Milwaukee Brewers 2019 Top 50 Prospects

Corey Ray (from 2017 Carolina League All-Star Game) - Photo credit @PatrickCavey, Breaking Down the Future

Milwaukee Brewers Top 50 Prospects for 2019

The Milwaukee Brewers had a nice run last season, coming within one game of reaching their first World Series since 1982. In order to do so, they had to move a fair amount of their prospect capital in order to acquire valuable pieces down the stretch.

That has left their system very top heavy, with a few key pieces but primarily a lot of platoon bats and utility players to fill out the rest of the farm. They have long had a tendency to acquire toolsy outfielders with limited hit tools, something that has resulted in a fair amount of flame-outs at the big league level. Their current system is more of the same – although a few have true breakout potential if they can make a few tweaks.

Before we get into the system, a quick note: right-hander Corbin Burnes exceeded his rookie eligibility last season thanks to the amount of days he was on Milwaukee’s active roster, even though he threw less than 50 innings. For those of you who can still count Burnes as a prospect, he would slot in at number two on this 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


Tier 1:
1. Keston Hiura, 2B
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Hiura split 2018 between High-A and AA, blasting 13 home runs and stealing 15 bases. He followed that up with an MVP campaign in the Arizona Fall League. His bat is All-Star caliber, but his defense still leaves something to be desired. Still, his power stroke should cement him as a middle of the order slugger for years to come, regardless of where he plays in the field. He is one of the most exciting prospects in baseball, and could be up as soon as September 2019.
ETA: 2019


Tier 2:
2. Brice Turang, SS
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Turang was widely considered the top prep bat heading into the 2018 draft, but a slow spring allowed the Brewers to snag him at 21 overall. He does everything well, showing excellent speed and burgeoning power, along with a glove that should play at shortstop long-term. He looks like a safe bet to be a big league regular, and quite possibly an above-average one.
ETA: 2023

3. Corey Ray, OF
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Ray’s loud tools jumped to sonic boom levels in 2018, where he blasted 27 home runs and stole 37 bases. Unfortunately, his 29.3% k rate is still a huge issue, and one that seems to plague all Milwaukee outfield prospects. The power and speed could easily make him an All-Star caliber hitter, but the strikeouts are reminiscent of Keon Broxton, Byron Buxton and other toolsy OF who didn’t pan out because of holes in their swing. I still like Ray to be a solid fantasy asset, but at age 24 he needs to start making more contact soon.
ETA: 2020

4. Tristen Lutz, OF
Age: 2o
Highest Level: A
Lutz has huge pull-side power, and has the potential to hit 30 home runs in the big leagues. The problem is he doesn’t have a whole lot of other tools. A strong arm make him a nice candidate for right field, but his defense is unlikely to ever reach even average levels. He has some speed, but doesn’t project as a major stolen base threat. If he can fix the holes in his swing he could be a decent average hitter, but more than likely his strength will allow him to hit home runs in bunches, without a whole lot else.
ETA: 2023

5. Mauricio Dubon, 2B/SS
Age: 24
Highest Level: AAA
Dubon came out of the gate on fire in 2018, putting together a 21-game hit streak and slashing a blistering .343/.348/.574 before an ACL put him on the shelf for the rest of the season. Dubon’s power is starting to show up, but he still projects as a solid-hitting, solid fielding middle infielder with a little speed. A very useful big league player, but not the most exciting fantasy asset, especially with a 1.8% walk rate dampening his value in OBP leagues. Still, his floor is one of the highest in the entire system.
ETA: 2019

6. Zack Brown, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Brown was Milwaukee’s minor league pitcher of the year, and it’s easy to see why after he went 9-1 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP at Double-A Biloxi. He has a solid three-pitch mix and the size to be a big league starter, although the Brewers will probably start him out in the bullpen. Still, Brown is the safest Brewers pitching prospect, projecting as a 3/4 starter potentially as soon as 2020.
ETA: 2020


Tier 3:
7. Troy Stokes Jr., OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Stokes narrowly missed a 20-20 season down at Biloxi, hitting 19 home runs and swiping 19 bases with a .233/.343/.430 slash line. His 11.3% walk rate is fantastic, but his newfound power stroke has led to strikeout issues, a common trait among Milwaukee outfielders. Stokes has the tools to be a big time fantasy contributor, but his limited glove and strikeout issues make him a better fantasy asset than real live one.
ETA: 2020

8. Joe Gray, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
Gray certainly fits Milwaukee’s MO as a power over hit tool outfielder. He is still growing, and now stands six-foot-three. He has all the tools to be an All-Star caliber hitter, but Milwaukee has struggled to develop these type of sluggers in the past (think Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, Keon Broxton, etc.). Gray is a nice gamble in deeper dynasty formats, but he comes with quite a bit of risk.
ETA: 2024

9. Aaron Ashby, LHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: A
Ashby is a JUCO arm who absolutely dominated in seven starts at A-Ball last season, with a 11.33 K/9 and a 2.17 BB/9. His fastball ticks up to 94 and he has two breaking balls and a changeup, all which flash plus. He may struggle with command, which could eventually push him to the bullpen, but for now he has the makings of a solid rotation piece for the Brewers.
ETA: 2023


Tier 4:
10. Micah Bello, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
I’m the high man in the industry on Bello, a Hawaiian outfield prospect that Milwaukee snagged in the second round last year. He has the tools to be a plus defender in center field, and he possesses what could be game-changing speed. Of course, his five-foot-eleven, 165 pound frame should change as he grows, which should add power and may sacrifice some of that speed. He has a decent chance of becoming a big league regular, which could lead to double-digit home runs and 20+ steals. A lot has to fall into place, but the potential is here.
ETA: 2024

11. Eduardo Garcia, SS
Age: 16
Highest Level: Rookie
Garcia couldn’t even sign on the J2 signing date, because he was still just 15. He was handed $1.1M on his 16th birthday, and impressed in the Instructional League. He’s pure projection at this point, but his glove already looks like a big league shortstop, which makes him much more interesting. If he fills out, which at six-foot-two and 160 pounds he probably should, he could easily be a double-digit home run/stolen base threat. He’s a huge wildcard, but in a system with a lot of future role players – I’d rather take a chance on a player like Garcia.
ETA: 2024

12. Tyrone Taylor, OF
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA
Taylor is a post-hype sleeper candidate. Prospect fatigue set in after getting selected in the second round way back in 2012, but a change to his leg kick led to a monstrous 20 home runs, 13 stolen base season last season at Colorado Springs. It’s a hitters league, which has made a lot of people turn away, but I’m willing to buy the noticeable changes to his swing and think he could be a sleeper breakout candidate.
ETA: 2019

13. Mario Feliciano, C
Age: 20
Highest Level: A+
Feliciano had a lost 2018 season thanks to injury. But the 20-year-old held his own as a teenager in Single-A in 2017, and his strong defense and powerful approach make him a prospect worth watching. Catchers bust at a high level, and serious injuries are always concerning, making 2019 a big year for the young backstop. If he hits well, he instantly becomes a top-five prospect for this team.
ETA: 2022

14. Trey Supak, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Supak is a classic back end of the rotation pitching prospect. He has a low-90’s fastball and a solid four-pitch mix that projects average. He rarely gives up hard contact, choosing to live at the bottom of the zone and force ground balls instead. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but his floor is very approachable and soon.
ETA: 2020

15. Je’Von Ward, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Ward is built like an NFL wide receiver at six-foot-five and 190 pounds. His dynasty potential is tied to him filling out his wiry frame, but at 19 he has already shown elite speed on the bases and a solid approach at the plate where he posted an 11.8% walk rate in rookie ball last year. Another outfield prospect who has a lot of projectability, but also a lot of risk.
ETA: 2024

16. Jacob Nottingham, C
Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB
Nottingham has huge raw power but big strikeout issues, proof that this profile isn’t limited to Milwaukee’s outfielders. He made his big league debut last season, hitting .200 in 24 plate appearances. He has made big strides behind the plate, but his strikeout issues have hampered his offensive value, likely limiting him to backup catcher duty in the show.
ETA: 2019

17. Trent Grisham, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Grisham has excellent speed and great plate discipline, but his swing has shifted to a pull-heavy approach, which has limited his value since his power hasn’t really developed. He’s still an interesting prospect as a stolen base threat, but unless he adjusts to a more contact oriented approach, he projects more as a backup outfielder at this point.
ETA: 2019

18. Lucas Erceg, 3B
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA
Erceg’s swing is long and pull-heavy, and his hit tool has not developed as Milwaukee expected. He still has very real raw power, but his contact will always be an issue. He looks like a platoon corner infield bat at best, and heavy infield shifts will dilute his value. Some scouts think he should attempt to reinvent himself as a pitcher, where his 70-grade arm and former experience as a closer in college could make him a Matt Davidson-like dual threat.
ETA: 2020

19. Payton Henry, C
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
Henry’s biggest gain in value is his improvement on defense. Most expected he’d eventually have to move from behind the plate, but he has become more agile and now projects as an average defensive backstop – where his right-handed power will make him much more interesting. He still has holes in his swing, including a 31.9% strikeout rate and a high ground ball rate, but a few adjustments and Henry could jump up this list.
ETA: 2022

20. Carlos Rodriguez
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
Outside of maybe Micah Bello, Rodriguez is the fastest player on the farm. He also projects as a plus defensive center fielder, which could help him earn his way into the big leagues. However, his super aggressive approach and slap-happy swing make him a less than desirable fantasy asset – unless he fills out and adds some loft to his swing. For now he looks like a fourth outfielder/defensive sub/pinch runner and not a full-time regular. There’s still a lot of time for him to grow and develop though.
ETA: 2023

21. Eduarqui Fernandez, OF
Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie
Fernandez is a 17-year-old outfielder with the tools to play center field and an already solid hit tool. He’s too young to make any huge predictions about, but hit plus hit tool and the likelihood of a power surge could make him a very intriguing prospect in this system. At the very least, he’s worth keeping an eye on.
ETA: 2024

22. Jake Gatewood, 1B
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA
Hey look, an all-power, high-strikeout, poor defensive prospect. Not a rarity in this system. Gatewood came up as a shortstop, moved to third base and is now just a first baseman. He has tremendous raw power from the right side, leading to 19 home runs in 388 plate appearances last season at AA. He’ll always have strikeout issues, and his defensive deficiencies will likely make him a more useful fantasy player than a real one. He runs the risk of being a platoon bat, but has 20+ home run potential in regular duty.
ETA: 2020

23. Caden Lemons, RHP
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Lemons stands six-foot-six and a slender 175 pounds, making it all the more impressive that he’s flashed 97 with his heater. His slider has flashed plus, but he has major control issues and lacks a third pitch. He’s still young and very, very projectable, but there’s definite bullpen risk here. Of course, if his slider develops he has closer stuff.
ETA: 2024

24. Larry Ernesto, OF
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
Ernesto is a switch-hitting outfielder who has the tools to stick in center, but projects as a corner outfielder when all is said and done. He’s shown flashes of power and speed that could play up in the show, but a lacking hit tool is cause for concern. He could be a toolsy fourth outfielder if his other tools play up.
ETA: 2023

25. Marcos Diplan, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: AA
Diplan has electric stuff, with a fastball that reaches 97 and a changeup that has showed flashes of being a plus pitch. However, his slider still needs work and his command is nearly non-existent, with 74 walks in 118 innings last year. He doesn’t look like a future starter, but a heavy fastball and a nice changeup could make him a late-inning option if he gets the control down.
ETA: 2020


Tier 5:
26. Pablo Abreu, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Abreu is yet another projectable outfielder with a questionable hit tool. This system just needs to hit on one or two of these guys, and they believe in value by numbers. Abreu has great bat speed but a long swing and a nearly developed body, likely limiting his future power. He’s a decent runner though, and could climb his way up to a fourth outfielder role.
ETA: 2023

27. Korry Howell, SS
Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie
Howell is a 20-year-old 12th rounder who made quite an impression in his pro debut, slashing .311/.398/.350 with 12 steals in just 28 games. He doesn’t project at SS long-term after making 12 errors there, but could be a third baseman or even a center fielder down the line. He’s a 70-grade runner with a questionable hit tool and no real position to speak of, but the Brewers might have something here.
ETA: 2023

28. Adam Hill, RHP
Age: 21
Highest Level: A-
Hill also came over in the Broxton trade. He was the Mets fourth rounder last year, and stands an imposing six-foot-six with a 93 miles per hour heater with heavy arm side run and potential plus offerings with his slider and his changeup. Command is the big issue here, and will determine if he reaches his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter or if he ends up in the bullpen.
ETA: 2020

29. Chad McClanahan, 1B
Age: 21
Highest Level: A
McClanahan has huge raw power that has started to show up in games, making him a prospect worth watching. However, he has strikeout issues (shocker) and only barely advanced past rookie ball despite his advanced age. I’m betting the best case here is a power-hitting platoon option at 1B.
ETA: 2021

30. Felix Valerio, 2B
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
One of the three prospects acquired from the Mets in the Keon Broxton trade, Valerio had a loud performance in the DSL, slashing .390/.475/.533 with more walks than strikeouts. While that’s hard to ignore, so is his small five-foot-seven, 165 pound frame. Valerio will need to hit hit hit if he wants to stick, but if he does he could be a nice utility infielder.
ETA: 2023

31. Justin Jarvis, RHP
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
Jarvis got his fastball up to 95 while still in high school, and sits 91-94 with good arm action. He still has some growing to do, which could get him sitting in the mid-90’s range. His changeup is his best secondary, and his curveball has flashed plus at times as well, giving him a good shot of sticking as a starter – especially once he fills out.
ETA: 2023

32. Jake Hager, SS
Age: 25
Highest Level: AAA
There’s definitely some prospect fatigue on Hager, a first rounder way back in 2011 who has yet to reach the big leagues. However, he’s shown a nice little power/speed mix and outstanding plate discipline. He rarely strikes out, and a 148 wRC+ at AA is worth paying attention to even if he is already 25. He has a very good chance of being a contact-oriented utility infielder.
ETA: 2019

33. Cody Ponce, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Ponce has the build to be a big league starter, standing at six-foot-six on a 240 pound frame. He has command of a four-pitch mix, but none flash great and he only gets up into the low-90’s with his heater. His cutter could be a big pitch for him, but right now he will probably find himself as a bullpen piece.
ETA: 2019

34. Yeison Coca, 2B
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Coca has already shown a strong glove around the diamond, making him a prime candidate to be a future utility infielder. His hit tool is average, but he has very little power and doesn’t seem likely to grow into much. He has enough speed to swipe some bases, but ultimately projects as a soft-hitting utility infielder.
ETA: 2022

35. Branlyn Jaraba, 3B
Age: 16
Highest Level: N/A
The Brewers nabbed Jaraba, the top international prospect out of Columbia, for $1M last July. He is a big athlete with a plus bat, although scouts think he may end up at first base long term. At six-foot-two and 196 pounds, some filling out could give him a big power boost and launch him up this list. For now, he’s a projectable slugger without a position.
ETA: 2024

36. Ernesto Martinez, OF
Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie
Martinez is an imposing six-foot-six and 225 pounds – built like an elite athlete. He has 70-grade raw power, the best in the system, but has only mustered three home runs in 75 games at rookie ball. His bat is unplayable right now, and until he develops a hit tool he will be better served as a batting practice attraction than an actual big leaguer.
ETA: 2023

37. Braden Webb, RHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: AA
Webb has a 60-grade fastball and a 60-grade curve, but a lack of command and a slowly developing changeup make him a likely bullpen piece. Still – his stuff is electric and it’s quite possible he fills a multi-inning role or even a closing gig down the line in Milwaukee.
ETA: 2020

38. Weston Wilson, 1B
Age: 24
Highest Level: AA
Wilson has great raw power and actually improved his strikeout issues last season, but a 24-year-old who spent most of last season at High-A isn’t a great sign. He can play both corner infield and corner outfield spots at least, making him a potential platoon bench bat in the big leagues.
ETA: 2020

39. David Fry, C
Age: 23
Highest Level: A
Fry was Milwaukee’s seventh round pick last year. A 23-year-old should post big time numbers in rookie ball and Fry did just that, blasting 12 home runs with a 142 wRC+ in 61 games. He hasn’t caught much, and his prospect status will depend heavily on if he can stick behind the plate long term. He has the raw power to be a difference maker.
ETA: 2021

40. Adrian Houser, RHP
Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB
Houser reached the big leagues briefly in 2015, but then missed most of the next two years with Tommy John surgery. He has come back with a firmer fastball, although his curveball has been somewhat lost. As such, his former projection as a mid-rotation arm seems to have gone away. Still, if his changeup can remain a plus secondary, he could be a nice late-inning weapon as soon as 2019.
ETA: 2019

41. Bobby Wahl, RHP
Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB
Wahl has reached the bigs in each of the last two seasons, with 15 strikeouts and eight walks in his 13 innings. Injuries and command issues have long held the electric right-hander back, but when he’s on his four-pitch mix (rare for a reliever) and hard fastball that can reach triple digits make him a great late-inning weapon. There’s considerable risk, but Wahl has the stuff to be a closer down the line.
ETA: 2019

42. Quintin Torres-Costa, LHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: AAA
QTC had a great season at Triple-A last year, and would have reached the big leagues had he not suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John. As such, he will miss all of 2019. Assuming he returns to form, he looks like a nice situational lefty who could rack up holds and the occasional save.
ETA: 2020

43. Rodrigo Benoit, RHP
Age: 24
Highest Level: A+
Benoit posted a 74/18 K/BB ratio in 53.1 innings split between A and A+ last season. He has a nice fastball and a plus breaking ball, giving him the tools to be a late-inning option as soon as next season.
ETA: 2019

44. Phil Bickford, LHP
Age: 23
Highest Level: A+
Anyone remember Phil Bickford? The former top prospect has played very sparingly in his professional career thanks to suspensions and injury. He racked up a nice 10.64 K/9 last year however, and his plus fastball and plus slider make him an interesting potential bullpen piece in the not-so-distant future – if he can stay healthy.
ETA: 2020

45. Joantgel Segovia, OF
Age: 22
Highest Level: A+
Segovia hit .342 with 12 steals in Single-A last year, and while he struggled with a promotion to High-A, there’s still some potential as a fourth outfielder with some speed. He has very little power to speak of however, so unless he starts to fill out that six-foot-one, 175 pound frame his range of possibilities is limited.
ETA: 2022

46. J.T. Hintzen, RHP
Age: 22
Highest Level: A
Hintzen has a goofy delivery that shields the ball well from opposing hitters. The 2018 tenth rounder struck out 48 in 39.1 pro innings last year, walking just 11 and giving up 13 earned runs. He has the making of a future middle reliever.
ETA: 2022

47. Daniel Castillo, 2B
Age: 18
Highest Level: Rookie
Castillo has a nice looking swing that could add gap power if he builds on his five-foot-ten, 150 pound frame. He has shown nice glove work up the middle as well, which could make him a solid utility piece down the line.
ETA: 2024

48. Cooper Hummel, C
Age: 24
Highest Level: A+
Hummel posted a 15.6% walk rate and a 136 wRC+ at High-A last season, also knocking eight home runs and 50 RBI. His value will be tied to his ability to stick behind the plate, which is suspect at the moment. If he can, he will move up this list in a hurry.
ETA: 2021

49. Lun Zhao, RHP
Age: 17
Highest Level: Rookie
Zhao has a potentially 70 grade curveball that drew rave reviews in the instructional leagues. His fastball, and basically everything else, is very raw, but at 17 and with that type of curve – he is at least worth keeping an eye on.
ETA: 2025

50. Nate Orf, 2B
Age: 28
Highest Level: MLB
Nearing his 29th birthday, it hardly feels like Orf is a prospect anymore. Yet his 2018 season at Triple-A (22 stolen bases, 10.5% walk rate, 15.1% strikeout rate, .298/.397/.426 slash, 120 wRC+) is one of the best he’s posted yet. His big league cameo didn’t go great however, and it’s clear Orf’s ceiling is as a fringey utility infielder.
ETA: 2019


Just missed: RHP Carlos Herrera, 2B Antonio Pinero, LHP Clayton Andrews, RHP Michele Vassalotti, RHP Reese Olson

About Andy Patton 13 Articles
Andy Patton covers the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system for Prospects1500. He is on his third fantasy baseball writing gig, also writing for Pitcher List and RotoBaller. He also covers the Detroit Tigers at FanSided's Motor City Bengals and dabbles with the gridiron, writing about the Seahawks for USA TODAY.

3 Comments

  1. I like your list until we get to Trent Grisham at 17. I think he should be in the 40,s with Phil B. I also would like to see A. Houser & Bobby Wahl in the low 30,s Thank You

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