clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Milwaukee Brewers Rule 5 Draft Eligible Players

Who needs to be protected this winter?

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Scottsdale Scorpions at Salt River Rafters Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for protecting players from MLB’s annual Rule 5 Draft is coming up on Friday, 18 November. The draft is designed as a way to prevent teams from piling up minor league players who may have otherwise gotten to the big leagues with another organization. Here is how a player becomes eligible:

  • Players who signed when 18 or younger are eligible for the draft after five years.
  • Players who signed when 19 or older are eligible after four years.
  • Player is not on the 40 man roster.

(According to the rules, it's how old a player was on the June 5th immediately preceding his signing.)

Last year, the Brewers made two selections in the Rule 5 Draft but did not lose any of their players to other teams. This year, the Brewers have some fifty players eligible to be drafted (according to the list compiled by if they are not added to the 40 man roster before Friday’s deadline. David Stearns has said previously this offseason that the plan is to protect four to seven players. Milwaukee’s 40 man roster currently has six spots available, so let’s take a look at the candidates to fill those openings:


OF Lewis Brinson (Age 22)

Brinson is the club’s top prospect according to MLB Pipeline and was a part of this past summer’s Jonathan Lucroy blockbuster. He struggled a bit in AA with the Rangers but tore the cover off the ball in Colorado Springs, posting a 1.005 OPS with four home runs and four steals in 23 games after the trade.

LHP Josh Hader (Age 22)

Hader is ranked is the club’s top pitching prospect and considered one of the best left-handed arms in the minor leagues. He spent this year splitting time between AA Biloxi and AAA Colorado Springs, working to a 3.29 ERA in 126.0 innings with 161 punchouts and 55 walks.

OF Brett Phillips (Age 22)

Statistically, Phillips had a bit of a down year in 2016 while hitting .229/.332/.397 in 124 games for AA Biloxi. But the 22 year old also smacked 16 home runs proving that he’s got some legitimate power, stole 12 bases, walked in 13% of his plate appearances, and was 13% better than league average offensively according to wRC+. His cannon arm and plus defense gives him a solid floor, as well.

OF Ryan Cordell (Age 24)

The PTBNL in the Lucroy/Jeffress deal, Cordell never suited up for a Brewers affiliate this year after missing the final month of the season with a knee injury. When healthy, however, he hit .264/.319/.484 with with 19 home runs and 12 steals in 104 games for AA Frisco in 2016. The club’s 17th-best prospect has played some infield in his career but was in the outfield exclusively in 2016 and that’s where Milwaukee sees him playing going forward.

Could Make a Case:

1B/OF Garrett Cooper (Age 25)

Cooper hit .292/.344/.423 in 128 games between AA and AAA this year and added some versatility to his game by playing left and right field in addition to first base.

UTIL Nate Orf (Age 26)

Orf is a jack-of-all-trades defensively and hit .267/.357/.344 between AA and AAA this season.

LHP Wei-Chung Wang (Age 24)

No one picked Wang when he was eligible last year, but that may not be a safe bet again this winter after a 3.78 ERA in 133.1 innings with 114 strikeouts and 35 walks between AA and AAA in 2016.

OF Kyle Wren (Age 25)

A utility outfielder, Wren hit an outstanding .322/.412/.412 in 127 games between AA and AAA in 2016 but has a lot of other outfielders in front of him.

RHP Tristan Archer (Age 26)

Archer posted a 3.42 ERA in 81.2 innings with AA Biloxi this season, striking out 82 batters while walking an average of just 1.0 per nine innings.

INF Javier Betancourt (Age 21)

The centerpiece of the (ill-fated?) K-Rod deal with the Tigers last winter, Betancourt hit a disappointing .224/.285/.321 in 110 games in AA while showing some defensive versatility.

OF Clint Coulter (Age 22)

Coulter got off to a brutal start in Brevard County and has fallen out of the top 30 prospects, but the former first round pick did manage an .824 OPS in 28 games after a late-season promotion to AA Biloxi.

RHP Tyler Spurlin (Age 25)

Spurlin posted a 3.12 ERA and 45:25 K/BB in 52.0 innings between A+ and AA in 2016. The sidearmer is currently working in the Arizona Fall League and has allowed just three runs in 12.2 innings.

OF Tyrone Taylor (Age 22)

The 2012 2nd-rounder still ranks in the club’s top 30 prospects (26th) but is coming off his second straight poor season in AA (.232/.303/.327, 9 HR, 9 SB in 134 games).

RHP Josh Uhen (Age 24)

The Oshkosh native and UW-Milwaukee product features a plus fastball and posted a 3.77 ERA in 57.1 innings out of the bullpen between A+ and AA this year. He’s currently representing the Brewers in the Arizona Fall League.

RHP Angel Ventura (Age 23)

Ventura was passed over in the draft last year but he may draw more interest this year after posting a 3.90 ERA and 115:50 K/BB in 117.2 innings between A+ and AA in 2016.

RHP Miguel Diaz (Age 21)

Diaz is very young and not that close in proximity to the major leagues after having spent all of 2016 with the Timber Rattlers (A), but he is ranked as the Brewers 20th-best prospect. He posted a 3.71 ERA and 91:29 K/BB in 94.2 innings with Wisconsin this past summer and if he’s not protected, a rebuilding team could make a bet on his upside.

Outside Looking In:

RHP Yhonathan Barrios (injured)
RHP Drew Gagnon
UTIL Brandon Macias
LHP Stephen Peterson
C Adam Weisenburger
RHP Parker Berberet
OF Johnny Davis
RHP Preston Gainey
OF Omar Garcia
RHP Stephen Kohlscheen
LHP Mitch Lambson
2B Chris McFarland
SS Angel Ortega
RHP Jorge Ortega
LHP Nick Ramirez
RHP Junior Rincon
OF Victor Roache (injured)
RHP Tayler Scott
OF Carlos Belonis
RHP Rodrigo Benoit
LHP Joan De La Cruz
RHP Victor Diaz
RHP Junior Flores
RHP Milton Gomez
C Dustin Houle
RHP Yosmer Leal
C Nataneal Mejia
LHP Boanerges Nova
1B Juan Ortiz
RHP Alberto Paulino
INF Wendell Rijo
OF Elvis Rubio
1B Alan Sharkey
LHP Clint Terry
RHP Taylor Williams (injured)

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference