Updated Top 10 Prospects (2018): Milwaukee Brewers (Post-Yelich Trade): Who Steps Up For Depleted System

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

No one was ever going to confuse the Brewers’ system with one of the elite in the game, and things took a further hit with their trade for Christian Yelich yesterday (not that it’s a bad thing).  Gone are two of the team’s previous Top 5 prospects, including the former #1 (Lewis Brinson).  Who steps up?  Is there any under-the-radar value?  Let’s take a look:

 

1) Corbin Burnes – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – A-
ETA – 2018

It was an eye-opening season for Burnes, who split time between High-A and Double-A and posted a 1.67 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  Before we point towards luck concerns (.265 BABIP, 81.4% strand rate), it’s important to note that he displayed all of the skills we look for:

  • Strikeouts – 8.65 K/9
  • Control – 2.22 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 51.4%

There’s even more upside in the strikeout department, with an 11.6% SwStr% (something he maintained at Double-A, with an 11.5% mark).  There’s always concerns about pitching half your games in Milwaukee, but that skillset should play up anywhere and has the potential to continue improving.

 

2) Keston Hiura – Second Baseman
Grade – B
ETA – 2019

The question facing Hiura heading into the 2017 draft was where his future was defensively, as there was little question about his bat.  Part of that was due to being limited to DH due to an elbow issue, which could require Tommy John surgery (and if it does his arrival will be delayed until 2020), and most wonder if he’s a better fit in the outfield or at second base.  Regardless, his bat will play as he showed in his professional debut that he hits the ball hard (23.6% line drive rate) and has extra base power (14 doubles, 7 triples and 4 HR over 167 AB).   He profiles as a strong average hitter with enough power and speed (think .280/15/10 type player), as long as he gets healthy.

 

** ORDER OUR 2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

 

3) Brandon Woodruff – Right-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – Already Arrived

Obviously a 4.30 ERA and 1.37 WHIP at Triple-A isn’t going to blow anyone away, though it did come in the Pacific Coast League so there’s a bit of a pass to be given.  He did show some swing and miss stuff (11.0% SwStr%) to go along with solid control (2.99 BB/9) and enough groundballs (48.0%) to be a solid mid-rotation starter in the Majors.  The question is going to be if he can keep the ball in the ballpark (11.1% HR/FB over 8 starts in the Majors) and if he can post a solid strikeout rate (his SwStr% dropped to 8.8% in the Majors).

 

4) Lucas Erceg – Third Baseman
Grade – B
ETA – 2018

He spent most of the year at High-A, though he also saw a handful of AB at Triple-A, but turning 23 on May 1 he shouldn’t be long for an opportunity.  He showed a little bit of power potential, with 33 doubles, 1 triple and 15 HR over 496 AB, though we’ll have to closely watch the strikeouts as he advances:

  • Strikeout Rate – 17.7%
  • SwStr% – 12.1%

As it is he posted a .256 AVG at High-A, so an increase in the strikeout rate could have a significant negative impact on the results.

 

** ORDER OUR 2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

 

5) Corey Ray – Outfielder 
Grade – B-
ETA – 2019

Ray showed some speed (24 SB) to go along with a little bit of power (40 extra base hits) over 449 AB at High-A last season.  The big issue is his strikeout rate, though, as he was at 31.0% courtesy of a 17.9% SwStr%.  He played most of the year as a 22-year old, so it’s a significant issue that needs to be corrected quickly or his stock will completely disappear.  There are tools and development potential, but no improvement will mean a drop in stock (think “C” or “C+” type grade).

 

The Rest:
6) Mauricio Dubon – Shortstop (Grade – B-)
7) Luis Ortiz – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
8) Tristen Lutz – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
9) Trent Clark – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
10) Freddy Peralta – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)

Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

** ORDER OUR 2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE TODAY **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *