2. LHP Aaron Ashby
Another area in which the Brewers have focused some of their restocking efforts within their farm system in recent years is left-handed pitching. Of those who could be future starters, Aaron Ashby is probably the most advanced candidate in the Milwaukee organization.
Ashby was taken by the Brewers out of Crowder College in the 4th round of the 2018 draft. This was after the Texas Rangers had selected him in the 25th round the year before and he returned to school for one more year of seasoning.
2019 saw Ashby split time almost evenly between Low-A Wisconsin and High-A Carolina as he made 10 starts in 11 games with the former and 13 starts in 13 games with the latter. The increase in competition had little effect as his numbers stayed consistent from location to location.
Overall, Ashby finished the 2019 season with a combined 3.50 ERA and 1.278 WHIP with a ration of 135 strikeouts to 60 walks. His performance earned him a Midwest League All-Star nod as well as being named Milwaukee’s 2019 minor league pitcher of the year.
After initially being left off Milwaukee’s 60-man player pool in 2020, Ashby was added to it in late August as the MLB trade deadline began to grow near. The timing led some to speculate that he might be a trade candidate, though the Brewers would not end up dealing any prospects before the deadline.
Left-handed pitching isn’t generally something that a team is often willing to part with unless they have an over-abundance of it. That said, the Brewers do have a good trio of lefty pitchers at the top of their top 30 prospects list.
Ashby himself sits at No. 6 on the Brewers’ top 30 prospects list per MLB Pipeline, but he is joined in the top 10 by the team’s top two 2019 picks, respectively, Ethan Small (No. 3) and Antoine Kelly (No. 7). Of the three, Ashby is likely the furthest along in his development.
Potential lefty starters are always coveted by other teams, especially ones with tools like Ashby’s, tools that include the highest graded slider in the organization (65). If the Brewers actually find themselves willing to part with one if there top left-handers, Ashby would be a leading candidate to go.