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2018 Organization Report: Milwaukee Brewers

by Chris Blessing

Organization Grades

Hitting: A ... Pitching: B- ... Top-end Talent: B+ ... Depth: A- ... Overall: B+



Minor League Affiliates

Triple-A: San Antonio (Pacific Coast League)
Double-A: Biloxi (Southern League)
High-A: Carolina (Carolina League)
Low-A: Wisconsin (Midwest League)
Rookie: AZL Brewers (Arizona League)
Rookie: Rocky Mountain (Pioneer League)



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1. Lewis Brinson (OF) ... 6-3, 170 ... R/R ... 23 ... 2012 (1) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Colorado Springs (PCL)299.331/.400/.56210790.5213/11
2017Milwaukee (NL)47.106/.236/.27713640.412/1
2018Jacksonville (Sou)23.130/.231/.26112780.601/1
2018New Orleans (PCL)27.222/.222/.3330780.000/0
2018Miami (NL)382.199/.240/.3384690.1411/2
Comments: Athletic, all-around OF struggled in MLB debut. Has cleaned up swing mechanics tremendously without compromising bat speed or power. Bat path smooth to the contact zone; power in swing trajectory and frame, mostly to the pull side and CF. Rangy defender, will stick in CF. Potential perennial 20/20 skills.

Development Path: Brinson appears ready for the big leagues despite his initial poor MLB showing. He has been a slow starter at most levels and should be fine long term. Will compete for MLB job this spring.

Fantasy Impact: Brinson has the ability to be a stat-stuffing producer; perhaps even a top-rounds talent at maturity.

Upside Grade: 9C


2. Keston Hiura (2B) ... 5-11, 185 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2017 (1) University of California-Irvin
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017UC Irvine (BigWe)199.442/.567/.69320811.328/9
2017Azl Brewers (Ariz)62.435/.500/.8399790.464/0
2017Wisconsin (Midw)105.333/.374/.4766770.290/2
2018Carolina (Caro)206.320/.382/.5296770.307/4
2018Biloxi (Sou)279.272/.339/.4167800.396/11
Comments: Hard-hitting, contact-oriented RHH 2B with spectacular hit tool—one of the top in the game. Unorthodox swing produces loud, hard contact and he all fields. Coming off an elbow injury in 2016, was limited to mostly DH in 2017; arm will keep him at 2B or LF in the future.

Development Path: Hiura should move quickly through the Brewers farm system. He will likely start in High-A and fast track to Double-A by end of season. There's no one blocking him at 2B, either.

Fantasy Impact: The feel for hitting jumps off the page; Hiura has batting title potential. Those skills will obviously transition well to fantasy.

Upside Grade: 9C


3. Monte Harrison (OF) ... 6-3, 200 ... R/R ... 22 ... 2014 (2) HS (MO)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Azl Brewers (Ariz)19.211/.375/.36817791.000/0
2016Wisconsin (Midw)267.221/.294/.3377640.216/8
2017Wisconsin (Midw)223.265/.359/.47512690.4111/11
2017Carolina (Caro)230.278/.341/.4876700.2010/16
2018Jacksonville (Sou)521.240/.316/.3998590.2019/28
Comments: Potential five-tool star took tremendous step forward in 2017. Finally healthy, he hit for power and flashed 30/30 potential. Has shortened up his swing, though still struggles with pitch recognition which leads to high K%. Power in frame and swing, mainly to pull-side and CF. Rangy defender with solid arm.

Development Path: While the strikeouts are concerning, Harrison stood out at each stop in 29017, including the AFL. Look for the Brewers to challenge Harrison with a Double-A assignment.

Fantasy Impact: The Brewers have hoarded athletic CFs like no other team. A full season of health allowed Harrison to flourish into a significant fantasy prospect. While Brinson has the more attractive package of skills, Harrison's higher SB potentials stands out. Another potential stat-stuffing OF.

Upside Grade: 9D



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4. Brett Phillips (OF) ... 6-0, 175 ... L/R ... 23 ... 2012 (6) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Colorado Springs (PCL)383.305/.377/.56711660.3519/9
2017Milwaukee (NL)87.276/.351/.4489610.264/5
2018Colorado Springs (PCL)258.240/.331/.41112640.386/11
2018KC Royals (AL)134.187/.252/.3068540.182/1
2018Milwaukee (NL)22.182/.250/.2738500.180/0
Comments: Athletic, LHH CF re-discovered hit tool on route to his MLB cup of coffee. Short, compact, explosive swing was able to catch its breath and develop. Showed aptitude to hit to opposite field. Big power, mainly pull-side and to the gaps, one conducive to big HR numbers. Fast runner, but not a big SB guy. Plus range and exceptional arm.

Development Path: With some likely shuffling in the Brewers outfield this offseason, Phillips could compete with Lewis Brinson for MLB starter role. Is rangy in CF, though Phillips' arm profiles best in RF. Could also be a frequent traveler on the Colorado Springs-Milwaukee shuttle in 2018.

Fantasy Impact: Many fantasy owners sold their shares in Phillips after a forgettable 2016. Phillips may be better set up for success now than he was before those struggles. A likely above-average fantasy performer in the OF.

Upside Grade: 8B


5. Isan Diaz (2B,SS) ... 5-10, 185 ... L/R ... 21 ... 2014 (2) HS (MA)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2015Missoula (Pio)272.360/.436/.64011760.5213/12
2016Wisconsin (Midw)507.264/.358/.46912710.4920/11
2017Carolina (Caro)383.222/.334/.37614680.5113/9
2018Jacksonville (Sou)294.245/.365/.41815680.5610/10
2018New Orleans (PCL)137.204/.281/.35810670.333/4
Comments: Hard-swinging MIF had down year at High-A. Aggressive swing was victimized by pitchers. Solid approach but swings out of his shoes and struggles staying back on off-speed pitches. Continues to add strength to short, stocky frame. Projects for plus power at maturity. Solid runner, won't be big factor in running game. Likely 2B long term.

Development Path: After only batting .222 at High-A, Diaz will probably report back to start 2018. Because of the power potential, the Brewers will be patient through the growing pains.

Fantasy Impact: The amount of impact Diaz brings to fantasy will be connected to the power potential he possesses. To get to that projection, Diaz must work on staying within himself when he swings the bat.

Upside Grade: 9E


6. Corbin Burnes (RHP) ... 6-2, 185 ... 23 ... 2016 (4) St. Mary's College of Californ
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2016St. Mary's (CA) (WCC)101.22.481.0702.910.63.7.199
2017Carolina (Caro)60.01.050.8802.48.43.5.171
2017Biloxi (Sou)85.22.101.0002.18.84.2.204
2018Colorado Springs (PCL)78.25.151.4503.59.32.7.260
2018Milwaukee (NL)38.02.611.0002.68.33.2.191
Comments: Fast-moving RHP continues to excel at every level. Big FB and plus SL provide solid 1-2 strikeout punch. Made mechanical change to line arm up better with target. FB has solid, late run; SL has plus two-plane break with some sweep. CB solid eye-level changer. Has solid feel for CU, gaining confidence in pitch.

Development Path: High-A and Double-A didn't provide Burnes with much of a challenge. A promotion to Triple-A is likely.

Fantasy Impact: Burnes has solid #2 starter projection and has a great chance to reach it. If CU continues to get better, has potential to be a 3rd plus pitch and could push profile up to true front-line starter.

Upside Grade: 9E


7. Corey Ray (OF) ... 5-11, 185 ... L/L ... 23 ... 2016 (1) University of Louisville
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Louisville (ACC)268.310/.388/.54512850.8815/44
2016Wisconsin (Midw)12.083/.313/.08320670.750/1
2016Brevard County (FSL)231.247/.307/.3858770.375/9
2017Carolina (Caro)449.238/.311/.36710650.317/24
2018Biloxi (Sou)532.241/.325/.47910670.3427/37
Comments: Athletic former 1st rd pick struggled with swing-and-miss issues in 2017. Solid approach, but struggles identifying spin and doesn't make in-game adjustments. Swing is compact but it has an inconsistent swing plane. Raw plus power, but will have trouble manifesting it due to hit tool issues. Plus runner and defender.

Development Path: Ray's High-A season was a disaster. A return to High-A is likely, working on his pitch recognition skills and swing path issues.

Fantasy Impact: Ray still possesses the tools that got him selected 5th overall in the 2016 draft. Scouts are down on his prospects, especially on the mental side of the game. Ray owners should keep close tabs on his High-A K% to see if it improves.

Upside Grade: 8E


8. Brandon Woodruff (RHP) ... 6-2, 221 ... 25 ... 2014 (11) Mississippi State University
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2017Azl Brewers (Ariz)2.04.501.5004.54.51.0.250
2017Colorado Springs (PCL)75.14.301.3703.08.42.8.257
2017Milwaukee (NL)43.04.811.3302.96.72.3.250
2018Colorado Springs (PCL)71.14.041.3904.08.62.2.238
2018Milwaukee (NL)42.13.611.1803.010.03.3.221
Comments: Tall, high-floor RHP made MLB debut after sideways 2017. Stuggled corralling movement of heavy FB, which has plus arm-side bore, and tends to dive out of the zone. Has a heavy groundball tendency. SL is a solid offering; could miss bats if tightened up. CU wildly inconsistent; flashes plus with solid deception and plus tumble.

Development Path: Woodruff overcame control issues to be an effective pro pitcher. Now, he must shore up the command of his pitches, especially his FB. He will compete for a MLB role in spring training but will likely begin the season in the Triple-A rotation.

Fantasy Impact: Woodruff is solid because of the sum of all his parts. He's likely to be more of a groundball pitcher than strikeout pitcher, unless the CU becomes more consistent. The defense behind Woodruff will have a big impact on fantasy feasibility. Should be solid MLB #3 or #4 starter.

Upside Grade: 8C


9. Lucas Erceg (3B) ... 6-3, 200 ... L/R ... 22 ... 2016 (2) University of California
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Helena (Pio)105.400/.452/.5527850.502/8
2016Wisconsin (Midw)167.281/.328/.4977770.327/1
2017Carolina (Caro)496.256/.307/.4177810.3715/2
2017Colorado Springs (PCL)10.400/.455/.6009901.000/0
2018Biloxi (Sou)463.248/.306/.3827820.4513/3
Comments: Athletic, power-hitting 3B has a high offensive ceiling. Solid approach, doesn't strikeout much despite fringe bat speed. Has struggled against advanced velocity. Power completely to pull side; uses solid base and swing trajectory to produce carry. Will stick at 3B long term with a plus arm.

Development Path: Had somewhat of a disappointing season statistically, but his bat is ready for Double-A challenge. He needs to increase his hard-contact rate.

Fantasy Impact: Erceg's CAR stat line may have hurt some of his fantasy prospect status. In the AFL he wasn't selling out as much for power. Hopefully, gets back to hitting approach that made him in top fantasy 3B prospect.

Upside Grade: 8C


10. Luis Ortiz (RHP) ... 6-3, 230 ... 22 ... 2014 (1) HS (CA)
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2016High Desert (Calif)27.22.601.0502.09.14.6.217
2017Biloxi (Sou)94.14.011.2303.57.52.1.218
2018Biloxi (Sou)68.03.711.1902.48.63.6.236
2018Norfolk (IL)31.23.691.3302.36.02.6.264
2018Baltimore (AL)2.115.434.29011.60.00.0.500
Comments: Stocky RHP had better season than stats indicated. Struggled with leg injury mid-season; oppBA, Cmd, and Dom took steps forward; Ctl stayed the same. Relies on late run on FB to induce soft contact, tight SL is true out pitch with two-plane break that he can adjust. CU deceptive, struggles staying down.

Development Path: Ortiz was victimized by the long ball for first time in career and he has never thrown over 100 innings. He will start in Triple-A, however a move might be necessary if he continues to struggle with injuries.

Fantasy Impact: Ortiz has the stuff to be a solid fantasy play as a mid-rotation starter. Unfortunately, he cannot stay healthy, making a late-inning relief role more likely. Stuff is good enough to close.

Upside Grade: 8C


11. Freddy Peralta (RHP) ... 5-11, 175 ... 21 ... 2013 FA (DR)
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2017Carolina (Caro)56.13.041.2405.012.52.5.188
2017Biloxi (Sou)63.22.261.0804.412.92.9.166
2018Wisconsin (Midw)2.04.500.5000.022.50.143
2018Colorado Springs (PCL)61.03.101.2604.112.83.1.211
2018Milwaukee (NL)78.14.251.1404.611.02.4.173
Comments: Shorter RHP with pitchability of the charts. Gets most out of average velocity FB with deception and by manipulating grips without sacrificing velocity and effectiveness. Can cut, sink and run in on batters at will. SL is true out pitch with sharp, biting movement. CU is solid offering, mimicking running FB with tumble.

Development Path: Peralta has continually exceeded expectations through development. High-A and Double-A hitters struggled squaring him up or even making contact. Will move to Triple-A to begin 2018.

Fantasy Impact: Deceptive is the best way to describe Peralta's fantasy impact. Isn't blessed with a big FB but seemingly gets the job done with awesome results. If he can maintain Dom, could be a above-average middle-of-the-rotation starter in fantasy.

Upside Grade: 8C


12. Mauricio Dubon (2B,SS) ... 6-0, 160 ... R/R ... 23 ... 2013 (26) HS (HO)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Salem (Caro)235.306/.387/.37912891.320/24
2016Portland (East)251.339/.371/.5384860.316/6
2017Biloxi (Sou)268.276/.338/.3519840.602/31
2017Colorado Springs (PCL)224.272/.320/.4206850.416/7
2018Colorado Springs (PCL)108.343/.348/.5742820.114/6
Comments: Athletic, contact-bat ready to contribute in MIF utility role. Short, compact swing with up-the-middle approach and solid bat-to-ball skills. Aggressive at plate, will expand zone. Has pull-side power on middle-in pitches. Smart baserunner, gets most of out plus run tool. Solid defender at 2B & SS. Athletic enough to play multiple positions.

Development Path: Splitting 2017 between Double-A and Triple-A, Dubon was solid at each stop. While the depth chart at 2B isn't deep, Dubon will likely begin 2018 in Triple-A and could be MIL's everyday 2B by seasons's end.

Fantasy Impact: Dubon's prospective impact is likely not properly stated by his 2017 stat line. For fantasy owners, Dubon's value is tied to three factors, BA, SBs and multiple position eligibility.

Upside Grade: 8C


13. Trent Grisham (OF) ... 6-0, 205 ... L/L ... 21 ... 2015 (1) HS (TX)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2015Azl Brewers (Ariz)165.309/.422/.44215780.831/20
2015Helena (Pio)42.310/.431/.38118811.131/5
2016Wisconsin (Midw)221.231/.346/.34414690.542/5
2017Carolina (Caro)457.223/.360/.34818690.708/37
2018Biloxi (Sou)335.233/.356/.33716740.727/10
Comments: Athletic OF stayed healthy, struggled with contact in 2017. Exceptional approach, working counts and pitchers with high BB%. Quick, explosive LHH swing, produces hard contact to all fields. Despite approach, struggles with spin recognition, contributing to high K% and low BA. Power in lower half and swing; future 20/20 potential. Arm suited for LF.

Development Path: Grisham (formerly Clark) was over-matched by High-A pitching after only 221 ABs the previous season in Single-A. He will likely return to High-A and work on his swing-and-miss issues.

Fantasy Impact: If he hit a little more, owners would be salivating over potential lead-off skills. If unresolved, pitchers will challenge Grisham in the zone, which will render his zone awareness and walk rate to useless.

Upside Grade: 9E


14. Caden Lemons (RHP) ... 6-6, 175 ... 19 ... 2017 (2) HS (AL)
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2017Azl Brewers (Ariz)2.26.750.7500.03.40.200
2018Azl Brewers (Ariz)13.01.380.9203.57.62.2.152
2018Helena (Pio)18.26.271.8804.38.21.9.317
Comments: Tall, lanky LH popped up in spring to become 2nd round pick. Lots of projection in frame, should add velocity with strength. FB sat 90-94 as amateur; was 86-90 late in pro ball. SL best secondary creating solid plane and drop. CB & CU developing. Tons of projection overall.

Development Path: Lemons struggled in his professional debut, especially with command. Will likely begin 2018 in extended spring training.

Fantasy Impact: Amateur scouts loved Lemons leading up to the draft due to so much projection in frame. Some had #2/#3 starter grades on stuff. Still has a long ways to go until projection.

Upside Grade: 9E


15. Tristen Lutz (OF) ... 6-3, 210 ... R/R ... 19 ... 2017 (1) HS (TX)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Azl Brewers (Ariz)68.279/.347/.5596690.193/1
2017Helena (Pio)93.333/.432/.55911770.576/2
2018Wisconsin (Midw)444.245/.321/.4219690.3313/9
Comments: Athletic, rangy CF with plus bat speed and power potential. Employs solid approach at plate. Swing is a bit long but wrist strength and hand speed make up for it. May have trouble later with velocity if swing mechanics not worked out. Big power potential in swing. Ball jumps off bat. Rangy CF despite average speed.

Development Path: Lutz hit for average and power split between rookie ball teams. His bat is ready to handle full-season assignment in Single-A.

Fantasy Impact: Plus bat speed and big power potential is great base for any hitter to start with. Will need to work out mechanical issues with swing to effectively combat advanced velocity. Lutz is a big fantasy sleeper prospect coming into the 2018.

Upside Grade: 8C


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