2018 Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects
|Brewers Top 10 Prospects|
|1. Lewis Brinson, OF|
|2. Brandon Woodruff, RHP|
|3. Corbin Burnes, RHP|
|4. Keston Hiura, 2B|
|5. Monte Harrison, OF|
|6. Luis Ortiz, RHP|
|7. Brett Phillips, OF|
|8. Lucas Erceg, 3B|
|9. Isan Diaz, 2B/SS|
|10. Corey Ray, OF|
For each organization, we identify the 10 prospects with the highest ceilings, with consideration given to the likelihood of reaching those ceilings.
To qualify as a prospect, a position player cannot exceed 130 big league at-bats, while a pitcher cannot exceed 50 innings or 30 relief appearances. These thresholds mirror major league rookie qualifications, albeit without regard for major league service time.
Notable Graduations: LHP Josh Hader (2) ascended to the role of the club’s top setup reliever.
Trending: ⬅️➡️Nice blend of hitters and pitchers.
SYSTEM OVERVIEWStrengths: With Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana established in the majors, Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips on the cusp of the majors and Monte Harrison and Corey Ray not that far behind, the Brewers are stacked with athletic outfielders who have a chance to hit. Tristen Lutz, the 2017 sandwich pick, could be the start of another wave in the lower minors.
Weaknesses: The development of Manny Pina into a productive everyday catcher in 2017 was a huge win for the Brewers—and a win that’s fortunate. Andrew Susac has been waylaid by injuries and Jacob Nottingham’s bat isn’t living up to expectations. Because of that, the homegrown options behind Pina are lacking. The Brewers’ best catching prospect may be 2017 third-rounder K.J. Harrison. He’s yet to play in full-season ball and he's no sure bet to catch.
BEST TOOLS🔸Best Hitter for Average: Keston Hiura. 🔸Best Power Hitter: Monte Harrison. 🔸Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Trent Clark. 🔸Fastest Baserunner: Johnny Davis. 🔸Best Athlete: Monte Harrison. 🔸Best Fastball: Josh Pennington. 🔸Best Curveball: Corbin Burnes. 🔸Best Slider: Brandon Woodruff. 🔸Best Changeup: Trey Supak. 🔸Best Control: Corbin Burnes. 🔸Best Defensive Catcher: Dustin Houle. 🔸Best Defensive INF: Antonio Pinero. 🔸Best INF Arm: Lucas Erceg. 🔸Best Defensive OF: Lewis Brinson. 🔸Best OF Arm: Brett Phillips.
PROJECTED 2021 LINEUP
(Listed with 2021 season age)🔸C Manny Pina (34) 🔸1B Travis Shaw (31) 🔸2B Keston Hiura (24) 🔸3B Lucas Erceg (26) 🔸SS Orlando Arcia (26) 🔸LF Monte Harrison (25) 🔸CF Lewis Brinson (27) 🔸RF Domingo Santana (28) 🔸SP Brandon Woodruff (28) 🔸SP Corbin Burnes 26) 🔸SP Luis Ortiz (25) 🔸SP Zach Davies (28) 🔸SP Freddy Peralta (25) 🔸CL Josh Hader (27)
TOP PROSPECTS OF THE DECADE(Listed with 2017 organization)
🔸2008: OF Matt LaPorta (DNP) | WAR: -0.9 🔸2009: SS Alcides Escobar (Royals) | WAR: 10.7 🔸2010: SS Alcides Escobar (Royals) | WAR: ** 🔸2011: RHP Jake Odorizzi (Rays) | WAR: 8.1 🔸2012: RHP Wily Peralta (Brewers) | WAR: 1.2 🔸2013: RHP Wily Peralta (Brewers) | WAR: ** 🔸2014: RHP Jimmy Nelson (Brewers) | WAR: 4.3 🔸2015: OF Tyrone Taylor (Brewers) | WAR: N/A 🔸2016: SS Orlando Arcia (Brewers) | WAR: 2.3 🔸2017: OF Lewis Brinson (Brewers )| Top 10
TOP DRAFT PICKS OF THE DECADE(Listed with 2017 organization)
🔸2008: 3B Brett Lawrie (DNP) | WAR: 15.2 🔸2009: RHP Eric Arnett (DNP) | WAR: N/A 🔸2010: RHP Dylan Covey (White Sox) | WAR: N/A 🔸2011: RHP Taylor Jungmann (Brewers) | WAR: 1.1 🔸2012: C Clint Coulter (Brewers) | WAR: N/A 🔸2013: RHP Devin Williams (Brewers) | WAR: N/A 🔸2014: LHP Kodi Medeiros (Brewers) | WAR: N/A 🔸2015: OF Trent Clark (Brewers) | WAR: N/A 🔸2016: OF Corey Ray (Brewers) | Top 10 🔸2017: 2B Keston Hiura (Brewers) | Top 10
|1. Lewis Brinson, OF 📹|
|BORN: May 8, 1994.|
|B-T: R-R | HT: 6-4| WT: 205|
|DRAFTED: HS—Coral Springs, Fla., 2012 (1st round).|
|SIGNED BY: Frankie Thon (Rangers).|
|MINORS: .331/.400/.562 | 13 HR | 11 SB | 299 AB|
Scouting Report: Brinson provides the rare combination of power and speed that every team seeks. He showed maturation as a hitter in 2017 by improving his plate discipline (.400 on-base percentage), with a better walk rate than the previous season and a lower strikeout rate. Part of that maturation was learning to lay off breaking balls off the plate and continuing to use the entire field, an improvement that began the previous year. While playing mostly in center field at Colorado Springs but also seeing some action in the corners, he worked on getting better jumps on the ball and taking better routes. Brinson has enough speed to play center in the majors but also has the arm and power to be a right fielder. Brinson hit barely .100 during his two stints with Milwaukee but didn’t see regular action and pressed when he got a chance to play. He showed some pop with a couple of home runs, and his skill set bodes well once he gets a chance to be a regular at the top level. He has an even-keeled personality and a confident but not cocky approach to the game.
🔸Projected Future Grades On 20-80 Scouting Scale Hit: 55. Power: 60. Speed: 60. Field: 55. Arm: 60.The Future: Brinson turns 24 in 2018 but will have to hit his way into the outfield picture. Left fielder Ryan Braun still has three years remaining on his contract and 25-year-old right fielder Domingo Santana is fresh off a breakthrough season. That leaves center field, where Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips have a foot in the door.
|2. Brandon Woodruff, RHP|
|BORN: Feb. 10, 1993.|
|B-T: L-R | HT: 6-2| WT: 225|
|DRAFTED: Mississippi State, 2014 (11th round).|
|SIGNED BY: Scott Nichols.|
|MINORS: 6-5, 4.30 ERA | 70 SO | 25 BB | 75 IP|
Scouting Report: When Woodruff is on top of his game, he pounds hard sinkers at hitters in the 93-95 mph range with good movement. He once had issues with tempo and rhythm but worked those out and his command improved markedly. Woodruff has an above-average slider he throws in the mid-80s and also mixes in an average changeup. He needs to work more on locating his changeup down in the zone. A bulldog on the mound, he pitches with confidence.
The Future: Woodruff did not change his game plan during a tough Pacific Coast League assignment. Thus the Brewers were confident starting him in the final weeks of 2017 while battling for a playoff spot. He will challenge for a big league rotation spot in 2018 and has No. 3 starter upside.
|3. Corbin Burnes, RHP 📹|
|BORN: Oct. 22, 1994.|
|B-T: R-R | HT: 6-3| WT: 205|
|DRAFTED: St. Mary’s, 2016 (4th round).|
|SIGNED BY: Joe Graham.|
|MINORS: 8-3, 1.67 ERA | 140 SO | 36 BB | 146 IP|
Scouting Report: Burnes pounds the strike zone with quality stuff and growing confidence. He modified his delivery in 2017 by squaring up to the plate and allowing his lower half to drive toward the plate. At Biloxi, he even switched to a traditional windup instead of a modified stretch. With quick arm action, Burnes throws a 92-95 mph fastball with natural cut. He has three secondary pitches—a 77-80 mph curveball, a mid-80s slider and a high-80s split changeup—none of which grade much above-average, but he commands all three. His curve is his best secondary offering, but his slider is effective as well. Burnes maintains his stuff deep into starts with above-average control.
The Future: With an athletic, repeatable delivery and an aggressive demeanor, Burnes could help the Brewers in 2018 and has a No. 3 or 4 starter ceiling. His first test will be at hitter-friendly Triple-A Colorado Springs.
|4. Keston Hiura, 2B 📹|
|BORN: Aug. 2, 1996.|
|B-T: R-R | HT: 5-11| WT: 190|
|DRAFTED: UC Irvine, 2017 (1st round).|
|SIGNED BY: Wynn Pelzer.|
|MINORS: .371/.422/.611 | 4 HR | 2 SB | 167 AB|
Scouting Report: Hiura has a short, powerful stroke with tremendous bat speed and a good feel for the strike zone. He has explosive, strong hands with raw power that projects to be above-average. He will hit for average and show power to all fields. He is an average runner albeit not a basestealer. He played the outfield and second base in college, and some evaluators think he is destined for left field. The Brewers plan to give Hiura every chance to play second base, and barring any future elbow issues, he certainly has the arm strength to play the position.
The Future: Hiura was throwing without problems by instructional league, and his advanced hitting ability should put him on the fast track to Milwaukee.
|5. Monte Harrison, OF 📹|
|BORN: Aug. 10,1995.|
|B-T: R-R | HT: 6-3 | WT: 220|
|DRAFTED: HS—Lee’s Summit, Mo., 2014 (2nd round)|
|SIGNED BY: Drew Anderson|
|MINORS:.272/.350/.481 | 21 HR | 27 SB | 453 AB|
Scouting Report: A strong, powerful athlete who could have played college football, Harrison has excellent bat speed with budding power. He sometimes gets long with his swing, resulting in big strikeout numbers but overall has a good approach and is getting better at pitch recognition. Harrison has plus speed, making him a basestealing threat and also an above-average outfielder. He can handle center field but probably projects as a right fielder because of his physical frame. After missing so much time early in his career, Harrison merely needs at-bats to realize his impact potential.
The Future: Harrison appears destined for Double-A Biloxi in 2018. One of the more impressive athletes in the system, he requires only maturity and repetitions.
|6. Luis Ortiz, RHP 📹|
|BORN: Sept. 2, 1995.|
|B-T: R-R | HT: 6-3 | WT: 230|
|DRAFTED: HS—Sanger, Calif., 2014 (1st round)|
|SIGNED BY: Butch Metzger (Rangers)|
|MINORS: 4-7, 4.01 ERA | 79 SO | 37 BB | 94 IP|
Scouting Report: Ortiz’s low-80s slider has a tight, late break that makes it look like a fastball initially. He throws his fastball in the mid-90s and maintains his velocity throughout his outings, which is a good sign in terms of remaining a starter. Ortiz continues to work on his changeup, an improving pitch that has the chance to be at least average. By working hard on repeating his delivery, he has become a consistent strike-thrower with a high ceiling. Ortiz still makes too many mistakes in the strike zone, so staying healthy to take regular turns is paramount.
The Future: If Ortiz proves he has a starter’s stamina, he has No. 2 upside and could reach the majors in 2018. The Brewers will wrestle with the decision whether to send him to hitter-happy Triple-A Colorado Springs.
|7. Brett Phillips, OF 📹|
|BORN: May 30, 1994.|
|B-T: L-R| HT: 6-0| WT: 175|
|DRAFTED: HS—Seminole, Fla., 2012 (6th round)|
|SIGNED BY: John Martin (Astros)|
|MINORS:.305/.377/.567 | 4 HR | 2 SB | 383 AB|
Scouting Report: Phillips’ swing tends to get long at times, but he produces hard contact when he keeps it compact. He was too pull-conscious in 2016 but got away from that in 2017. Phillips still strikes out frequently, but he became more consistent at hitting mistakes. He has above-average speed, which plays on the bases and in center field. Phillips has a canon for an arm and unleashed a Statcast-record 104 mph throw to the plate in September. His combination of power, speed and arm strength make him a candidate for regular action.
The Future: Beyond his physical tools, Phillips is a high-energy player with a desire to improve. He put himself in the Brewers’ outfield picture for 2018, with a floor of fourth outfielder and ceiling as a regular contributor with room for growth.
|8. Lucas Erceg, 3B 📹|
|BORN: May 1, 1995.|
|B-T: L-R| HT: 6-3| WT: 200|
|DRAFTED: Menlo (Calif.), 2016 (2nd round)|
|SIGNED BY: Joe Graham|
|MINORS: .256/.307/.417 | 15 HR | 2 SB | 496 AB|
Scouting Report: Erceg shows a broad set of tools, but his raw power probably tops the list. He can hit the ball a long way, with tremendous pull power evident when he crushes mistakes. He could benefit by improving his plate discipline and thus his on-base percentage. He runs well for a third baseman, though stolen bases are not a big part of his game. He has good hands and feet at third base and a cannon for an arm (he pitched a little in college). The athletic Erceg has a strong work ethic, with the potential to be a complete player and difference-maker with the bat.
The Future: The Brewers have had trouble developing homegrown third basemen, but Erceg should put an end to that drought. He merely has to learn not to force things and let the game come to him. An assignment to Double-A Biloxi looms in 2018.
|9. Isan Diaz, 2B/SS 📹|
|BORN: May 27, 1996.|
|B-T: L-R | HT: 5-10 | WT: 185|
|DRAFTED: HS—Springfield, Mass., 2014 (2nd round supplemental)|
|SIGNED BY: Mike Serbalik (Diamondbacks)|
|MINORS: .222/.334/.376 | 13 HR | 9 SB | 383 AB|
Scouting Report: Diaz’s lefthanded bat is what will carry him to the top level. He has plus bat speed and makes hard contact, driving the ball to all fields. He has impressive raw power, and with that comes an elevated strikeout rate. Diaz is aggressive at the plate, sometimes too much so, but also draws walks when being pitched around. He dealt with a broken right hamate for part of the season, which impacted his hitting. He is an average runner but has good instincts and gets decent jumps. The Brewers value versatility in their system, so Diaz made 32 starts at shortstop, but his future is at second base, where his range and average arm will play.
The Future: Diaz’s ceiling as a power-hitting second baseman should carry him to Double-A Biloxi in 2018. At age 22, he has plenty of time to polish his rough edges.
|10. Corey Ray, OF 📹|
|BORN: Sept. 22, 1994.|
|B-T: L-L | HT: 5-11 | WT: 185|
|DRAFTED: Louisville, 2016 (1st round)|
|SIGNED BY: Jeff Simpson|
|MINORS: .238/.311/.367 | 7 HR | 24 SB | 449 AB|
Scouting Report: Ray looked completely out of sorts for much of the season, showing signs of frustration. He swung at breaking balls off the plate, got jammed by inside pitches and generally did not make pitchers throw strikes. He had huge holes in his swing, displaying little of the bat speed and budding power he flashed in college. Ray also showed too much head movement at times and will need mechanical adjustments to get back on track. Ray used his plus speed to chase down balls in center field and showed enough arm to remain there. He is a threat to steal when he reaches base, though he needs to improve his jumps.
The Future: The Brewers sent Ray to the Arizona Fall League with the hope of salvaging something from 2017. He might have to repeat the Carolina League to reestablish his plate discipline and hitting setup.
The Shape Of Baseball Is Changing In 2021
The game is getting younger—and in some cases shorter and lighter.