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Milwaukee Brewers recognize Trent Grisham, Aaron Ashby as top minor league players in 2019

The awards will be presented before the Pirates game Saturday

Aaron Ashby

The Milwaukee Brewers announced Tuesday that OF Trent Grisham and LHP Aaron Ashby won the team’s 2019 Robin Yount Performance Awards.

Each year, the organization awards the best hitter and pitcher in the entire farm system. The 2019 award went to two incredibly deserving candidates.

Trent Grisham seemed like the easiest awardee. Milwaukee’s first pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Grisham never truly delivered on his high-contact profile that made him an exciting prospect. At least, he never delivered before 2019. Something unleashed itself within the 22-year-old after an offseason of extremely hard work and a switch back to his old, reliable golf-style batting grip.

Grisham started as a repeat prospect with the Biloxi Shuckers. There he hit .254/.371/.504 with 13 homers over just 63 games. The homer total surpassed Grisham’s previous season high of eight, which took 133 games to accomplish. While the line doesn’t look that impressive, Grisham did most of the damage from May 1 to June 14, when he had a .971 OPS with the Shuckers.

The lefty only seemed to continue heating up when he was promoted to the San Antonio Missions, his first career stint at AAA. Not only did he hit .381/.471/.776, he doubled his homer total with another 13 and did that in just 34 games.

Milwaukee decided it couldn’t leave the steamrolling Grisham in the minors anymore. He arrived in the majors on Aug. 1 and never looked back. He has hit a solid .252/.326/.437 with five homers for the Crew. Initially, he was a fill in starter, primarily giving off days to Ryan Braun and the struggling Lorenzo Cain. After Christian Yelich’s knee cap injury, he’s been playing daily.

Ashby on the other hand, was dominating the lower minors. The crafty lefty ended his 2019 with a 3.50 ERA over 126 innings with 135 strikeouts to 60 walks. His first full professional season started with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He went 61 innings with a 3.54 ERA in the Midwest League, but started to really stand out in May. Over his final 36.1 innings for the T-Rays, Ashby went 36.1 innings with 43 strikeouts to 11 walks and allowed just a 2.23 ERA.

After his promotion to the Carolina Mudcats, Ashby really only had three bad games of his 12 appearances. He did deal with an injury in August that kept him off the mount and limited his final innings counts on the season. He covered 65 innings for the Mudcats with a 3.46 ERA and 55 Ks.

Grisham obviously won’t repeat next year as he’s all but certainly locked up a spot with the MLB team in 2020. Ashby will face some tough competition for the 2020 Robin Yount Performance Award. The team replenished its pitching prospects in the 2019 MLB Draft with first rounder Ethan Small and second rounder Antoine Kelly. Both could pose quite a bit of internal competition for Ashby, among a number of other qualified pitchers. Either way, Ashby represents a dominant future on the mound for Milwaukee.