we should avoid another prep pitcher draftee, suggesting instead that the best bet for the organization in general is a college pitcher, and I fully agree. While college pitchers might not have the “ceiling” that high schoolers do, they are often ready to contribute much sooner. Given that the draft is pitcher-heavy at the top and the the Brewers organization is fairly set with hitters, we’re probably going to go with a pitcher one way or another. Given that we probably don’t need to draft a future ace because ¡Gallardo! is nigh, and because we’ll probably re-sign Ben Sheets after or before 2008, barring injury (this latter point will no doubt be discussed in a future post), and we also have Suppan and Chris Capuano around for a few more years, maybe even Dave Bush, a solid guy to go into the back of the rotation, enabling a trade elsewhere, is probably as much as we can expect for this year’s pick. So, if not Jarrod Parker, then who? Well, Baseball America suggests that Ross Detwiler, a LHP from Missouri State, might be available at the #7 pick. I think this would be a very solid option for the Crew, given that he’s available. Brewerfan.net ranks him 7th as well. Apparently a split fingernail cut his last start short this year, and might have made his stock drop a bit (Goldstein ranked him #5). He’s still a consensus Top 10 pick, and is one of three solid college lefties along with Kevin Moskos of Clemson and eminent #1 Pick David Price of Vanderbilt. Detwiler has a plus-to-plus-plus fastball and above average slider, what projects to be an average change, and a long frame that, with some added bulk, projects for a good pitcher’s body. His current slenderness might deter some teams, but I don’t think it’s a problem — he’s tall enough and young enough to fill out nicely. He’s also been healthy aside from the weird split nail thingy. If he’s not there, I’d think about Moskos, and after that, the best available hitter. We could stand to take a catcher, and the best available is Matt Weiters, a big switch-hitter from Georgia Tech with a great arm. He probably won’t be there when the Brewers pick, but if he is, we have to consider him heavily. Mike Moustakas and Jason Heyward are two interesting prepsters that could be there at #7. Moustakas has a great name, but no defensive home (he’s listed at SS/1B/3B) and a small frame that has some scouts questioning how his power will transfer to professional ball. Heyward is very young (17 at the time of the draft), but is a great athlete with a five-tool repertoire. Also, this from MiLB.com:

Some think he can be too patient at times . . .

How often do you hear that about a 17-year-old? Given my affinity for the walk and plate discipline, this tidbit is almost enough to make me say take him. He’d be five years removed from MLB action, though, and as much as I like patience in a hitter, I am impatient myself when it comes to calling kids up from the minors. What I’d be worried about is that there seems to be a lot of variation on scouting reports about the vastness of his skills — some rate him as a very good defender with a great arm, others foresee a move to 1B; his speed is questionable; etc. His power and patience, however, are consistently rated as excellent. I’m very excited to catch what I can of the draft on MLB.com. I’ll also look forward to analyzing the Brewers pick, to see how my assessment of their situation matches with that pick. Good luck to Jack Zduriencik, Doug Melvin, Gord Ash, Tony Blengino, and all the rest of the personnel that have no doubt worked hard to make the best of this year’s draft for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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