Draft Reviews: Milwaukee Brewers

2008 Draft Slot: 16th overall
Top Pick: Brett Lawrie, 2B, British Columbia (Canada) high school
Best Pick: Brett Lawrie
Keep an Eye On: Logan Schafer, OF, Cal Poly State University (3rd round)
Notes: Logan Schafer, a gifted defender, is making huge strides offensively despite being quickly promoted to high-A to begin 2009. He’s hitting more than .300 and he’s trimmed his strikeout rate by 10%. The walk rate, though, is too low at about 4%. Brett Lawrie has looked good at the plate for such a young player – and given his inexperience as a Canadian product. His move from catcher to second base, though, hurts his value a bit, especially considering his defense at the keystone is… not good.

Bonus: Here is my pre-2008 draft interview with Brett Lawrie.

2007 Draft Slot: Seventh overall
Top Pick: Matt LaPorta, OF/1B, University of Florida
Best Pick: Matt LaPorta
Worst Pick: Dan Merklinger, LHP, Seton Hall (6th round)
Notes: Remember when Seton Hall was a powerhouse school? Dan Merklinger has struggled with staying healthy and throwing strikes. But it’s not a bad draft when your worst pick (which isn’t that bad) doesn’t occur until the sixth round. Matt LaPorta was a valuable pick because it helped the club get C.C. Sabathia from the Indians for the playoff race in 2008. The club lacked a second-round pick, but it found value in the third round with Jonathan Lucroy, who is now in double-A.

2006 Draft Slot: 16th overall
Top Pick: Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Virginia high school
Best Pick: Jeremy Jeffress
Worst Pick: Brent Brewer, IF, Georgia high school (2nd round)
Notes: Brent Brewer would be a great marketing tool for the Brewers, but the bat just does not look like its going to play above A-ball. Jeremy Jeffress is still one of the most talented players in the draft but he’s painfully inconsistent and there are questions regarding his maturity and dedication, as well. Cole Gillespie (3rd round) and Lee Haydel (19th round) both appear to have the potential to make the Majors as fourth outfielders, if not more.

* * *

2009 Draft Slot: 26th overall
Draft Preference (2006-08): Best available player, college or prep
MLB Club Need: Second base, Catcher, Relief pitching
Organizational Need: Right field, Second base, First base, Left-handed pitching
Organizational Strength: Center field, Catcher
Notes: The Brewers organization does not pick until the back end of the first round in 2009, but the club also has two supplemental first round picks for losing pitchers C.C. Sabathia and Brian Shouse to free agency. The club also has an extra second-round pick for Sabathia (It would have been a first-rounder if the Yanks hadn’t signed Mark Teixeira too).

We hoped you liked reading Draft Reviews: Milwaukee Brewers by Marc Hulet!

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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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J.J. Hardy
Guest
J.J. Hardy

…a little soon to be calling Lawrie out on his defense, isn’t it?

Especially since, by all reports, he has the tools necessary to handle it.

battlekow
Guest

Yeah, I think the hoopla over Lawrie’s defense is overblown and based off reports from spring training, when, by all accounts, he was pretty bad. Since then, however, Reid Nichols and Jeff Isom are on record saying they can’t believe how quickly he’s improved. I’ve seen Lawrie play, and he looked raw out there, but by no means laughable.

battlekow
Guest

And how can the Brewers have an organizational need at 2B when the first two hitters they drafted last year are playing there?