Our check-ins with the Milwaukee Brewers top prospects continue with outfielder Corey Ray. After previously taking a look at Luis Ortiz, Isan Diaz, and the other top 10 prospects, we move to the 2016 first round pick of the Brewers.
Corey Ray began his pro career with an aggressive assignment to High-A Brevard County last year. After some affiliate realignments, Ray is still in High-A with the Carolina Mudcats in 2017.
He had success last season despite his young age at the High-A level. Ray slashed .247/.307/.385 with five home runs in 57 games.
How is the Milwaukee Brewers prospect doing this year?
He’s doing just fine. Ray earned a spot on the Carolina League All-Star Team.
Through 55 games, Ray is hitting .262/.339/.404 with four home runs, 16 doubles, and 29 RBIs. For comparison, Travis Shaw, who has been a doubles machine this year, has 20 doubles in 67 games. That’s only 12 more games played and Ray is only four doubles and three levels behind him.
Ray has drawn 27 walks, but already has 80 strikeouts this year. Swing-and-miss issues were expected early in his career, so this isn’t a huge surprise. He’s likely to cut down on the strikeouts as he progresses through the system.
He has 18 steals this season, which is most on the Mudcats. His .262 batting average is good for second-highest on the team this year.
The left-handed outfielder has enormous potential and is ranked as the ninth-best outfield prospect in baseball and the 22nd overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com. Ray has the coveted power-speed combo that few players possess and could hit 20 homers a season at the Major League level. A legitimate threat on the basepaths, Ray could potentially steal 40 bases a year as well.
Where Does Ray Fit In With The Brewers?
Ray has all the speed and potential in the world to remain in center field. However, Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips are already sniffing around the Major league roster. Ray is most likely to have to move to a corner outfield spot. He played right field at Louisville and has enough arm strength to stick there. His position really depends on what’s available for him when he gets to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ray did have knee surgery last offseason, but has bounced back well and it doesn’t figure to impact his long term potential. He should progress quickly to the Major Leagues after his aggressive assignment and early success. He should reach Milwaukee sometime next season despite only playing in High-A.
Despite the current overload of outfielders in the system, Ray figures to have a roster spot available for him when he’s ready. Whether that’s in center field or one of the corners. He has 20 homer-20 steal potential with room to grow.
The Milwaukee Brewers have outfielders coming out of their ears right now and Corey Ray is one of the best in the organization. Brewers fans should be excited about what he’s doing and what he will become in the next few seasons.