Brewers select first Canadian on Day 2 of Draft

Prep SS O'Rae highlights 3rd round; Milwaukee tabs JUCO rivals, plus lefty-hitting catcher

July 18th, 2022

MILWAUKEE -- It was going to happen at some point during Day 2 of the MLB Draft on Monday, but it happened only 27 selections into the day. 

The Brewers made the first pick that momentarily stumped Draft gurus. 

Milwaukee’s selection of high school shortstop Dylan O’Rae in the third round temporarily paused the Draft as his information was loaded into the running tracker. It happens every year in MLB’s Draft, which features thousands of eligible players throughout North America, some of whom are well-known to analysts and fans, and others who play further outside the spotlight.

“This is our opportunity to put a plea out to our scout friends. We have reached the point where I don’t have information at the ready,” Jonathan Mayo said on’s live broadcast of Rounds 3-10. “This is going to happen. We want to give these kids their due. … This is a dream come true for them and we want to let them know what kind of player their team is getting.” 

With that moment as our starting point, here are three interesting developments from the Brewers’ Day 2:

1. Talent comes from everywhere
Scouts quickly filled in some of the blanks on O’Rae, a 5-foot-9 left-handed hitter from Sarnia, Ontario, who played for the Canadian Junior National Team and was the first Canadian drafted this year.

O'Rae ranked outside of’s Top 250 Draft prospects and outside Baseball America’s Top 500, but he posted big numbers (.257/.464/.343) for the national team against advanced competition. Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo wrote that he heard from scouts about O’Rae’s running ability and defensive versatility, and Collazo compared the brief pause in analysis to the Rangers’ 2020 second-round pick, outfielder Evan Carter. He didn’t rank high on pre-Draft lists, but Carter made it to Low-A ball as an 18-year-old in 2021 and he now ranks ninth on MLB Pipeline’s list of Texas’ top 30 prospects.

“It’s a little surprising to me that [O’Rae] stayed off of most people’s radar this year,” Brewers vice president of domestic scouting Tod Johnson said. “He’s on the Canadian National Team, and those kids do a lot of traveling; they go to Florida and play at Spring Training complexes, and they go to the Dominican Republic to play at academies. The fact that a lot of people didn’t know a lot about him was a little surprising.

“He’s somebody that we see potential physical development with. He’s not a big kid, but he’s pretty young and he has a chance to get stronger. He’s a well-above-average runner. He has good instincts and hands on the infield. We’ll give him every chance to stay on the infield, but if he doesn’t, then he’s a pretty easy fit to go out to center field.”

2. Sometimes no introduction is needed
Two of the Brewers’ first seven selections in this Draft have already met. Second-round pick Jacob Misiorowski and sixth-round selection Tyler Woessner started opposite each other in a Junior College World Series game in Grand Junction, Colo., on May 29. Misiorowski pitched for Crowder College and Woessner for Central Arizona College.

Misiorowski got the better of that matchup, allowing three runs on three hits in six innings with 10 strikeouts over Woessner’s four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts in a 10-inning Crowder win. Central Arizona won a rematch three days later, however, and eliminated Crowder on the way to winning the JUCO World Series.

Johnson contrasted Woessner and the pick one round earlier Monday, Cal Poly-Pomona right-hander Will Rudy. While Rudy is newer to pitching and has room to physically develop, Woessner is further along.

“He’s a bigger dude already, and we think he has the physical size and strength he’s going to need to be a potential big league pitcher,” Johnson said. “We like the stuff and the ‘compete’ in him. Our scout there, Adam Hayes, did a good job knowing this kid and knowing he wanted to sign as well.”

3. Put the ball in play, good things happen
If there was a common theme among the hitters selected by the Brewers over the first two days of the Draft, it was a preference for high contact rates, starting with first-rounder Eric Brown Jr. That was also the case with Competitive Balance Round B selection Robert Moore and a handful of bats the club selected on Day 2, starting with Big Ten batting champion Matt Wood in the fourth round.

Wood, a left-handed-hitting catcher out of Penn State, led the conference with a .396 average while posting a .480 on-base percentage and more walks (36) than strikeouts (26). The Brewers see him as a good all-around catcher who will have no problem staying behind the plate.

The Brewers took another high contact bat in the seventh round in Louisville third baseman Ben Metzinger, marking the second straight year they drafted a third baseman from that school (2021 third-rounder Alex Binelas was traded to Boston in December). Metzinger had a .427 on-base percentage with more walks (51) than strikeouts (45).

And in the ninth round, the Brewers selected another catcher, Tayden Hall, who had a .484 on-base percentage and more walks (40) than strikeouts (22) in 2022. His father, Toby Hall, caught for the Rays, Dodgers and White Sox from 2000-08.

Put the bat to the ball, and the Brewers were interested. 

“It’s been a big factor in our decision process for a number of years now,” Johnson said. “Our guys we drafted last year were all high-walk, low-strikeout as well. Sal [Frelick] and Tyler Black, for sure. … It is something we take into account in our decision process and look at. The guys we took yesterday and today fit into that mold as well -- and middle of the field, for the most part.”