With the 28th pick in the draft, the Houston Astros have selected first baseman/outfielder Seth Beer from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. In mock drafts, Beer was unmocked by ESPN and mocked 26th by Baseball America.
In addition to being an obvious target for endorsement deals with Budweiser, Coors, and Miller, Beer is a talented, polished left-handed hitter who has shown the ability to hit for both contact and power. Though he has yet to match a ridiculous freshman season in which he hit .369/.535/.700 with 18 homers, Beer has posted an OPS above 1.000 with double-digit homers and more walks than strikeouts in all three of his collegiate seasons, and he showed progress as a power hitter by slugging a career-high 21 homers this year.
On the other hand, he’s a fringy outfielder who will likely be limited to first base or DH as a big-leaguer, and there are teams who question his ability to hit with wood bats. With that said, we saw an ultra-skilled college hitter who was virtually positionless in Keston Hiura get taken in the first round in 2017 and look just fine through his first year as a pro, so there’s a good chance that the concerns about Beer are mostly unwarranted. If he continues to hit like he has in college, Beer should move quickly through the minors, just like Hiura — who is already in Double-A after getting drafted last June — though his arrival in the majors could potentially be delayed if his team wants to try and work out his defensive issues at the minor-league level.