The Milwaukee Brewers acquired centerfielder Kyle Wren, the Braves number 17 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, on Friday in exchange for minor league pitcher Zach Quintana.
Wren, son of ousted Braves general manager Frank Wren, was drafted in the eight round of the 2013 draft by his father and the Braves out of Georgia Tech, he’s 23.
Wren spent the 2014 season between high A Lynchburg (76 games) and double A Mississippi (56 games). Between the two he slashed .290/.359/.357.
Braves prospect watchers have already graded Wren as having big-league ready defense in center, which is something lacking in the Brewers minor league system. Wren will probably top out as a fourth outfielder on a major league roster.
Wren is a pretty average hitter for his age/minor league level and it’ll be interesting to see if he develops further with the Brewers AA club this season. Either way, his defense and speed (81 stolen bases in 102 tries), mean that he’ll probably be on a major league bench in just a few seasons.
Quintana, going to Atlanta, was selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft by the Brewers and is still only 20 years old. Quintana has a big arm but as he moves up in the minors his strike out rate is dropping and his walk rate is rising.
In 85 innings with Wisconsin at single A this season, Quintana walked a shocking 5.2 batters per nine innings, which is worse than the career average of noted walker-of-hitters, John Axford. So there is that.
While outfielders are generally easier to find than pitchers, it didn’t look like Milwaukee felt they could fix Quintana’s control issues, and adding depth to the outfield, an area where the farm system is thin, is a good move over all.