On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Brewers announced their minor league player and pitcher of the year. Today, MLB Pipeline did the same, although there seems to be a bit of disagreement. Trent Grisham received the MLB Pipeline honor as a player while Trey Supak did the same as a pitcher.
As you may remember, Aaron Ashby received the Robin Yount award for pitching via the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization. MLB Pipeline disagreed with the Brewers’ organization, naming Supak. The key to the disagreement might be about level reached.
Aaron Ashby was the more effective of the two pitchers throughout the entire season. Ashby struck out 135 hitters over 126 innings while walking just 60. That peformance was across two levels: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A) and Carolina Mudcats (Advanced A). While he struggled with the promotion slightly, his was a smoother transition than the winner of the MLB Pipeline award.
Trey Supak was certainly in the running for the Robin Yount award for best minor league pitcher in the Brewers’ system. Pitching most of the season with the Biloxi Shuckers (AA) Supak was the Southern League’s pitcher of the year. While there, he posted a 2.20 ERA, and hitters just had a difficult time with him, batting just .192 against him.
After 20 starts, the imposing right-hander was promoted to AAA San Antonio. His transition was a bit more of a struggle than was Ashby’s at a lower level. In just 30 innings, Supak posted a 9.30 ERA. Obviously, he did not have a lot of time to get his sea legs at AAA - seven starts total. Yet overall, Supak had a fine season. Likely rewarding performance at a higher level over a significant portion of the 2019 season netted Supak the MLB Pipeline honor over Ashby in this case.
Trent Grisham received the player version of the MLB Pipeline recognition as well as the Robin Yount award for best Brewers’ player prospect. Grisham was the obvious choice. Over three levels, Grisham has flat out hit. With Biloxi he slashed .254/.371/.504. In San Antonio he got better. Grisham slashed .381/.471/.776 for the Missions. In his first 41 games as a Brewer, he has held his own, slashing .240/.315/.416.
According to Baseball America (subscription required), the Milwaukee Brewers have the worst farm system in baseball.
Ranking every farm system in baseball, beginning with the Tampa Bay Rays.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) September 18, 2019
However with Grisham, Supak, and Ashby, the future looks bright. Others are apt to challenge Supak and Ashby for the pitching awards next season, including Ethan Small, Antoine Kelly, a resurgent and previous winner Zach Brown, and Drew Rasmussen. From a player standpoint, Grisham will likely lose his prospect status fairly quickly. Players like Brice Turang, Tristen Lutz, and maybe Corey Ray or Lucas Erceg will make a run for these recognitions in 2020. It will be interesting to see how Milwaukee’s player development fares with these future Brewers next season.
Baseball statistics courtesy of Fangraphs