The Brewers announced agreements with their top two picks from this year’s draft: Sal Frelick and Tyler Black. Frelick’s bonus landed at an even $4MM, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com, while Black’s deal came in at $2.2022MM (Twitter links).
The fifteenth overall pick, with which Frelick was selected, came with a $3.8858MM slot value. The former Boston College outfielder lands a bit overslot. Frelick was seen as one of the top college position players in the class. He draws praise for his hit tool from the left-handed batter’s box and athleticism. A high-end runner, Frelick moved to center field from the corner outfield for the Eagles this season and flashed potential plus defensive ability at the position.
Listed at 5’9″, Frelick isn’t expected to hit for a ton of power. But his combination of bat-to-ball skills, baserunning and defensive ability placed him among the top ten talents in the class, in the estimation of each of Baseball America, Keith Law of the Athletic, and Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein of FanGraphs. Over three seasons in one of college baseball’s best conferences (the ACC), Frelick hit .345/.435/.521.
While Frelick’s bonus came in a bit above slot, Black’s deal lands right at the value associated with the #33 overall pick. A second baseman from Wright State University, the lefty-hitting Black posted an absurd .353/.468/.612 line over three seasons with the Raiders. That production is no doubt inflated by the subpar pitching he often faced in the Horizon League, but most evaluators remain convicted in his hitting ability. He landed among the top 35 prospects in the pre-draft rankings at the Athletic and FanGraphs based on his advanced hit tool and exceptional feel for the strike zone.