#9 SS Cooper Pratt (Arizona League Brewers)
The Brewers selected Pratt in the sixth round in 2023, a pick that many evaluators considered the steal of the draft at the time. Pratt was ranked the 25th overall prospect in the draft by Fangraphs, 45th by MLB Pipeline, and 63rd by Baseball America. Much like Mike Boeve, Pratt was a pick that was based on a mix of analytics and pure scouting. He would stand out in most teams' models, but he also stood out to the pro scouts watching him on the prep circuit over the last few years.
What to Like:
On the defensive side, Pratt has a good chance to stick at shortstop despite his 6’4 build. He has good hands and solid actions at the position. He gets good reads off the bat and does especially well when coming in on the ball. If he does have to move off of shortstop, he should be a plus defender at third base. Offensively, Pratt’s approach at the plate was considered one of the best among all the high school selections. During his time on the tournament circuit, according to Baseball America, “Over a 668-pitch sample, Pratt had just a 12% overall miss rate and 17% chase rate. His miss rate falls to just 6% on pitches in the zone.” Those are fantastic numbers for a player his age. Pratt has a small leg kick and extremely quick hands. Those traits combine to form a smooth swing that keeps the barrel in the zone for a long time and allows him to hit the ball with some authority to all fields. Currently, Pratt is not providing too much in-game power. Still, his frame shows the potential to grow into much more, and evaluators say he is already showing it in batting practice, especially to the pull side.
What to Work On:
As mentioned, on the defensive side of the ball, a move to third base is still well within the range of possibilities for Pratt. The main reason he may not be able to stick at shortstop is that he struggles to move laterally at times. Going side to side is incredibly important at the shortstop position, but at third base, you don’t need that same level of range. It is something that a player can get better at by increasing their mobility, but a player of Pratt’s size will have a harder time making those improvements. At the plate, Pratt’s improvements are most likely to come in the form of adding power. Beyond that, simply adjusting to professional pitching will be the biggest thing for Pratt in 2024, as he did struggle with strikeouts in his pro debut, not to an extreme degree, but a bit more than his profile would suggest. Remember that the 26.6% swinging strike rate Pratt shows in his 54 PAs at the Complex level likely isn’t correct, as the pitch-by-pitch data at the rookie levels isn’t very accurate.
Pratt received Gunnar Henderson comps throughout the draft process, and it’s easy to see why, given his build and fluidity at that size. Henderson only hit one home run in his first 121 plate appearances in rookie ball, but he started tapping into his power during his first full season in pro ball, and the hope is that Pratt will do the same. Pratt’s assignment next season will likely depend on how he looks in spring. It seems most likely that he will stay in extended spring training for a while and then either be assigned back to the ACL Brewers or pushed to Low-A Carolina if he is showing what the Brewers hope to see.
What do you think about Cooper Pratt? What are you hoping to see from him in 2024? Let us know in the comments!
Think you could write a story like this? Brewer Fanatic wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.