Milwaukee Brewers 2020 Top 50 Prospects

Mario Feliciano, Carolina Mudcats. Photo credit Jim Zele, @ZelePhotography on Twitter

Being competitive at the major league level is the goal each year for big league owners. Getting to the playoffs and winning the World Series are the goals set by fans. So where does building a winning farm system get prioritized? The Milwaukee Brewers are building their franchise with the goal of continuing their recent success in the NL Central. The 2018 and 2019 seasons marked the second time the Brewers made the playoffs two seasons in a row in their franchise’s history (1981-1982 the only other time). But adding pieces to those playoff teams has thinned their farm system. Baseball America recently stated that the Brewers have the weakest farm system in baseball.

However their are signs of life in the Brewers farm system. I can see an upswing in viable major league prospects coming over the next couple of seasons. The organization has been active in the international free agent market. This has provided several athletic high ceiling prospects that are very young and yet, very raw.  Their top two prospects are first round high school hitters drafted in 2017 and 2018. But overall, they have had limited success in the draft. Those players include former 1st round picks Jake Gatewood (2014) and Nathan Kirby (2015).

There are also signs of some decent depth being built down on the farm. The Brewers have some bullpen arms attending MLB’s 2020 Rookie Career Development Program in J.P. Feyereisen and Angel Perdomo that did not make the Brewers Top 50 prospects. Both have strong arms, but control issues that limit their upside and push them down to the 50-65 range on the Brewers prospect list.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

Tips for casual fans: Notes may reference a 45, 50, 55 or 60 tool.  Those numbers refer to the 20-80 scouting scale where 50 is an average tool, above average is a 55, and a plus tool is a 60. DSL refers to the Dominican Summer League. OBP stands for On Base Percentage.


Tier 1

Unfortunately there are no Brewers prospects in Tier 1 this year.


Tier 2
1. Brice Turang, SS

Age: 20
Highest Level: High-A Carolina League

Notes: Turang was the 21st overall pick in the 2018 draft. He opened his first full season in Low-A and hit well as a teenager. He hit .287 with a high quality .384 on base percentage before getting promoted to the high class Carolina League. Turang continued getting on base by drawing 34 walks in just 47 games. But his batting average dropped to .200 in those 47 games in High-A. Turang continued playing strong defense at both shortstop and second base. He is the type of player that could play solid defense playing any position, including catcher. The main concern with Turang is his below average power, checking in with just 4 homers in 632 at bats. If the power does develop, he becomes the Tier 1 player that has the ability to be an all-star.  His ability to draw walks, get hits, and play solid defense make Brice Turang a high floor prospect with the potential to be a big league regular for ten plus years.


2. Tristen Lutz, OF
Age: 21
Highest Level: High-A Carolina League

Notes: Lutz has the best bat in the Brewers farm system. But he does not have the overall skills to overtake Turang at the top of Brewers prospect list. He is big and strong at 6’2 and 210. He strikes out a little too much, exceeding 130 k’s in each of the last two seasons. But he has also drawn 46 walks in those seasons. By not swinging at everything, he has shown the patience to make pitchers work. This plate discipline will help him as he reaches the upper minors for the first time in 2020.


Tier 3
3. Eduardo Garcia, SS

Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie Level Dominican Summer League

Notes: Garcia signed for $1.1 Million on his 16th birthday 2018. He is a big kid at 6’2 and 160 pounds. The Venezuelan native was ranked as the 21st best prospect in the 2018-19 signing class. His defense skills are above average with an above average arm. When he is at the plate, he shows solid hitting tools and gap power. He also showed some plate discipline, which will help him as he builds on his first season.The power could continue to develop, but his swing is designed to hit more for average than for power.


4. Ethan Small, LHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Small was the Brewers 1st round pick in 2019. There are over a dozen Brewers prospects that throw harder than Small. But the reason Small is ranked above all of them is his ability to mix his pitches to get through innings. He comes to the Brewers with having proven success pitching in the toughest conference in college baseball, the Southeastern Conference.  His fastball is above average, as is his change-up. Combined with his solid control and average breaking ball, he has the skills and tools to reach the majors as a starting pitcher. The 2020 season will be his first full minor league season and if he starts the season in Class A, he could end up playing at three levels and reach Double-A by the end of the season.

5. Carlos Rodriguez, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Rodriguez has some plus tools in his 60 speed and 60 defense. He was ranked the 28th best international prospect in the 2018-19 class. Rodriguez has an average arm that will play in center field at any level. As a 17 and 18 year old playing in the Dominican Summer League, Arizona League, and Pioneer League, Rodriguez hit over .320 in each league. Rodriguez controls the strike zone with only 42 strikeouts in 410 at bats in his young career. If he learns to take pitches and draw more walks, his chances on becoming a starter in the major leagues will improve. I am excited to see what Rodriguez can do in his first chance at a full season league in Class A

6. Zack Brown, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: Triple-A Pacific Coast League

Notes:  Brown takes the mound with an above average fastball and a plus curve. In 2018, he had great success in Double-A posting a 9-1 record with 2.44 ERA as a 23 year old. But 2019 was not as kind, as his record dropped to 3-7 with a 5.79 ERA in the Pacific Coast League. Two of the main problems were his inability to limit free passes and surrendering too many home runs. His walks per 9 innings went from a solid 2.6 in Double-A, to 4.9 in Triple-A. Many people in the baseball industry also blamed the AAA pitching woes in 2019 to clubs using the same ball that was used in the majors for the first time ever. So that could explain the difference in home runs surrendered. He gave up just 8 dingers in 125 Double-A innings in 2018. However that home run total doubled to 16 in just 116 AAA innings in 2019. Brown will head back to Triple-A in 2020 hoping to put up better numbers and position himself for a call-up if reinforcements are needed on Milwaukee pitching staff.

7. Aaron Ashby, LHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: High-A Carolina League

Notes: Ashby is an exciting pitching prospect with three above average pitches. He has a above average fastball and change-up. He also has a plus plus curve ball that is one of the best curve balls in the minors. At 6’2 and 180 pounds he has the size to stay in the rotation as he moves up the ladder. The main things that will slow his rise to the majors is his control. In Class A he gave up 3.4 walks per 9 innings. However that number jumped to 4.4 per 9 innings in his first shot at High-A when he was promoted on June 1st. Ashby will start the 2020 season back in the Carolina League with a solid chance for a promotion if he can limit the free passes.

8. Drew Rasmussen, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: Rasmussen has the best fastball in the Brewers farm system often touching 99 mph. He is a solid 6’1 and 225 pounds. Rasmussen was a first round pick by Tampa Bay in 2017, but he did not sign and was drafted in the 6th round the following year by the Brewers. The Brewers have Rasmussen starting games, but he was limited to 3-4 innings per start in his first minor league action after his second Tommy John surgery. Rasmussen compliments his 70 fastball with an above average slider, giving him two major league pitches in which to build upon. With his history of arm injuries, it is possible that the Brewers will seek to limit his innings by using him as an opener. going 3-4 innings. It is also possible that he could be moved to the bullpen. If that happens, he instantly becomes the Brewers closer of the future. He will start the 2020 in Double-A, and depending on how they utilize him, he could find himself pitching in the majors some time before the end of the season.

9. Trey Supak, SP
Age: 23
Highest Level: Triple-A Pacific Coast League

Notes: Supak was drafted in the 2nd round in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of La Grange High School in Texas. Supak joined the Brewers organization when they traded Jason Rogers to the Pirates for Keon Broxton and Supak. Reports on Supak show that he is an intelligent pitcher that continues to learn his craft as he moves from level to level. His above average fastball, above average slider, and above average change up, gives him three strong pitches. When combined with his above average command, he gives the Brewers yet another pitching prospect to get excited about. He also has a solid average curve ball. His 11-4 record with a 2.20 ERA in Double-A gives the Brewers a potential starter with solid minor league results. At 6’5 and 240 pounds, he has the size to be a successful innings eater for years to come.

10. Hedbert Perez, OF
Age: 16
Highest Level: Has not officially played as a professional.

Notes: Hedbert Perez is a name to remember for Brewers fans. Perez is an elite athlete that could end up being best prospect from the 2019-2020 International Class. Perez checks all the boxes on the scouting report with the potential to be a five-tool athlete at a premium position. He has refined his tools while attending the baseball academy run by his father, former major leaguer Robert Perez. Perez also has the skills at the plate to be a plus hitter with a sweet left-handed swing. He has the patience to wait for his pitch, or take the walk. He is currently 5’11 and 180 pounds.  But he will continue to add strength to his frame and should end up with plus power to go with an easy swing. He speed is another plus tool that he puts on display in center field. His strong arm has the accuracy to make runners think twice before trying to take that extra base.

11. Mario Feliciano, C
Age: 21
Highest Level: High-A Carolina League

Notes: In 2019, the Brewers had their two best catching prospects both playing in the Carolina League. Feliciano was the Brewers 2016 2nd round pick out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. Feliciano hit well as a 20 year old in High-A putting up a .273 batting average, with 19 homers and 81 RBI. He also has above average defense skills, including an above average arm. Drawing walks however, are not a strong suit, as he drew just 29 walks in 440 at bats. Feliciano is expected to move up to Double-A to start the 2020 season.


12. Payton Henry, C
Age 23:
Highest Level: High-A Carolina League

Notes: High school catchers are historically one of the toughest groups in baseball to scout, draft, and develop. Yet somehow the Brewers went two-for-two when both Mario Feliciano and Payton Henry turned into solid prospects. Like Feliciano, Henry has hit for power with 14 homers and 75 RBI in the Carolina League. Also, like Feliciano, Henry has an above average arm and plays above average overall defense. Henry through out 38% of the base runners that tried to steal on him, compared to 29%  for Feliciano. However, analytics tell me that Henry gave up a stolen base every 7.8 innings caught. But because there were many fewer attempts against Feliciano, he only gave up a stolen base every 11.2 innings caught. In my opinion, stolen bases per inning are a better indicator of controlling the running game, than caught stealing percentage.

13. Corey Ray, OF
Age: 26
Highest Level: Triple-A Pacific Coast League

Notes: Ray was the Brewers first pick in 2016. As a college experienced center fielder that was the 5th overall pick in the draft, he was expected to move quickly through the minors. That quick movement has been delayed by injuries and the lack of development in Ray’s hit tool. To be honest, not many players that hit .235 in the minors ever reach the majors. But Ray still has the athleticism and tools to contribute in the majors. His 2019 season was greatly impacted by both hand and finger injuries. If he does make strides as a prospect, it will be due to his above average power, above average defense in center, and his plus speed. But if he does not start moving forward as a prospect, he could drop another 20-30 spots on this list next year and find himself removed from the Brewers 40 man roster.

14. Devin Williams, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: Triple-A Pacific Coast League

Notes: Williams has one of the top fastball’s in the Brewer’s organization. In 2013, he was drafted out of high school in the 2nd round. The 6’3 165 right-handed pitcher made his major league debut in 2019 striking out 14 batters in 13 2/3 innings. His fastball is a plus, plus pitch in the mid-90’s. He also has an above average slider and change up that indicate the possibility that Williams could be the type of relief pitcher that excels under the new three batter minimum rule. He will either start the 2020 season in the majors or Triple-A.

15. Antoine Kelly, LHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: The Brewers added two nice pitching prospects with their first two picks in the 2019 draft. While 1st round pick Ethan Small has the polish to reach Double-A in his first full system, the same is not expected from Kelly. Kelly casts a long shadow as a 6’6, 205 left-handed pitcher. His main tool is pure power, with a fastball that can reach the upper 90’s. But Kelly is still working on developing his slider and change, which are both currently below average, to go along with below average control. But lefties with 70 fastball don’t grow on trees. So the Brewers did a good job adding Kelly to their farm system.


16. Luis Medina, OF
Age: 17
Highest Level: Has not officially played as a professional.

Notes: Medina was one of the top power hitters in the 2019-2020 international signing class. He is already 6’2 and 170 pounds and should add another 30-40 pounds to his frame over the next 3-4 years. Medina is currently an average defender with a slightly above average arm. At the plate, he has the chance to be an average major league hitter. But he is a long way from joining the Brewers in Wisconsin. He will most likely start his minor league in the Dominican Summer League.

17. Thomas Dillard, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Dillard was the Brewers 5th round pick in 2019 out of the University of Mississippi. Above average power is his only above average tool. But he hit enough in the SEC to make teams think he will be able to get to that power in the minors. Playing catcher in college showed that he has some athleticism. However, he will spend most of his time going forward as a 1B/OF type player. So his bat will need to carry him level-by-level through the minors. Dillard has a good eye at the plate as he showed with a .398 OBP in Class A after being drafted last year.

18. Joe Gray, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Gray is one of the best pure athletes in the Brewers system. As the Brewers 2nd round pick in 2018, he comes with some lofty expectations. Yet, in 2019 his season left more questions than answers on what kind of prospect he would become. The 6’1 195 outfielder struggled to get hits in rookie level Pioneer League, a league known to be easy on hitters and hard on pitchers. He hit just .164 in 110 at bats and struck out in a third of those at bats. He might struggle at first if assigned to the Class A Midwest League in 2020. But the most important thing is getting at bats and learning to work counts.

19. Nick Bennett, SP
Age: 22
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: As a sophomore at Louisville, Bennett went 8-2 with a 2.84 ERA. Poor results in his junior year resulted in his ERA increase to 4.40, even though his record was still respectable at 7-3. That still dropped Bennett to the Brewers in the 6th round of the 2019 draft. He could end being a steal as he began pitching with more consistency. He struck out 24 batters in 20 Class A innings. His curve ball is considered to be his best pitch. He also has plus command that help his fastball and change play up. So it is possible that he could open his first full season with being challenged with an aggressive assignment to the High-A Carolina League.

20. Micah Bello, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Bello is the Brewers 2nd round 2018 draft pick out of high school in Hawaii. He projects to be an average hitter, with above average speed and above average defense, to go along with a strong arm. At his current 5’11 and 165 pounds, it is questionable if power will ever be a big part of his skill set. But he did show enough power in games to hit 6 homers in the Pioneer League as an 18 year old.  He hopes to start the 2020 in Class A.


Tier 4

21. Arbert Cipion, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Cipion joined the Brewers farm system as their 9th round pick out of high school from the 2018 draft. He is a raw prospect that will probably need the Brewers patience. But they could be rewarded for their patience with a athletic young major leaguer for years to come. Cipion has good size at 6’2 and 190 pounds. He has at least plus speed and is one of the fastest players in the Brewers system. He also has one of the best arm in the organization. The rawness of Cipion’s game was on display after being drafted when he batted .118 with zero homers and two steals in 93 at bats in the rookie level Arizona League. Then upon returning to the Arizona League in 2019, his whole game improved, as his batting average climbed to a respectable .243, he hit his first 4 homers and he stole an impressive 22 bases. He was rewarded with a promotion to playing in front of paying customers in the rookie Pioneer League, and play he did. Cipion hit .400 with 2 homers and 6 RBI in just 8 games. He will most likely go to extended spring training in 2020, then back to the Pioneer League. But it is certainly possible that the Brewers are aggressive with Cipion and challenge him with an assignment to Class A to start the season.

22. Nick Kahle, C
Age: 22
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Kahle showed steady improvement at the plate during his three years at the University of Washington. The 5’10, 210 pound receiver hit 339-8-50 as a junior with 59 walks and only 28 strikeouts. After being drafted in the 4th round in 2019, he hit 255-6-25 with 20 walks, good for a .350 OBP in the Pioneer League. When you combine those skills at the plate with his solid average arm and defensive tools, you have a third catching prospect in the Brewers farm system to go with Mario Feliciano and Payton Henry. Since Feliciano is ticketed for Double-A, and Henry is going back to High-A, Kahle will start the 2020 season in the Class A Midwest League.

23. Eduarqui Fernandez, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie Level Dominican Summer League

Notes: Fernandez was ranked as the 18th best international prospect in the 2018-2019 class. All five tools, bat, power, speed, arm, and defense grade out with scores of at least average for him. Plus speed is his best tool as he stole 15 bases in the Dominican Summer League. He also clubbed 11 homers  in the DSL as a 6’2, 175 pound 17 year old. Both his arm and defense grade out as above average 55 tools on the 80 scouting scale. Fernandez will need to improve on his high strikeout rate of 98 strikeouts in just 266 at bats. But all the tools are there for Fernandez to move up this list over the next several seasons.

24. Gabe Holt, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Holt showed good plate discipline and good speed while playing center field for Texas Tech. He stole 28 bases and was caught just 3 times this spring before being drafted by the Brewers in the 7th round of the 2019 draft. At just 5’11 and 175 pounds, power will most likely never be a big part of his game. But if he can post a high on base percentage while also stealing bases, he could move quickly up the developmental ladder in the Brewers improving fan system.

25. Korry Howell, SS
Age: 21
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: The Brewers drafted Je’Von Ward in the 12th round in 2017, then drafted Howell in the 12th round in 2018. Both have turned out to be athletic prospects with some tools. Howell is a raw 6’3 180 pound right-handed prospect with plus-plus 70 speed drafted out of junior college. He has the tools to be an average defender, with a slightly below average arm and a slightly below average bat. Power does not project to be part of his game, even with his 6’3 180 pound frame. Howell stole 19 bases in 293 Class A at bats, while hitting .235 as a 20 year old. He will return to the Midwest League in 2020.

26. Justin Jarvis, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Jarvis gets your attention with his plus fastball. He also shows solid command of his curve ball and change-up. Jarvis was drafted by the Brewers out of high school in the 5th round of the 2018 draft. The 6’2 170 pound prospect from North Carolina does a good job at limiting hits, but has walked too many batters as a teenager pitching against older competition in A ball. He will return to Class A to begin the 2020 season, and could be promoted quickly as soon as his control improves.

27. Bowden Francis, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: Since I have not seen Francis listed as a top 30 prospect on any other sites, I have to consider him one of my sleepers, along with Hedbert Perez. Francis is a big bodied RHP at 6’5 and 225 pounds. Going 21-5 with a 3.31 ERA at Chipolo JC in Florida got Francis drafted in the 7th round of the 2017 draft. After spending most his first full season at Class A, he finished the season with 4 starts in High-A. Then in 2019, he started back in High-A, but was promoted after striking out 20 batters in 3 starts covering 14 innings. Upon reaching Double-A, he continued striking out more than a batter per inning with 145 k’s in 129 innings. Starting 2020 in Triple-A is very possible for this fast moving prospect. He will need to continue working on improving his command and keeping the ball in the park to reach his ceiling of a #3 or 4 starter in the majors.

28. Ernesto Martinez, 1B
Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Cuban born Martinez has the best power in the Brewers system, grading out with a 70 power. Martinez is an excellent athlete in a large 6’6, 230 pound frame that bats and throws left-handed. But he is patient for a player with long levers in his swing, which bodes well for his future development. As an 18 year old, he hit .257 in the DSL and drew 30 walks as opposed to 31 strikeouts in 113 at bats. The results dipped slightly when he hit .224 with zero homers as a 19 year old in the rookie Arizona League. Then he bounced back with his best results to date by by hitting .262 with 6 homers and 10 doubles as a 20 year old in the Pioneer League. So after 444 at bats in three years, he has a .241 average, 9 homers, 73 walks, 152 K’s, and a .360 OBP. He will his first shot at the Class A Midwest League in 2020, where he could continue to develop into an intimidating middle-of-the-order hitter.

29. Phil Bickford, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: High-A Carolina League

Notes: Bickford has fallen down prospect rankings over the last several years. But I liked him coming out of high school when he was drafted 10th overall in 2013. I still liked him when he went 6-2 with a 2.13 for Cal State Fullerton as an 18 year. Then he transferred to Southern Nevada Community College to be eligible again for the draft as a 19 year old. He was re-drafted with the 18th overall pick in 2015. The Giants traded him to acquire future closer Will Smith from the Brewers. Bickford misses bats with his two-seamed fastball and also has a four-seamer that has plus velocity. His command has always been above average. He could move quickly if he could stay healthy.

30. Max Lazar, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: 2019 was somewhat of a breakout year for Lazar. He spent most of the year in Class A putting up a 7-4-2.33 record overall. He has elite command of his fastball, curve, and change. Yet the fastball only reaches the high 80’s at the moment, albeit with excellent movement. He was an 11th round pick in 2017, but signed for an above-slot bonus of $475K. At 6’3 and 165 pounds, Lazar still has a lot of room to grow and add a few clicks to that fastball of his. He will get his first shot at the high class Carolina League in 2020.

31. David Hamilton, SS
Age: 22
Highest Level: Big-12 NCAA

Notes: Hamilton is a 5’11, 170 pound left-handed hitting shortstop. As a freshman and sophomore Hamilton was the starting shortstop at the University of Texas. He hit just .218 in 202 at bats as a freshman. But he improve at the plate to hit .291 with a .404 OBP his second year, earning 2nd team all Big-12 honors. Hamilton’s base stealing ability was on display as an underclassmen, as he stole 45 bases without be thrown out in his two seasons on the field. A freak accident on a scooter tore his Achilles tendon and caused him to miss the entire 2019 college season. The Brewers still drafted him in the 8th round last year, but he was still rehabbing and not ready to step on the field. Hamilton is one of my sleepers and could move up this list next year.

32. Braden Webb, RHP
Age: 25
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: Three above average or better major league pitches highlight the tools that Webb bring to the mound. Webb has been showing both a plus fastball and a plus curve ball that both rate as 60 pitches on the scouting scale. Scouts also give him credit for an above average change-up. But those tools are dulled by his well below average control to this point. If a pitching coach can help him harness his control, Webb will move right back into the top 20 prospects in the Brewers farm.

33. Yeison Coca, 2B
Age: 21
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Coca came to the Brewers in a lop-sided trade that went their way. Before the 2017 season, the Brewers traded Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox at the Winter Meetings and received Yeison Coca, Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dobon, and Josh Pennington. Coca is a middle infielder that plays above average defense, draws walks, and does a nice job of driving in base runners when they get on base in front of him. His average speed and average hit tool give him plenty of tools to sharpen as he learns the game. After stealing 25 bases to go along with a .203 batting average in the Midwest League, it is likely Coca will return to Class A to start 2020.

34. Jacob Nottingham, C
Age: 24
Highest Level: Triple-A Pacific Coast League

Notes: After being drafted out of high school in the 6th round of the 2013 draft by the Houston Astros, Nottingham showed strong command of the strike zone and raw tools to develop at the plate and on defense. In 2015, Nottingham had a breakout season in Class A. He hit .316 with 17 homers and 82 RBI and got traded to the Oakland A’s in a deal for Scott Kazmir. Then he opened the 2016 season by being ranked as the 66th best prospects in minors by Baseball Prospectus. Before the 2016 season began, he was traded again, this time in a deal that brought Khris Davis to Oakland from the Brewers. Since that trade, Nottingham has spent two years at Double-A and two years at Triple-A with limited improvement in his bat. He still has the tools to be an average defensive catcher with a slightly above average arm in the majors. His career minor league OBP is a solid .330 and his decent power gives him an outside chance at a career as a backup in the majors.

35. Victor Castaneda, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: Arizona Fall League

Notes: Castaneda was signed by the Brewers after holding his own as an 18 year old right-hander in the Mexican League. The 6’1 185 pound pitcher from Mexico has moved between the starting rotation and bullpen. In his 2018 Pioneer League he started 8 games and relieved 6, striking out 40 batters in 47 innings with a 1.56 WHIP. He then made 31 relief appearances in Class A in 2019. Castaneda finally caught people’s attention in the fall of 2019 with his successful stint in the Arizona Fall League , where he moved back to the rotation and struck out 29 batters 23 innings with a 1.99 ERA.


Tier 5
36. Alexis Ramirez, RHP

Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie Level Arizona League

Notes: Alexis Ramirez is a young 6’2, 170 pound pitcher from the shortstop capitol of the world, San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. The best pitch to this point in his young career is his plus fastball, that already reaches the mid 90’s. Ramirez also has an above average curve ball and a developing change-up. The Brewers are currently using Ramirez as a starter and he started nine games in the Arizona Rookie League.  He will look for success pitching in the challenging Pioneer League in 2020.

37. Je’Von Ward, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Ward is a 6’5 190 pound athlete with a left-handed bat. Drafted out of high school in the 12th round in 2017, Ward has plus speed, play solid defense, and has an average arm. Ward’s bat is also expected to grade out as average, leaving his 45 power as his only slightly below average tool. Ward struck out in roughly 1 out of 4 at bats in low class, which is probably about average these days. But he hit just 225 with only 2 homers, but a solid 46 RBI to go with 47 walks. He is a candidate to return to Class A, and I would not be surprised to see his numbers improve across the board.

38. Felix Valerio, 2B
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie Level Arizona League

Notes: Valerio began his career by hitting .319 with 16 steals in the Dominican Summer League as a 17 year old. Moving stateside the following year, he again hit over .300 finishing the year at .306 and again 16 steals. Valerio is another fine young prospect that the Brewers will have to decide between sending to the next rung on the ladder in the Pioneer League, or being aggressive with and jumping him up to the Midwest League to start the 2020 season.

39. Caden Lemons, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Lemons received an above slot bonus of $1.45 Million to sign with the Brewers as their 2nd round pick, the 47th overall selection in 2017. His best pitch is a plus fastball and is complimented nicely with an average slider. The development of his change-up has been delayed in part by a lack of innings thrown by Lemons as a professional. A hip injury that led to surgery, kept Lemons from pitching at all in 2019. To this point in his career, he has a total of 34 1/3 innings pitched. This lack of innings has also slowed any improvement in his control that the Brewers are hoping to see.

40. Pablo Abreu, OF
Age: 20
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Abreu is a raw baseball prospect. Yet he has physical tools to become a solid defensive outfielder with an above average arm and above average speed. If his hit tool catches up to his average power, he will have all five tools. But this is all a big IF at this point in his career. As a 17 year old, he had a solid debut in the DSL with a .255 batting average and a .345 OBP. Then he followed that up with meeting the challenge of an assignment to the Pioneer League as an 18 year old. The results were similar with a .250 batting average and .335 OBP, and he added 7 home runs. The 2019 season was one to forget for Abreu.  Between two stints in A ball, he batted .186 in 102 at bats. The Brewers got Abreu additional at bats in the advanced Arizona Fall League. At age 19, he was one of the youngest players ever assigned to the advanced fall league.

41. Lun Zhao, SP
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie Level Pioneer League

Notes: Zhao features one of the highest spin curve balls in the minors. He didn’t pitch in 2019 due to injury. Zhao compliments his plus-plus curve  with a low 90’s fastball. At 5’10, 180 pounds, Zhao is a superior athlete that fields his position well. Zhao is also credited with being extremely intelligent and playing the game like a veteran 10 years his elder. Zhao could open the 2020 season as one of the youngest pitchers in A ball.

42. Clayton Andrews, LHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: Andrews participated in the Arizona Fall League in 2019. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A last season, he was primed for a big fall and put up a stellar 15.4 K/9 in the AFL (20 K in 11.2 IP).

43. Alec Bettinger, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: Bettinger is a 6’2, 210 RHP that was drafted out of the 10th round in 2017 from the University of Virginia. Plus command of an average arsenal has been Bettinger’s profile. Then in 2019 a tick up in velocity resulted in Bettinger getting mentioned as a prospect. He gave up just 121 hits in 146 Double-A innings as a 23 year old while walking only 35 batters. He combines a solid cutter with his fastball and curve to keep hitters off balance at Double-A.  He should start 2020 in the Triple-A rotation. That is, unless the Brewers return him to the bullpen, where he pitched in college, to get him to Milwaukee in 2020.

44. Lucas Erceg, 3B
Age: 25
Highest Level: Triple-A Pacific Coast League

Notes: Out of the 78 player that had enough at bats in the AAA Pacific Coast League to qualify for the batting title, Erceg came in dead last with a .218 batting average. In both 2017 and 2108, he was a Top 20 prospect for the Brewers. His defense at 3B is rated as average, as is his hit tool. The best tool Erceg has to offer is his plus, plus 70 arm. He will go back to Triple-A for second season to see if he can improve at the plate? Erceg did have a 2.21 ERA in 24 innings pitching for Cal in the Pac-12. So it would not surprise me to see him trying out his 70 arm on the mound at some point in the near future.

45. David Fry, C
Age: 24
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Fry spent four years in college. So he was 1.7 years older than the average player in the Midwest League in 2019. Being older than your competition should have you putting up good numbers, and Fry did just that. The 23 year old showed good power when he hit .258 with 41 doubles and 17 home runs. At the end of the season, he was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he made the all-star team and hit .300 over 50 at bats.

46. Joantgel Segovia, OF
Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: The 6’1, 195 pound Segovia has some speed and ability to handle the bat. As a 17 year old, he hit .384 in the DSL. Then he hit .368 as an 18 year old in the Arizona League and got a few at bats in the Pioneer League.  Returning to the Pioneer League in 2016, he hit .294 with a .370 OBP.  His batting average dropped off for the first time in Class A when he hit just .220 in 2017.  Given a second shot at low class, he responded with a .347 average in 202 Class A at bats.  Then hit .232 after his first promotion to the Carolina League at the end of 2018.  That batting average jumped to .302 to start the 2019 Carolina League season and got promoted to Double-A as a 23 year old. His 73 strikeouts in 424 at bats in 2019 is a low total and bodes well for his future as a potential 4th outfielder. The Brewers hope he continues his pattern of improving his numbers when he returns to Double-A in 2020.

47. Larry Ernesto, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie Arizona League

Notes: Ernesto was signed back in July of 2017 and he’s spent his first two pro ball seasons in Milwaukee’s Rookie ball in Arizona. Let’s look for him to possibly get his first taste of A ball in 2020. Ernesto only played in 32 games last year and slashed .172/.229/.246. 9 walks and 59 strikeouts in 122 AB is eye opening.

48. Chad McClanahan, 1B/OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: The 6’5, 200 pound McClanahan bats left-handed and throws right-handed. That profile can be tough defensively at first base for a prospect to overcome. Third base has been ruled out as defensive home, since he was given an above slot signing bonus of $1.2 Million as an 11th round pick out of high school in 2016. McClanahan got 76 at bats at Class A in 2018 and hit just .171. Upon return he hit .194 albeit with 57 walks in 2019. So  I would expect McClanahan to get one final season in A ball to see if the hits and his power finally starts to show up in games.

49. Reese Olson, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Class A Midwest League

Notes: Olson was signed away from playing college ball for Georgia Tech when the Brewers gave him $440K as an 11th round pick in 2018. After getting 10 innings on the mound in the rookie level Arizona League, the Brewers challenged him by jumping him over the Pioneer League and assigning him to the Midwest League. Olson responded with a solid 84 strikeouts in 94 innings. Olson started 14 games and came out of the pen in 13 more, ending up with a 4-7 record with a 4.66 ERA. Those numbers are actually impressive for 19 year old that was almost 3 years young than the average Midwest League player.

50. Dylan File, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: Double-A Southern League

Notes: File attended Division II Dixie State in Utah and won D-II Freshman of the Year.  This success put him on team’s draft boards. His best pitch is his plus slider that he compliments with a low 90’s fastball and a developing change-up. Dylan File is a student of the game, does his homework, and attacks the batters weaknesses. After having his best season in 2019, 15-6 and 3.24 ERA between High-A and Double-A, it is possible that Dylan File gets his first chance to pitch to Triple-A lineups in 2020.




7 Comments

  1. Love reading your lists, thanks!

    Just wanted to point out, the Brewers did make the playoffs two years in a row one other time, 1981-82.

    • Thanks for the question on Tyrone Taylor. My ranking of the Milwaukee Brewers farm system is based on one question that I asked myself: If I was the GM of the Brewers, which players hold the most long-term potential value for my club? This rewards high-ceiling players, more than low ceiling, close-to-major league ready players like Tyrone Taylor.

      In regards to Tyrone Taylor making the Brewers playoff roster, David Gibson at Brewcrewball wrote that Tyrone Taylor was a good choice for the playoff roster because Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun were both nursing injuries. That tells me that he made the team for his immediate value to the team. Not for his value to the club in 2020, 2021, or his long-term value.

      One more note regarding how I rank prospects is that players that do not draw walks in at least 10% of their at bats, are not ranked as high as you might expect them to be. Taylor did not strike out too much by today’s standards. But the lack of walks tells me that big league pitchers will have a chance to get Taylor to swing at their pitch, not wait for one he can drive. But it sure would be nice to see Taylor have some major league success.

      • I own stock in him in a 40 man MLB, 50 man MiLB rosters, where a player can be stored on the MLB roster once they get the call to the majors. I am faced with a roster crunch at the moment, is he someone that I should sell high on then? After he came back from injury on 7/23 he lit up the league. In 142 AB’s he his .331 with 8 doubles and 8 homeruns, and his defense seems to be above average so he could get a chance to play.

  2. Alec Bettinger has already exceeded expectations as a 10th round pick in the 2017 draft. In 2019, he did show solid command, an uptick in velocity, and an ability to limit runners in Double A as a 23 year old. But some still feel that with his arsenal of pitches, his best chance of success is from the bullpen. But with his control, he could have success in the rotation.

    The difference in the ranking of Alec Bettinger has to do with a couple of things. The scouting of players and ranking prospects are not exact sciences, and everyone does it differently. If major league scouts had another chance at the 2017 draft, I expect the Alec Bettinger would get drafted much higher than the 10th round. The second thing that dropped Bettinger in the rankings is the overall improvement in the Brewers farm system. The Brewers have signed and drafted enough new prospects that they now have a deeper farm system. Is is also possible that Bettinger was ranked too high last year, and could have been ranked higher this year.

17 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #1 – The Fan Source
  2. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #2 – The Fan Source
  3. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #4 – The Fan Source
  4. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #3 – The Fan Source
  5. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #6 – The Fan Source
  6. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #7 – The Fan Source
  7. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #8 – The Fan Source
  8. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #9 – The Fan Source
  9. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #10 – The Fan Source
  10. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #11 – The Fan Source
  11. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #13 – The Fan Source
  12. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #14 – The Fan Source
  13. Five French Players Making Their Mark In The USA
  14. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #16 – The Fan Source
  15. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #19 – The Fan Source
  16. Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #24 – The Fan Source
  17. Brew Crew Ball社区最高前景投票#30 – B新聞

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*