First-Rounder Brock Wilken Jumps On A Fast Track To Milwaukee


The Brewers expect third baseman Brock Wilken to ride a fast track to Milwaukee.

“He’s a 2025 player for us,” said one high-ranking member of the organization after the Brewers drafted Wilken 18th overall out of Wake Forest.

The 21-year-old Wilken broke the Atlantic Coast Conference record with 71 career home runs in three seasons and the Demon Deacons’ single-season record with 31 in in 66 games in 2023.

“I don’t go up there trying to hit a lot of homers,” Wilken said. “I stick to my approach and if I put a good swing on it, I know the barrel is in the zone long enough that it has a chance to go out throughout all the ballpark.”

At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Wilken might eventually wind up at first base. But that’s of little concern for the Brewers, who will happily take the pop he’s projected to provide at either corner spot.

“We’re going to send him out to third and develop him as a third baseman and give him every chance to do that,” Brewers vice president of scouting Tod Johnson said.

“He’s very athletic for his size. He’s a big human. We’re excited by that. He’s an athletic mover for being as big as he is.”

Also exciting to the Brewers was the fact they were able to sign Wilken for a reported $3.15 million, almost $900,000 below slot.

Wilken played deep into June as Wake Forest made a deep Omaha run. The Brewers expect him to reach High-A Wisconsin this summer following a quick indoctrination in the Arizona Complex League.

If Wilken is successful in reaching Milwaukee within two years, he will join two other recent first-round draftees out of college: outfielders Garrett Mitchell and Sal Frelick.

Mitchell went from UCLA in 2020 to the big leagues in 2022. Frelick finished at Boston College in 2021 and made his MLB debut this July.


— The Brewers drafted New York high school righthander Josh Knoth in the supplemental first round. He signed the same day as Wilken for an under-slot bonus of $2 million. Knoth was a surprise choice for an organization that has shied away from young arms in the early rounds in recent years.

“I think he wasn’t necessarily well-known on some of the industry list stuff as somebody who might go that high,” Johnson. said “But other teams were certainly in play right around where we ended taking him.”

— Using the savings generated by under-slot deals for Wilken, Knoth and others, the Brewers were able to go over slot to sign high school shortstops Eric Bitonti ($1.75 million) in the third round and Cooper Pratt ($1.35 million) in the sixth.

— Righthander Abner Uribe made his MLB debut on July 8. In his second appearance he threw the fastest pitch in Brewers history, a 102.2 mph fastball that the Phillies’ Bryce Harper fouled off.

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