What’s next for Brewers prospect Zack Brown?

(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Brewers didn’t add right-hander Zack Brown to their 40-man roster this week. He’ll be exposed to the Rule V Draft in December. Could the team really lose their #3 prospect?

Brewers prospect Zack Brown was expected to get added to the 40-man roster this week. The team chose to add Corey Ray and J.P. Feyereisen to the 40-man roster, and traded for infielder Mark Mathias. They did not choose to add Brown to the roster. He could end up somewhere else in 2020 if he’s selected in the Rule V Draft, and he may stick with another team. What are the next steps?

What happened to Brown in 2019?

Brown spent all of the 2019 season in Triple-A with the San Antonio Missions. He posted a 5.79 ERA in 23 starts and two relief appearances. Brown tossed 116 2/3 innings and managed to strike out 98 while walking 64 and getting tagged for 16 homers.

Brown didn’t find Triple-A in 2019 nearly as easy as he found Double-A in 2018. Brown breezed through Double-A with a 2.44 ERA in 125 2/3 innings of work.

The Brewers expected Brown to step up in 2019. The fact that he was left off the 40-man roster indicates that the team wasn’t thrilled with his results.

Could he go in the Rule V Draft?

He could, sure, but that’s not really the question that should be asked. The better question is, if he’s selected, will he stay with the team that takes him? Rule V draftees have to spend the full season on the 25-man (Now 26!) roster.

History says that if Brown gets taken, he’ll probably make his way back to the Brewers. 14 players were selected in the Major League phase of the Rule V Draft, only two spent the full year with the team that selected them.

The Baltimore Orioles held on to shortstop Richie Martin for the full year, and he was one of the worst players in all of baseball last year. Right-hander Brandon Brennan spent the full year with the Seattle Mariners, and managed a 4.56 ERA in 44 games. Those are the only two players that made it through the full Major League season with the team that selected them, and they’re now going to stay with their ‘new’ team.

Brown could get selected, but that doesn’t mean he’s lost to the Brewers. The chances are that if he gets selected, he could end up back in San Antonio before too long.

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It’s odd that the Brewers didn’t want to give Brown a spot on the 40-man roster. He could still carve out a career in Milwaukee, but it’s clear that he’s not regarded as highly as he was prior to 2019. He’s been in the organization since 2016, and while he has progressed through the system, the team is expecting more. Brown could use this as motivation to take his career to the next level. Let’s hope it happens in Milwaukee, and not with the team that snags him.