The Milwaukee Brewers have a very strong farm system. There is talent all throughout each level, and there are players who caught fire early.
Not every player can be on a hot streak at once; some need to warm up a little bit. To see the Milwaukee Brewers farmhands who started the year strong, click here. Below are the five pitchers and five hitters who are still looking to find their groove in 2018.
Keep in mind that it is far too early to worry about any player or consider anything a trend.
1B Jake Gatewood, Biloxi Shuckers
Over the course of his first seven games, Jake Gatewood is hitting under .100. That comes out to two hits in his first 26 tries, one of them being a homerun. It is a bad start for any player, but with Gatewood sitting at number 19 on MLB Pipelines rankings, it is could really hurt his prospect stock.
RHP Nattino Diplan, Carolina Mudcats
On a positive note, Nattino Diplan has a win. But, on the negative side is almost everything else. In two innings over three appearances, he has walked five and struck out two. All in all, he has surrendered four runs. His ERA sits at 18.00, and his WHIP is well over five.
OF Tristen Lutz, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
After an impressive debut campaign last year, the Milwaukee Brewers number nine prospect is not off to the best start. His first 20 at bats yielded one homerun, which turns out to be his only hit. Through five games, his batting average is a whopping .050 with 10 strikeouts. That being said, Tristen Lutz is a naturally gifted hitter who will absolutely turn things around.
RHP Alec Bettinger, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
An ERA over eight through 7.2 innings is not exactly starting on the right foot. That is what Alec Bettinger is facing after two starts. It all accumulates to 13 hits and seven runs. But, there are some impressive numbers attached to it. He is averaging just under two strikeouts per inning.
2B Nate Orf, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Even though Nate Orf has played well at this level before, his bat is still cold to start 2018. During his first 21 at bats, he has four hits. That translates to a .190 batting average. As the second baseman in Triple A, a good performance might land him in the MLB. There is a history of struggle at the position.
RHP Alec Kenilvort, Carolina Mudcats
In two relief appearances Alec Kenilvort has thrown 3.1 innings, giving up six runs. A rough start can be fixed quickly, especially with only three innings of work thus far. However, he was recently assigned to the Helena Brewers so his work will be done at a lower level.
OF Clint Coulter, Carolina Mudcats
Clint Coulter does not have the lowest average in the farm system. In fact, he has the highest batting average on this list at .194. However, through 31 at bats, he has struck out 16 times. That is a strikeout rate of over 50 percent. Not great.
RHP Braulio Ortiz, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Two appearances, six walks, and an ERA over 20. Not a great stat line. But certain numbers look worse with a small amount of innings. Through his appearances Braulio Ortiz has only recorded 1.1 innings. He has finished a game though. The big 6’7″ reliever has an imposing presence on the mound.
OF Trent Grisham, Biloxi Shuckers
Another top prospect who is stumbling a bit out of the gates is Trent Grisham. The man who led all of the MiLB in walks last year is on a different pace this year. In seven games, he has struck out nine times, resulting in a sub .200 batting average to begin the year.
RHP Cody Ponce, Biloxi Shuckers
It was a slow start for Cody Ponce in his first outing of 2018. He lasted just under five innings, giving up three runs. He is also a Milwaukee Brewers top prospect. And honestly, this is not even that awful. If he had his command and didn’t walk three, he probably looks a lot better. The farm is playing well, and poor performances are hard to come by.
Overall, the early season returns in the minors are excellent. It was honestly pretty hard to compile this list. That could mean good things for the Milwaukee Brewers future. That being said, these players are a week into the season. They need to keep up the good performances and block out the bad. One week is not the whole season.