MLB Pipeline released it’s final set of Top 30 Prospects lists today, this time for the teams in the National League Central division. That means that Brewers fans awaiting the release of their team’s list finally got their wish.
As expected, and holding his top position from their list to end 2020 was last year’s first round pick, outfielder Garrett Mitchell, who has been tearing it up this spring. Shortstop Brice Turang continued to follow him at No. 2 and that’s where the consistency to last year ended.
Some new players entered the list while others dropped off of it. Meanwhile, some holdovers on the list dropped since the end of last season while other prospects rose in their place. That final category is what we’ll look at today.
Here are three Brewers players who rose the highest in MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Prospects list from 2020 to 2021.
OF Hedbert Perez
Perhaps the most expected riser among Brewers prospect lists (in fact, he rose to No. 5 in our own Top 15 prospects list) outfielder Hedbert Perez now finds himself among the top three among MLB Pipeline’s rankings without yet having played a lick of pro ball. That speaks to just how high his ceiling is.
Perez rose six spots to No. 3 after finishing 2020 ranked No. 9 in the organization. Of course, when you’re a 17-year-old who gets invited to the team’s alternate training site, added to the team’s instructional league squad, and brought along for spring training, it makes it hard not to take notice.
Perez is one of the best all-around players in Milwaukee’s farm system and is still developing at his young age. 2021 will finally give him the opportunity to show exactly what it is that prospect evaluators are so excited about.
C Jeferson Quero
Signed during the same 2019 international signing period as Perez, catcher Jeferson Quero also made a big leap in the rankings even though he hasn’t yet made his pro debut. MLB Pipeline now ranks him as the 9th best prospect for the Brewers after finishing last year at No. 16.
Quero was not a member of Milwaukee’s alternate training site like Perez, but he did join him and other prospects at Instructs. According to Brewers VP of minor league operations Tom Flanagan (per this story from Will Sammon of The Athletic), the young Quero raised eyebrows.
"“He really showed off kind of what his ceiling may be,” Flanagan said. “He’s a pretty interesting-looking player. He was a guy we definitely were excited to try and get into this program and he certainly made the most of it.”"
The leap in the rankings now puts Quero as the team’s second-best catcher in the organization behind just Mario Feliciano (No. 4 overall) who is set to crack the major leagues as soon as this season depending on the circumstances.
C Zavier Warren
Yes, it’s another player who hasn’t made his pro debut for the Brewers. However for catcher Zavier Warren, the reason is that he was just drafted in the third round in 2020 and then had no minor league season in which to play. Still, he finds himself as the highest riser from 2020 to 2021, jumping eight spots from No. 19 per MLB Pipeline to No. 11.
Warren has plenty of qualities to like for a prospect: he is a switch hitter, is a generally solid offensive player even though he doesn’t possess a ton of power (career .328/.457/.451 slash line in college), and can play multiple positions. As a result, he graded very highly in our 2020 draft grades piece.
Warren was drafted by the Brewers to primarily play catcher, even though he hadn’t done that significantly since high school and played mostly shortstop in college. The uncertainty of the position switch may have led to his initially lower ranking by MLB Pipeline. In the end, the offensive potential may have been too much to keep him ranked that low for long.
There are just a few of the prospects who climbed their way farther up the organization’s rankings to start 2021. It’s why fans should be excited about what the future holds in store for Brewers baseball.