The Milwaukee Brewers farm system is getting better year by year as the depth and quality of the minor leagues has grown. With the Brewers being perennial playoff contenders, they tend to continually trade away from this talent pool rather than add to it via trade.
Brewers president David Stearns made another such trade just minutes prior to MLB’s lockout, sending two solid minor league prospects in David Hamilton and Alex Binelas to the Red Sox along with Jackie Bradley Jr.in exchange for Hunter Renfroe.
With Milwaukee still looking to improve it’s big league roster, trading from the minor league depth makes some sense.
Once the lockout and transaction freeze ends, they’ll be able to do so again. If they do, who are the Brewers’ biggest minor league trade chips?
Brewers minor league trade chip #5: OF Corey Ray
The trade stock for Corey Ray has certainly fallen in recent years. Ray, the 5th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft was supposed to be the crown jewel of the Brewers rebuild in the David Stearns era. They started him out with an aggressive assignment to High-A out of the gate.
A college performer, Ray was slated to move quickly through the minor league system. A mixture of injuries and poor performance have slowed his progression. Ray is still as talented as ever, but continual injuries haven’t allowed him to reach his full potential.
With the way the Brewers outfield is constructed and the bevy of outfield prospects, especially centerfielders, coming through the pipeline who are performing well, don’t have injury concerns, and are catching up to Ray’s level, Ray’s future doesn’t look like it’ll be in Milwaukee.
He was called up for a quick cup of coffee early in 2021, but once he was sent back to Triple-A, injuries struck again and he wasn’t brought back up the rest of the season.
When healthy in 2021, Ray performed well. In 146 ABs, Ray hit .274 with an .825 OPS and six homers.
At 27 years old, Ray is suffering from some prospect fatigue. If the Brewers are to trade him, the team getting Ray is going to be betting that a change of scenery, and perhaps an open big league opportunity, will help him stay on track. Ray may need to prove he’s healthy first, though.