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Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are slowly rebuilding their farm system and are using a tried and true philosophy – athletes with a lot of risks.  Sure, not all of them make it to the Major Leagues, but Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison were used as the principal players in a trade for Christian Yelich.

Their first-round pick in 2020 was Garrett Mitchell and there is a lot to like.  He’s got plus speed and with some loft added to his swing, could develop power.  Brice Turang continues to intrigue with his potential game-changing speed. Plus, there’s my personal favorite Hedbert Perez.  He’s got Major League bloodlines and a ton of tools in which to get excited.  As is always with the Brewers, their pitching stable is light with some good bullpen arms but no true starter stud on the horizon.

Prospect Quick Shot

  • Top Prospect: Garrett Mitchell
  • Biggest Mover: Drew Rasmussen
  • Emerging Prospect: Jackson Chourio

1. Garrett Mitchell (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2021-22 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF
  • Tools Summary: Plus speed and defender who should be able to hit a little.  His power has never shown up in games.

Garrett Mitchell was selected 12th overall in the 2020 Draft and signed for a reportedly $3.2 million signing bonus.  He’s a premium athlete with double-plus speed that can catch everything in the outfield.  At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, he has the size and bat speed to eventually hit for power, but his swing lacks loft and therefore, he’s never tapped into his power. 

Finally, Garrett Mitchell has Type-1 Diabetes.  I’ve been doing this long enough to know that evaluators and some writers will hold this against him.  This is a fallacy.  I have a son with Type-1 Diabetes who is now 30-years-old and the disease has never slowed him down.  He was a competitive MMA fighter for years and is extremely active.  If Mitchell can manage his Diabetes with proper medicine and nutrition, his ceiling will be as high as a similar player without Type-1 Diabetes.  Most people do not understand the disease and will label him incorrectly as brittle or “sickly”.  It is unfair and wrong.  I like Mitchell a lot and believe he has a chance to tap into some power.  He would be a nice Dynasty League pick early in the second round.  That said, I might take him earlier so I can root along for yet another athlete who suffers from Type-1 Diabetes.

2. Brice Turang (SS)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2022-23 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 SS
  • Tools Summary: Plus speed, good on-base skills but limited power.

With his blend of speed and good contact skills, Brice Turang brings an intriguing base of skills to both the Brewers and Fantasy Managers alike.  While the Brewers have played him at both second and shortstop, he has the chops to stay at short and the speed to move to the center field.  The bat speed is just average and there isn’t a lot of loft in his swing, so power will likely not be part of the equation.  This could move his ceiling to a utility player but I believe there is enough in the tank for him to become a full-time regular with a future stat line of .270/.350/.400 with 5 to 8 home runs and 20 plus stolen bases

3. Hedbert Perez (OF)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 20 Outfielder with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Plus tools with Major League baseball bloodlines

I added Hedbert Perez in several Dynasty Leagues last February.  He’s tooled up with plus bat speed and a nice compact swing that generates easy power.  He’s also a well-above-average runner but will likely slow down as he fills out.  As the son of a former Major Leaguer (Robert Perez – played with Blue Jays in the 1980s), his hit-tool and instincts are also well above-average.  While I have his ETA set at 2024, I could easily see him starting 2021 in Low-A with a chance to beat his arrival time by a year.  There’s a lot to like in Perez and I have ranked him accordingly.

4. Mario Feliciano (C)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 Catcher
  • Tools Summary: Plus power but very aggressive approach with a lot of strikeouts

With a nice step-up year in 2019, Mario Feliciano hit my radar as a potential top 15 catcher.  The power took a step up in 2019 but with an aggressive approach and some swing and miss, there are warts in the profile.  Still, he’s a good receiver with a plus arm that should eventually profile as a full-time regular.  A good comparison would be Jorge Alfaro.

5. Ethan Small (LHP)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2021 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 60 SP but with upside
  • Tools Summary: More pitchability than stuff, but if Velo returns to pre-TJ level, there could be something more there

The Brewers drafted Ethan Small in the first round (pick 28) of the 2019 MLB Draft.  He had Tommy John Surgery in his sophomore year of college and wound up spending four years in college.  With the missed 2020 season, he now turns 24 in February.  Secondly, we have yet to verify that his velocity has returned.  Some sporadic reports indicate that the velocity was much better than in his draft year.  He’s a strike-thrower and pounds the zone with command.  If the velocity has indeed returned, he could be a number four, or a bit more.

6. Zack Brown (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2021 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 60 SP
  • Tools Summary: Back of the rotation stuff that didn’t translate well in the PCL

Brown has a four-pitch mix with a fastball that sits 92 to 94 MPH with both a curveball and slider.  His curveball is the better of his breaking pitches and can get some very ugly swings and misses.  The changeup is an average pitch and still needs a little work. The delivery has some effort so there is reliever risk, but for now, I will keep his ceiling as a number four starter with a chance to see the big leagues in 2021.

7. Tristen Lutz (OF)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 50 OF
  • Tools Summary: Big power with a lot of swing and miss

Tristen Lutz carrying tool is big raw power that is starting to translate into plus in-game power but with a lot of strikeouts.  He’s not overly aggressive at the plate, so he could potentially put up a .240/.340/.500 slash line in the big leagues.  The average and on-base percentage will be affected annually by his BABIP.  His speed will be minimal, but he could steal a hand full of bases annually.

8. Aaron Ashby (LHP)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 60 SP or Bullpen arm
  • Tools Summary: Above-average stuff from the left-side with some funk in the delivery

Aaron Ashby arsenal is headlined by a low 90s fastball and a plus curveball that can miss plenty of bats.  He has an exaggerated overhead delivery that presents deception but also causes him to lose his arm slot, causing him to have below-average control.  Overall, Ashby profiles as a number four starter or perhaps a bullpen arm.

9. Drew Rasmussen (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  Majors ETA: 2020 Fantasy Ceiling:  Closer
  • Tools Summary: Double-plus fastball, great slider but with below-average control

Drew Rasmussen pitched meaningful innings in 2020 with the Brewers showing off his double-plus fastball.  He fastball averaged 97.5 MPH and he also showed a promising slider that had a spin rate of 2,725 RPM.  He doesn’t have a great change-up and when you couple that with poor control, he’s likely a reliever in the Major Leagues.  However, It’s premium stuff that if he can just improve a grade on his control could point him to a high-leverage role in the future.

10. Corey Ray (OF)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2021 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Lots of tools but it’s just not coming together

Dynasty League owners who spent a high first-round draft pick on Corey Ray after he was selected number five overall in 2015 are still waiting for him to post a major league stat line.  He’ll begin the 2021 season as a 26-year-old and time is running out. His career has been marred by injuries and an inability to make consistent contact.  Will it come together?  It’s hard to say yes at this point but it’s equally hard to give up on the power-speed he brings to the table.

11. Antoine Kelly (LHP)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Likely a bullpen arm, but 5% chance he’s a stud TOR arm
  • Tools Summary: High-velocity arm, athletic and very raw

In a very weak system, Antoine Kelly could be a beacon of hope.  I first heard about him when AJ Preller tried to draft him in the 13th round in 2018.  He was not successful but when the Padres go after a young player, I’m interested. At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds and athletic, he already has an 80-grade fastball from the left side.  Now, he doesn’t always know where it’s going but the velocity and movement are impressive.  He’s raw for sure, but if you’re thinking Devin Williams 2.0, well…

12. Eduardo Garcia (SS)

  • Highest Level:  Alternate Site ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 15 SS with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Plus defender with some offensive tools

If Antoine Kelly is the young, high upside arm in the organization, Eduardo Garcia is the young, high-upside position player.  He’s more known for his defensive ability as he could be a 70-defender at short but offensively there could be something there as well. He has a nice swing with good bat speed and is a good runner.  Since he’s only 16, I’m not going to try and put a projection on him but a solid hitter with double-digit home runs and stolen bases could be in the cards.  But first, he needs to get healthy and get back on the field. 

13. Joe Gray (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2023+ Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Tooled-up, but will he hit enough to make it out of Double-A?

The Brewers like to sign toolsy players and let their development system see what they can do.  Historically, they’ve had a lot of success.  Joe Gray is one of those players.  He looks like he just walked out of central casting, is athletic, is a plus runner with great bat speed.  The problem, as with many young players, is he struggles to make consistent contact.  He did spend time at the Fall Instructional League and reportedly made strides.  Time will tell.

14. Eduarqui Fernandez (OF)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2024+ Fantasy Ceiling:  Unknown
  • Tools Summary: Tooled-up, but needs to cut down his strikeouts to be successful

Eduardqui Fernandez was the Brewers’ top international sign in 2018 signing for a $1.1 million bonus.  At 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, he has good size and has already started to demonstrate both power and speed.  In 2019, he hit 11 home runs while stealing 15 bases in 72 games in rookie ball.  However, he also struck out 33% of the time.  He’s athletic with an intriguing power-speed combination.  With some work, hopefully, he’ll be able to cut down on the strikeouts so that his speed and power will play.

15. Jackson Chourio (SS)

  • Highest Level:  DNP ETA: 2025+ Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: Athletic with good bat speed.  The question will be how much he’ll hit

The Brewers are expected to sign Jackson Chourio, projected to be an outfielder if he makes his way through the development system.  He’s athletic with whippy bat speed and double-plus foot speed.  The question, as is usually the case with young Latin players is whether he will hit enough.

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