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Milwaukee Brewers add catching prospect Payton Henry to 60-man player pool

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Another backstop, and another potential trade piece?

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers-Media Day Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers have added yet another prospect to their group of players at the alternate training site in Appleton, as first noted by Jim Goulart of Brewerfan.net. This time it is another backstop, 23 year old Payton Henry. The Brewers now have 58 players in their 60-man player pool.

Henry was a 6th-round pick by the Brewers back in 2016 and has become one of the more well thought-of prospects within the organization. He’s shown some impressive in-game power, smacking 14 home runs in 121 games at high-A last season and 10 long balls in 98 games in Class-A in 2018. But that power has been accompanied by plenty of swing-and-miss, as Henry has punched out in over 30% of his plate appearances across the last two seasons. Still, Henry is well-regarded behind the plate, and a profile of “strong defensive catcher with pop in his bat” could be enough to carry Henry to the big leagues. Last year, Henry hit .242/.315/.395 for a 107 wRC+ in 482 plate appearances for the Carolina Mudcats, and he’s the owner of a .241/.326/.394 slash line across four professional seasons.

In the most recent midseason update from Baseball America, Henry was ranked as Milwaukee’s #18 prospect. They write, “He has the physical strength to generate power at the plate as well as handle the rigorous duties of a catcher over a full season. As with many power hitters, Henry has some significant swing-and-miss to his offensive game...As he matures and learns not to chase so many pitches off the plate, his OBP should tick upward. Behind the plate, Henry has a strong arm that discourages opponents from taking liberties on the base paths...club officials love the way he works behind the plate, shows energy and takes charge of games.”

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs