Milwaukee Brewers

While the Brewers system is not among the best in the leagues, they have Jackson Chourio, and that alone makes them interesting.  He was one of the breakout players in the league, reminding many of a young Tatis Jr.  After that, Sal Frelick, Brice Turang, Esteury Ruiz, and Garrett Mitchell provide top-of-the-lineup potential with a feel to hit.  While there is pitching in the organization, none stands out as having the upside of the “Big Three,” but the Brewers have proven adept at developing Major League pitching.  Overall, it’s a solid system and one that has improved since 2021.

Prospect Quick Shot

  • Top Prospect: Jackson Chourio
  • Biggest Mover: Jackson Chourio (Yep, from interesting to Double-A)
  • Emerging Prospect: Hendry Mendez

1. Jackson Chourio (OF)

  • Highest Level:  Double-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 30 OF
  • Tools Summary: Exploded onto the scene in 2022, showing exciting, fantasy-friendly skills.

Jackson Chourio set the prospect world into a frenzy when he flashed exciting tools and feel to hit to begin the season.  He kept hitting, and despite only being 18 years old, he got a promotion to High-A in August, didn’t look lost, and even got a cup of coffee in Double-A in September.  He’s athletic with excellent bat speed and currently is a well-above-average runner.  He needs to improve his approach, but he played the entire season as an 18-year-old, so I think we need to cut him some slack.  He’s quickly becoming one of the best prospects in the game and is already a Top 25 prospect.

2. Esteury Ruiz (2B/OF)

  • Highest Level:  Majors ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 30 OF or Top 5 2B
  • Tools Summary: Significant power uptick with improved plate patience.  When you add this to elite speed and adequate contact skills, there could be something special brewing.

I’ve always been a fan of Esteury Ruiz, but regrettably, I don’t have him on any fantasy team.  That appears to be a mistake.  His carrying tool has always been his 70-grade speed, but he ran wild in 2022.  He started the season in Double-A and stole 37 bases in 49 games, and once he got promoted to Triple-A, he kept on running.  The contact rate is still reasonable, but he’s also developed a more patient approach at the plate.  This is leading to a high OBP and more opportunities to, you guessed it, steal bases.  The most significant change in his performance is his power.  He usually posted a .400ish SLG, but in 2022, he slugged .545 with 16 home runs.  This moves his floor from a fourth outfielder to a full-time regular and a chance to be an impact player at the highest level.

3. Sal Frelick (OF)

  • Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2023 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 OF
  • Tools Summary: Plus-speed with a solid hit tool provides a path for an elite leadoff hitter

Sal Frelick, the Brewers’ first-round pick in 2021, split his time between High, Double, and Triple-A and did what he does best – make great contact and run.  In 113 games, he posted an 11.6% strikeout rate and stole 22 bases.  He also has a little power as he slugged .464 with nine home runs.  For me, he’s your prototypical leadoff batter who should be able to get on base at a 35% rate, score lots of runs and steal 20 bases a year while hitting a few home runs.  Like Myles Straw, Frelick could have meaningful value in a fantasy league.

4. Brice Turang (SS)

  • Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 20 SS or Top 15 2B
  • Tools Summary: He’s an excellent hitter with a solid approach and speed.

Brice Turang doesn’t light up a stat line, but he’s a solid hitter with above-average speed and is athletic and versatile enough to play multiple positions.  That profile could be an asset in a fantasy league as he will contribute to categories generally in short supply (stolen bases, batting average, and runs).  While I see a full-time regular, it could be in a Ben Zobrist type of super-utility role.

5. Eric Brown (SS)

  • Highest Level: Complex ETA: 2024-25 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 SS
  • Tools Summary: He’s a plus runner with a solid approach with questions on how much future power he will have.

The Brewers like to draft table-setters and did it again last July when they drafted Eric Brown.  The shortstop from Coastal Carolina controls the strike zone well and is a plus runner with questions on how much power he will eventually have.  Sound familiar?  In college, he walked more than he struckout and stole 26 bases in 123 games.  While he hit 16 home runs, he’s 5-foot-10 with a swing more geared to contact.  He’s strong defensively and, at a minimum, should develop into a utility player.  I see more, and the speed alone should interest Dynasty League owners.

6. Garrett Mitchell (OF)

  • Highest Level: Majors ETA: 2022 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 50 OF
  • Tools Summary: Toolsy player struggling to make enough contact to be a full-time regular.

I was excited when the Brewers made Garrett Mitchell their number one pick in the 2020 Draft (Pick #20).  He’s a 70-runner with plenty of bat speed to suggest that he would develop average future power.  After an impressive showing in High-A in 2021, he struggled to find consistent success in both Double and Triple-A last season.  Regardless, the Brewers promoted him to Milwaukee in late August, and he struck out 40% of the time in a limited sample size.  I still like the tools, particularly his speed, but the profile is starting to look more like a fourth outfielder than a full-time regular.

7. Tyler Black (2B)

  • Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 2B with upside
  • Tools Summary: He’s a plus hitter who should be able to post 15-15 production every year.

There are many 50s on the scouting report for Tyler Black, except for one – his hit tool.  In 64 games in High-A, he hit .281 with a .406 on-base percentage while walking more than he struck out.  His season did end early with a fracture to his scapula that required surgery to repair.

The power has yet to show up, and it could be limited based on his hit-first approach at the plate.  However, I think counting on 12 to 15 home runs to go along with similar numbers in stolen bases with a .280+ batting is an excellent baseline. 

8. Joey Wiemer (OF)

  • Highest Level: Triple-A ETA: 2023-24 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 30 OF with swing and miss risk
  • Tools Summary: Enticing fantasy tools with contact issues.

After seeing Joey Wiemer play in the Fall League, I wasn’t surprised when he hit 15 home runs and stole 25 bases in 84 games to start the season in Double-A.  I also wasn’t surprised when he struck out 30% of the time.  He has plus power potential with at least 60-grade speed, but his swing has plenty of chase.  I didn’t anticipate the improved strikeout rate upon his promotion to Triple-A.  It was a small sample size but an encouraging development nonetheless.  He has enticing fantasy tools; if he can keep the strikeouts down, he could be a star.  If he can’t…see Sam Hillard…gulp…

9. Jefferson Quero (C)

  • Highest Level: High-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling: Top 15 Catcher
  • Tools Summary: He’s showing a feel to hit with power.

I know fantasy players discount catchers often, and with the plethora of catchers moving through the minors, it’s understandable.  But Jefferson Quero is another one of those guys.  He can hit with power and has enough defensive chops to stay behind the plate.  While he stole ten bases last season in Low-A (everybody stole bases in Low-A), I don’t see this being a part of his profile in the future.  As he moves through the minor leagues, Quero will pick up helium, so if you’re interested, now is the time to buy in.

10. Jacob Misiorowski (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  Low-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 SP or Closer with risk
  • Tools Summary: Tall and lanky with an 80-grade fastball but with 30-grade control.

The Brewers drafted Jacob Misiorowski in the second round last July.  While he’s a project, the upside is intriguing.  His body type reminds me of Eury Perez (long and lean) with a fastball that can touch triple digits, but unlike Perez, he has little idea where the ball is going.  Pitchers with long limbs typically take a while to get everything in-sync to throw strikes, so this is why I use the word “project.”  Assuming he gets to at least average control, the floor is a high-leverage reliever with a chance to be at least a mid-rotation starter.  If he can’t throw strikes, he likely won’t make it.

11. Hedbert Perez (OF)

  • Highest Level:  Low-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 50 OF with risk
  • Tools Summary: Huge raw power but his approach and strikeout rate need to improve.

I’ve long been a fan of Hedbert Perez.  He has elite bat speed with a chance to hit 35+ home runs at the highest level.  While he currently has average speed, as he fills out, the speed will likely take a step backward.  The question is will he hit enough?  He didn’t go very far in answering that riddle last season, as he struck out 30% of the time while rarely walking.  The good news is that he played the entire season as a 19-year-old and hit 15 home runs while stealing nine bases.  However, the approach needs to improve, or he’ll likely not hit enough to get full-time at-bats.

12. Hendry Mendez (OF)

  • Highest Level:  Low-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 60 OF with upside
  • Tools Summary: He is showing a plus hit tool but needs to add power to increase his power potential.  He played the entire season in Low-A as an 18-year-old.

Hendry Mendez can hit!  While playing the entire season in Low-A at 18, he walked nearly as much as he struck out with a 16% strikeout rate.  The problem is that he only slugged .318 with five home runs.  His swing is flat, and he also rolled over on too many pitches beating most of them into the ground (62.5% ground ball rate).  The Brewers need to add some loft to his swing, and once they do, I think he’ll unlock some power (10 to 15) without increasing his strikeout rate much.  Will it be enough to make him fantasy relevant?  Maybe…and for that reason, fantasy owners need to keep him on their radar.

13. Carlos Rodriguez (RHP)

  • Highest Level:  High-A ETA: 2024 Fantasy Ceiling:  High-Leverage reliever
  • Tools Summary: He made excellent strides in 2022, but his size and stuff might work best in the bullpen.

The Brewers selected Carlos Rodriguez in the sixth round of the 2021 MLB Draft.  The right-hander split his time between Low and High-A pitching to a 3.01 ERA, striking out over 10 per nine while walking 3.3 per nine.  He’s gotten stronger since he was drafted and has improved his velocity and is now sitting 93 to 95 MPH with a plus change-up.  He’s still looking for an effective breaking pitch.  He’s only 6-foot-1, and the Brewers could elect to move him to the bullpen where his fastball will play up, and with his ability to throw strikes, he could be effective.

14. Pablo Garabitos (LHP)

  • Highest Level:  Triple-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 40 SP or Middle Reliever
  • Tools Summary: He throws strikes with a promising arsenal—a kid to keep an eye on.

The Brewers used Garabitos primarily out of the bullpen to begin the season. Eventually, they started to ramp up his innings, and by the end of the year, he was used as the bulk-inning guy and was highly effective.  He throws strikes with a solid three-pitch arsenal and, of course, pitches from the left side.  I like the delivery as it’s athletic and simple.  He’s a kid to keep a close eye on next season as he starts to move through the system.

15. Joe Gray Jr. (OF)

  • Highest Level:  High-A ETA: 2025 Fantasy Ceiling:  Top 45 OF but with extreme risk
  • Tools Summary: He has enticing fantasy-friendly tools but striking out 34% of the time in High-A is concerning.

I was excited about Joe Gray Jr. last season, ranking him #6 in the Brewers system.  He put up a 20-20 season but struck out too much.  While repeating High-A last season, he didn’t quite put up a 20-20 season (15 HR and 17 SB), but boy, did he strike out a lot.  In 123 games, he struck out 34% of the time resulting in a lowly .193 batting average.  The tools are fantasy-friendly, but unless he makes better contact, he will not make it.  At this point, I’m betting the under…

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