Brewers: Ranking the Team’s Top 15 Prospects for 2021

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Payton Henry, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

12. C Payton Henry

We’re back to catchers again with our second-highest ranked backstop on the list. Payton Henry, who was drafted in the 6th round out of high school back in 2016 parlayed a strong 2019 season into talk about a potential add to the 40-man roster this last offseason.

Henry paired up with fellow Brewers prospect Mario Feliciano (who we’ll touch on later) to form a fearsome catching duo with the High-A Carolina Mudcats in 2019. Though Feliciano got much of the attention, offensively, Henry had a fine season in his own right, slashing .242/.315/.395, finishing second on the team behind Feliciano with 14 homers and 75 RBI, and earning a Carolina League All-Star nod.

That led some to speculate whether Henry might earn a long shot add to the 40-man roster this past offseason on account of being eligible for the most recent Rule 5 draft. The Brewers chose to leave him exposed, likely on account of being earlier in his development, and he went unclaimed in the draft.

Though he lags a bit behind Feliciano, offensively, Henry makes up for it with his defensive game that features a 55-grade defense and arm. He has thrown out at least 28% of potential base stealers in each of the past three seasons and caught 40.5% of them in 2018 and 2019 combined. He should start the 2021 minor league season in at least Double-A Biloxi.

11. SS Freddy Zamora

We officially have our first 2020 draftee of the list. Freddy Zamora was drafted by the Brewers out of Miami in the second round just last summer. And despite not playing a single game that season, his potential lands him just shy of the top 10 on our prospects list.

Coming off a strong first two seasons for the Hurricanes in which he slashed a combined .300/.391/.429 with 33 stolen bases in 40 attempts, Zamora was set to be a borderline first-round pick in 2020. Unfortunately, he would suffer an ACL tear that would derail his entire 2020 season with Miami.

The Brewers saw enough in those first two years, though, to know that they wanted him and ended up taking him with the 53rd overall pick last summer. In doing so, they added another shortstop to the minor league stable, which, like catcher, is a position in which the organization now finds themselves with some good depth.

Zamora is another one of those prospects with a solid hit profile, above average defense, and good speed. He is the first one on this list, though, to really see the speed aspect translate to steals, something that will definitely help his dreams of making the majors one day.