Milwaukee Brewers: Analyzing Corey Ray’s Amazing Year
By Paul Bretl
Corey Ray has been a highly touted prospect since the Milwaukee Brewers drafted him fifth overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. From that point on, he’s been ascending through Milwaukee’s minor league system.
After struggling through 2017 with the Carolina Mudcats and the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, Ray had fallen from being recognized as one of the Brewers top prospects. However, Milwaukee kept their faith and moved him up to Double-A Biloxi for the 2018 season and Ray did not disappoint. In fact, he was absolutely amazing.
Corey Ray’s 2018 season
The Biloxi Shuckers are a part of the Southern League in the Double-A system and Ray has put himself in the top five of many individual statistical categories. Here is where Corey finished the season and where he ranked.
- Runs scored: 2nd (86)
- Home Runs: 1st (27)
- RBIs: 4th (74)
- Stolen bases: 1st (37)
- Walks: T8th (60)
- Slugging Percentage: 2nd (.477)
- OPS: 6th (.801)
- Total Bases: 1st (254)
In addition to Ray’s amazing stats, he’s been healthy and available all season. Ray has played in 135 games this season for Biloxi, enough for the second most starts in the Southern League. He will be an easy choice for Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Year award.
Areas to Improve
Some may take note of Ray’s batting average, which was at .239 for the regular season. Based on the stats listed above, his average is an area that most would have assumed to be higher. But, the batting average doesn’t tell the entire story.
Ray produced a lot of loud outs, meaning he was making solid contact and putting the ball in play, but was hitting it right to defenders. He was still able to be effective and help the team. It’s not as if he was floundering at the plate.
Ray’s batting average will continue to improve as he works on striking out less when up to bat. This season, he led the Southern League in strikeouts with 176. However, his strikeout percentage is trending downward from 2017 to 2018, dropping by a few percentage points. If Ray can keep making strides in that part of his game, he will be an even more dominant force at the plate.
What’s next for Ray?
Heading into the 2019 season, we can anticipate that Ray will get a call to be apart of the Brewers spring training team. He will have the opportunity to compete for one of the 25 roster spots available. If during that time, a spot isn’t available for Ray he will then likely be a part of Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate for the start of the season.
But you can be sure that as long as Ray continues to play well, he will be making his Major League debut for the Milwaukee Brewers at some point in 2019.