The Brewers are well-poised for a bounce-back season and fourth consecutive playoff appearance, with star power, proven talent, and depth on their 40-man roster. They’re less stocked on minor league position players who can be called upon to contribute to the big league team in case of injury or at the end of an extended down season. That said, there are prospects and rookie-eligible players the casual fan should know. This list includes position players who could impact the big league team this season and those with incredible potential and development time before a major league appearance. This series is split into two parts: position players and pitchers.
OF Tyrone Taylor (Age: 27)
Tyrone Taylor was the Brewers’ top prospect in 2015. His progress has stagnated to the point where he most optimistically projects as a backup outfielder in an outfield overflowing with talent and depth. That’s not to say that Taylor doesn’t show promise. At the plate, he’s slashed .271/.340/.521 across 48 plate appearances in 2019 and 2020. He’s also put together some critical late-season performances for the Crew. In the outfield, he’s versatile, able to cover either corner or centerfield. With four starting outfielders — Avisaíl García, Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Jackie Bradley Jr. — and other backup outfielders on the Brewers’ roster, plenty of disaster would have to befall the Brewers for Taylor to see more than occasional playing time.
C Jacob Nottingham (Age: 26)
The Brewers got a longer look at catcher Jacob Nottingham in 2020 after a season-ending Manny Piña injury. Nottingham is a defense-first catcher and an excellent pitch manager, but he hit just .188 and struck out in 42% of plate appearances in 2020. The poor offensive showing in the shortened season is part of a downward trend at the plate for Nottingham, who profiled as an offense-first catcher when he was first drafted in 2013. Nottingham could develop offensively with more regular at-bats, but it would take injuries to both Omar Narváez and Piña for that to happen with the Brewers. It’s worth watching Nottingham to see if or how the Brewers can retain him as a backup catcher, considering his lingering thumb injury and the fact that he is out of minor league options. If the Brewers send Nottingham to the minors again, he would be Designated for Assignment. Given his defensive prowess and power potential, another team would likely pick him up.
Mario Feliciano (Age: 22)
The Brewers’ top 30 prospect list is full of promising catchers, and Mario Feliciano is foremost among them. Feliciano was named the Carolina League MVP in 2019 after slashing .273/.324/.477 and showing plenty of power that continued to develop at the alternate training site in 2020. As Feliciano has powered up, he’s developed some strikeout issues he’ll have to corral. Behind the plate, he’s defensively competent with the capacity to grow and an above-average throwing arm. He’ll return to Double-A in 2021 but will likely level up to Triple-A in 2021 and could see major league action in 2022.
OF Tristen Lutz (Age: 22)
Tristen Lutz is an intriguing prospect with some development time left. He swings a power bat and struck out about 33% of the time in low and high A baseball. He’s spent most of his time in centerfield but has the speed and arm of a right fielder. Lutz spent 2020 at the alternate training site and is headed for Double-A in 2021. If he can develop better plate discipline, he could be an impact player for the Crew in the not-too-distant future.
SS Brice Turang (Age: 20)
MLB Pipeline: No. 96
Brice Turang is the Crew’s #2 prospect but has some farm system time left. He’s the offensive foil to Lutz, a disciplined hitter with below-average power who led the Brewer’s Minor League system and walks in 2019. Turang fared better in terms of exit velocity at the alternate site in 2020 than he did in single-A in 2019. He also impressed in spring training, showing some power development in a limited number of at-bats. Defensively, he’s a mechanically sound shortstop with average arm strength. He’ll likely head to Double-A in 2021.
OF Garrett Mitchell (Age: 22)
MLB Pipeline: No. 65
Garrett Mitchell has tools that dramatically belie his 20th overall draft position. Mitchell’s Type 2 Diabetes is likely the reason that the Brewers were able to sign such a promising prospect so late in the draft in 2020. Mitchell is incredibly fast, gets on base, and shows power potential. He is a skilled defender with a more than capable arm. He was one of the most promising prospects across the league in spring training, going 11-for-29 while assembling a collection of extra-base hits and a .973 OPS. Mitchell can be an all-star and accumulate any number of accolades and achievements throughout his career.
Hedbert Perez (Age: 17)
Hedbert Perez, one of the Brewers’ most exciting prospects, has drawn lots of “and he’s only 17!” amazement as an international class player and in spring training. Presently, he’s a hitter that makes contact and hits to all fields with decent enough power that should only grow along with Perez. He’ll make his pro debut in 2020. Oh, and he can do this in center field -