The Detroit Tigers are searching for offensive potential in this year’s amateur player draft. They don’t have to look too far from home to find Jordan Brewer, an outfielder for the Michigan Wolverines who was voted Big Ten player of the year in 2019. He has a few minor concerns, but some believe the potential here has been rather severely underestimated.
Brewer was originally recruited to try out for football, but after dislocating his non-throwing shoulder, he hung up his pads for good and decided to focus on baseball with an eye toward making it back to a Division 1 program. After batting .368 as a freshman and .367 as a sophomore at Lincoln Trail Junior college, the St Joseph, Michigan native entered Michigan for his junior season as a JUCO transfer.
Draft day age: 22
MLB Pipeline draft prospect rank: 108
Previously drafted: N/A
MLB.com Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 65 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Brewer stands six-foot-one, listed at 195 pounds and comes with a shed full of tools. He has played all three outfield positions, but settled into right field where his strong arm is a big asset, and where Michigan had a greater need. In his only season at Michigan, he posted a slash line of .340/ .400/ .610 for an OPS of 1.010 with twelve home runs and 18 doubles while stealing 19 bases in 23 attempts. He played 52 games this season though he was hampered with turf toe as the season progressed, which took a little of the spring out of his step.
Brewer bats right, throws left, and has been a catalyst in Michigan’s lineup. The injuries may have hindered some of his raw athleticism this season, but the same size, speed, and body control that caught Michigan’s interest in him as a receiver remain in place.
Baseball America ranks Brewer as the No 158 prospect in the draft, but MLB pipeline has him at 106 and Fangraphs ranks him 108. The Tigers will pick at numbers 5, 47, 83, and 112 in the first four rounds.
in a draft that’s short on true five-tool talent, Brewer is a hidden gem.
MLB.com likes Brewer’s chances of being a major league center fielder.
If he realizes his upside, Brewer will have at least solid tools across the board. He has well above-average speed and plus raw power, giving him 20-20 potential. He doesn’t try to do too much at the plate, using his combination of a quick right-handed swing and strength to deliver hard contact to all fields.
He needs to refine his instincts a bit but he has the quickness to become a quality defender in center when he returns there in pro ball. His arm grades as average to solid and plays up because he makes accurate throws.
He missed the final two games of the Big Ten tournament with the turf toe injury and also missed the first two games of the NCAA regionals. He entered the game against Creighton as a pinch hitter and promptly single, stole second base, and came around to score a run.
Overall Michigan did a good job working with Brewer to develop a pro approach and a more compact swing that can deliver loft as well as plus raw power. His contact and discipline improved under their tutelage, and while he’s flown under the radar, Brewer might be the most tooled up, all-around athlete in the draft beyond the first two rounds. The product is still raw, but the ingredients are high-end.
Brewer would be a reach to be drafted on the first day, but he could go early on the second day of the draft, and he might even make baseball fans in Michigan happy when he begins his professional career. If he’s available to the Tigers in the third round, he could really provide them with another weapon in their quest to build up the quality of bats within the farm system.