So Spring Training is upon us, thus meaning the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers are priming themselves ready for action. There was an exciting tweet by the Brewers’ Twitter page that saw MVP Christian Yelich arrive for the first day.
With baseball hoping to return to a fairly normal routine albeit with some variations, we previously dived into how Christian Yelich can return to form, and where we think the Brewers will go in 2021.
2021 Milwaukee Brewers: Spring Training Preview
The Brewers will kick off their Spring Training with games starting from the 28th of February and running through until the 29th of March, where they have 2 exhibition games against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Below is a copy of their 2021 Spring Training Schedule.
They kick off their schedule with a match against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Arizona, before continuing daily until the following Sunday. This should allow for them to rotate their roster and team continuously to allow at-bats and innings for all players included.
There is plenty of matches to get valuable game time, as well as scoping the opposite team before the season officially starts on the 1st of April.
There were various roster moves throughout the off-season. This included the acquisitions of Tim Lopes, Daniel Robertson, Jordan Zimmerman, Derek Fisher, and Kolten Wong. There were also the arbitration cases of Josh Hader and Brandon Woodruff. Lots of moves to prepare the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers for the upcoming season.
As with all Spring Training Camps, there is a long list of Non-roster invitees that joined the Brewers in Arizona. Whilst the list can be found here, we wanted to pick out a few names that could be of interest.
As well as the prospects that could be of some interest to Brewers’ fans, there were a few uncontracted players invited to Spring Training. These include Blaine Hardy, recently of the Twins, Jordan Zimmerman, former Tiger, and Jace Peterson, who was invited back after electing free agency after the 2020 season.
Blaine Hardy – The left-handed pitcher was invited to Camp despite currently rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery, which he had in March. Hardy was with the Tigers from 2014-19 before signing a Minor League deal with the Twins last Winter. Although he may be unlikely to be ready to pitch at ST, he should be able to get valuable rehab time with the team.
Jordan Zimmerman – The 35-year-old right-handed pitcher returns to his native Wisconsin on a Minor League deal to start with. Although he struggled with the Tigers in his tenure there, he presents a low-risk option for the Brewers, who could utilize him as either a 5th starter or a general swingman.
Jace Peterson – For a player who didn’t really excel in 2020, Peterson becomes another low-risk option who can do well in Minor League ball for now. His average was just .200 last season, but he drew 15 walks in 61 plate appearances. There may not be much offered for the Majors roster as of yet but could prove to be a safe back-up if needed.
That’s a quick low down on the experienced invitees for Spring Training, now for the exciting guys, the prospects.
Prospects who could shine
We mentioned not long ago the Brewers’ Top 10 prospects and what they could offer for the future with the Brew Crew.
Despite the Brewers being full in the outfield department, as well as rumors linking them with Jackie Bradley Jr., Garrett Mitchell is the guy they are all raving about. He is disciplined at the plate and uses his speed in the field. This clip from their official Twitter page shows his smooth mechanics and clean contact.
This clip from Spring Training in 2019 shows his clean contact and potential power projection. Known for his defensive attributes rather than his hitting game, he had hit double-digit homers in 2018 and 2019. He will join a packed catching staff, including Jacob Nottingham, Manny Pina, and Omar Narvaez, as well as Mario Feliciano and Luke Maile.
Tristen Lutz has also played as high as Carolina Mudcats (A+), whilst demonstrating four, maybe five potential average tools or better. His hitting tool slightly lacks behind everything else, but he has averaged .245 and .255 in his last two seasons, with 14 HRs in each year. There are rightly question marks about his strikeout rate, and lack of discipline at the plate, but he’s definitely another one for the Brewers fans to watch.
Pitching prospects seem to be the key for the Brewers in 2021. We had previously mentioned Aaron Ashby, Ethan Small, and Antoine Kelly potentially getting innings in 2021, but there are invites for Quintin Torres-Costa and Clayton Andrews.
Clayton Andrews is the more interesting of the two latter invites. Drafted as a 2-way player in 2018, he shows minimal physicality as a 5’6, 160lb pitcher but showed control and strike ability as a reliever working up to Biloxi Shuckers (AA). There were some hitting aspects to his game in 2019, averaging .333 in 63 ABs.
His ERA of just 2.83 in 2 seasons, as well as 131 Ks in 92.1 innings, shows his ability to pitch to a decent level with his plus changeup. It has late fading action and tumble, that works solidly alongside his fastball.
2021 Milwaukee Brewers: A Season to Look Forward to
The Brewers should be excited about the upcoming 2021 season. According to Rotochamp, the Brewers should top their division with an 85-77 record, pipping both the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds. With Yelich hoping to come backfiring, the return of Lorenzo Cain, and the high hopes for the Brewers’ pitchers, there shouldn’t be many reasons for them to not reach their potential for 2021.
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main image credit Embed from Getty Images