While the Milwaukee Brewers are currently 1/2 game out of first place in the NL Central and rocking an 8-6 record, there’s even more to be excited about down in the Minor Leagues. Check out what’s brewing at the upper and lower levels of the Brewers farm system.
The good news on right-hander Josh Hader is that he has a 2.57 after his first three starts of the season. The bad news is that it comes with an 11:11 K:BB ratio and three homers allowed in 14 innings. Hader may not be long for the Colorado Springs rotation if he can’t get a handle on his control.
Right-hander Brandon Woodruff has been lights out, literally. Woodruff has a 0.00 ERA in his first two starts. He’s tossed 11 1/3 innings with nine strikeouts and only one walk. He’s likely the first callup for the Brewers if there’s an injury to the Major League rotation…unless….
Maligned right-handed starter Matt Garza completed his first rehab start on April 13 and it went reasonably well. Garza tossed five innings of one-run baseball, and allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out four. He had his rehab transferred to Low-A on the 17th, meaning he’s a short bus ride away from Milwaukee with the Timber Rattlers in Appleton, WI. His return to the Major League rotation…appears inevitable.
Top prospect Lewis Brinson missed a few games with after a finger injury on April 7th, but he returned to the lineup on April 13th. He’s still working his way back after losing a week, and is only slashing .273/.304/.500, along with a homer and steal. His walk rate is only 4.3% and he’s striking out 26.3% in a sample size too small to really matter.
Shortstop Mauricio Dubon, who came to the Brewers in the deal with the Red Sox for Tyler Thornburg, is off to a slow start with the Biloxi Shuckers. Dubon currently owns a .438 OPS in his first 42 plate appearances. Dubon was badly in need of a fast start with his new club. The reports on his development have been mixed at this point in his career. On the one hand he has a few useful tools that project to him turning into a Major League contributor, but there are equally as many questions about his bat.
Big righty Jon Perrin looks ready to head to Colorado Springs. In his first two games, both out of the bullpen, Perrin has logged 8 2/3 innings of work with a 1.04 ERA and a 10:1 K:BB ratio. He’s 24-years old, but appears ready to make the next step in his career.
Luis Ortiz is flashing the tools that made him a key piece in the deal that sent Jonathan Lucroy to the Rangers, but it’s clear that more work needs to be done. Ortiz has a 5.00 ERA in his first two starts with a 11:4 K:BB ratio in nine innings. The ability is clearly there, but the consistency is lacking at times.
Watch out for Cody Ponce! The about-to-turn-23 year old is carving up the Carolina league with a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings with 10 K’s and zero walks. He may make a few more starts with the Mudcats, but it’s clear that Double-A is in the near future for the young righty.
Also, right-hander Marcos Diplan is rocking a 0.00 ERA in nine innings of work, but it also comes with 11 K’s and five walks. Diplan isn’t long for Carolina either, but it’s clear that he has control issues to sort out.
Former first-round compensatory pick Jake Gatewood has finally made it to High-A, and he has an odd stat sheet. Gatewood is slashing .361/.477/.556 for a 1.033 OPS in his first 44 plate appearances. It’s coming with a 18.2% BB% and a 27.3% K%. He already has eight walks in his first ten games, after walking 18 times in all of last year at Low-A. has the 21-year old figured something out at the plate? Time will tell…
2016 first-round pick Corey Ray is back after missing the entire Cactus League season with a torn left meniscus. Ray went 2-for-5 with a triple, a stolen base, and a run scored. He may spend a month or two with Carolina, but it shouldn’t be a shock to see Ray fly through the Brewers system.
Who do you want to see in Milwaukee this year, Brewers fans? If you have any top prospects you can’t wait to see, or want a write-up on a specific player, let us know in the comments section.