The top Crew Draft pick from every season

December 31st, 2023

Going all the way back to the 1969 Seattle Pilots, here is every top pick by the Brewers franchise in MLB Draft history.

2023: Brock Wilken, 3B,  (No. 18)
The Brewers drafted a collegiate hitter in the first round of the MLB Draft for the fourth straight year, but Wake Forest third baseman Brock Wilken was unique among them. He has big power and his own logo. He’s also a third baseman, marking a departure for a Milwaukee club that had taken an up-the-middle defender or a pitcher with every first-round pick since third baseman Brett Lawrie in 2008. Wilken proved a quick study, posting an .887 OPS in his first 47 games as a pro and making it all the way to Double-A.

2022: Eric Brown Jr., SS, Coastal Carolina (No. 27)
Leading up to the Draft, analytically driven teams really liked Brown. He has an unusual setup at the plate, but has great hand-eye coordination and barrels balls with ease. He could be a 15-to-20-homer guy and his high baseball IQ, solid arm strength, and quick hands and feet make him one of the best defensive shortstops in the college ranks

2021: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College (No. 15)
Frelick was the captain of the baseball, football and hockey teams at Lexington (Mass.) High School, but he went undrafted before attending Boston College. Frelick had a .359/.443/.559 slash line as a junior, with six home runs and 13 stolen bases in 48 games.

2020: Garrett Mitchell, CF, UCLA (No. 20)
The Brewers were thrilled he was still available at No. 20 overall; Mitchell only fell because of other teams’ concerns about his Type 1 Diabetes. After spending most of his first professional summer at home because of the pandemic, Mitchell opened eyes in big league camp in 2021 by hitting .367.

2019: Ethan Small, LHP, Mississippi State (No. 28)
The Brewers loved Small’s competitiveness for a Mississippi State team that made it to the NCAA Super Regional just before Draft day. Even without a season in 2020 due to the pandemic, Small had already reached the Triple-A level by June 2021.

2018: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago (Corona, Calif.) HS (No. 21)
The Brewers picked a shortstop with their top selection for the first time since Bill Spiers in 1987 when they took Turang, who was considered one of the best high school hitters in the country and whose father, Brian Turang, was also drafted by Crew in ’87 but didn’t sign.

2017: Keston Hiura, 2B, UC Irvine (No. 9)
The Brewers so loved Hiura’s bat coming out of college that they made him a Top 10 Draft pick despite a right elbow injury that prevented him from playing in the field. Hiura got healthy without rehab and did nothing but hit in the Minors before a promotion to the Major Leagues in 2019, when he hit 19 home runs in 84 big league games.

2016: Corey Ray, CF, Louisville (No. 5)
Ray ranked as high as No. 30 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects list the year after the Brewers drafted him fifth overall, but injuries and trouble with swing and miss have slowed his ascent. He made his Major League debut on April 24, 2021, at Wrigley Field.

2015: Trent Grisham, CF, Richland (North Richland Hills, Tex.) HS (No. 15)
He was known as Trent Clark when the Brewers drafted the outfielder out of the Dallas area, but Grisham later changed his name to honor the mother who raised him. He made a positive impact for Crew late in the 2019 season and was traded that fall to the Padres with Zach Davies for Eric Lauer and Luis Urías.

2014: Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea (Hawaii) HS (No. 12)
Medeiros is among the crop of players from Hilo, Hawaii, to make their way to the Brewers in recent years, but he never got a chance to make it all the way to Milwaukee. The Crew traded him with another Minor Leaguer to the White Sox in July 2018 for veteran reliever Joakim Soria.

2013: Devin Williams, RHP, Hazelwood (Mo.) West HS (No. 54)
The Brewers didn’t have a first-round pick for the first time since 1990, having surrendered it to sign free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse. They got Williams in the second round, and after an up-and-down Minor League career interrupted by Tommy John surgery in 2017, Williams had a breakout '20 that made him the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner.

2012: Clint Coulter, C, Union (Camas, Wash.) HS (No. 27)
The Brewers had a pair of first-round picks for the second straight year, and while Coulter and power hitter Victor Roache (No. 28 overall) have had long Minor League careers, neither has made it to the Majors. The Crew had better success with its next two picks in that Draft, outfielders Mitch Haniger and Tyrone Taylor.

2011: Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Texas (No. 12)
The Brewers had two picks in the top half of the Draft and used them on a pair of accomplished college pitchers in Jungmann at No. 12 and left-hander Jed Bradley at No. 15. Jungmann made it to the Majors with some promise in 2015 (3.77 ERA in 21 starts) but didn’t replicate that success in ’16 and ’17 before signing to pitch in Japan.

2010: Dylan Covey, CF, Maranatha (Pasadena, Calif.) HS (No. 14)
Covey was set to sign with the Brewers when his physical exam revealed he had Type 1 Diabetes. When the Brewers amended their offer, Covey attended the University of San Diego instead, and he was drafted by the A’s in the fourth round in 2013.

2009: Eric Arnett, RHP, Indiana (No. 26)
Drafted one spot after Mike Trout, who might have gone to the Brewers had he still been available, Arnett was a colossal bust after suffering a decline in velocity in the Minor Leagues and never advanced past Class A Advanced. Milwaukee released him in 2014.

2008: Brett Lawrie, 3B, Brookswood (Langley, B.C.) HS (No. 16)
Lawrie was known for a fiery personality as a Brewers prospect and for being the trade chip then-GM Doug Melvin needed to get right-hander Shaun Marcum from the Blue Jays in a trade at the 2010 Winter Meetings.

2007: Matt LaPorta, 1B, Florida (No. 7)
LaPorta never played in the Major Leagues for the Brewers, but he has an outsized place in franchise history as the centerpiece of the prospect package that landed left-hander CC Sabathia from the Indians in July 2008 and helped the Brewers snap a 26-year postseason drought.

2006: Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Halifax County (Va.) HS (No. 16)
Jeffress ran into trouble in the Brewers’ Minor League chain; struggled with health, performance and off-field trouble at stops in Kansas City, Toronto and Texas, but he almost always thrived in Milwaukee. He’s third in franchise history with 300 relief appearances (302 2/3 innings) and logged a 2.62 ERA -- compared to a 4.76 ERA in 96 1/3 innings at those interim AL stops.

2005: Ryan Braun, 3B, Miami (No. 5)
The Brewers were torn between Miami’s Braun and Long Beach State’s Troy Tulowitzki. When Milwaukee, which needed a third baseman, ascertained that Tulowitzki wanted to stay at shortstop, it went with Braun, and while he didn’t stick on the infield, he became the franchise leader in home runs (352) and played in five postseasons.

2004: Mark Rogers, RHP, Mount Ararat (Topsham, Maine) HS (No. 5)
Rogers had a pair of stints with the Brewers in 2010 and a promising showing in ’12 when he had a 3.92 ERA in seven starts, but like so many others, it was a challenge to stay healthy. He eventually retired from baseball and followed in his father’s footsteps as a lobsterman.

2003: Rickie Weeks, 2B, Southern (No. 2)
Whether Weeks reached the sky-high expectations that accompany such a high Draft position remains a matter of debate. But he was a capable and dangerous leadoff man atop a lineup that was one of the National League’s best in the late 2000s.

2002: Prince Fielder, 1B, Eau Gallie (Melbourne, Fla.) HS (No. 7)
Fielder slipped in the Draft over concerns about his size, but for the Brewers, he was a model of durability, missing all of 13 games in his six full years with the team, including only one game in his final three years -- a day he was so sick in Houston that he required intravenous fluids. He hit 230 home runs, third-most in club history, and delivered a .282/.390/.540 slash line before departing for free-agent riches following the 2011 season.

2001: Mike Jones, RHP, Thunderbird (Phoenix) HS (No. 12)
If you looked up the definition of a prototypical pitching prospect, it would be a picture of Jones, the 6-foot-4 right-hander who was in Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects three straight years from 2002-04. Despite those pristine mechanics, Jones couldn’t stay healthy, and after nine long years in the Minors he retired in 2011 to focus on a growing family.

2000: David Krynzel, CF, Green Valley (Henderson, Nev.) HS (No. 11)
Krynzel had all the physical tools and performed well in the Minors, but his Major League experience amounted to 50 plate appearances in 2004-05. The Brewers traded him with Doug Davis and Dana Eveland to the D-backs in 2006 for Greg Aquino, Johnny Estrada and Claudio Vargas.

1999: Ben Sheets, RHP, Louisiana-Monroe (No. 10)
After Sheets became a national hero by shutting out mighty Cuba in the Gold Medal Game at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the Brewers rushed him home in time to attend the final game at County Stadium and Sheets emerged from the Milwaukee dugout between innings with his medal around his neck. He was in the Majors the next year and made the National League All-Star team as a rookie.

1998: J.M. Gold, RHP, Toms River North (N.J.) HS (No. 13)
Gold says the club tried to alter his mechanics and it led to elbow and shoulder injuries. He never made it to Double-A and called it a career after six pro seasons.

1997: Kyle Peterson, RHP, Stanford (No. 13)
Peterson pitched in the inaugural All-Star Futures Game in 1999 and became the first player from that event to make it to the Majors. He had brief stints with the Brewers in '99 and 2001 but had shoulder problems and retired in '02 before taking a job as an analyst with ESPN.

1996: Chad Green, CF, Kentucky (No. 8)
Green was rated the top college athlete in the 1996 Draft by Baseball America, but he never made it. Green had a .699 OPS in nine Minor League seasons, including .669 at the Triple-A level over parts of four years.

1995: Geoff Jenkins, LF, USC (No. 9)
Not even the players who moved with the franchise from Seattle to Milwaukee experienced as much change as Jenkins, who saw the Brewers switch leagues, logos, stadiums, owners, general managers (twice) and managers (four times) -- all during a 13-year tenure with the organization. He ranks seventh all time with 1,234 games in a Brewers uniform, fourth in the franchise in slugging percentage (.496) and OPS (.843) and fifth in extra-base hits (521).

1994: Antone Williamson, 1B, Arizona State (No. 4)
Considered one of the biggest busts in Brewers Draft history, Williamson’s Major League career was limited to 60 plate appearances in 24 games in 1997.

1993: Jeff D’Amico, RHP, Northeast (St. Petersburg, Fla.) HS (No. 23)
The big righty pitched parts of eight years in the big leagues for the Brewers, Mets, Pirates and Indians, but he had trouble staying healthy. His best season was 2000, when D’Amico went 12-7 with a 2.66 ERA in 23 starts and had a shot at the American League ERA title that may or may not have been compromised by an ankle injury suffered while taking a ride down Bernie Brewer’s slide.

1992: Ken Felder, OF, Florida State (No. 12)
Felder, a quarterback and outfielder at Florida State, was making a steady rise through Milwaukee’s Minor League system until he injured his right elbow in 1996 and later suffered a career-ending eye injury when a batted ball ricocheted and struck him in the face. He then worked as an agent and helped negotiate Geoff Jenkins’ contract extension with the Brewers in 2004.

1991: Ken Henderson, RHP, Ringgold (Ga.) HS (No. 5)
Henderson reportedly wanted a $1 million signing bonus. The Brewers offered $500,000 and he turned it down to pitch at the University of Miami, only to see his Draft stock fizzle.

1990: Larue Barber, OF, Grant Union (Sacramento, Calif.) HS (No. 54)
The Crew signed free agent Dave Parker the previous offseason and had to forfeit its first-round pick in ’90 to the A’s. So its top Draft pick was Barber, a fleet-footed outfielder who played five years in the Brewers and Padres systems but didn’t advance beyond the Class A Advanced level.

1989: Cal Eldred, RHP, Iowa (No. 17)
Eldred pitched parts of nine seasons for the Brewers but is best remembered for his first extended stint in the Major Leagues in 1992, when he went 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA in 14 starts following a July callup, finishing fourth in American League Rookie of the Year balloting. Tommy John surgery in ’95 robbed Eldred of his durability.

1988: Alex Fernandez, RHP, Monsignor Edward Pace (Miami Gardens, Fla.) HS (No. 24)
Fernandez pitched seven no-hitters in high school and opted not to sign with the Brewers in order to pitch at the University of Miami instead. He went fourth overall to the White Sox in 1990 and had a 10-year Major League career.

1987: Bill Spiers, SS, Clemson (No. 13)
Part of the Brewers’ decision to subtract Gary Sheffield from the clubhouse was the promise of Spiers, who played parts of six seasons in Milwaukee and saw action in 372 games at shortstop. Spiers eventually returned to Clemson -- as an assistant football coach.

1986: Gary Sheffield, SS, Hillsborough (Tampa, Fla.) HS (No. 6)
Sheffield was in the Majors two years later as a September callup after punishing pitchers in the Minor Leagues, but in '89, he began to clash with Milwaukee officials over his position; Sheffield wanted to play shortstop, but the Crew liked Spiers, who was a superior defender. Sheffield reluctantly was the Crew’s primary third baseman in '90, then struggled through injuries in ’91 in was traded to San Diego in ’92.

1985: B.J. Surhoff, C, North Carolina (No. 1)
With the only No. 1 overall pick in franchise history, the Brewers took Surhoff over the likes of Will Clark (second to the Giants), Bobby Witt (third to the Rangers), Barry Larkin (fourth to the Reds), Barry Bonds (sixth to the Pirates) and Rafael Palmeiro (22nd to the Cubs). Surhoff played 19 big league seasons, the first nine in a Brewers uniform.

1984: Isaiah Clark, SS, Crockett (Tex.) HS (No. 18)
The Brewers went for the prep shortstop in a Draft that saw Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine drafted behind Clark, who played six Minor League seasons for the Brewers, A’s, Padres and Mariners.

1983: Dan Plesac, LHP, NC State (No. 26)
The Brewers were reigning AL champions when they drafted Plesac, and he was in the Majors three years later in 1986. In ’87, he made the AL All-Star team for the first of three straight years, and he went on to become the Crew’s all-time leader in appearances (365), saves (133) and ERA (3.21); Milwaukee uses 500 innings as its minimum threshold.

1982: Dale Sveum, SS, Pinole Valley (Calif.) HS (No. 25)
Sveum hit 25 homers with 95 RBIs in 1987 (while mostly hitting ninth!) and was on his way to being a fantastic Brewers shortstop before a gruesome leg injury suffered in an '88 collision with outfielder Darryl Hamilton altered the course of the youngster's playing career. Sveum later became a Milwaukee coach and was interim manager at the end of 2008, when the team snapped its 26-year postseason drought.

1981: Scott Roberts, RHP, Hawaii (No. 47)
The Brewers surrendered their first-round pick to sign free agent Roy Howell, so their top pick was second-rounder Roberts, who’d previously been drafted out of high school by the Pirates but opted to go to college. He pitched in the Minors for eight seasons in the Brewers, Indians and Mariners systems.

1980: Dion James, OF, McClatchy (Sacramento, Calif.) HS (No. 25)
James was the Crew’s top rookie in 1984, when he hit .295 and manned center field, and he played parts of 11 big league seasons for the Brewers, Braves, Indians and Yankees in a long career that extended to '96.

1979: Mark Higgins, OF, Central Valley (Spokane, Wash.) HS (No. 49)
The Brewers forfeited their first-round pick this year to bring back free-agent pitcher Jim Slaton, who’d been traded to Detroit in December 1977 for Ben Oglivie. So Milwaukee's top selection in ’79 was second-rounder Higgins, who hit .181 in three Minor League seasons and was out of baseball after '81.

1978: Nick Hernandez, C, Hialeah (Fla.) HS (No. 8)
Hernandez played parts of four seasons in Milwaukee’s Minor League season but never made it past A-ball.

1977: Paul Molitor, SS, Minnesota (No. 3)
Molitor was drafted in the 28th round of the 1974 Draft by the Cardinals, and he would have signed had St. Louis upped its offer of a $4,000 bonus. But the University of Minnesota came through with a partial scholarship at the last minute and Molitor took it, altering the course of his own career -- and the history of the Brewers, who made him the third overall pick in ’77 and installed him at shortstop a year later, launching a 15-year tenure in Milwaukee that sent Molitor on a path to Cooperstown.

1976: Bill Bordley, LHP, Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) HS (No. 4)
Bordley was the first of the Brewers’ top picks who opted not to sign and headed to college instead. He had a fascinating career path after that, including a job with Major League Baseball as vice president of security and facility management.

1975: Rick O’Keeffe, LHP, Yorktown Heights (N.Y.) HS (No. 5)
O’Keeffe played nine Minor League seasons in the Brewers, Reds, Blue Jays and Mets systems but never cracked the Major Leagues. The Crew traded him after the 1977 season to Cincinnati with fellow Minor Leaguer Garry Pyka for left-hander Mike Caldwell, who enjoyed a career renaissance in Milwaukee.

1974: Butch Edge, RHP, El Camino Fundamental (Sacramento, Calif.) HS (No. 6)
The first top pick of the Brewers who never played in the Majors for Milwaukee, Edge was plucked away by the Blue Jays in the 1976 expansion Draft and made nine starts for Toronto in ’79, his only stint in the big leagues.

1973: Robin Yount, SS, Taft (Woodland Hills, Calif.) HS (No. 3)
Yount was universally regarded as one of the nation’s top prospects in a crop that included fellow future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray. Brewers general manager Jim Wilson and scouting director Jim Baumer were split on who the team should pick third overall, but in the end, it was the scouting director’s call and Baumer chose Yount. He was Milwaukee’s Opening Day shortstop the following year at age 18.

1972: Dan Thomas, OF, Southern Illinois (No. 6)
One of the most disturbing stories in franchise history, Thomas was known as the “Sundown Kid” during six seasons in the Brewers organization, including stints with the Major League club in 1976 and ’77. He battled depression for years, and in '80 he committed suicide while in prison in Mobile, Ala., after being arrested and charged with rape.

1971: Tommy Bianco, SS, Sewanhaka (Floral Park, N.Y.) HS (No. 3)
Bianco played first and third base and rose fast through Milwaukee’s Minor League system all the way to the Majors at age 22 in 1975. But after appearing in 18 games for the Brewers and going 6-for-34 at the plate that year, he never made it back to the big leagues.

1970: Darrell Porter, C, Southeast (Oklahoma City, Okla.) HS (No. 4)
Porter was an All-Star for the Brewers in ’74, a year after he finished third in AL Rookie of the Year Award balloting. The Brewers traded him to Kansas City in ’76 and Porter made three more All-Star teams.

1969: Gorman Thomas, SS, James Island (Charleston, S.C.) HS (No. 21)
Thomas was the first and only first-round Draft pick of the short-lived Seattle Pilots who finally got a shot to play regularly in 1978 and capitalized, belting 32 home runs for the Brewers’ first contender. A year later, Thomas led the American League with 45 homers, and in ’82 he tied the Angels’ Reggie Jackson for another league crown.