Top 42 Prospects: Milwaukee Brewers by Eric Longenhagen July 1, 2021 Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Milwaukee Brewers. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. As there was no minor league season in 2020, there are some instances where no new information was gleaned about a player. Players whose write-ups have not been meaningfully altered begin by telling you so. As always, I’ve leaned more heavily on sources from outside of a given org than those within for reasons of objectivity. Because outside scouts were not allowed at the alternate sites, I’ve primarily focused on data from there, and the context of that data, in my opinion, reduces how meaningful it is. Lastly, in an effort to more clearly indicate relievers’ anticipated roles, you’ll see two reliever designations, both on my lists and on The Board: MIRP, or multi-inning relief pitcher, and SIRP, or single-inning relief pitcher. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed, you can click here. For further explanation of Future Value’s merits and drawbacks, read Future Value. All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2021 2020 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Brewers Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Aaron Ashby 23.1 AAA MIRP 2022 50 2 Garrett Mitchell 22.8 A+ CF 2022 45+ 3 Jeferson Quero 18.7 R C 2024 45 4 Ethan Small 24.4 AAA SP 2021 45 5 Brice Turang 21.6 AA SS 2023 45 6 Reese Olson 21.9 A+ SP 2022 45 7 Jackson Chourio 17.3 R CF 2025 45 8 Mario Feliciano 22.6 MLB C 2022 45 9 Abner Uribe 21.0 A SIRP 2023 45 10 Korry Howell 22.8 A+ CF 2022 45 11 Zavier Warren 22.5 A C 2024 40+ 12 Joe Gray Jr. 21.3 A RF 2023 40+ 13 Hedbert Perez 18.2 R LF 2024 40+ 14 David Hamilton 23.8 A+ SS 2023 40+ 15 Freddy Zamora 22.7 A SS 2024 40+ 16 Antoine Kelly 21.6 A SIRP 2023 40+ 17 Tristen Lutz 22.9 AA RF 2022 40+ 18 Max Lazar 22.1 A SP 2022 40+ 19 Eduardo Garcia 19.0 R SS 2024 40+ 20 Dylan File 25.1 AA SP 2022 40 21 Eduarqui Fernandez 19.6 R RF 2023 40 22 Victor Castaneda 22.8 AAA MIRP 2021 40 23 Payton Henry 24.0 AAA C 2022 40 24 Carlos Rodriguez 20.6 A+ CF 2022 40 25 Bowden Francis 25.2 AAA SP 2021 40 26 Joey Wiemer 22.4 A RF 2024 40 27 Justin Topa 30.3 MLB SIRP 2021 40 28 Felix Valerio 20.5 A 2B 2023 40 29 Hayden Cantrelle 22.6 A+ 2B 2024 40 30 Alec Bettinger 26.0 MLB SP 2020 35+ 31 Thomas Dillard 23.8 A+ 1B 2022 35+ 32 Hendry Mendez 17.7 R LF 2025 35+ 33 Angel Perdomo 27.2 MLB SIRP 2020 35+ 34 Je’Von Ward 21.7 A+ RF 2023 35+ 35 Alexis Ramirez 21.9 R SIRP 2023 35+ 36 Braden Webb 26.2 AA SIRP 2020 35+ 37 Micah Bello 20.9 A CF 2022 35+ 38 Cam Robinson 21.8 AA SIRP 2022 35+ 39 Evan Reifert 22.1 A+ SIRP 2024 35+ 40 Nick Bennett 23.8 AA MIRP 2023 35+ 41 David Fry 25.6 AA C 2022 35+ 42 Clayton Andrews 24.5 AAA SIRP 2021 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 50 FV Prospects 1. Aaron Ashby, MIRP Video Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Crowder JC (MO) (MIL) Age 23.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 181 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 55/60 45/50 30/40 94-97 / 98 Ashby showed up to instructs sitting 94-97 (I saw him twice) with two routinely plus breaking balls, and flashed a firm, diving changeup on occasion. It’s fair to wonder whether the context of the look impacted how hard Ashby was throwing (it’s not as if he’d been throwing every fifth day for several months, though it was toward the end of instructs) and he isn’t exactly a precise strike-thrower, but his fastball velocity has been trending up for a few consecutive years now, and all three of his secondary pitches have bat-missing action. I think he’ll either end up in a strikeout-heavy, five-and-dive role or become a vicious multi-inning reliever. 45+ FV Prospects 2. Garrett Mitchell, CF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from UCLA (MIL) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 60/60 30/45 70/70 45/55 55 Note the gap between Mitchell’s projected game power output and his raw juice, one that probably needs a swing change to close. Curt, punchy, and geared for gap contact, Mitchell’s current cut is more fluid and dynamic than it was in high school, when teams had million-dollar evals on him despite largely taking issue with his swing efficacy, but he still has limited power utility on pitches away from him. The swing changes Mitchell made at UCLA are perhaps evidence he can make more as a pro, but I think this gap approach works fine and is best deployed by sprinters like Mitchell, who has retained his plus-plus speed despite bulking up quite a bit in college. Without impact game power Mitchell is unlikely to be a star, but the offensive improvements he made in college combined with his defensive fit in center give him a good shot to be an everyday center fielder. 45 FV Prospects 3. Jeferson Quero, C Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (MIL) Age 18.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 50/60 20/55 30/20 40/60 60 Quero is a very physical, well-rounded catcher who already has sizable power even though his body isn’t maxed out. He can get on top of letter-high fastballs even though his levers are pretty long, he is capable of impacting pitches the other way when he’s late on stuff away from him, and he tracks pitches well for an 18-year-old. He is also an advanced defender with a plus arm and above-average athleticism for a catcher, and his size portends resilience to the physical grind of catching as well as plus raw power at maturity. There’s a lot of risk inherent in teenage catching but Quero not only has everyday ability but potential All-Star-level tools. 4. Ethan Small, SP Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Mississippi State (MIL) Age 24.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 214 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 40/45 55/60 45/55 91-94 / 96 Small had a sketchy 2021 spring with the big club and walked an uncharacteristically high number of hitters early in the year, but his strike-throwing has been more in line with his historical rate lately. He blows his low-90s fastball (which has big carry) past opposing hitters. Small’s best secondary pitch remains his changeup. There were doubts about him ever finding a competent breaking ball when he was drafted and so far, his slider and curveball remain below average. But that there are now two distinct breakers here instead of just the one he had in college, and that’s a meaningful development. Small also does all sorts of crafty stuff — like varying his timing to the plate in several different ways — that disorient hitters. He still projects as a No. 4/5 starter with a shot to make the back of the Top 100 as a 50 FV if the command and/or breaking balls tighten up. 5. Brice Turang, SS Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Santiago HS (CA) (MIL) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 173 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/50 50/50 30/40 55/55 60/60 55 I had a source tell me they thought Turang had regressed defensively, but he looked as slick as usual during my spring looks and I still think his carrying tool remains his excellent shortstop defense. Turang’s offensive profile has shifted a tad, but is still incomplete and in line with that of a second division regular at short because of the lack of power output. That’s not to say Turang doesn’t have power; he actually has average pull-side pop. His swing was very long early in his career and made it tough for him to get to in games. Now he’s opened his stance and his front arm doesn’t bar as much during the swing. He still hasn’t slugged much, but he also hasn’t played much with the new swing and Biloxi isn’t a great place to hit, so there may be something still lurking below the surface. Turang’s previously lone impact offensive skill was his feel for the strike zone; his walk rates have typically been close to 16% and his swinging strike rates close to 7%. He has a chance to be a plus defender who reaches base a lot, a skillset tailored similarly to J.P. Crawford‘s. 6. Reese Olson, SP Drafted: 13th Round, 2018 from North Hall HS (GA) (MIL) Age 21.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 55/60 60/60 50/55 60/60 30/40 93-96 / 97 Like so many others, Olson had a pretty substantial velocity spike during the gap year and has seen his fastball velo band go from the 91-95 range to 93-97. That extra velocity complements an already deep coffer of secondary pitches, which are so good that scouts disagree as to which is the best. His two-plane, 85-87 mph slider and power changeup, which rests in about the same velo range, are both plus pitches while Olson’s upper-70s curveball is merely above-average. I still have some trepidation regarding Olson’s delivery. He’s a stiff-legged, tightly-wound athlete with more mechanical violence than is typical for a starter, but even if those visual biases turn out to be meaningful, we’re talking about a high-leverage and/or multi-inning relief piece here based on how his stuff looks right now. Were the 21-year-old Olson at a Big 10 or ACC school, he’d be in the mid-to-late first round mix. 7. Jackson Chourio, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Venezuela (MIL) Age 17.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/55 40/50 20/45 60/60 40/60 40 Chourio was one of the more electric Brewers prospects in Extended but he’s still so young that he’ll likely spend most of the 2021 summer back in the DSL. His ultimate position is still unclear as he was signed as a shortstop but has seen time in center field and I think he’s more likely to end up there due to a lack of infield arm utility. His speed could make him an impact defender out there. His speed also gives him a leadoff hitter look at present but Chourio has precocious power for a 17-year-old that mostly manifests as doubles and triples right now. But he’s so young and athletic that more power is very likely to come. Chourio is a bit of a bucket strider right now but he has feel for moving the barrel around the zone. He can turn on pitches down and in and drive pitches up and away from him to right field. He’s an exciting collection of tools, youth, and athleticism who I underrated on the amateur market. 8. Mario Feliciano, C Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2016 from Beltran Academy HS (PR) (MIL) Age 22.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 45/50 50/55 35/45 30/30 30/35 55 Feliciano is one of the more talented offensive catching prospects in the minors thanks to a potent combination of power and barrel feel. When he puts balls in play, they’re very often scorched — just under 50% of the balls he hit in 2019 entered play at 95 mph or above, which is a 65 on the 20-80 scale if you curve out big leaguers’ hard hit rates. All of that seems likely to be hampered by Feliciano’s hedonistic approach. The dude likes to swing, and has only walked at a 6% clip as a pro. Feliciano is the sort of catcher who will benefit from an automated strike zone turning the position into a pass/fail endeavor, as he is a well below-average receiver and framer, but does pass back there. Ball-blocking is an issue here, though Feliciano currently spends most of his time on one knee, and does so even in some situations with runners on base, which might leave him more vulnerable to pitches in the dirt now than it will if one-knee catching goes away as soon as pitch framing stops being a thing. Feliciano has also missed two seasons due to some combination of injury (most recently a lingering shoulder issue to start 2021) and the pandemic, so maybe pieces of this will still develop. His arm (I have him popping in the 1.96 to 2.05 range with mixed accuracy) is fine. In many ways Feliciano’s profile is similar to Francisco Mejía’s, without that incredible hit streak and elite arm. Mejía has an amazing hit/power combination that’s undercut by a poor approach, and if he can’t catch (he’s still not very good), then he’s a low-OBP LF/DH and that’s a very tough profile. There’s risk that Feliciano’s defensive profile bottoms out entirely and I expect he’ll have some big league misadventures on defense for a while even if it doesn’t. But Feliciano is so talented a hitter that his right tail outcome includes making an All-Star team or two, and he’s likely to get myriad opportunities to seize a sizable role. Players like this tend to have some fat years and some lean ones; some of that is inherent with the catcher position. This is where I value a near-ready player of this ilk. 9. Abner Uribe, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (MIL) Age 21.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 80/80 55/60 30/40 98-101 / 103 Uribe has one of the most electric arms in all the minors and he’s been up to 103 this year. One. Zero. Three. His delivery is not especially violent for someone who routinely sits 99 and above, but his feel for release is imprecise, even for a relief-only prospect. I tend to think as loose and athletic as Uribe is, that he’ll eventually corral his velocity and locate his fastball well enough for it to be an elite pitch. He’ll also flash the occasional plus slider and I think it will be consistently so at peak, especially as hitters gear up to catch 100 mph and guess wrong. If Uribe’s command never improves then we’re talking about a José Alvarado sort of reliever, while he’ll be a closer if Uribe can polish it up. 10. Korry Howell, CF Video Drafted: 12th Round, 2018 from Kirkwood JC (IA) (MIL) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 50/55 35/50 70/70 45/60 45 Howell popped onto my radar as a toolsy but raw AZL prospect who had just been a 12th rounder out of a junior college in Iowa. His speed was a serious problem for rookie-level defenses, which contributed to his BABIP-driven output there, but the quickness in Howell’s hands was very apparent at that time. His defensive position was not. The Brewers tried him all over the infield, but in the intervening years he has moved to center field and is actually quite good there for how little he’s played it. He has a chance to be plus there at maturity. As Howell’s feel for defending has improved, so has his timing at the plate. He doesn’t cover the outer half very well but he has a big, athletic move forward and great hand speed, and the improved timing has Howell doing much more damage than before. His pull% has skyrocketed from 33% in 2018 to 55% in ’21, further indication that there has been an approach change here that’s resulting in more power. He’s run above-average walk rates as a pro and it’s going to be important for Howell to continue to discern balls from strikes because he’s very likely to end up with a 40-grade hit tool because of his hitting style. Even with a 40 bat, we’re talking about a good defensive center fielder with power, and if ball/strike recognition can counterbalance what’s lost with all Howell’s swing-and-miss, he has a shot to be a regular. He compares similarly to guys like Sam Hilliard, Drew Stubbs, and other whiff-prone center field athletes. 40+ FV Prospects 11. Zavier Warren, C Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from Central Michigan (MIL) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/55 30/45 50/40 30/45 60 Warren arrived to camp in amazing shape and looked stronger than he did last fall, either because he had added significant mass or because he struck me differently in close proximity on the backfields (I saw Milwaukee’s instructs group at Chase FIeld in the fall). Either way, Warren’s body looks like it can withstand the rigors of catching, which he’s taking up again after playing the infield in college (Warren caught in high school). Warren has a contact-oriented approach derived from a very compact swing which features some wrist-flicking lift from the left side. His timing and fluidity have been better from the left side, too. The difference between this Warren and college Warren (who slugged just .406 in his draft year) is that that little wrist flick is generating big in-game power now. Warren has experience at all four infield spots (he’s playing 1B/3B in addition to catching right now) and a track record of hitting, just not always for power. I think Warren has a chance to become an everyday catcher, and a very realistic fall back is a multi-positional role player who can sometimes catch, which is still very valuable. 12. Joe Gray Jr., RF Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Hattiesburg HS (MS) (MIL) Age 21.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 55/60 35/55 55/50 50/60 60 I’ve been skeptical of Gray’s hit tool since high school, and he still strikes out a lot, but because he’s missed so much time and dealt with the physical aftermath of pneumonia (2018), not to mention a severe hamstring strain (’19) and the pandemic, it’s premature to declare his hit tool faulty. Gray’s carrying tool has long been his prodigious power, and he’s filled out and enjoyed a measurable leap in his top-end exit velos. He gets to the power in games via an extreme uphill swing. Gray just collapses his back side and swings with huge uppercut. The simplicity of the cut helps balance how extreme it is in leverage, and Gray has shown an ability to catch letter-high fastballs and also adjust to curveballs in flight. The result is a paltry 28% groundball rate, which is among the lowest in the minors. He’s going to swing and miss a bunch, but the combination of playable power and approach (Gray has good feel for the zone and has walked at a well-above average clip during his brief career) gives him a chance to hit 25 or 30 annual bombs. Gray has good center field instincts but as he’s added mass, he doesn’t have the long speed to play center field and probably fits in a corner. That defensive fit plus the strikeouts mean Gray’s profile is on relatively shaky ground, but he has everyday tools. He’s a high-risk/reward prospect. 13. Hedbert Perez, LF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (MIL) Age 18.2 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/45 50/60 25/55 55/55 40/55 30 Perez is a physical, lefty-hitting outfielder with a swing that is compact but still has some lift, especially to his pull side. He runs well, showed advanced feel to hit when he first turned pro, and is generating more power on contact than is typical for a hitter his age. He doesn’t have big, frame-based power projection but already has plenty of pull-side juice. He swung and missed a lot this spring, which was surprising given his early career output. I also have a 30 on Perez’s arm based on my 2020 fall look, which I think limits him to left field only. He and Joe Gray share the power/whiff/corner phenotype but Gray is further along the minor league ladder and has put a favorable plate discipline track record on paper while Hedbert doesn’t yet. 14. David Hamilton, SS Drafted: 8th Round, 2019 from Texas (MIL) Age 23.8 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/50 40/40 30/35 70/70 50/55 50 In high school (he and Lutz were on the same Area Codes team), Hamilton was a terrific defensive shortstop with some feel to hit, but some teams didn’t think his narrow frame would fill out in a way that would generate relevant power, so he ended up matriculating to Texas. He had a rough freshman year, then rebounded as a sophomore and was in the third to fifth round mix following his summer on the Cape. Then Hamilton tore his Achilles tendon and missed not only his junior year at Texas, but the entire summer as well. His first pro at-bats came during 2020 big league spring training and he wasn’t able to suit up at an affiliate until 2021 as a 23-year-old at High-A. And while Hamilton’s performance demands scrutiny because he’s old for the level, he is off to an amazing start. He stole 31 bases in his first 43 games at an 86% success rate. At one point he hit homers in three consecutive games but pop isn’t really part of the driving tools here. Instead it’s speed, defense, and feel for contact (Hamilton is among the minor league leaders in SwingingStrike% at about 6%). Like Zamora behind him, he’s more likely to be a utility type because of the lack of power, but might have a good enough hit tool to overcome that. 15. Freddy Zamora, SS Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from Miami (MIL) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 50/55 35/45 60/60 50/60 55 Zamora was a shrewd second round buy-low by the Brewers, who were probably only able to get him that late because he missed all of his junior year at Miami with a torn ACL, though he really only ended up missing a fraction of the year relative to other players because of the pandemic. Zamora can play the heck out of shortstop. He’s a plus athlete with plus hands, actions, and enough arm for the left side of the infield. He also had a very strong surface-level statistical performance as a college underclassman, walking more than he struck out in both his underclass years. He did not, however, slug. While the visual evaluation of Zamora’s swing is positive because it’s so athletic and dynamic, he lacks bat speed and power. His frame straddles the line between medium and small, but he is very well built. It’s tough to gauge what kind of explosion and physicality might yet develop as Zamora gets deep into his 20s. He’s more likely to be a good utility guy than an everyday player but Zamora’s feel for contact, should it turn out to be very special, is the path to outpacing that projection. 16. Antoine Kelly, SIRP Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Wabash Valley JC (IL) (MIL) Age 21.6 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/65 40/50 30/45 30/50 93-96 / 98 Kelly had surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in November 2020 and threw live BP at the Brewers’ Phoenix complex shortly before publication. Healthy, pre-surgery Kelly would bump 98 and had a big, athletic frame and fluid delivery, but Milwaukee drafted him knowing the rest had to be developed. Fastball location seemed to be the developmental focus for Kelly in his first pro summer. In both my look and those of several scouts, he featured something like 80% fastballs that year. The org thought they had made real progress with his slider before Kelly was shut down. There was a pretty big gap between where Kelly was developmentally and the components he’d need to develop to be a starter. He’s now lost chunks of two seasons to a pandemic and TOS recovery, pushing him deeper into the relief bucket. But Kelly’s arm strength and his fastball’s angle give him a shot to have an elite pitch if he returns to form, and if his slider is truly better, then he could work in leveraged relief eventually. 17. Tristen Lutz, RF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Martin HS (TX) (MIL) Age 22.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 60/60 45/55 40/40 45/45 60 Like clockwork, Lutz starts the season slow, then rebounds and ends the year with an above-average batting line for the league. Some in the game think this is evidence of his ability to make adjustments; others think it’s because he only starts hitting when the best pitchers have been promoted out of the league he’s in. Lutz has sizable power, strikeout issues, and is a corner-only defender. He’s in the same tier as similarly-tooled players (Gray, Perez) but Lutz has had a mature build since late in high school and has less projection, or more tenuously perceived athletic longevity, than the others. I still like his ability to become a platoon piece (though it’ll be the shorter end of one, a 40 FV) and Lutz has more raw power than is typical for that role (hence the +). 18. Max Lazar, SP Drafted: 11th Round, 2017 from Coral Springs HS (FL) (MIL) Age 22.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/50 40/45 55/60 45/55 86-89 / 91 Lazar had Tommy John early in 2021 and will miss the whole year. He sits just 86-89 but his deceptive, funky, over-the-top delivery combined with the extreme length of his stride down the mound (nearly 7.4 feet of extension, among the top 50 in all the minors) make him an uncomfortable at-bat for opposing hitters. If there’s an Oliver Drake delivery comp in the minors, it’s Lazar (though he gets much lower to the ground), and like Drake, he can somehow turn over a changeup from this arm slot. We’ve seen fastballs thrive despite mediocre velocity before. Often it’s from someone who has an extremely vertical arm slot, like Drake or Josh Collmenter, or huge extension and a flat approach angle, like Yusmeiro Petit, guys who can successfully remove the table cloth without disturbing the place settings. Lazar has both of these, and has a bat-missing changeup, too. I’m not as confident in the breaking stuff, which often finishes high in the zone — it’s that aspect of the skillset I’m scared will be exposed by upper-level hitting. Even if they don’t develop further, Lazar has two legit weapons that would work fine in relief, and he throws strikes at such a high rate that he could be a multi-inning piece. Based on how Milwaukee deployed him in 2019 — 10 starts, nine relief outings, highly variable pitch counts — it appears he’s being groomed for a non-traditional role of some kind. 19. Eduardo Garcia, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (MIL) Age 19.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/30 45/50 25/45 40/40 50/60 60 Garcia broke his ankle and didn’t play in games at all in 2019, then missed reps last season for obvious reasons. He had an eye-opening 2018 instructional league, then there was this huge gap in looks until the fall of ’20, when Garcia looked like his pre-injury self, especially on defense. His range, hands, actions and arm are all easy fits at shortstop, and I have him projected as a plus glove there at peak. He’s filled out substantially over the last two years and now has close to average raw power, but the hit tool makes it hard for him to get to it in games. There’s arguably more upside here than with either Hamilton or Zamora, and even Turang, because more power potential exists. But I also think there’s risk Garcia’s profile bottoms out because the hit tool doesn’t allow the power to play at all in games. There are lots of Nick Ahmed similarities going on here. 40 FV Prospects 20. Dylan File, SP Drafted: 21th Round, 2017 from Dixie State (MIL) Age 25.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 40/40 50/55 50/50 55/55 55/60 88-92 / 92 File still hasn’t thrown a pitch in 2021 because of surgery to repair a stress fracture in his elbow, though he may start rehabbing soon after publication. He throws strikes at a superlative rate and reached Double-A in just his second full season because of it. File also hides the ball really well and it helps his otherwise pedestrian fastball sneak past hitters at the top of the zone for the occasional swing and miss. It’s part of a four-pitch mix that includes a mid-70s curve, an upper-80s slider (both with plus spin), and a low-80s changeup of the high-spin variety. File’s changeup actually has more spin than his heater, or at least it did in 2019. He’d be in the 40+ tier if not for the recent surgery. 21. Eduarqui Fernandez, RF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (MIL) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/40 55/60 25/50 50/50 40/50 60 Eduarqui Fernandez has big power projection. Already a strapping 6-foot-2 with impressive raw power for a 19-year-old, more is likely coming as he continues to fill out. The really exciting thing about Fernandez is that his swing is pretty short, which makes me feel better about his ability to make contact and hit for power as opposed to the longer-swinging guys who tend to bust, especially as they see upper-level velocity. There’s everyday upside here because of the hit/power combination, and Eduarqui’s at-bat quality was pretty strong in my looks at the Brewers’ kids this spring, but reports from sources indicate a propensity to chase. This is a high-risk right field prospect. 22. Victor Castaneda, MIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Mexico (MIL) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Splitter Command Sits/Tops 45/45 45/45 55/55 55/60 40/45 91-94 / 95 Castaneda pitched in relief during the 2019 regular season and was stretched out as a four-to-five inning starter during the 2019 Fall League, where he retained his velocity and continued to have success. His forkball (he has a split and a straight change) is an obvious out pitch and looks incredible on the high speed camera because it comes out of his hand with virtually no spin. Castaneda’s get-me-over curveball only works situationally (often to garner strike one) because it’s easy to identify out of his hand. As such, I think Castaneda profiles as a reliever long-term. But there are scouts who think he can continue to start, and he has the repertoire depth to work multiple innings if he ends up in the bullpen. I think he’ll be good enough to avoid being on the shuttle to and from Triple-A. 23. Payton Henry, C Video Drafted: 6th Round, 2016 from Pleasant Grove HS (UT) (MIL) Age 24.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 60/60 40/45 30/30 40/45 55 Henry’s groundball rate has now fallen for three consecutive years, reinforcing optimism that he’ll get to enough of his considerable raw power in games to play some sort of big league role. A scout who saw him with Biloxi told me he thought Henry should get a shot to be Milwaukee’s everyday catcher in the next year or two. A bat-first high school catcher who was considered a long shot to stay behind the plate, Henry has made sufficient developmental progress as a defender and now projects to stay back there. He’s still not a great ball-blocker but is an average receiver and framer. He catches on one knee with the bases empty then is in a traditional crouch with runners on, but he’ll still drop to one knee when the ball is in mid-flight if he think it’s a borderline pitch. Mike Zunino often does this, if you’re looking to see this sort of thing in action. Henry’s strikeout issues are scary, but as long as he continues to actualize that raw power in games, I think the total package fits in a backup role. 24. Carlos Rodriguez, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (MIL) Age 20.6 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 30/40 20/30 70/70 55/60 50 Rodriguez is a plus-plus-running center field prospect with a slash-and-dash approach at the plate and outstanding feel for contact. He is currently unable to turn on pitches and do any real offensive damage, but his defensive profile, speed, and hand-eye coordination give him a reasonable outcome as an old school style fourth outfielder. 25. Bowden Francis, SP Drafted: 7th Round, 2017 from Chipola JC (FL) (MIL) Age 25.2 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 55/55 45/45 45/50 50/55 92-94 / 95 Francis has had statistical success through the upper minors by relying on plus command of three fringe pitches. He added a slider for this year and now has four distinct offerings, of which the slider has quickly become the best. It’s also hard, which is important because Francis’ curveball is a low-70s rainbow, averaging about 73 mph, while the slider has been up to 87 and sits a bit below that. He has a power pitcher’s style with soft stuff, but Francis feel to pitch is excellent and I think he can stick toward the back of a rotation. 26. Joey Wiemer, RF Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Cincinnati (MIL) Age 22.4 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/35 60/70 35/55 55/50 40/50 80 Wiemer takes some of the hardest, most reckless hacks I’ve ever seen, and he’s going to strike out a ton because he’s always swinging for the moon. But he’s also got a rare collection of tools for a college draftee, including elite arm strength and plus power. Even among pro athletes, Wiemer stands out for his size and explosiveness. If his approach can be toned down without sacrificing much of the power, he might break out, but he’s more likely to be a volatile platoon outfielder. 27. Justin Topa, SIRP Drafted: 17th Round, 2013 from LIU Brooklyn (PIT) Age 30.3 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 70/70 60/60 30/30 96-98 / 100 Low-slot righty Justin Topa, an Indy Ball kickback reliever who’s also rehabbed from two TJs, now has a fastball that sits in the upper-90s and features significantly divergent movement from his slider. He’s a decade older than hundreds of players on The Board but has as much roster flexibility and years of control as any of them because of how and when he signed. His delivery’s a little stiff, but Topa has a frame that portends athletic longevity so I don’t think he’s subject to immediate physical decline. He is, however, injured again. A flexor tendon strain has him projected to miss most of the 2021 season. 28. Felix Valerio, 2B Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (NYM) Age 20.5 Height 5′ 7″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/60 30/40 30/35 40/40 30/40 45 Valerio (acquired from the Mets in the Keon Broxton deal) is a compact infielder with excellent feel for contact. He has a big, slow leg kick and takes a lot of high-effort swings but it doesn’t undermine his ability to put the bat on the ball, and he’s currently among the minor league leaders in swinging strike rate. Valerio is neither especially strong nor especially projectable, and he’s a better long-term fit at either second or third base. Ideally a player falling in that range of the defensive spectrum would have a better shot to grow into power, and so Valerio projects as a versatile, 1-ish WAR multi-positional infielder. 29. Hayden Cantrelle, 2B Drafted: 5th Round, 2020 from Louisiana Lafayette (MIL) Age 22.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 45/50 30/45 60/60 35/45 45 Cantrelle is an athletic, switch-hitting infielder with doubles power. He’s not an especially deft hitter, he just swings with big effort from both sides of the plate and sprays hard contact to all fields. Similarly, as an infielder Cantrelle isn’t especially smooth but he makes a lot of plays via sheer effort and athleticism. He played short at Lafayette, has played both middle infield spots as a pro, and I think he should eventually get reps in center field (Cantrelle can fly). Even in a smaller conference it was clear Cantrelle was pretty allergic to breaking balls, and I think he ends up with bat-to-ball skills shy of playing every day. But I love his explosiveness and projected versatility and think there are lots of other ways he can impact a game in a reserve role. 35+ FV Prospects 30. Alec Bettinger, SP Drafted: 10th Round, 2017 from Virginia (MIL) Age 26.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Cutter Command Sits/Tops 45/45 50/55 50/55 50/55 89-92 / 94 A senior sign reliever coming out of Virginia, Bettinger experienced a velo bump in his second pro season and also developed better movement separation between his curveball and slider, which has enabled both of them to play better. He still only sits 89-92 but he gets way, way down the mound and generates about seven feet of extension, causing his heater to jump on hitters and create flatter approach angle. His fastball is also spin-efficient and has plus vertical movement. Bettinger is older and he’s struggled in his one spot start and two relief appearances in 2021. In those outings, his fastball spin rates are roughly 300 rpm below the data I sourced from the 2019 minor leagues. I still think he finds a way to settle in as a fifth/sixth starter. 31. Thomas Dillard, 1B Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Ole Miss (MIL) Age 23.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 65/65 35/60 35/35 40/45 50 The owner of one of the most entertaining hacks on the planet, Dilly takes big, uncompromising swings from both sides of the plate. He hit .286/.419/.505 at Ole Miss while walking at an 18% clip. Though he caught some in college, Dillard body comps to Dan Vogelbach and projects at 1B/DH in pro ball. Because he’s so committed to hitting nothing but tanks (his footwork is actually pretty conservative as a left-handed hitter, he just has big time uppercut), Dillard’s probably going to swing and miss in pro ball more often than he did in college, but he’ll likely reach base and hit for enough power to play some kind of part-time role, and take high-leverage at-bats off the bench. 32. Hendry Mendez, LF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2021 from Dominican Republic (MIL) Age 17.7 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding 25/55 40/50 20/45 50/50 40/50 This is a prospect from the recent January signing group who is already making some noise down in the Dominican Republic. Mendez is a physically mature lefty stick with advanced feel for contact. There’s less projection here than is typical for a player this age but Mendez’s feel for the barrel is what’s driving his inclusion on the list. Descriptions of him indicate a player who might really perform on paper in the DSL and merit a late-summer promotion to Arizona, though it’s more likely that stateside eyeballs get a look at him in the fall. 33. Angel Perdomo, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2011 from Dominican Republic (TOR) Age 27.2 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/50 30/30 93-96 / 97 Perdomo was in Toronto’s system for seven seasons, then left for Milwaukee on a minor league deal after 2018. He had posted gaudy strikeout rates before then, but never in the 34-35% range for an extended stretch. He struck out 14.33 per nine at Triple-A, doing most of the damage with his fastball (a 17% swinging strike rate), which sits at about 93 and touches 97. Milwaukee put him on the 40-man and he debuted in 2020 but didn’t pitch enough to exhaust rookie eligibility. His fastball is spinning more now than it was in 2019 by a whopping 300 rpm and he now has a passable third pitch (a changeup) to keep hitters off the fastball/slider combo Perdomo uses most often. His command is a barrier between him and a regular relief gig. He’s an up/down lefty. 34. Je’Von Ward, RF Video Drafted: 12th Round, 2017 from Gahr HS (CA) (MIL) Age 21.7 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 50/60 30/50 50/45 45/50 55 Long a notable amateur prospect due to his projectable, wide receiverish frame, Ward has made mechanical progress and is already much more of a refined baseball player than he was as a senior in high school. He’s still mostly a lottery ticket frame you’re hoping grows into big power, and even if he does, his peripherals are concerning, but Ward’s underlying skills have started to develop. 35. Alexis Ramirez, SIRP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (MIL) Age 21.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 50/60 45/55 30/40 91-95 / 96 Ramirez is a super loose and fluid (but also inconsistent) righty with big arm strength and some breaking ball feel. He projects in the bullpen, where there may be even more velo. He began 2021 on the 60-day IL but I do not know the nature of the injury. 36. Braden Webb, SIRP Drafted: 5th Round, 2016 from South Carolina (MIL) Age 26.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 60/60 50/55 40/45 89-93 / 95 Webb was a rare draft-eligible freshman because he had Tommy John as a senior in high school, then missed all of what would have been his freshman year at South Carolina while he recovered; he was a 21-year-old redshirt freshman when he was drafted in 2016. His measurables don’t properly capture his size, as his broad shoulders mimic the shape and proportions of a medieval castle drawbridge. He has a mid-90s fastball and an upper-70s curveball that pair well together, as the latter has sharp, vertical action and bat-missing depth when he’s healthy. In 2019, he wasn’t. After a rocky start and a demotion to A-ball, he was shelved for two months and returned as a reliever, rehabbing in rookie ball late in the year. Milwaukee finally put him in the bullpen to start 2021 and his strikeout rates spiked. I think he fits as an up/down reliever. 37. Micah Bello, CF Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Hilo HS (HI) (MIL) Age 20.9 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 40/45 20/30 50/50 45/55 55 Bello signed for an under-slot $550,000 as a second rounder. He’s a polished, contact-oriented center field prospect without typical big league physicality. He projects as a fifth outfielder. 38. Cam Robinson, SIRP Drafted: 23th Round, 2018 from University HS (FL) (MIL) Age 21.8 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 187 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/50 30/40 88-93 / 94 Robinson works in the low-90s with a flat-planed fastball that plays at the top of the zone, and a snapdragon, 12-to-6 curveball. He’s not that projectable, but he’s athletically built and has a good arm action. He needs to refine his strike-throwing pretty badly and it would be nice if he ended up throwing harder, but the repertoire works well together, and I think he has a good shot to be a big league bullpen piece. He’s projected as an up/down reliever here. 39. Evan Reifert, SIRP (MIL) Age 22.1 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 55/60 55/60 20/35 94-97 / 98 Reifert transferred from an Iowa JUCO to Central Missouri, then was a $20,000 undrafted free agent after the 2021 draft. If he can curb his walks, then the Brewers will have found something, as Reifert has been up to 98 and has a plus slider that spins in the 2800 rpm range. 40. Nick Bennett, MIRP Drafted: 6th Round, 2019 from Louisville (MIL) Age 23.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/45 50/55 55/55 45/45 35/40 90-92 / 93 Milwaukee’s 2019 sixth rounder is a four-pitch lefty with a funky, noisy delivery and a breaking ball-heavy approach to pitching. His slider has length, his curveball has depth, and Bennett sits 90-93 with the heater. It’s a backend starter mix with a delivery that likely pushes Bennett to the bullpen. 41. David Fry, C Drafted: 7th Round, 2018 from Northwestern State (MIL) Age 25.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/45 50/50 35/45 35/35 40/45 50 A 2018 seventh round senior sign, Fry’s combination of power and a chance to play several positions (including catcher) makes him an interesting potential bench piece. He seemed to be undergoing a swing and approach change late in 2019, as he was a dead pull hitter for all of that season but struggled to turn on pitches in the fall, instead peppering the opposite field gap almost exclusively. His early 2021 results are more in line with career norms. 42. Clayton Andrews, SIRP Drafted: 17th Round, 2018 from Long Beach State (MIL) Age 24.5 Height 5′ 6″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 30/30 45/45 55/60 40/50 85-91 / 93 Andrews is a plus on-mound athlete with a plus changeup and breaking ball. In 2019, the Brewers let him return to playing some center field and take a few dozen at-bats (he played two ways in college and barely ever struck out), which actually went pretty well (he hit .333/.391/.381 in 70 plate appearances) but that plan seems to have been scrapped. Now Andrews will either sink or swim with 3-grade fastball velocity. He’s a very short guy with a low arm slot, so his release height creates unique angle on his heater and it lives off of that rather than velocity. There’s no way of truly knowing how big leaguers will deal with this until he faces them, but Andrews has missed bats so far. His changeup is a more obvious weapon. He strikes me as an up/down middle innings guy. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Recent International Signees Luis Medina, OF Gregory Barrios, RHP Jesus Parra, 3B Medina has an interesting swing: he takes a big leg kick but lands very upright, whereas most kickers have very flexible front sides. While he has fairly advanced feel for contact, most international scouts thought he was a tweener. He’s filled out some and now has a corner look. Barrios is a very athletic righty on the smaller side. He just signed in January and his stuff is currently below average, but he’s a promising athlete. Parra is a stocky infielder with an advanced bat. Young Sleeper Arms Juan Geraldo, RHP Lun Zhao, RHP Harold Chirino, RHP Kelvin Bender, LHP Geraldo was acquired from Philadelphia in 2020. He’s struggled to throw strikes out of the bullpen but he’s a 19-year-old sitting 92-94 with three viable pitches. Zhao had TJ late in 2019. He was up to 93 and flashed a plus-plus curveball (he averages 3,000 rpm) in 2018. Chirino missed all of 2018 with injury, then came back in ’19 throwing really hard (92-95, up to 97). He’s 23. Bender is an athletic, small high school lefty who shows good touch and feel in the bullpen but struggles to throw strikes in games. He’s an interesting athletic projection follow with a good changeup. Potential Bench Types Corey Ray, CF Antonio Pinero, SS Daniel Castillo, 2B Ray was once my top-ranked draft prospect and there was a stretch in pro ball when he looked fantastic. But his swing is bottom-hand dominant, and he can’t catch velo at the top of the zone. His speed and raw power may enable a bench or part-time role in a rebuilding org. Pinero, 22 and currently on the 60-day IL, is a plus defender while Castillo, 20, is a collection of 40s with physical projection remaining. Big Frames with Power Ernesto Martinez, 1B LG Castillo, LF Cam Devanney, 3B Chad McClanahan, 1B/3B Martinez has a perfect baseball frame and elite, majestic raw power, and he also has one of the weirder, most dysfunctional swings in the minors. Castillo came to camp looking more lithe and has always had big power. His swing was also more athletic and he’s a good one to follow in 2021. Devanney is older but also has a great frame and big raw thump. McClanahan was a big bonus high schooler who has fallen down the defensive spectrum into the 1B/3B range. Arm Strength Lucas Erceg, RHP Edinson Mejia, RHP Erceg was once a top 100 prospect as an infielder but his swing and approach didn’t work against upper-level pitching. A two-way player as an amateur, he’s up to 98 on the mound. Mejia also has mid-90s heat but no idea where it’s going right now. Sneaky Fastballs Justin Bullock, RHP Joey Matulovich, RHP Justin Jarvis, RHP Bullock has had the tiniest velo bump but it’s enough to put him more in the 92-93 range, and that’s made a difference. Matulovich has a backspinning four-seamer that misses bats and Jarvis is in the same generic area that Bowden Francis and Dylan File were once in. He’s a little more velo away from being really interesting. System Overview The Brewers didn’t have a sexy 2020 draft, instead taking a bunch of good value college players, and a couple of them really impressed scouts this spring, namely Wiemer and Warren. The velo gains of many older arms in the org are an indication to stay on the generic, four-pitch guys who sit about 90 just in case they eventually add a little something extra and become relevant. It’s perhaps more important to identify when the older guys are breaking out because there’s a narrow window of time between when those guys pop and when they’re in the big leagues. There’s a larger window to properly identify younger breakout guys. My international sources are a little less apt to scout in Venezuela, and that might be contributing to my underrating some of the players in this system. I didn’t have as much background with Quero, Chourio, or Hedbert when they were amateurs, and it took a lot of in-person looks to properly slot them. It’s notable that this org is so active there. Fastball carry and angle still rule the day in this org, with the Houston front office DNA obviously driving their player acquisition patterns. The Brewers also seem more likely to target players with either superlative contact rates or big top-end exit velocities more than they would like to take someone who has a generic blend of both.