Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects Updated

Trades have significantly thinned out this system but the club has invested heavily in the international market in recent years so there could be some high-ceiling players (currently in short-season ball) on the way.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Keston Hiura | 2B | AA —> Hiura is mostly average across the board except for the hit tool, which has a chance to be plus. However, his BB-K of 35-102 in 122 games split between two levels shows that he needs to make some adjustments — especially after his numbers dipped when he faced better pitching in double-A (OPS from .911 to .749 after his promotion). He showed a little more power than expected in 2018 and could make his MLB debut by mid-2019.

2. Corey Ray | OF | AA —> For whatever reason, the Milwaukee system doesn’t develop hit tools very well. Ray has de-evolved as a hitter since turning pro although some of this other tools continue to shine. He is a 30-30 (HR-SB) threat with plus power and above-average speed. He also has a chance to be a strong defender. When he reaches the Majors, Ray should produce 20+ homers and 130+ Ks in a full season.

3. Brice Turang | SS | R —> Turang isn’t toolsy like Ray but he is a solid all-around player who had an excellent pro debut after being selected in the first round of 2018. He showed a strong understanding of the strike zone with a BB-K of 20-21 in 25 advanced rookie ball — although the whiffs were a little high for someone with limited power. He has the speed to steal 20+ bases. Turang, 18, is a long way from realizing his full potential but he has a solid shot at reaching full-season ball at the beginning of 2019 as a teenager.

4. Zack Brown | RHP | AA —> Brown quietly had a solid season in the Brewers system. He limited base runners while pitching a career high 127.2 innings. He also did a nice job of keeping the ball in the park by inducing a high number of ground-ball outs and missing bats at a solid (but not elite) rate. Because he throws a lot of fastballs and has a high-effort delivery, Brown may be better suited to a relief role but he has a shot at developing into a solid No. 4 starter if he learns to lean on his breaking ball a little more often.

5. Aaron Ashby | LHP | A —> Ashby has pedigree as the nephew of Andy Ashby and the young lefty has a chance to miss bats despite modest velocity. If his new-found velo holds up over a full pro season, the Brewers could really have something here. He has a plus curveball and a funky delivery that produces lots of deception (but also hinders his command/control).

6. Tristen Lutz | OF | A —> Much like Ray, Lutz has lots of power but serious swing-and-miss tendencies. Unless he tones down his approach, he will develop into a low-average guy with an ugly BB-K — but 20+ homer potential. Lutz, 20, has a chance to be a strong defender in right field thanks to a strong arm.

7. Lucas Erceg | 3B | AA —> Erceg has some above-average pop but his aggressive approach leads to little else. He has a chance to reach The Show in the new grip-and-rip culture that has evolved but I struggle to see him as anything more that a part-time or platoon player without some adjustments. Defensively, he has a very strong arm and could develop into a utility guy capable of playing both infield and outfield corners.

8. Carlos Rodriguez | OF | R —> Rodriguez might have one of the highest ceilings in the system but is years away from reaching the Majors. Just 17, he showed a strong approach in the Dominican Summer League before swooning late (perhaps tiring in his first taste of pro ball). He earned a last-minute trip to North America and showed an improved plate approach in a small sample size. Rodriguez has a chance to steal 20-30 bases, hit for average and play above-average defence.

9. Jacob Nottingham | C | AAA —> Once viewed a bat-first catching prospect, Nottingham has seen his defence improve while his offence has slipped. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling but the young catcher should settle into a back-up role or third string catcher capable of playing a couple of other positions. He’s too aggressive for his own good at the plate but he can send the ball a long way when he steps into one.

10. Je’Von Ward | OF | R —> I’m a big fan of Ward, who has come a long way in a short period of time. He has some swing-and-miss to his game but he’s also 6-5 so he’ll need time to learn to control his long levers. He’s made strides with his approach at the plate and doubled his walk rate to 12% in 2018. With two pro seasons already under his belt, Ward doesn’t turn 19 until October but he should be ready for full-season ball in 2019. The young hitter has oodles or raw power but his current swing produces a huge number of ground balls and I’m curious why the coaches haven’t made adjustments.

Just Missed:

Marcos Diplan | RHP | AA —> The 21-year-old hurler split the year between A-ball and Double-A with mixed results as a starter. He struggles to throw strikes but his fastball-slider combo could make him a dynamic reliever.

Mauricio Dubon | IF | AAA —> A blown-out knee wiped out most of Dubon’s season and could threaten to have a long-term impact his best tool (his speed). He young hitter has shown flashes of potential but may settle in as a big league utility player.

Trey Supak | RHP | AA —> Supak has developed slowly after needing parts of three seasons in rookie ball. He finally reached double-A part way through 2018 and pitched well. He’s not overpowering but Supak has a big, strong frame that should be capable of providing tons of innings as a No. 4 starter.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.