11. RHP Zack Brown
Expected to be added to the 40-man roster in 2019, Zack Brown fell just a little shy of making the cut. Instead the Brewers chose Corey Ray and J.P. Feyereisen. Brown was not selected in the Rule 5 Draft, so he stayed in the organization and could come at 2020 with a vengeance.
In 2019, he spent all of his season in Triple-A with the San Antonio Missions. It was a downward spiral for Brown as he posted a 5.79 ERA and gave up 16 home runs in his 23 starts and two relief appearances. Compared to his 2018 stats where he posted a 2.44 ERA with just eight home runs allowed in Double-A, it was obvious that the Brewers weren’t the happiest with his 2019 season, hence why he wasn’t added to the 40-man roster.
Triple-A began using MLB baseballs last year, and both leagues saw a massive surge in home runs, which could have negatively impacted Brown’s season last year. It could’ve simply been a fluke year because of the baseball change.
Prior to his 2019 season, the Brewers saw him as a potential key member of their pitching staff in the future, with his performance resulting in him being ranked as one of the best pitching prospects in their system.
Brown sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and has a bunch of different variations of that pitch he can throw. He also has a plus-curveball and his changeup is pretty solid as well. When all three of his pitches are working, Brown can be unstoppable on the mound. He’s a ground ball pitcher, which is the type of pitcher you want to be when Miller Park is your home stadium.
He has high expectations set upon him since being made the Crew’s 5th round pick in 2016 and had a bad year at the worst possible time. Every year prior to 2019 was filled with mostly positives.
2020 should be a better season for Brown, but given his struggles in Triple-A last year, he falls to No. 11 in our initial prospect list, with high bounceback potential. He could find himself in Milwaukee before the season is over if he can get back on track.
We’ve made it through over half of our Top 25 Brewers prospects list now, and the Top 10 is coming up soon.