Milwaukee Brewers: Players 25-and-under shining in Spring Training

MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Corey Ray #78 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during a MLB photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 22, 2017 in Maryvale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Corey Ray #78 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during a MLB photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 22, 2017 in Maryvale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Tomorrow marks the halfway point of Spring Training play for the Milwaukee Brewers. If you have been paying attention (and why wouldn’t you be?) you may have noticed a lot of younger players getting opportunities to play through the first 16 games.

The Milwaukee Brewers thrive on developing their younger players. 24-year-old Josh Hader is already in mid-season form. Corbin Burnes, also 24, is looking like he could be the ace of the staff. Another young starting pitcher, 22-year-old Freddy Peralta is looking like he is going to leave Phoenix in the starting rotation.

We don’t have to mention that Orlando Arcia, 24, is showing all-star defensive range, Keston Hiura, 22, is hitting the cover off the ball and 23-year-old Lucas Erceg is showing that he is ready to move up to Triple-A.

Out of the 83 players that have appeared in games so far this spring, 48 of them are 25 or younger. It is a great opportunity for younger players to shine in front of the fan base and the coaching staff. Let’s take a look at six players 25 and under that have shined in their spring training opportunities.

Tyrone Taylor, Outfielder, 25 years old

Perhaps no one is shining brighter in their opportunity than Taylor. Through 12 games, Taylor is 8-for-27, hitting .296 with an OPS of .729. He has three doubles, two runs batted in, and stole his first base of the spring. He is making a strong case for playing time in Milwaukee after a breakout 2018 season in Triple-A.

His 27 at-bats are the most on the team, and he has played the second most innings this spring. Watch for him to continue to get extended looks this spring and making the most of his chances.

Trent Grisham, Outfielder, 22 years old

Another guy who has seen a lot of action this spring is Grisham, who has played in 28 innings during his seven games in big league camp. He has five hits, including two home runs and has three RBIs through 17 trips to the plate.

His .294 average and .980 OPS has been solid. Grisham spent all of 2018 in Double-A Biloxi and will most likely spend all of 2019 in San Antonio. Fans will see more of him this spring and possibly in the future.

Corey Ray, Outfielder, 24 years old

When you are the second ranked prospect in the organization, you’re expected to play well when given the chance. Ray has shined when given the opportunity. After belting the first home run of spring for the Crew, Ray has stayed solid. He is 6-for-25, hitting .240 with two home runs and four runs batted in.

Ray is getting the chance to play while starters Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun see limited action in early spring. Ray shared an outfield in Biloxi with Troy Stokes Jr. and Trent Grisham in 2018 and will share an outfield with them again in San Antonio in 2019.

Zack Brown, Pitcher, 24 years old

We know Zach Brown can pitch. His 9-1 record in 2018 and being named Brewers minor league pitcher of the year proved that. The strong right hander has pitched in three games this spring, striking out three, giving up one earned run, and has a 1.50 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP.

Brown is another strong candidate for Triple-A, who could make a spot start in the majors in 2019. Or perhaps follow the Corbin Burnes route and get work out of the bullpen before moving to the rotation full time in 2020.

Angel Perdomo, Pitcher, 24 years old

Perdomo is a wild card, signing with the Brewers over the winter, he is just one of a couple left handers on the roster and at 6’6’’, he really towers above the other pitchers. In four games, he has eight strikeouts, three walks, and has given up just two runs. His ERA is 4.50 but his WHIP is 1.25 against 17 batters he has faced.

Manager Craig Counsell has been watching Perdomo closely this spring, but he has only been as far as High-A, so it is realistic that he might be in Double-A in 2019.

Nate Griep, Pitcher, 24 years old

In two innings of work, Griep has four strikeouts while facing eight batters. He has just one walk and has no earned runs. He is another guy that will be in San Antonio in 2019. In the bullpen carousel the Milwaukee Brewers use every year, Griep could force his way into that group going up and down from Milwaukee and San Antonio.

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Spring Training is a great chance to learn and the Milwaukee Brewers are doing everything they can do to set up the younger players to gain experience and learn from the veterans. Minor League games begin next week, so the younger players will be given chances to play every day. Look for others like Payton Henry, Brice Turang, and 2018 2nd round pick Joe Gray Jr. to make strides over the next couple weeks as rosters begin to take shape.