After such a disappointing season in 2020, the Brewers look to get back to winning ways in 2021. However, this takes away the emphasis from their improving farm system. This is headlined by 2020 MLB 1st Round Draft pick, Garrett Mitchell. Here we dive into the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects, from ten down to one, and what they may offer to the organization in the future.
Milwaukee Brewers Prospects: Counting down From Ten
Basing the ranking on the MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 for the Brewers, they have seen a shift at the top following the Draft Pick of Garrett Mitchell. High hopes remain for the former number one pick, Brice Turang, but a change sees some freshness to the organization.
There is an interesting mix amongst the Top-10, as seen below, and there can be some optimism about what the future holds from the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects.
10. Corey Ray – OF – Drafted: 1st Round (5) – 2016
26 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: L
First up on the list is a player who has been in the organization for nearly five years. It is a big year for Ray in 2021, as he is yet to set the world alight with dominating displays.
Drafted 5th Overall in 2016, there were high hopes for the outfielder out of the University of Louisville. He hit 15 HRs and stole 44 bags as a Louisville Junior, thus tempting the Brewers to sign him for $4.125m.
Despite this faith shown by the Brewers, injuries and lack of form have seen him limp through his Minors career, barring a 2018 season that saw 27 HRs and 37 SBs at Biloxi Shuckers (AA).
The center-fielder has lost big parts of his game that saw him get drafted so highly. He was renowned for his power-hitting and speed, but injuries have seen that power limited for most of his career. His K% rate of 30.4% at AA and 38.7% at AAA in 2019 highlights his main weakness. He is aggressive at the plate but hasn’t converted this into a high HR, high contact approach.
He will need some work on his batting stance and approach, to reduce his K% rate, but if he can get firing on all cylinders, he has the potential to be an exciting member of the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers Prospects.
9. Hedbert Perez – OF – Signed: International FA 2019
17 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: L
One of the most intriguing members of the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers Prospects, the young Venezuelan was signed in 2019 for a $700k bonus. Despite not having much game experience, the Brewers have a lot of faith in him.
The Instructional League allowed people to see what he has to offer. His impressive contact tool highlights his advanced feel at the plate. He has potential for average power, and this allows him to hit the gaps effectively, as well as the long HRs seen at Camp. His quick, compact swing helps him make regular contact due to his feel for the barrel. His size also allows him to be quick between the bases, adding more threat to his already dangerous game.
Defensively his speed helps him work the outfield with ease. This combined with his solid arm strength and range makes him an ideal candidate for the long-term starting role at CF.
The skills shown to scouts in Venezuela, as well as at Instructional League, give the organization plenty to think about. He potentially has one of the highest ceilings in the prospects list.
8. Eduardo Garcia – SS – Signed: International FA 2018
18 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R
Swiftly following one International prospect is another. This time in the form of exciting shortstop Eduardo Garcia. Signed in 2018 for $1.1m on his 16th birthday, he wasted no time getting to grips with Rookie ball by hitting .313 and one home run in the Dominican Summer League in 2019.
Whilst he doesn’t possess some standout tools like Perez before him, his across-the-board tools showcase his versatility and reliability. He isn’t a big power hitter but he has the potential to pick up some more pop in his bat and look for double figure HR seasons.
Defensively he was one of the hottest fielders on the International market. His overall defensive tool, as well as his quick hands, soft glove, and athleticism should see him stick at shortstop in the long-term, and his size and frame allow for this too.
The second of two International prospects, Garcia shows more overall composure and justifies his ranking of 8th in the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers Prospects list.
7. Antoine Kelly – LHP – Drafted: 2nd Round (65) – 2019
21 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: L
The first of three left-handed pitchers in the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects ranks of 2021, Antoine Kelly demonstrates a projectable frame that has already seen an increase of six mph on his fastball since he was in High School.
He pitched just 31.2 innings in 2019, as the Brewers looked to integrate him slowly and allow for his pitches to flow naturally. This allowed his fastball to be utilized a lot more, striking out 45 hitters in the process. His control has improved due to such a clean delivery and easy mechanic to repeat.
His fastball sits in the mid-90s with late movement, whilst his secondaries consist of a slider and a changeup. Although these aren’t as developed as his fastball, he can still flash potential with his mid-80s slider that shows late biting action. His changeup is an area that he needs to improve on but was hardly used as a College pitcher.
6. Aaron Ashby – LHP – Drafted: 4th Round (125) – 2018
22 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: L
One of the players mentioned in the Brewers’ Predictions article, there is some hope that he is called-up in 2021 after a productive first couple of seasons in pro ball. He finished with an ERA of 3.59 in 2018, before bettering this in 2019 with an ERA of 3.50, as well as 135 Ks in 126 innings.
His 2019 season demonstrated his pitching ability and durability, despite concerns over his over-complicated delivery action and his up-and-down control. Although this is a concern, his stuff certainly makes up for it. He has the potential to pick up strikeouts regularly, largely in part due to his control over his pitching arsenal.
His fastball sits in the mid-90s with riding life, whilst his secondaries consist of his standout slider, a curveball, and an improving changeup. His slider picks up plenty of strikes and is thrown with depth, power, and late downer action. His complicated delivery action aids its use against both left-handed and right-handed hitters. He is continuing to improve his changeup as he progresses through the system, and his curveball serves as a lower velocity version of his slider, adding more deception to his arsenal.
5. Tristen Lutz – OF – Drafted: CBAth Round (34) – 2017
22 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R
Another interesting name on the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects list, Lutz got his career off to a flier as he averaged .311 in his first season before he settled down and showed more consistency in his latter two seasons.
Although this shows more emphasis on contact hitting, he was signed due to his raw power potential. Hitting 13 HRs in back-to-back seasons shows some signs of his power potential, but there is a heavy emphasis to the pull-side and very little elsewhere. He will certainly develop more as his frame progresses physically, thus holding out hope that 2021 could be his standout year.
He demonstrates a solid stance, with a smooth swing, but his pitch-reading and approach leave a lot to be desired. His K% rate in 2019 was 28.7%, largely caused by his unwillingness to open his body up to the field, and his aggressive approach. When he does make contact with the ball, he creates loud contact, thus making him a threat if he can refine his approach slightly.
His bat could see him switch to corner-outfield permanently defensively, but he also shows decent range and accuracy with his throwing, albeit despite lacking real quickness and awareness in the outfield.
4. Mario Feliciano – C – Drafted: CBBth Round (75) – 2016
22 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R
Signed as an offensive catcher in 2016, he quickly showed this by hitting four HRs and averaging .251 in 2017, before an injury hampered his 2018 season. His offensive capabilities were limited, and he couldn’t get into a routine.
However, 2019 proved to be his year. He exploded for 19 HRs and 81 RBIs, whilst averaging .270. The combination of contact hitting and power-hitting sees him possess one of the most balanced hitting tools amongst the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects. There is a slight concern that he can be overly aggressive, but his bat produces loud contact, and he demonstrates the pop to reach double-figure HRs. With refinement to his approach to reduce his 28.8 K% rates, he could further increase his hitting potential and see a quick rise through the system.
Defensively, he is athletic and quick behind the plate. Although there is an emphasis on his offensive side, he has the glove to be a regular starter in the Majors. He will need continued improvement on both sides of the plate but so far it has served him well.
3. Ethan Small – LHP – Drafted: 1st Round (28) – 2019
23 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: L
An exciting pitching prospect who dominated at College ball to earn a $1.8m signing bonus. He made just a handful of appearances but struck out 36 hitters in just 21 innings.
Surgery saw a slight reduction in velocity with his pitches, but his control and command have improved significantly. His three-pitch arsenal pounds the zone regularly and this is helped by a smooth, easy delivery action that can be repeated consistently.
His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he creates deception with his delivery action and encourages weak contact as well as strikeouts. His secondaries consist of a changeup and a curveball. All three of his pitches are regarded as even pitches, with a lack of standout pitch. However, this leads to consistency and allows him to mix his pitches effectively.
His changeup sits in the mid-70s, with late fading action despite coming out of fastball arm speed. Small’s curveball has good depth but can sometimes lack consistent movement. This has led to him focusing on introducing a slider into his arsenal, but he is yet to use that in a competitive scenario.
2. Brice Turang – SS/2B – Drafted: 1st Round (21) – 2018
21 Years Old – Bat: R – Throw: R
The previous top prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers was demoted to second place following the pick of Garrett Mitchell. However, some still regard him as their top choice, and he has shown glimpses why since being drafted in 2018.
Power isn’t his biggest strength so he heavily focuses on making regular contact. This led to a .283 average with just one home run in his first season. Although his average decreased in 2019, he picked up regular hits and demonstrated his speed between the bases with 30 SBs.
His strong stance and medium load shift allow him to create hard contact without the leverage to lift the ball over the fences. He focuses more on hitting doubles and triples, an approach that is complemented by his advanced approach and ability to get consistent bat-on-ball. There isn’t big power potential, but if he worked on his leverage and continued with his contact, then this could be added to his game.
Defensively he should stick at shortstop without showing off too much in terms of fielding tools. He is a consistent fielder that has an above-average arm and accuracy with his throws across the diamond.
There will be some pressure on him to produce in 2021.
1. Garrett Mitchell – OF – Drafted: 1st Round (20) – 2020
22 Years Old – Bat: L – Throw: R
The new number one atop the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects list comes in the shape of the UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell. He was signed for slot value but was predicted to go much sooner than he was. There have been some concerns about his diabetes history, but he has shown determination and willingness to prove his worth as one of the most exciting picks in the 2020 Draft.
His ability to find gaps, and then put pressure on fielders with his speed, makes him a threat at the plate. This contact ability came late into his game, but if he can continue to develop this whilst creating more pop off the bat, then he should reach his potential. There will need to be an emphasis on increasing his launch angle if he is to get the ball above the outfield, and this will come as his body develops and grows into his projectable frame.
His quickness and alertness allow him to track fly balls down easier and get there quicker than others. His target will be to improve his offensive game, but he has the potential to be an above-average fielder.
As far as the Brewers’ fans should be concerned, he is a deserving recipient of the top spot in the Milwaukee Brewers Prospects list.
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