Milwaukee Brewers 2021 MLB Draft Report Card
To see all of our 2021 draft report cards as they're released, plus new scouting reports, analysis & more for the 2022 draft, visit our MLB Draft Tracker.
Best Pure Hitter: It should speak to second baseman Tyler Black’s (2) ability with the stick that he’s the pick here instead of first rounder Sal Frelick—who had a great debut. Black hit a loud .383/.496/.683 in a hitter-friendly conference and park with Wright State this spring, but he stands out for his ability to control the zone as well and got on base at a .426 clip in his pro debut between the Arizona Complex League and Low-A East.
Best Power Hitter: The Brewers took a pair of powerful collegiate bats with third baseman Alex Binelas (3) (who entered the year as a potential first rounder) and catcher Wes Clarke (10) (who got off to the hottest start among any college hitter this spring). Milwaukee sees both hitters with at least 70-grade raw power. Binelas tapped into more of his with Low-A Carolina, hitting nine in 29 games, but Clarke tallied four in 21 games and added another in a three-game stretch in the Arizona Complex League.
Fastest Runner: Frelick was No. 3 in the 2021 college class for best speed and is a plus runner who seems to have a great feel for how fast he needs to run in order to beat out ground balls. That speed plays in the outfield as well and he stole 12 bags in 14 tries (85.7%) during his pro debut after going 38-for-46 (82.6%) during his career with Boston College.
Best Defensive Player: The Brewers drafted Ethan Murray (5) as a shortstop, but he logged a decent number of innings at second base and third base as well during his debut. Murray is more of a reliable defender than a flashy one, but Milwaukee is confident he can handle both middle infield spots. Frelick is still learning the intricacies of center field but he already makes highlight reel plays on a regular basis.
Best Fastball: There aren’t many flamethrowers in this draft class, but velocity alone isn’t everything. Righthanders Logan Henderson (4) and Brannon Jordan (9) grade out well with vertical life on their fastballs, while lefthander Russell Smith (2) stands out for his impressive fastball command, angle and deception. Righthander Ryne Moore (18) has impressed with the above-average sink and run on his two-seam fastball, while lefthander Jacob Brustoski (NDFA) might have the best pure velocity when healthy.
Best Secondary Pitch: The juco arms stand out in this category. Henderson’s mid-70s changeup drew plus grades from amatuer scouts and is a consistent weapon to both righties and lefties, while righthander Carlos Rodriguez (6) has an above-average slider.
Best Pro Debut: Among the first round draft picks in 2021, Frelick had one of the better debuts of the class and pushed his way to High-A Wisconsin, while posting an overall line of .329/.414/.466 with a 12.4 BB% and 14.8 K%. Binelas didn’t control the strike zone to that level, but he showed plenty of impact at Low-A Carolina with a .314/.379 /.636 slash line and the No. 3 ISO in the league (.322) among hitters with 100 or more plate appearances.
Best Athlete: Frelick was among the best athletes in the 2021 draft class after starring in three sports in high school (football, hockey, baseball). He had some interest as a Division I slot receiver on the gridiron, but fortunately for Milwuakee he stuck with baseball. Outfielder Jace Avina (14) was a two-sport athlete (baseball, soccer) in high school and is worth mentioning here as well.
Most Intriguing Background: Second baseman Zack Raabe (8) is the sone of former big leaguer Brian Raabe. Brian had a brief, three-year MLB career with the Twins, Mariners and Rockies and now coaches at Bethel University, where he holds a 232-130 (.641) career record.
Closest To The Majors: While Frelick is still developing as a defender, his bat is advanced enough that he could move quickly through the system, while Smith could equally move quickly if the Brewers decide to push him in a reliever role—Smith was used almost exclusively as a starter during his career at Texas Christian, however.
Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): It’s difficult to choose just one player for the Brewers with this category. The team is excited about Avina’s toolset and upside, they like Moore’s sinker/slider profile and pitchability and the most interesting name might be righthander/first baseman Quinton Low (13) who the Brewers signed for $347,500 on day three. Low was drafted as a righthanded pitcher but he was a two-way player in high school who played nine games in the Arizona Complex League this summer, hitting .364/.462/.364. Milwaukee believes the cold weather hitter has solid bat-to-ball skills and swing decisions and believe he’l add more power given his large, 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame.
The One Who Got Away: Outfielder/second baseman Roc Riggio (11) and lefthander Carter Holton (19) were two prominent prep prospects the Brewers tabbed on day three, but neither player agreed to deals with the club and will instead head to college. Riggio ranked as the No. 176 prospect on the 2021 BA 500, while Holton ranked No. 133.