On Thursday evening the Miami Marlins took another step in their rebuilding process, trading outfielder Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers. In return they receive four prospects: outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, infielder Isan Diaz, and pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.
Here’s a quick take.
Lewis Brinson, OF: Brinson was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round in 2012 from high school in Coral Springs, Florida. This is his second major trade, having gone from the Rangers to the Brewers in the 2016 Jonathan Lucroy deal.
Age 23, Brinson hit .331/.400/.562 in 76 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2017, with 13 homers and 11 steals in 299 at-bats. He also hit .106/.236/.237 with seven walks and 17 strikeouts in 47 major league at-bats.
Brinson has one of the best physical tool sets in baseball with above-average power, speed, center field range, and arm strength. His makeup is also a big positive. The two negatives in his profile are frequent injuries as well as inconsistent strike zone judgment, though the latter issue has improved and he has nothing left to prove in the minors.
Isan Diaz, INF: Originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the compensation round in 2014 from high school in Massachusetts, Diaz was traded to Milwaukee in the 2016 Jean Segura deal. He spent 2017 with High-A Carolina, hitting .222/.334/.376 with 13 homers. His 2016 season in Low-A was more successful (.264/.368/.469) and he was hampered by a wrist injury for much of ‘17.
Diaz is 21 years old. The lefty hitter has unusual power for a middle infielder and does a decent job controlling the strike zone. He’s an adequate shortstop who will fit better at second base in the long run.
Monte Harrison, OF: Harrison was drafted by the Brewers in the second round in 2014 from high school in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Very raw at first, he took a step forward in ‘17 by hitting a combined .272/.350/.481 between Low-A and High-A, with 21 homers, 27 steals, 43 walks and 139 strikeouts in 453 at-bats.
Age 22, Harrison is similar to Brinson with his combination of speed, power, and defensive prowess. Like Brinson he also has a history of injuries. Harrison’s hitting approach isn’t as refined and he needs a full year in the high minors to consolidate his skills but his ceiling is quite high.
Jordan Yamamoto, RHP: Yamamoto was drafted by the Brewers in the 12th round in 2014 from high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was quite solid in 2017, posting a 2.51 ERA in 111 innings in High-A with a 113/30 K/BB.
Age 21, Yamamoto isn’t a big guy at 6-1, 185 and doesn’t have much physical projection remaining. His fastball is essentially average at 88-93 MPH but he locates it well, mixing in an above-average slider and adequate change-up. He projects as a number four or five starter or perhaps a long reliever.
I will revise the Marlins Top 20 prospects for 2018 list to reflect the trade later today.