Which Brewers Prospects Should Be Untouchable At The 2022 Trade Deadline?
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers are going to be buyers at the 2022 Trade Deadline. That means they’re going to be giving up minor league prospects to get players to help the big league club right now. But some players should be off limits.
In a David Stearns-led front office, the Milwaukee Brewers have routinely operated under the idea that no one player is “untouchable” with the caveat though of “at the right price”. Of course, “at the right price” generally means a massive overpay that no other team in their right mind would pay.
So, which Brewers prospects meet that ‘untouchable’ criteria this year? There are a couple they need to hold on to.
Untouchable Brewers Prospect: OF Jackson Chourio
The meteoric rise of Jackson Chourio this year has been remarkable to watch. Promoted to Low-A Carolina in early May, Chourio has done nothing but hit and his prospect status has risen all the way to the top of the Brewers prospects lists. MLB Pipeline, Baseball America, and scouts across the league view Chourio as the best prospect they’ve seen in Low-A this year and the clear top Brewers prospect.
Chourio has recently garnered comparisons to… Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. And that’s not the only young superstar he’s been compared to. His bat speed is electric, his power is to all fields, and there’s no weakness in his game right now. This could be the homegrown five-tool superstar the Brewers have been searching for.
As high as his value is right now, it’s probably only going to get higher, and selling now makes little sense, especially given how much those within the Brewers organization believe in him and his breakout season. For a young player, he could actually be fairly quick to the majors, and his ceiling is far too high for the Brewers to trade away right now.
Remember when the White Sox traded away teenage prospect Fernando Tatis Jr for a short-term big league stopgap in James Shields? Think they regret that? You don’t want to end up like the White Sox. Keep Chourio. It’s that simple.
There is no superstar available on the trade market this July with enough long term control that could warrant the Brewers moving Chourio.
Untouchable Brewers Prospect: OF Joey Wiemer
Another prospect the Brewers need to hold on to is Joey Wiemer. Wiemer is closer to the big leagues, already being in Double-A, although if Chourio keeps hitting at this rate he may not be far behind. With Wiemer’s success over the last year and a half, he certainly should be kept in the organization no matter what.
Wiemer is one of the most tooled up players in the Brewers minor leagues, possessing exceptional power, speed, defense, and a cannon for a throwing arm. His hit tool has been great as well, despite his max effort swing that most would think would lead to a depressed hit tool. He’s been in a bit of a slump in Biloxi over the last few weeks, but overall that ceiling is high and the Brewers should see him through it.
Unless the organization believes the last year was just a fluke and the slump is a red flag that his success is unsustainable, this is someone to keep around. If they do believe that, then now is certainly the time to sell high, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what the Brewers think about Wiemer.
Wiemer looks like the future in right field for Milwaukee. He has the perfect throwing arm and power profile to fit that position perhaps even better than Hunter Renfroe does right now.
Shouldn’t trade, but not completely untouchable: Sal Frelick, Hedbert Perez, Garrett Mitchell, Ethan Small, Jeferson Quero, Brice Turang
This group of six players are ones that the Brewers could potentially part with if the right player was available, but it would be a bit of a surprise to see them get traded.
Frelick and Mitchell are both in Double-A and are the Crew’s first round picks from the last two years. They hold high value, but there are very few on the market they should be willing to move one of them for. Frelick is hitting well in Biloxi, albeit with little power, and Mitchell is on the mend from an oblique injury.
Hedbert Perez also has huge upside and potential that the Brewers would be wise to keep around. But he may not be on as quick of a pace as a guy like Chourio. His stats on the season don’t look great, but that’s mostly due to a very poor start to the year that will make recovering that season slash line very difficult. Selling him now would be selling a little low on his value most likely.
Jeferson Quero looks like he could be the Brewers catcher of the future. He’s one of the rare catchers who excel both defensively and offensively. Every team is looking for a guy like that and there are very few out there. Having a homegrown one like Quero is valuable and the Brewers should hold on to him, but he’s a few years away and if the right deal is there, they have enough catching prospects in the higher levels to get along just fine at the position.
Ethan Small and Brice Turang are essentially big league ready and will be important pieces going forward. Small is going to be that next young rotation piece for the Crew and Turang could probably be Milwaukee’s starting second baseman in 2023. Small is probably more likely to be kept over Turang, but both should stay if I were GM.
No one is completely untouchable, but Chourio and Wiemer should be, and there are plenty of other pieces the Brewers should want to keep around.