As it stands today pitchers and catchers for the Milwaukee Brewers are set to report to American Family Fields of Phoenix on February 18th 2021. With that being said the purpose of this article is strictly to predict which non roster invitees may be invited to spring training!
Last off-season the Brewers essentially had 15 non 40-man roster players who received an invite to big league camp. This list composed of veteran players RHP Mike Morin, C Tuffy Gosewisch, 1B Logan Morrison, RHP Shelby Miller, and OF Keon Broxton. Prospect players invited were 3B Lucas Erceg, C Mario Feliciano, C Payton Henry, LHP Clayton Andrews, RHP Zack Brown, RHP Thomas Jankins, RHP Drew Rasmussen, RHP Miguel Sanchez, LHP Ethan Small, and RHP Aaron Wilkerson.
All of the veteran players invited in 2020 no longer have a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, in fact with the exception of Shelby Miller who now plays for the division rival Chicago Cubs, all remain free agents to date. Of he prospects invited, Aaron Wilkerson elected free agency and players Mario Feliciano and Drew Rasmussen are currently on the 40 man roster.
Dialing back to 2021, the Brewers off-season has been rather unremarkable in terms of acquisitions. Additions such as: C Luke Maile, INF Tim Lopes, and INF Daniel Robertson are all currently on the 40 man roster and will be in big league camp pending any drastic changes.
At this time the Brewers have not signed a ton of veteran players to minor league contracts, so it is likely that the invitee list to Spring Training will compose mostly of prospects. Lets dig into some predictions now!
Players who have a very good chance at being invited to Brewers spring training: 3B Zach Green, LHP Blaine Hardy, LHP Leo Crawford, C Payton Henry, LHP Clayton Andrews, RHP Zack Brown, LHP Ethan Small, OF Garrett Mitchell, and INF Brice Turang.
Zach Green’s contract was picked up by the Brewers in December after electing free agency from the San Francisco Giants organization and the contract did include an invite to big league camp, so he is a lock. Additionally recently signed Blaine Hardy’s minor league contract includes a spring training invite.
Leo Crawford was the player to be named later in the Corey Knebel trade and player comps similar to Brent Suter in terms of pace and unusual delivery. Crawford essentially has not pitched above the Double-A level, but he possesses a high baseball IQ and being at his age of 23 has a very good chance at being a non roster invitee to camp this spring.
Garrett Mitchell and Brice Turang and the Brewers number one and two prospects within the organization. Even though Mitchell was just drafted last summer as the Brewers first round pick, with being an experienced college player it seems likely he receives an invite. The remainder of the players on the list were invited last season and I can’t foresee why they wouldn’t be invited again.
Players who have an average-to-good chance at being invited to spring training: 3B Lucas Erceg, RHP Thomas Jankins, RHP Miguel Sanchez, LHP Aaron Ashby, and LHP Antoine Kelly.
Erceg, Jankins, and Sanchez were all invites in 2020. Ashby is currently the Brewers sixth ranked prospect and Kelly is the seventh. Both players spent the 2020 season at the alternative training site and have high upside as left handed pitchers. Kelly stands at a booming 6’6″ and his fastball reaches the high 90s. He certainly is an intriguing pitcher that could make some noise and definitely deserves an invite to big league camp this year.
Players who have a long shot chance at being invited to spring training: OF Tristen Lutz, SS Freddy Zamora, C Nick Kahle, and C Zavier Warren.
Lutz is an intriguing prospect who has a huge upside in terms of power. He did spend some time at the alternate training site in 2020 and has had respectable numbers in the Low-A and High-A levels of minor league baseball in 2018 and 2019. Depending upon how he performed at the alternative training site he could be a player who receives a big league invite this spring.
Zamora is the Brewers second round draft pick in 2020 out of the University of Miami. He’s more known as a glove first prospect and did not play his final season of college baseball due to a knee injury. It seems like he may more of a long shot to receive an invite this year but given high draft pick selection and being the Brewers 11th ranked prospect, there is a chance.
The last two players in Kahle and Warren are both catchers. Relatively speaking you can never have enough catchers at big league camp in spring training to help distribute the load when working with the pitchers. One or both of these players may sneak onto the non roster invitee list.
Spring training is right around the corner! Be sure to stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew as we we will evaluate the official list of non roster invitees once the Brewers announce it!