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Revisiting the 2023 Brewers MLB Draft class after the conclusion of the minor league season.
Best Pure Hitter: Third baseman Mike Boeve (2) has impressive pure bat-to-ball skills and struck out at just a 4.3% rate this spring with Nebraska-Omaha. He hit .324/.400/.529 in his pro debut between rookie ball and Low-A Wisconsin, and rarely expands the strike zone or misses on swings within it.
Best Power Hitter: Third baseman Brock Wilken (1) was one of the premier sluggers in the 2023 college class. Pairing 70-grade raw power with a homer-friendly park led to gaudy home run totals at Wake Forest. Wilken finished his career with 71 home runs—a Wake program record.
Fastest Runner: The Brewers drafted more power than speed in the 2023 class. None of the team’s first three hitters selected are fleet of foot, though shortstop Cooper Pratt (6) is a fine runner who can turn in a solid-average home-to-first time and has a reasonably quick first step. Other teams would win sprints against this Milwaukee draft class.
Best Defensive Player: Pratt (6) was also the first up-the-middle defensive profile the Brewers selected this year, and while he is a risk to move off shortstop, he should be a solid or better defender on the left side of the infield thanks to strong defensive actions and plus arm strength. The Brewers are excited about Wilken’s defensive work at third base to begin his pro career, which is notable considering some of the questions about his defensive profile prior to the draft.
Best Fastball: Righthander Ryan Birchard (5) has a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and righthander Morris Austin (10) has been up to 98 with his fastball, though he maxed out at 96 mph in his pro debut this summer.
Ryan Birchard has the look of the latest Brewers scouting success story from the JUCO ranks.
Best Secondary Pitch: There are a number of pitchers who spin the ball well in this Brewers draft class, but righthander Josh Knoth (1s) has exceptional feel to spin the baseball and throws both a slider and curveball with spin rates north of 3,000 rpm. His slider could become a 70-grade offering with two-plane bite and his curveball has plus potential.
Best Pro Debut: Both Wilken (1) and Boeve (2) impressed offensively in their pro debuts, but we’ll lean towards Wilken here since he pushed to Double-A and maintained the sort of walk rates that were encouraging to see from him during his draft season with Wake Forest. Wilken slashed .285/.414/.473 across three levels, hit five home runs, four triples, eight doubles and walked at a 16.3% clip compared to a 23.2% strikeout rate.
Best Athlete: Righthander Isaiah Jackson (NDFA) is an exceptional athlete on the mound who the Brewers are excited about. Among drafted players, the team is perhaps most excited about Knoth’s (1s) athleticism.
Most Intriguing Background: Boeve’s (2) father Jim was a college coach for NAIA Hastings (Neb.) and Pratt’s father and mother played baseball and softball, respectively, at Nova Southeastern.
Closest To The Majors: Wilken has the physicality and raw power to earn a big league shot sooner than most players in this class, particularly if he maintains above-average walk rates like he did in his debut. Already reaching Double-A is a great sign as well.
Best Day Three Pick (Or NDFA): The Brewers spent big on a pair of players on the third day of the draft. First, they signed righthander Bishop Letson (11) to a $482,600 deal and a round later they signed lefthander Bjorn Johnson (12) to a $420,500 deal. Both are upside prep arms, though Letson has the most advanced present stuff and his uptick in velocity made him a potential day two target in this draft class.