2. Lucas Erceg
Lucas Erceg is a solid prospect who happens to be completely blocked by a franchise cornerstone.
As long as Travis Shaw is on the Milwaukee Brewers Major League roster, Erceg will be stuck in Triple-A. If the Brewers reconnect with Mike Moustakas or add another third baseman and move Shaw to second, Erceg’s path to the Majors is even more difficult.
Erceg spent the entire 2018 season in Double-A. He played 123 games, and managed a .248/.306/.382 slash line. He bashed 13 homers, stole three bases, drove in 51 runs, and scored 52 times.
His 2018 season was down from a solid effort in 2017 at High-A. In 2017, Erceg slashed .256/.307/.417 with 15 homers.
Erceg won’t turn 24 until after the start of the 2019 season, and he should start the year in Double-A with an eye towards an early call-up to Triple-A. He could also start 2019 in Triple-A if he shows progress during the Spring.
However, he may be better off moving on to another organization to get a chance at an everyday role. Brett Phillips needed to move on to Kansas City in order to get a chance at a starting job, and the same may end up being true for Erceg.
Less than three years removed from getting selected in the top-50 picks of the 2016 amateur draft, Erceg is an above average season in the upper Minors away from being ready. However, he won’t get a chance at a starting job with the Milwaukee Brewers because Shaw isn’t going anywhere for a few years.
Adding Erceg to a trade package for an upgrade at catcher or second base makes sense for the Brewers in 2019, and could benefit Erceg’s career in the long term.