The Milwaukee Brewers have added two more players to their 60-man pool at the alternate training site in Appleton, according to the team’s official transaction page. The Brewers have yet to announce the moves as the players likely still have to go through intake testing for COVID-19, but assuming they pass through without issue, outfielder Hedbert Perez and right-hander Justin Topa will join the contingent that is working out at the home of the Timber Rattlers.
The addition of Perez is the more notable of the two, as he only just turned 17 years old earlier this year. He was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela last summer and was considered to be one of the elite talents available in last year’s J2 class. He has yet to make his professional debut but that didn’t stop him from getting ranked as the club’s #13 overall prospect in the most recent post-draft update from Baseball America. According to their report, “Perez is a high-contact hitter with an efficient, compact swing, barreling balls to all fields, with good performance in games. He’s a disciplined hitter who has a chance to get on base at a high clip and has at least 55 raw power now that should be plus or better once he gets stronger...his impact potential offensively and defensively at a premium position makes him one of the most exciting players in the system.”
Justin Topa, on the other hand, has taken a much different career path to get to this point. Drafted in the 17th round by the Pirates back in 2013, Topa has been cut loose by two different organizations and had two separate stints in independent baseball before signing with the Brewers last season. He pitched in Class A-Advanced and Double-A in 2019, posting a 3.38 ERA across 40.0 innings between the two stops with 41 strikeouts versus 10 walks. He re-signed with the Brewers this past offseason rather than becoming a minor league free agent. Topa has previously been clocked as high as 99 MPH with his fastball and features a sharp-breaking slider, and the 29 year old could be a candidate to make his MLB debut this season with Milwaukee depending on the needs of the big league bullpen.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference