The first of the 2017 prospect wave is finally showing up for the Milwaukee Brewers. Outfielder Brett Phillips has been called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to make his Major League debut. Baseball’s best laugh has finally arrived in the Show.
Shaw will only be on the paternity list for a couple of days. It’s doubtful that Phillips will stay with the Milwaukee Brewers very long, but this is still a big moment not only for him, but for the fans who have been clamoring for the team to call up some of their prospects most of the season.
The Brewers have only had two true outfielders on their roster since Ryan Braun went on the DL. The team has been getting by with a combination of Hernan Perez, Eric Thames and Nick Franklin in left field. Phillips will presumably go to left field for the duration of stay in the Major Leagues. He mostly played right field in Colorado Springs and has the arm strength to stay there long term. Domingo Santana currently holds that spot and has been on a tear at the plate and likely won’t be moved. Phillips and Santana were both part of the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade with the Houston Astros.
How Good Was Brett Phillips in Triple-A?
Phillips’ 11 home runs lead the Brewers’ Minor League system. It’s interesting that GM David Stearns would start Phillips’ service clock for only a couple of days, considering how careful they’ve been handling the prospects’ service time. But we’re most likely past the Super Two cutoff date, which would allow the Brewers an extra year of control with a pre-arbitration salary. Fangraphs provides an explanation of the Super Two rules.
Perhaps Phillips will stay after Shaw returns. Ryan Braun still lacks a timetable and manager Craig Counsell might want a true outfielder in left instead of running Thames and Perez out there so often. Only Counsell and Stearns truly know why Phillips got the call over Lewis Brinson, Ryan Cordell, or someone else.
Normally, teams wouldn’t start the service clock of one of their top prospects for only a three day stint while a player is on paternity leave, but Phillips could end up sticking.
It’s an exciting time to be a Milwaukee Brewers fan right now. The team is in first place. Prospects are beginning to arrive. The offense is hot. The starting pitching has turned things around. The rebuild appears to be ahead of schedule. Phillips is only the beginning of an infusion of young talent, and everyone should be watching.