Brewers Select LHP Russell Smith & 3B Alex Binelas in Rounds 2 & 3

Louisville's Alex Binelas fields during a team scrimmage on Friday, February 5, 2021.Alexbinelas05
Louisville's Alex Binelas fields during a team scrimmage on Friday, February 5, 2021.Alexbinelas05 /

It may have been a round or two later than some anticipated, but the Milwaukee Brewers did address the pitcher position, selecting Russell Smith, the 22-year old left-hander from TCU. This is the first pitcher that the Brewers have taken in the MLB draft since the final round in 2019.

Standing 6’9” and weighing 235 pounds, Smith is an imposing figure on the mound. He has three years of college experience after missing all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Despite his size, Smith’s fastball only reaches the low-90s on average, but he has good command and also relies on a change-up as well as a slider on occasions.

During his most recent 2021 season, Smith posted a 3.83 ERA over 82.1 innings with 101 strikeouts to just 20 walks, 11 home runs allowed, and a WHIP of 1.130. For his college career, he recorded a 3.62 ERA, 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, and 2.4 walks per nine, along with a WHIP of 1.159.

Related Story. Brewers Select OF Sal Frelick in Round 1. light

Smith is rated as the 102nd prospect in this year’s draft by Below are his scouting grades on the 20-80 grading scale, along with a portion of the pre-draft scouting report.

Fastball: 55

Change-up: 55

Slider: 45

Control: 60

Overall: 45

"“Smith’s fastball plays significantly better than its ordinary velocity (89-93 mph, peak of 95) because he commands it so well and creates difficult angle, plane and extension with his extra-large 6-foot-9 frame. His mid-80s changeup can be a plus pitch with fade and sink at its best. While his low-80s slider isn’t as effective as his other two offerings, it has shown improvement and he mixes it in at opportune times.“After issuing a walk every two innings as a freshman, Smith has given out a free pass less than once per start ever since. He keeps his long limbs in sync with an easy delivery that he repeats well. His ability to locate his pitches where he wants gives him a high floor as a likely No. 5 starter.”"

The Milwaukee Brewers’ next selection at pick 86th in the third round comes with a very cool back story. Third baseman Alex Binelas out of Louisville is from Oak Creek, Wisconsin — just outside of Milwaukee — and of course, he grew up a Brewers fan.

"“It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true,” Binelas said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Ever since I started playing baseball when I was four years old, it was, ‘I want to be a Milwaukee Brewer one day.’ And now to hear my name called by the Brewers, it’s one step closer to that dream.“And it’s awesome.”"

Binelas was considered a potential top-15 pick in this year’s draft prior to a slow start during the 2021 season, batting just .155 with one home run, according to However, he would rebound as the season progressed and finished with a slash line of .256/.348/.621 with 19 home runs, 10 doubles, two triples, and 21 walks over 230 plate appearances.

Over his three-year career with the Cardinals, Binelas would bat .272 with a .970 OPS along with 33 home runs, a walk rate of 10 percent, and a strikeout rate of 21 percent. Binelas was drafted as a third baseman but could play first as well; however, he will do whatever he has to do to get to the big leagues and to help his team win:

"“Nothing’s really been set yet, but I plan on playing any position that can help me move up the system fast and help the teams win,” he said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I’m here to make my dream come true and make it to the big leagues, but to also do what’s best for this organization." has Binelas rated as the 65th overall prospect in this year’s draft. Below is a look at his scouting grades, along with a portion of’s scouting report on the newest member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Hit: 45

Run: 45

Power: 55

Arm: 50

Field: 45

Overall: 50

"“The product of strength and bat speed, Binelas’ solid left-handed power began to return in April, when he homered six times in a seven-game span. He uses the entire field and doesn’t chase many pitches out of the strike zone, though he doesn’t have a history of hitting for high averages. He draws a decent amount of walks but he’s a streaky hitter who falls into prolonged slumps when his timing gets off at the plate.“Binelas also lacks an obvious defensive home. He began the season at third base but most scouts don’t like his hands, footwork or funky throwing motion, and he also has looked rough at first base after moving there in mid-March. Though his speed plays as fringy in games, he recorded plus 60-yard dash times on scout day in the fall, so his best option may be left or right field.”"

Next. Brewers Select INF Tyler Black with 33rd Overall Pick. dark

Stay locked into Dairyland Express for more updates on who the Milwaukee Brewers select in this year’s 20-round MLB Draft.