If there’s one philosophy the Brewers have seemed to live by in recent years, it’s that you can never have enough good outfielders. That philosophy has certainly played out at the major league level and it’s looking like it may get that way in the minors as well.
Up until the last couple years, outfield development had start looking sort of bleak. Sure, you had a couple high outfield prospects in Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison that helped bring eventual MVP Christian Yelich to town, but they’re now developing over in Miami.
Trent Grisham eventually made his way to the majors with the Brewers in 2019 before being traded to San Diego. And Tyrone Taylor does appear possibly ready to now be a regular contributor in the majors, though to what extent is unknown.
Other than that, though, the MLB-ready outfield talent has been a bit few and far between. In fact, no outfielder that is currently on MLB Pipeline’s list of the top 30 Brewers prospects feels particularly close to contributing for the big league team any time soon.
A recent tweet by a Brewers prospect, though, may be foreshadowing a stacked Double-A outfield in 2022.
Last year, Joe Gray Jr and Joey Wiemer, 2018 and 2020 draftees, respectively, were the breakout stars of the Milwaukee organization’s minor league season. Both prospects topped out at High-A Wisconsin in 2021.
Gray Jr, the team’s No. 9 prospect to end the season, started the 2021 campaign on fire at Low-A Carolina before his promotion, finishing with a .252/.355/.499 slash line with 22 doubles, 9 triples, 20 homers, and 23 steals.
No. 23 Wiemer, though, was somehow even better. He slashed .295/.403/.556 with 27 homers, 77 RBIs, and 30 steals on his way to winning the organization’s minor league player of the year award. He was also having a heck of a time at Arizona Fall League before a thumb injury ended his time there prematurely.
It would seem likely that the two would graduate to the Double-A level to begin 2022. If they do, they would join another outfield duo that is highly regarded on the team’s top prospect list.
And you don’t get much more highly regarded than No. 1 prospect Garrett Mitchell. The 2020 first-round pick looked every bit a top prospect at High-A before lingering injuries hit and he struggled at Double-A Biloxi. He still finished his first pro season slashing .258/.388/.412 with six doubles, eight home runs, and 17 steals in 64 games.
Also finishing 2021 at Double-A was No. 15 prospect Korry Howell. Like Gray Jr and Wiemer, he jumped on to the team’s top 30 list last year after finishing 2020 unranked. He ended up finishing last season slashing .244/.349/.455 with 17 doubles, 5 triples, 16 homers, and 24 steals.
All in all, that quartet combined for 363 hits, 290 runs scored, 63 doubles, 18 triples, 71 homers, 248 RBIs, and 94 stolen bases in 380 games last season. That is quite the combined production for just four minor league outfielders.
This all assumes that Gray Jr and Wiemer do in fact get promotions to Double-A and that Mitchell or Howell don’t get promoted to Triple-A Nashville themselves. If all four do end up in Biloxi, though, watch out opposing pitchers.
These four players represent the next big wave of Milwaukee outfield prospects. It will be super exciting for Biloxi fans if they do all comprise a single outfield next season.