Brewers Untouchable Prospect #3: LHP Ethan Small
The Brewers have a group of three left-handed pitching prospects all clustered in the Top 10 of the Crew’s prospects list: Ethan Small, Aaron Ashby, and Antoine Kelly. All three are exciting prospects in different ways and there’s plenty of reason to keep all three.
But as for which one should be untouchable, that decision is difficult. All three of them very well could be. If the Brewers had to choose just one to make untouchable, Small might have the best case for that status.
To this point in the minor leagues, Small has a 1.52 ERA in 18 starts. He didn’t have that many outings in 2019 and then no season last year has cut down his total number, but he’s dominated when he’s out there and the lack of a season in 2020 certainly hasn’t impacted his performance to this point.
Small is a little behind Aaron Ashby as he was drafted a year later and Ashby already made his big league debut, albeit a forgettable one. But Small has a very high floor and a high ceiling in the starting rotation, while Ashby still has a little more variance, but is in all likelihood a starter going forward.
Small, being the Crew’s first round selection in 2019, might lead the Brewers to hold onto him a little more closely than Ashby, who was a fourth rounder. But if you just take a straight look at the stuff they have and what they bring to the organizations as pitchers today, neither one really stands out as someone they should be willing to give up.
In 2022, there will be a rotation spot open with Brett Anderson‘s pending free agent departure. Small, Ashby, and Eric Lauer will be competing for that spot. Who gets that spot may determine who ends up being available, if any of that group, at the 2022 deadline. For now, however, keeping Small and those guys in the organization is imperative.
The Brewers will want to keep their first round selections, which is why Small and Mitchell are on this list. Perez has earned his spot as well as a top international signee, and he’s the crown jewel of the Crew’s recent investments into the international market.