8. LHP Antoine Kelly
For a majority of the 2010s, Milwaukee’s farm system suffered from a severe lack of left-handed pitching depth. The organization made it a point to focus on that area in recent drafts and the result is a trio of southpaws that land in the top 10 of our prospect rankings, starting with Antoine Kelly.
Kelly was taken in the second round of the 2019 draft by the Brewers out of Wabash Valley Community College in Illinois. Though he was seen as a little raw coming out of that draft, the pure talent and possible ceiling was too much for Milwaukee to pass up.
Early returns have been very encouraging so far for Kelly. The lefty dazzled in his first stop with the team’s rookie league squad in Arizona in 2019 as he gave up just a 1.26 ERA and 0.907 WHIP over 28 2/3 innings with an outstanding ratio of 41 strikeouts to just 5 walks.
Kelly’s high-90s fastball is definitely his bread and butter and he has a solid slider to go along with it. The Brewers clearly believe enough in his potential considering he was a member of the team’s alternate training site last summer and reportedly looked very impressive in his time there. Should he continue to develop at his current pace, watch out.
7. OF Tristen Lutz
Drafted with the team’s Competitive Balance A pick back in the 2017 draft, Tristen Lutz has been a fixture on Milwaukee’s top prospect lists each year since then. Last year, he was the team’s highest ranked outfield prospect on many lists, including ours.
Though he drops a bit this year, that has less to do with his own performance as it does with the Brewers adding extra talented players to the organization plus the emergence of a couple other prospects. Lutz very much remains on a solid track for his career in his own right.
In his most recent season, Lutz slashed .255/.335/.419 in 2019 with the Mudcats while finishing second on the team in doubles (24) and third in both home runs (13) and RBI (54). His slash line wasn’t far off the .245/.321/.421 line that he posted in 2018 at Low-A Wisconsin.
His 13 homers at Carolina matched the amount he had the year prior with Wisconsin, so it may not come as a surprise that he grades out well in the power department. Should he stay consistent with the bat, he could find his way to the big leagues in the next couple years, though he may want to focus on cutting down on the strikeouts before he gets there (at least a 27.6% strikeout rate in each of his last two seasons).