4- Mauricio Dubon SS/2B (9)
Dubon has gone from a 26th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2013, to a top prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers system this season. His speed and ability to get on base has helped. It doesn’t hurt that he plays a slick shortstop.
With Orlando Arcia at shortstop for the foreseeable future, Dubon will have to find a different path to the majors. As luck would have it, Jonathan Villar’s struggles this season may have wedged his window of opportunity open.
In his first season in the Brewers system, he has shown what the excitement is all about. He doesn’t hit many home runs, but he can run like a gazelle. When he gets on base, the likelihood is high that he’ll be running.
Having speed does no good if you cannot reach base, but Dubon has shown the ability to get on consistently. So far this season, he is getting on base at a .330 clip over two levels of the Minor Leagues. That number would be higher if he took more walks. However, he does not strike out a lot.
Through 106 games this season, he’s hitting .280 and has 49 runs batted in. That’s quality run production from the top of the order. On top of that, he has 37 stolen bases in 52 attempts. He knows how to use his speed as a weapon.
Dubon is trying to become the first native Honduran player, only the second Honduran born, to make it to the Big Leagues. He is right on the cusp of seeing that dream come true. At the very least, he should get an opportunity when rosters expand in September. If he is able to perform well, next spring he should have an opportunity to earn a Major League roster spot.
3- Brandon Woodruff RHP (4)
Woodruff is an effective ground ball pitcher. He combines a plus fastball, with an above average slider and an average change-up. His fastball sits in the low-mid 90’s, with late sink that will help him miss bats.
After compiling a 14-9 record, with a 2.68 ERA in 28 starts, Woodruff was named the minor league pitcher of the year for the Brewers in 2016. For his Minor League career, he has 354 strikeouts and only 114 walks. He shows a tremendous feel for pitching when he toes the rubber.
Playing in the thin air of Colorado Springs this season, his numbers don’t tell the whole story. Woodruff is 6-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 15 starts. He averages 8.67 K/9 this season, allowing only eight home runs in 72 2/3 innings. That’s not bad considering the league he has been pitching in.
Woodruff was called up in June to make his major league debut for the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it out of warm-ups, and was placed on the disabled list before even throwing a pitch. However, he did finally make his Major League debut on August 4th, against the Tampa Bay Rays.
He showed the ability to pitch out of trouble in his debut. His ground ball-inducing stuff will play well at Miller Park. If Woodruff can continue to keep the ball on the ground, he will have a ton of success for Milwaukee.
He will get his opportunity to show what he can do over the last two months of this season. He profiles as more of a middle of the rotation type pitcher. If Woodruff can capture his Minor League magic with the Brewers, there is little doubt he has a long career ahead of him.