Milwaukee Brewers – 10 Names You Need To Know
Ben Wilson (@TBDubbs11) and I cover the Red Sox farm system for Prospects1500. As we’re now in between Brewers team correspondents on the site, I wanted to jump in and put together this important prospects column in our “10 Names” series. Ben recently wrote his Top 25 Brewers prospects for Fantrax, so between the two of us we can certainly provide some good names and analysis to hold us over until our new Brewers beat person joins the team. Former Prospects1500 staff member Josh Peltier was recently chatting with another baseball card collecting enthusiast and told him he was interested in acquiring some cards of Brewers prospects. The other collector’s response was something to the effect of “I can’t even name one Brewers prospect.” It’s true this farm system is likely one of MiLB’s thinnest when it comes to big names and superstar future value and potential, but there are certainly players that should be highlighted and written about.
Who Are These Prospects?
These are not Milwaukee’s top 10 prospects, rather they’re players you should be keeping an eye on during this pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Some are top prospects within the organization, others are lower down on many lists, and some were recently selected in the 2020 MLB Draft. One player I wanted to mention who isn’t one of the ten is infielder Luis Urias, acquired from San Diego last offseason. Urias is not prospect eligible anymore, but he’s only 23 and as of press time, was recently called up to the big league team as of August 11th. He should get decent playing time at SS for the remainder of the season as Keston Hiura is pretty much cemented in as the Brew Crew’s 2B for the foreseeable future. His presence could also cut into projected PT for another big name on this list.
Each player’s preseason rank from our Brewers Top 50 prospects is listed (if player was ranked), as well as Ben’s rank from his Brew Crew Top 25 (from May) on Fantrax. This is our Milwaukee Brewers “10 Names You Need To Know” for 2020. I invited some members of the Prospects1500 team to contribute, and their names are just prior to player write-ups they contributed.
Aaron Ashby, LHP (Prospects1500 preseason #7, current Fantrax #7)
Age: 22 – Drafted 2018, Round 4
⚾️1st Bowman card – 2020 Bowman
(via Tony Bps) Ashby, Milwaukee’s 4th round pick in the 2018 Draft out of Crowder Junior College, was the organization’s 2019 Robin Yount Performer of the Year winner after an impressive year for two A levels. He is the nephew of former major leaguer, Andy Ashby, a two-time All Star for the Padres in the late 90s. He throws a great breaking ball to go with his mid-90’s fastball and has good strikeout ability. Ashby doesn’t give up many hits but tends to walk too many batters. If he can harness his control even slightly better, we can be looking at an effective big-league starter. Ashby isn’t on the team’s 60-man player pool so we’ll have to wait until next year to see if he can continue his development but, based on his successful 2019 year, he’s definitely a player to keep an eye on.
Mario Feliciano, C (#11, #8)
Age: 21 – Drafted 2016, Round 2
⚾️1st Bowman card – 2016 Bowman
Feliciano is not one of the top catcher prospects in baseball, but he is a very good player. He took home Carolina League MVP honors in 2019, slashing .273/.324/.477/.801 for the Carolina Mudcats (A+), logging 19 HR, 81 RBI, and 210 total bases. That earned him a call-up to AA Biloxi for the final 3 games of 2019 and that’s where he was expected to spend a good chunk of 2020, pre-pandemic. Without other catchers seemingly pushing the upper ranks of this system, Feliciano has a good chance of getting MLB playing time in Milwaukee by late 2021, if not 2022.
Eduardo Garcia, SS (#3, #2)
Age: 18 – Signed in 2018
⚾️No 1st Bowman card yet
Garcia is quickly risen to near the top of the organization’s prospect rankings, currently 3rd (on our Top 50) and 2nd (on Ben’s Top 25). Slotted #6 midseason last year, he was our #11 Brewer prospect back in January 2019. Why the dramatic ascension for the just turned 18-year-old? Seems like a lot of industry folk were impressed with is Dominican Summer League performance as a 16-year-old in 2019. One number that stands out to me is his .919 OPS in 40 plate appearances. Not a huge sample size but one we’ll look to see if he can maintain and/or build on. It’s possible Garcia makes his stateside pro debut in 2021.
Antoine Kelly, LHP (#15, #9)
Age: 20 – Drafted 2019, Round 2
⚾️1st Bowman card – 2019 Bowman Draft
(via Jake Berry) Kelly can best be described as a boom or bust prospect. There is still a ton of development to go for the 6’6 lefty, but his raw potential shines through. The high 90’s fastball is made even better by great extension. While I see Kelly ultimately as a reliever, just how good he can be depends on his ability to develop a pitch to pair with the FB. His first 31.2 professional innings have been strong with a 1.11 WHIP and 45 strikeouts to nine walks.
Garrett Mitchell, OF
Age: 21 – Drafted 2020, Round 1
⚾️No 1st Bowman card yet, hopefully in 2020 Bowman Draft
(via Jake Berry) Athlete. Enough said. But we should say more. The Brew Crew went with one of the best athletes still on the board at pick number 20 and for good reason. 6’3, 215 lbs, good wheels and left-handed raw power, there is no way the Brewers expected Mitchell to slide to them at 20. The ceiling is astronomical as the UCLA product has borderline elite tools in almost all categories. He is a potential top 10 pick in my FYPD fantasy mocks.
Drew Rasmussen, RHP (#8, #13)
Age: 25 – Drafted 2018, Round 6
⚾️No 1st Bowman card yet
(via Ben Wilson) Rasmussen just got the call up to the big leagues for Milwaukee. Drew more than earned an MLB look as he simply dominated last season primarily with a filthy fastball/slider combo and a majority of his innings at AA. He had much greater success in the rotation (2.27 ERA) versus the bullpen (11.57 ERA) in 2019 but has the bat missing ability to succeed in either role. Health (2 TJ surgeries) and his third pitch (changeup) consistency should dictate his future role, but there are spots for the taking in the Brewers rotation. Rasmussen may have the ability to put it all together and run with his opportunity.
Ethan Small, LHP (#4, #4)
Age: 23 – Drafted 2019, Round 1
⚾️1st Bowman card – 2019 Bowman Draft
(via Jake Berry) A former first round pick, Small is the top pitching prospect in the Brewers system in my opinion. The Mississippi State product is solid across the board, but his control and command are what will carry him to a regular spot in the Brewers rotation. I like the developed CH that comes in a consistent arm slot about 15 miles per hour slower than his fastball. Small has a prototypical pitcher’s build and the lefty has the potential to fly through the system.
Brice Turang, SS/2B (#1, #1)
Age: 20 – Drafted 2018, Round 1
⚾️1st Bowman card – 2018 Bowman Draft
(via Kurt Moody) The Brewers’ top prospect is currently part of the 60-man player pool working out at the team’s alternate training site in Appleton. Turang ended the 2019 MiLB season at A+ Carolina but has the tools to quickly climb through the system in the future. The 2018 1st-round pick displayed some power (1 home run, 2 triples, 6 doubles) in Carolina, but struggled with consistent results; only hitting .200. Brice is an above-average defender with effective speed on the bases. Due to the Brewers’ off-season trade for Luis Urias and the 2019 rookie campaign that saw Keston Hiura hit over .300, the middle of the infield could become a logjam for Turang. But Eric Sogard’s contract is off the books in 2022, so look for Brice to get some work in at third base this year and possibly into the 2021 MiLB season too.
Devin Williams, RHP (#14, #22)
⚾️1st Bowman card – 2014 Bowman Chrome
(via Jim Zele) After a long journey through Milwaukee’s system, Williams finally made his way to Miller Park last year. Williams struggled as a starter early in his career, and he overcame Tommy John surgery in 2018. The Brewers transitioned him to a bullpen role after his return from injury, and he’s thrived ever since. He challenges batters with a mid-to-high 90s fastball and utilizes an above average changeup and slider to keep opponents off balance. His 17.61 K/9 is offset by his 4.70 BB/9. If Williams can continue to hone his control and reduce his walk rate, he’ll find himself in high-leverage, late game situations very soon.
Freddy Zamora, SS
Age: 21 – Drafted 2020, Round 2
⚾️No 1st Bowman card yet – could be in 2020 Bowman Draft
Another middle infielder that the Brewers are high on, and will give a chance to stick at short, is 2020 draftee, Nicaraguan born Zamora. Freddy comes out of the ACC and strong University of Miami program and Reviewing The Brew suggests his ceiling could be 20-20. Depending on how much more we might know about his 2021 assignment, that could determine where he slots in our next Brewers Top 50 this coming winter.
Others considered for “10 Names” which would be my next 5:
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Max Lazar would be interesting to hear about. thank you, all of this is excellent.
David Gasper recently wrote his Brewers Top 50 prospects which you can find on the site. He has Lazar ranked 27th. Here’s what he said about him:
27. Max Lazar, RHP
Highest Level: Low-A
Lazar doesn’t excite much with his velocity, sitting in the upper 80s-low 90s range, but he’s been able to find success. After some pedestrian numbers in two years in Rookie ball after being drafted in 2017, Lazar dominated in 2019 with a 1.50 ERA in Rookie ball three games and then a 2.39 ERA in 19 games in Low-A. He also struck out 119 batters in just 85 IP in 2019. Lazar has a plus-changeup and great control that gives him the upside of a solid back-end starter down the road.