Brewers: 3 Prospects Who Have Broken Out in 2023 As Minor League Season Wraps Up

In a deep Milwaukee farm system, a few prospects have seen their stock rise heavily this season.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have done an incredible job at bolstering their minor league system in the past couple of years while managing to stay competitive with their big league club. MLB Pipeline has ranked Milwaukee as the third-best farm system in all of baseball, and with top-ranked prospects like Jackson Chourio and Jacob Misiorowski headlining that group, there is a lot for Brewers fans to be excited for.

Along with hitting on big international signings and high draft picks, Milwaukee has found a few diamonds in the later rounds of the draft, and even in undrafted free agency.

Small-market teams such as Milwaukee need some of these players to turn into MLB roster pieces to stay competitive, and every year, the Brewers have prospects who climb up the rankings and eventually join the big league club as contributors.

Here are 3 Brewers Prospects who have broken out in the 2023 Minor League season

Brewers breakout prospect: RHP Shane Smith

Shane Smith was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2021 by the Milwaukee Brewers after posting a 4.35 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched at Wake Forest over two years. Smith was the closer for a 2020 Wake Forest team who had their season cut short by COVID-19, and earned a spot in the starting rotation on the 2021 team before his season was cut short by Tommy John surgery after just two starts.

The Brewers saw enough in the 6'4", 235-pound RHP to sign him to a contract, and sent him to the Arizona Complex League to rehab for most of 2021 and 2022. Smith would open in three games for the ACL Brewers in late 2022, throwing three innings. While Smith pitched both from the starting rotation and the bullpen for Wake Forest, the Brewers shifted their focus to using him as a reliever for the 2023 season.

Smith posted a 2.59 ERA for the Carolina Mudcats in his first full go out of the bullpen. In 31.1 innings pitched, he allowed 23 hits and 10 walks while striking out 40.3% of the batters he faced. This incredible start to the season for Smith led to a promotion to High-A Wisconsin, where the success has continued. Smith has put up a 1.42 ERA in 25.1 innings, while still managing to strike out 31.6% of the batters he has faced. According to Fangraphs, Smith has posted the highest K/BB% in the entire Brewers system this season, at 25.7%.

Shane Smith possesses a plus fastball and slider and also throws in a cutter to keep hitters off balance. At 23 years old, he is rising quickly through the minor-league levels and was recently promoted to Double-A Biloxi. Smith has prototypical reliever size and pitch mix, and with only 84.2 innings thrown over all levels since 2020, the Brewers are hoping to capitalize on his arm talent.