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Milwaukee Brewers 2017 Arizona Fall League wrap-up

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How did the prospects representing our beloved local nine perform?

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-All Star Game
Jake Gatewood.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up play over the weekend, concluding with Saturday’s championship contest that saw the Mesa Solar Sox emerge victorious over the Peoria Javelinas by a score of 8-2. Fans of the Brewers may not have been particularly invested in that game, however, as Milwaukee’s prospects spent the short AFL season with the Salt River Rafters, who finished 2nd in the east division with a 13-15-2 record and fell short of reaching the title game. With league play now finished, let’s take a look at how the nine prospects that represented the Milwaukee Brewers performed:

RHP Nate Griep (age 23)

The Grim Grieper had some difficulties preventing runs in the hitter-friendly AFL, posting a 5.40 ERA in 11.2 innings. He allowed 11 hits - but 0 home runs - to go along with 4 walks. He did miss some bats, however, registering 12 strikeouts.

RHP Adrian Houser (age 24)

Houser was working his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2017 and used the Fall League as a way to pile up some more innings after throwing just 17.2 of them during the regular season. He started four games and tossed 10.2 innings in the AFL, allowing just 4 earned runs for a 3.38 ERA. Batters did manage 13 hits off Houser, but he walked only 2 while striking out 11, giving him a cumulative K:BB ratio of 38:6 in 28.1 innings in 2017. Houser’s command and stuff look like they’re already all the way back (94-97 MPH fastball with a curve and changeup) and he could take a big step with a healthy 2018.

RHP Jorge Ortega (age 24)

Another hurler working his way back from Tommy John, the Brewers sent Ortega to the AFL after he missed all of the 2017 regular season. He was rusty, as is normal for a pitcher in his situation, and didn’t fare all that well. In 6.1 innings across 6 games, the soft-tossing Ortega allowed 10 runs - 6 earned - with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. He’ll hope to get back on a track with Milwaukee in 2018 after re-signing a new minor league deal.

RHP Jon Perrin (age 24)

The aspiring lawyer’s play has forced him to put his law school acceptance on the back burner. A 4.70 ERA and 10:8 K/BB ratio in 15.1 innings in AFL play doesn’t jump off the page, but Perrin has now worked 270.2 innings across the last two seasons and posted a 2.91 ERA in 23 games with Biloxi in 2017. Armed with a sinking fastball that can reach 94, impeccable control, and secondaries that include a curveball, changeup, and slider, Perrin could serve as rotational depth for the Brewers as soon as next season.

LHP Quintin Torres-Costa (age 23)

Torres-Costa split this year between A+ and AA ball, missing plenty of bats at both stops while racking up 91 strikeouts in a combined 66.0 innings. The Hawaiian lefty kept missing bats in the AFL, punching out 16 batters in 14.0 innings while allowing 5 walks and a 4.50 ERA.

3B Lucas Erceg (age 22)

Erceg came along after a slow start in the Carolina League this year but saw some struggles in the AFL. He’s never been one to walk much as a professional, and he drew only 2 free passes in 14 games for Salt River while batting .250/.278/.404. The lefty batter did flash some power, though, with a home run, 3 doubles, and a triple among his 13 hits.

1B/3B Jake Gatewood (age 22)

Gatewood enjoyed a nice breakout in 2017 after getting fitted with contact lenses for the first time in his life, but looked overmatched in AFL play. He recorded just 4 hits in 42 at-bats and struck out 18 times. If you’re looking for a silver lining, he was at least able to draw 6 free passes.

OF Monte Harrison (age 22)

Harrison also had a breakout 2017 campaign, but his could be attributed more to finally staying healthy for a full season. He was also the most impressive Brewer in AFL action, posting a stellar .283/.333/.604 slash with 5 home runs and 5 steals in 53 at-bats. Despite appearing in just 13 of the 30 games, he lead the Rafters in dingers and finished among the league leaders in home runs.

OF Corey Ray (age 23)

Milwaukee’s 1st-round pick in 2016 had a disappointing season this past year, and things didn’t improve much during AFL play. He wound up with a .231/.302/.321 slash in 78 at-bats, slugging one home run but generally showing the lack of power and plate discipline that’s plagued him since turning professional. Ray’s stock as a prospect is way down after a poor 2017, and he’ll be hoping to turn things around in a big way next season.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and MLB.com