We are officially halfway into the first month of January, which means it is prospect rankings season across fan sites league wide. In this article I will examine three lesser known prospects in the Milwaukee Brewers system in whose hype trains you should jump onboard!
1) OF Hedbert Perez
As an international signee in 2019, Perez is receiving a ton of hype not necessarily for his play, but due to his increased strength. Since signing, he has added 20lbs of muscle to his athletic 5’11” frame. As a 17 year old prospect, scouts believe he still has additional muscle to add.
Two of Perez’s current strengths is his arm strength and speed. Run is currently his highest graded tool at 60 with arm not too far behind at 55. This combination profiles him out to play any of the outfield spots.
As a left handed thrower, Perez additionally swings the bat from the left side of the plate. Although he is yet to make his pro debut, at the Brewers alternate site it is said that he has displayed power to all aspects of the field with the pull side being the greatest. He is an advanced hitter for his age and certainly an intriguing option to watch once minor league baseball is underway in 2021.
2) RHP Victor Castaneda
As a 22 year old during this upcoming baseball season, Victor Castaneda was last seen in game action with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Primarily working as a late inning reliever, Castaneda pitched 44 innings and posted a 4.50 ERA and secured six saves in eight total chances.
In 2019, Castaneda’s fastball was consistently being clocked in the low to mid 90s. Reports now indicate that this pitch can reach 95-96MPH. The exciting news is that Castaneda’s fastball is not even his best pitch.
The splitter is Castaneda’s best weapon. In addition to having devastating vertical drop, scouts say that Castaneda can control the splitter better than his fastball and that in 2019 it would have gave major league hitters trouble. Add this splitter with his increased fastball velocity and he certainly has a great two pitch mix to keep hitters off balance.
3) RHP Max Lazar
As an 11th round pick in 2017, Max Lazar‘s soft tossing style of pitching has never been eye popping. However, results speak for themselves and, as a command pitcher, Lazar has made tremendous strides in the Brewers minor league ranks.
In his first full professional season, Lazar was rather average in the Pioneer Rookie League as a starter. In 14 starts he covered 68 innings and posted a 4.37ERA. With the Timber Rattlers in 2019, he split time as a starter and long reliever but saw a ton more success. In 85 innings, he posted an incredible 2.39 ERA and struck out 119 batters. That is equivalent to 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
As primarily as fastball and curveball pitcher, Lazar’s fastball is hardly ever seen above 90 MPH. He is great at working the edges with all of his pitches and his pin point command frequently keeps hitters guessing as to whether or not the pitch is a ball or strike. Although his stuff isn’t sexy, Lazar has been successful and is making some noise as a command pitcher.
Although none of the players mentioned in this article are on the 40 man roster for the Brewers, there is increasing hype surrounding them and they are ready to make some noise as soon as minor league baseball is ready to be played again in 2021. Be sure to check in on these players periodically throughout the season!