When it comes to the MLB draft, a lot of teams opt to draft high school prep players in the early rounds. However, two of the Brewers’ highest-ranked prospects have been college players drafted in the first round in recent years- Sal Frelick (Brewers #1) out of Boston College in 2021 and Garrett Mitchell (Brewers #3) out of UCLA in 2020. Offensive powerhouse Joey Wiemer (Brewers #2) was drafted in the fourth round out of the University of Cincinnati in 2020.
The Brewers have the 27th overall draft pick this year. We will soon find out if they continue their trend of turning to collegiate athletes in the first round.
College players who have completed their junior year or will be 21 within 45 days of the draft are eligible to be drafted. Here’s one draft-eligible player from each team headed to Omaha for the College World Series to watch for in this year’s Major League Draft on July 17-19.
Peyton Graham (SS/3B)- The redshirt sophomore has hit 20 home runs on the season and has certainly lived up to the hype he earned as a pre-season All-Big 12 First Teamer and a preseason Baseball America All-American. He ended the season as an All-Big 12 First Team selection as well. Graham moved to shortstop this season after spending his first two years at third base and has continued to show quick and versatile defensive skills. He holds the team high in runs (71), home runs (20), runs batted in (71), stolen bases (32), slugging percentage (.660), and total bases (171). Less fun for him, he’s also the team leader in hit-by-pitches with 15.
OU Honorable Mention:
Tanner Tredaway (OF)- Tredaway missed the anticlimactic end to the Sooners’ 2021 season with an injury after starting every game of the shortened 2020 season. The All-Big 12 Second Teamer battled back this season to start all but one for the Sooners and currently holds the team lead for hits with 98. The redshirt senior won Player of the Game honors in OU’s Super Regional Game 3 victory over #4 Virginia Tech after going 4 for 5 with two home runs and three RBI.
Braydon Webb (OF)- Webb started his season 0-20 at the plate while dealing with a quad injury. He broke that streak in dramatic fashion with a grand slam and has arguably been the Hogs’ hottest bat since, with 14 more home runs on the season. In addition to his baseball skills, that tenacity will be a huge asset to whatever organization picks him up and will serve him well in the grind that can be minor league life.
Texas A&M Aggies
Dylan Rock (OF)- The Aggies have had themselves a power hitter in graduate transfer Dylan Rock. He’s fast, stealing 16 bases this season, and patient with a good eye and more walks (50) than strikeouts (46). He was named to the All-SEC Second Team.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Jack Brannigan (3B/P)- Though making most of his starts at third base, Brannigan’s shining moments have come out of the bullpen as a reliever. He’s fairly average behind the plate, especially in wood-bat league play, and a solid defender with a good arm. Though he prefers to play third base, whichever team drafts him will likely do their best to get him on the mound due to his athleticism and his lethal fastball.
Ivan Melendez (1B/DH)- Melendez was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection and also claimed the Big 12 Player of the Year award. He’s in the conversation for National Player of the Year honors and leads Texas in runs (73), home runs (31), runs batted in (91), walks (51), slugging percentage (.886), and total bases (209). While nothing special defensively, the NCAA D1 home run leader’s sheer offensive power makes him an attractive pick.
UT Honorable Mention
Pete Hansen (P)- Like his teammate Melendez, Hansen was a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection. His main weapon, his slider, is effective against left- and right-handed batters alike and his precision is deadly for hitters.
Brock Jones (OF)- A former Stanford football player, Jones has the physicality of a major leaguer. His biggest issue is his high chase rate, but he has some serious power and speed. Jones’ numbers have gone down since the 2021 season, but the skill and athleticism are definitely there. His raw talent needs some polish, but whichever team takes him will credit their decision to his instinctual style of play.
Stanford Honorable Mention
Quinn Mathews (P)- Mathews has a 4 pitch arsenal that throws even the best batters off of their rhythm. When he’s on, he’s on, but the ace does struggle with inconsistency and has a high walk rate for a pitcher with his strikeout capabilities. He currently serves as a multi-inning reliever for the Cardinals, but expect to see his future team test him out as a starter unless he can nail down his control issues fast.
Hayden Dunhurst (C)- A college Gold Glover in 2021, Dunhurst has been recovering from a hamstring injury this season. While not the most offensively productive, Dunhurst is an athletic catcher; he’s got a strong, accurate arm. He’ll be a huge defensive asset if he can manage average numbers at the plate.
Sonny DiChiara (1B)- DiChiara snagged SEC Co-Player of the Year honors in a stacked SEC. Across the 2021 and 2022 seasons, DiChiara reached base in 48 consecutive games. Not one to let the pressure get to him, the Samford transfer helped Auburn punch the final ticket to the Men’s College World Series with a 2-run home run, his 22nd of the season, in a win-or-go-home game at #3 Oregon State. In just one season with the Tigers, he’s become an Auburn legend as he led the team originally picked last in the SEC West all the way to Omaha.
It will be fun to see who will take home this year’s national title and if any of this year’s college baseball stars join the ranks of the Brewers organization come draft day.
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