2011 MLB Draft: Milwaukee Brewers Review
The Brewers farm system is depleted. What strategy would they use to fix it?
1) Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas: Dominant college hurler with low-to-mid-90s fastball and good slider. Needs to improve changeup consistency but has the aptitude. Great feel for pitching, mechanics are unusual but he eats innings.
1) Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech: Although velocity fluctuates and his stock dropped late, he's got ideal size at 6-4, 225, a great delivery, a plus slider, and a solid changeup. Like Jungmann, he won't need a lot of minor league time.
2) Jorge Lopez, RHP, Puerto Rico HS: Super-projectable, already hits low 90s, throws strikes, excellent breaking ball, clean delivery. Will need longer in the minors than the top two guys, but his ultimate upside may be higher. I love this pick.
3) Drew Gagnon, RHP, Long Beach State: Throws strikes in low 90s, good curve and slider, also a nice changeup. Possible third or fourth starter, inning-eater.
4) Nick Ramirez, 1B, Cal State Fullerton: Physically strong and has lots of raw power, though scouts question his swing mechanics and he may need some adaptation time in pro ball.
5) Michael Reed, OF, Texas HS: Best tool is power, also has a good throwing arm, but he needs polish. Firm commitment to University of Mississippi and three years of college ball could make him a top selection in '14, but if they can sign him he'll add upside to the system.
6) Danny Keller, RHP, California HS: Like Reed, Keller is talented but raw, and will need to be bought out of college (Cal State Northridge). Already works in low-90s but command needs a lot of work. Not the type to advance quickly.
7) David Goforth, RHP, Mississippi: Inconsistent in college, very effective at times with fastball that can hit 96 along with a curve, cutter, and changeup. Projects more as a reliever in pro ball, good ceiling.
8) Dustin Houle, C, British Columbia HS: Line drive hitter with good throwing arm, primarily an infielder as a prep but drafted as a catcher. Will need a lot of development time.
9) Malcom Dowell, OF, Georgia HS: Raw athlete, very fast, small at 5-10, 170, but another guy who will need a lot of development time. Committed to Gulf Coast CC, should be signable.
10) Mike Strong, LHP, Oklahoma State: Small guy at 6-0, 190, but hits 90 MPH, has a good curve, 3.61 ERA with 70/25 K/BB in 72 innings.
OTHERS OF NOTE: RHP Tommy Toledo (11th round, Florida) didn't have a major role on the Gators staff but can hit 95 MPH. LHP Carlos Rodon (16th round, North Carolina HS) is erratic but has a high upside, if they can sign him away from college ball at NC State. RHP Mike Palazzone (24th round, Georgia) is a polished college arm with average stuff. C Mario Amaral (17th round, Florida HS) and C BreShon Kimbell (28th round, Texas HS) are promising high school catchers with college commitments (Florida State, Louisiana Tech) who would be fine additions to the farm system if they can be signed.
SUMMARY: The Brewers need everything in a weak farm system, and the strategy was clear: load up on advanced college arms, then mix in some high schoolers with upside who will need time. I really love pitcher Jorge Lopez out of Puerto Rico; he'll need some patience, but he could end up being better than Jungmann and Bradley in the long run if he reaches his full potential. If they have the money, it would be an even better class if they can sign Rodon, Amaral, and/or Kimbell out of college ball.