The Milwaukee Brewers sliced deep into their farm system in order to complete last week’s trade with Miami for Christian Yelich. But even after that deal, the Brewers still possess a solid collection of talent down in the minor leagues. The cupboard certainly isn’t bare, and ESPN’s Keith Law recently became the latest prospect guru to put together a ranking of Milwaukee's top prospects:
- RHP Corbin Burnes (#24 overall)
- 2B Keston Hiura (#35 overall)
- 3B Lucas Erceg (#66 overall)
- RHP Brandon Woodruff (#93 overall)
- RHP Luis Ortiz
- OF Corey Ray
- OF Trent Grisham
- OF Tristen Lutz
- 2B/SS Mauricio Dubon
- OF Brett Phillips
- RHP Adrian Houser
- RHP Marcos Diplan
- C Mario Feliciano
- RHP Freddy Peralta
- RHP Jon Perrin
- RHP Trey Supak
- RHP Cody Ponce
- 1B/3B Jake Gatewood
Burnes was ranked by Law as Milwaukee’s top prospect even before the team dealt away Lewis Brinson, as Law believes that the right-hander “has the command of a finesse guy, but the stuff of a #2 starter.” With Hiura, Erceg, and Woodruff in the mix, that still gives the Brewers four of the top-100 prospects overall in Law’s estimation.
Most of Law’s list seems to line up with a lot of the other prospect rankings out there for the Milwaukee Nine, with two notable exceptions. First is the ranking of Adrian Houser all the way up at #11 coming off of his Tommy John surgery. Houser was healthy enough to return to the mound for some rehab starts in the low minors late last season and followed that up with a stint in the Arizona Fall League. Law noted that long-term durability is still a question for Houser, but that he showed off a “svelte” look along with a 92-95 MPH fastball and hammer curveball in the low-80s. Law puts Houser’s upside as that of a league-average starter.
After that is the ranking of Jon Perrin at #15. Perrin has been a personal favorite prospect of mine to follow since he was drafted in the 27th round as a college senior by Milwaukee back in 2015. The 6’5” right-hander will turn 25 in May but is coming off a season with AA Biloxi where he posted a 2.91 ERA and 64 DRA- across 105.1 innings as a swingman. Law believes that Perrin could ultimately turn into a back-of-the-rotation starter and that he throws so many strikes with average stuff that he should at least have the floor of a useful middle reliever.
Law believes that Woodruff and Brett Phillips are the most likely players on this list to have an MLB impact in 2018 and suggests that both could make the team out of Spring Training. He selected Tristen Lutz as his sleeper, noting that scouts were impressed by what he showed during his rookie ball debut. He says Lutz is destined for right field, but he has huge power and right-handed power is always in demand.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball Prospectus