Milwaukee Brewers: Triple-A Outfield, Rotation Overloaded with Talent
The Milwaukee Brewers may have too many near-Major-League-ready prospects. You heard it here first.
One of my favorite things about the Milwaukee Brewers‘ excellent farm system is the bizarre drawbacks. For example, many solid Brewers prospects get little coverage because so many great names are ahead of them.
Another “downside” is the massive influx of talent the Brewers have at the highest tier of the minor leagues. The Colorado Springs Sky Sox look to have five noteworthy outfielders on their roster, and at least seven pitchers competing for spots in the starting rotation.
We’ll begin with the outfielders who have been officially reported as heading for AAA:
- Lewis Brinson || Age 22 || AAA Stats: 1.036 OPS (130 PA) || Brewers prospect rank: 1
Brinson is the standout of the bunch, and is typically agreed to be the Milwaukee Brewers top prospect overall. It will depend what happens with high-risk Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana in the Brewers outfield, but Brinson looks to see real time with the Crew in 2017.
Brinson handles center field well, and has serious power/speed potential.
- Ryan Cordell || Age 24 || AAA stats: N/A || Prospect rank: 16
Cordell isn’t as obvious a choice for Triple-A as Brinson, but he would be old for Double-A at this point. Plus, Cordell already proved himself in AA last year, slashing .264/.319/.484 with 19 home runs in just 445 plate appearances.
Cordell profiles as a fourth outfielder or second-division regular, with steady play both at the plate and in the field.
- Brett Phillips || Age 22 || AAA stats: N/A || Prospect rank: 10
If you’re curious what an organization does with a prospect they believe in, look at Phillips. He struggled noticeably in AA in 2016, but looks to continue up the minor league ladder nonetheless. In his first full season in AA, Phillips saw his strikeout rate jump to 29.8% and his batting average drop to .229.
His modest .729 OPS came as a surprise after Phillips’ brief but successful stints in AA two years ago. A return to Biloxi seemed in order, but the Brewers clearly believe in Phillips, and are willing to move him along.
Personally, I would have placed Phillips in AA and allowed him to be the first man up to Colorado Springs when an opening was found. We’ll see if the Milwaukee Brewers’ confidence pays off.
A big part of Phillips’ potential is his solid center field defense and his canon arm.