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Milwaukee Brewers: Will Corbin Burnes reach the Majors in 2018?

Matthew Dewoskin
MILWAUKEE - OCTOBER 04: A general exterior view of Miller Park prior to the Milwaukee Brewers playing against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game three of the NLDS during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Miller Park on October 4, 2008 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE - OCTOBER 04: A general exterior view of Miller Park prior to the Milwaukee Brewers playing against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game three of the NLDS during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Miller Park on October 4, 2008 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers prospect Corbin Burnes rose from the Rookie League in 2016 to Double-A by the end of 2017. Could Burnes reach the Major League roster in 2018?

Corbin Burnes has dominated every level he’s pitched at. From posting a sub-2.00 ERA in the Rookie League in 2016 to cruising through Double-A in 2017, Burnes has flown through the Milwaukee Brewers system. What are the odds he reaches the Major Leagues next year?

How did 2017 really go for Burnes?

He was fantastic in every sense of the word. Burnes split his season between High-A and Double-A. He made 26 starts across both levels and posted a combined 1.67 ERA. Burnes threw 145 2/3 innings and fanned 140, while walking only 36. Minor League hitters only tagged him for a homer three times in 2017.

Where will he start 2018?

Probably back at Double-A, but he’ll likely be in Colorado Springs before June. From there, he’s only an injury or a September call up away from reaching Milwaukee.

Isn’t Colorado Springs in a Hitters’ League?

Yes, the Pacific Coast League is a notorious hitters’ league, and not just because of Colorado Springs. Josh Hader struggled at Colorado Springs in 2016 and 2017 with ERAs over 5.00. Brandon Woodruff made 16 PCL starts and posted a 4.30 ERA. It’s not uncommon for young starters to struggle in the PCL.

Having a rough year in Colorado Springs clearly isn’t enough to derail a career. Josh Hader struggled at Triple-A, but the Milwaukee Brewers called him up anyway. Hader is already a key member of the Major League staff. It’s more important to consider what a pitcher is tasked with working on rather than the results in the PCL.

The Milwaukee Brewers had 13 pitchers start games in 2017. Michael Blazek, Tom Milone, and Paolo Espino were called upon to take the ball as a starter last year. While the Brewers had a healthy rotation for most of 2017, it’s likely that Burnes makes an appearance with the Major League team in 2018.

Next: What should the Brewers expect from Brett Phillips in 2018?

Burnes is not on the 40-man roster yet, but it’s super early in the off season. As soon as a few arbitration eligible players are DFA’ed, or a trade is made, Burnes will get added. The path to the Major League roster is even shorter when Burnes is added to the 40-man.

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