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Milwaukee Brewers Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-season review

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Checking on the results from the pre-season 2017 Milwaukee Brewers prospect list.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
Lewis Brinson
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Milwaukee Brewers Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.




This list was originally published January 17th, 2017, and revised February 13th, 2017.

1) Lewis Brinson, OF, Grade B+: Age 23, first round pick by the Rangers in 2012, acquired in 2016 Jonathan Lucroy deal; strong in Triple-A at .331/.400/.562, 13 homers, 11 steals; had problems in the majors at .106/.236/.277 in 47 at-bats but will obviously get more chances; currently on DL with hamstring injury and will miss rest of minor league season, may or may not be ready in September.

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers
Josh Hader
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

2) Josh Hader, LHP, Grade B+: Age 23, originally drafted by Orioles in 19th round in 2012, traded to Astros, then traded to Brewers; moved into major league bullpen in June and has performed well, 1.33 ERA in 27 innings, 34/19 K/BB, just 14 hits; walks need to come down long-term.

3) Corey Ray, OF, Grade B+: Age 22, first round pick in 2016 from University of Louisville; hitting .239/.312/.368 in High-A, seven homers, 23 steals, 43/142 BB/K ratio in 402 at-bats; a disappointing season, tools are here but less polish than expected.

4) Isan Diaz, INF, Grade B/B+: Age 21, comp round pick in 2014 by Diamondbacks, traded to Brewers in Jean Segura deal; hitting .225/.339/.374 with 12 homers, 62 walk, 116 strikeouts in 374 at-bats in High-A; not a great year but based on age and past track record I think he can adapt.

5) Mauricio Dubon, SS, Grade B: Age 23, drafted by Red Sox in 26th round in 2013, born in Honduras but went to high school in California, came to Milwaukee in 2016 Tyler Thornburg deal; hitting combined .273/.327/.378 between Double-A and Triple-A, 38 steals; may fit better at second base long-term, might show more power eventually.

6) Luis Ortiz, RHP, Grade B: Age 21, first round pick by Rangers in 2014, traded to Brewers in Lucroy package; 4.08 ERA with 73/32 K/BB in 83 innings in Double-A, 67 hits; not a great year but not terrible and pretty young for the level.

Minnesota Twins v Milwaukee Brewers
Brandon Woodruff
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

7) Brandon Woodruff, RHP, Grade B: Age 24, 11th round pick in 2014 out of Mississippi State; 4.46 ERA in 73 innings in Triple-A, 71/25 K/BB, very credible for Colorado Springs; three major league starts with 1.62 ERA, 12/8 K/BB in 17 innings, ready for a full trial.

8) Phil Bickford, RHP, Grade B: Age 22, first round pick by Giants in 2015, traded to Brewers in August 2016; opened season on suspension list for drug of abuse, just now getting back into action with nine innings of rookie ball rehab work, a lost season basically.

9) Marcos Diplan, RHP, Grade B-: Age 20, signed by Rangers in 2013, traded to Brewers in Yovani Gallardo deal; mediocre season in High-A with 5.23 ERA in 108 innings, 108/63 K/BB; good arm strength, still learning how to pitch and still very young, strikeouts a positive.

10) Lucas Erceg, 3B, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from NAIA school Menlo College; hitting .246/.289/.397 with 13 homers, 27 walks, 88 strikeouts in 464 at-bats in High-A, a bit disappointing considering massive hype he received in spring training.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers
Brett Phillips
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11) Brett Phillips, OF, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, sixth round pick by Astros in 2012, acquired in Carlos Gomez trade; hitting .316/.386/.595 in Triple-A with 19 homers, 42 walks, 115 strikeouts in 358 at-bats; hit .229/.289/.429 in 35 major league at-bats and ready for a larger trial.

12) Trent Clark, OF, Grade B-/C+: Age 20, first round pick in 2015, age 20, hitting .223/.356/.357 with 31 steals, 85 walks, 129 strikeouts in 412 at-bats; effective stealer, fielder, and walker with flashes of power but hasn’t hit for average to this point, high secondary average type.

13) Jorge Lopez, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 24, second round pick from Puerto Rico in 2011; 4.53 ERA in 94 innings in Double-A with 97/35 K/BB; switched to bullpen in July and has been effective in new role, 2.63 ERA in 27 innings with 24/7 K/BB; I suspect that is where he belongs.

14) Jacob Nottingham, C-1B, Grade C+: Age 22, hitting .208/.325/.343 in 289 at-bats in Double-A; second poor season since reaching this level; receiving skills have improved and it isn’t too late for the bat but he needs progress in ‘18.

15) Ryan Cordell, OF, Grade C+: Age 25, 11th round pick by Rangers out of Liberty University in 2013, traded to Brewers in Lucroy deal; hitting .284/.349/.506 in Triple-A, traded to White Sox for Anthony Swarzak on July 26th.

16) Corbin Burnes, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2016 out of St. Mary’s; breakthrough season that needs more attention, 1.67 ERA in 130 innings between High-A and Double-A, 128/26 K/BB, just 93 hits, high ground ball rate, intriguing arm.

17) Gilbert Lara, SS, Grade C+: Age 19, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014 for $3,100,000, hit .193/.226/.269 in 223 at-bats in Low-A, season now over with a broken fibula; Midwest League observers report he was totally overmatched by full-season pitching; still young of course.

18) Cody Ponce, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, second round pick in 2015 from Cal Poly Pomona; 3.45 ERA in 120 innings in High-A, 94/25 K/BB, decent year but is repeating the level; might move to bullpen eventually.

19) Devin Williams, RHP, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2013, out with Tommy John surgery.

20) Monte Harrison, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2014, showed substantial improvements with swing and approach this year, hitting .266/.349/.481 with 20 homers, 23 steals, 40/121 BB/K ratio in 399 at-bats between Low-A and High-A, always had the tools.

Chad McClanahan, 3B: Hitting .211/.325/.292 in Pioneer League at age 19.
Demi Orimoloye, OF: Hitting .210/.278/.352 in Low-A, 11 homers, 33 steals, 37/129 BB/K.
Freddy Peralta, RHP: Strong season, 2.77 ERA in 104 innings High-A/Double-A, 146/55 K/BB, only 68 hits.
Jon Perrin, RHP: 3.16 ERA in 91 innings in Double-A, 81/18 K/BB, sharp control.
Braden Webb, RHP: 4.58 ERA in 75 innings in Low-A, 77/35 K/BB; scouting reports better than the numbers.
Jordan Yamamoto, RHP: 3.07 ERA in 91 innings in High-A, 91/27 K/BB, 77 hits.

Two teams to go, then we move on to a revised Top 100 list.