Milwaukee Brewers: Complete 2019-2020 Offseason Preview
Minor Leaguers Needing Rule 5 Protection
Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg, Zack Brown, Thomas Jankins, J.P. Feyereisen, Weston Wilson, Cooper Hummel, Ryan Aguilar, Braden Webb, Daniel Brown
These are all the players that need Rule 5 protection from Triple-A and Double-A in the Milwaukee Brewers organization this winter. There are others that are either already eligible and aren’t risks of being taken.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Rule 5 Draft, here’s a full explanation, but the short version is, minor leaguers have a certain number of years in the minor leagues where the big league team can have control. Once that is up, they have to be added to the 40 man roster or the team risks another organization “drafting” him in the Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. The big league team doesn’t lose them if they aren’t selected, but it’s a calculated risk.
Corey Ray is one of the Brewers top prospects and would be an easy selection for another team if left eligible. Ray will most likely be added, even though he struggled through an injury riddled season in 2019. When healthy, he’s proven to be a great hitter.
Lucas Erceg also struggled offensively this year in Triple-A. Prior to that, he was the heir apparent at third base, but now that future is in question. With questions about Shaw and Moustakas heading into next season, Erceg is as important as ever if he can get back on track.
Zack Brown, the Crew’s highest rated prospect on this list, also had a rough season in Triple-A, finishing with a 5.79 ERA. He’ll get added to the 40 man, but it’s going to be an uphill climb for him to make the 25 man roster. He’s going to need some success in Triple-A first.
J.P. Feyereisen was a trade acquisition in early September. The Yankees knew his Rule 5 eligibility was coming up and they wouldn’t have room to keep him, so they sent him to Milwaukee. He’s a likely addition.
Braden Webb had climbed prospect rankings but had a tough 2019 as well, earning a 4.76 ERA in 20 starts, covering just 64.1 IP. There’s a chance he gets added, but there’s probably a better chance he gets left off.
Thomas Jankins, Weston Wilson, Cooper Hummel, Ryan Aguilar, and Daniel Brown are all likely to be left off the 40 man roster. There’s only going to be so many open spots available, and big league additions are going to be more important than protecting Double-A and Triple-A non-prospects.