Brewers Prospect To Watch At Spring Training: Aaron Ashby
A one-time Class A Wisconsin All-Star, Aaron Ashby is one of the best southpaw hurlers in the Brewers farm system. With a shortage of lefties at the major league level right now, Ashby could become a name that fans become familiar with sooner than later.
One of five LHP non-roster invitees, Ashby possesses something the rest don’t have the luxury of owning – “perhaps the best breaking ball in the organization”. His slider is graded as a 65 out of 80 on the scouting grade report, a number that’s abnormally high for a guy that hasn’t even reached AA.
Reviewing the Brew talked with Ashby on the Cold Brew Podcast about his offseason work, his goals for spring training after his invite, and where he hopes to start the 2021 season.
Ashby owns a career 3.53 minor league ERA, but that number is partly skewed due to a rough start in rookie ball with the Helena Brewers where he had a 6.20 ERA and 14 ER in just over 20 innings pitched. Since he was promoted to Class A, he hasn’t had an earned run average higher than 3.60.
Along with his downward trend of runs given up, he’s greatly increased his strikeout numbers. In 2019, Ashby finished among the best in the system leaders with 135 punchouts and a 25.5% strikeout rate. A nice blend of a 92-95 mph fastball, a complex delivery with the ability to change it as he pleases, and an electric slider, he looks to be a reliable option when called upon.
Scouts believe that Ashby could very well be a mid-rotation starter, as he’s started 89% of his games in the farm system, but his stuff would translate to the bullpen as well. Making his curveball MLB-ready might be the key to his success and the climbing of the farm system ranks rather quickly as his fastball, changeup and slider are all big league quality.
Hopefully the sixth-ranked Brewers prospect can continue to improve and show Brewers staff and fans that he’s got the stuff to be a valuable arm in the majors someday.