Although the season itself was a step in the wrong direction for Milwaukee, several key things went right in 2020. Jacob the Sheriff of Nottingham showed himself to be a capable catcher with enough stick to provide a lawful option at the position. Devon Williams established himself as perhaps the game’s most dominant reliever. And Corbin Burnes stepped up to pair with Brandon Woodruff and form a strong one-two punch atop the rotation. These developments combined with a series of promising amateur acquisitions give the Brewers big boozy dreams for 2021 and beyond.
Format: Position Player | Age on 4/1/2021 | Highest level played | ETA
1. OF Hedbert Perez | 17 | NA | 2024
An intoxicating blend of power and speed, Perez spent 2020 at the big club’s training site, making him one of the youngest players to see major league adjacent pitching this year. Few things in minor league baseball excite me as much as Hedbert’s bat speed. I think he could still be acquired for a reasonable fee in most dynasty leagues. He’ll be a consensus top 50 prospect sometime soon, so I’d get an offer in before the games start next year. (Dear Lord please let there be games next year).
2. OF Garrett Mitchell | 20 | NCAA | 2022
Thanks in part to his level bat plane and type 1 diabetes, Mitchell fell to the Brewers at the 20 spot in the 2020 draft despite being a top ten talent on most public-facing rankings. If the bat comes along, Mitchell is a true five-tool talent and plus defender in centerfield with plus-plus speed and athleticism. His MLB draft price could make him a nice value in most first-year-player dynasty drafts this off-season.
3. SS Brice Turang | 21 | A+ | 2022
Another draft-day value relative to perception within that echo chamber, Turang has thrived on his way through the system despite having little power at present. He’s a strong defender at the premium position with plus speed, but he got the bat knocked out of hands a bit in high A, slashing .200/.338/.276 across 47 games. He did steal nine bags in ten attempts there and has shown good plate skills every step of the way, so if he’s used this year to add good weight, he could surpass my modest expectations for him.
4. C Mario Feliciano | 22 | AA | Mid 2021
Feliciano has always been young for his level (-2.6 at High A), so he gets something of a pass on his strikeout problems (28.8 percent at that level) because his plus power will certainly play at catcher. He’s not a great receiver, but the robot strike zone might paper over that weakness, and he’s got enough arm to hold down a running game, which I suppose would become more important in a robot universe.
5. LHP Ethan Small | 24 | A | Late 2021
Small offers sizable upside as a plus-command lefty who gained velocity in his return from Tommy John surgery. His changeup should be plus-plus if he can tunnel it well with his fastball, and we know this organization can teach exactly this combination as well as any. His curveball is good enough to mix in for a wrinkle, and pitchers with comfortable command tend to get better with experience at the highest level working with the best coaches, something that’s been proven out in Milwaukee thanks to Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Devon Williams and more.
6. SS Eduardo Garcia | 18 | R | 2023
I’m a fan of Garcia, a smooth defender at short whose incredible hands carry over to contact skills in the batter’s box. His foot speed is just enough to stay at short, but I expect him to add some stolen bases to his profile given his general feel for the game. He should add strength and athleticism given his youth and frame: 6’2” 160 lbs. I suspect he’s already heavier than that listed weight and think he’s the type to access most of his power in game action. He might be a free agent in your dynasty league and would be a sharp, topside pickup if so.
7. OF Luis Medina | 17 | NA | 2024
Medina is a five-tool talent who fits the mold for Milwaukee, an organization that loves athleticism as much as any. His contact skills and smooth lefty swing give him the nod here over others with more stateside experience like free-swinging speedster Eduarqui Fernandez.
8. OF Tristen Lutz | 22 | A+ | 2022
Lutz looks bigger than his listed 6’2” 210 lbs, but that might be because his muscles have muscles. He throws well for a bodybuilder, but he swings and misses like one too. He’s made enough contact so far to keep moving up the chain since being drafted 34th overall out of high school in 2017, but he’ll likely struggle to meet the challenge presented by the world’s top spinsters. His 2021 season in AA will be instructive. Might be a good time to sell if he starts hot.
9. SS Hayden Cantrelle | 22 | NCAA | 2024
Milwaukee likes to nab a falling draft stock, and Cantrelle fit that bill in the fifth round after batting just .148 during his covid-abbreviated Junior season. He’d been a stud in 2019 and full-time starter at short as a freshman, so I’m giving him a pass on his slump this season because his plus speed plays in game, and he’d always hit before 2020. His pop is more gap-to-gap than over the fence, but I tend to like these sum-of-their-parts dudes with solid hit tools because I think they outperform their pedigree more than any prospect player type.
10. 1B Luis Castro | 25 | AA | 2021
Milwaukee claimed Luis Castro after he ran out of time in the Rockies system. The mostly forgotten man pairs a good approach with consistent loft and feels like a perfect fit for the juicy balls. I’ve listed him at first base, but he’s played all over the diamond, and given Milwaukee’s positionless vision, that seems more important here than it would be for some teams. I doubt many teams would’ve even considered Mike Moustakas or Travis Shaw as second baseman.
Thanks for reading!
I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.