Milwaukee Brewers’ 2021 Preseason Top 50 Prospects

Andy ranks the Top 50 prospects in the Brewers farm system for dynasty

As we prepare for the season ahead, the Pitcher List staff will be creating profiles for every fantasy-relevant player for 2021. Players will be broken up by team and role through starting pitchers, bullpen, lineup, and prospects. You can access every article as it comes out in our Player Profiles 2021 hub here.

The Milwaukee Brewers have aggressively pursued high-end talent in their quest to bring a World Series to Wisconsin in the past few years, often at the expense of their farm system. A few of their recent drafts haven’t panned out as well, leaving this system among the thinnest in baseball.

However, the abbreviated 2020 draft netted them some intriguing talent, and there are still plenty of players worth investing in for those who play in deeper dynasty formats.

Here is a look at the top 50 prospects in Milwaukee’s system, with an ETA on their big league arrival.

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly.

Note No. 2: While Devin Williams technically has not thrown over 50 major league innings, I have omitted him from this list because most dynasty formats are no longer counting him as a prospect. If he were on this list, he would be No. 1.

 

1. Garrett Mitchell, OF

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: N/A

The Brewers love their tooled-up outfield prospects, and they got a dang good one with their first pick in the 2020 MLB draft, UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell. 

Mitchell has 70-grade speed that should allow him to steal bases in bunches at the next level and will allow him to stick in center field long term. His batting practice power is tremendous, but the big question mark is how that will translate into games. If he makes hard contact consistently, he could be a true fantasy stud. If not, there’s still a potentially fantasy-relevant piece here, in the vein of Adam Eaton.

Mitchell should be a top-100 prospect across the board in 2021 and is a highly sought after target in first-year player drafts.

ETA: 2022

 

2. Brice Turang, SS

 

Age: 21

Highest level: High-A

Turang is a poor man’s Nick Madrigal, a good fielding middle infield prospect who has the OBP skills and speed to be a top of the order table-setter. At Single-A Wisconsin in 2019, Turang posted a .384 OBP with 21 steals in 82 games with nearly as many walks (49) as strikeouts (54).

He didn’t have as much success at High-A, but at age 20 he was among the youngest players at that level, so we’ll give him a pass.

Turang likely won’t hit for much power, but a true shortstop with 25+ stolen bases and a .285/.385/.400 slash line seems well within reason, and makes him a fringe top-100 prospect and a strong dynasty asset – albeit one who is still at least a year away from contributing in Milwaukee.

ETA: 2022

 

3. Ethan Small, LHP

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Single-A

Small doesn’t have a ton of velocity on his fastball and his secondaries didn’t look great despite good numbers at Single-A in 2019, but the vertical movement on his heater is elite and generates a ton of swings and misses, and he reportedly added a slider to his repertoire in 2020 at the alternate site – two things that should improve his stock heading into 2021.

Small will almost certainly be a big-league starter, probably settling into a mid-rotation spot, with the likely floor being a No. 5 starter.

He could surprise people and move up with some improvements to his command – but ultimately Small is a safe pick in dynasty drafts if you just need someone who will contribute to a big league rotation in the next few years, with limited risk.

ETA: 2022

 

4. Antoine Kelly, LHP

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Single-A

Kelly was Milwaukee’s second pick in the 2019 draft, and the flame-throwing left-hander has already drawn comparisons to David Pricewhich should turn some heads.

Kelly’s fastball has the makings of elite status, coming in at 98 mph with movement. At 6’6″ and 205 pounds, some added muscle should allow him to sit in the mid-to-high 90s for multiple innings at a time, an extremely appealing trait.

His secondaries were lacking in pro ball, not entirely surprising for a 21-year-old who only threw one season in junior college, but reports from the alternate site say the command and feel of his changeup and slider improved – something worth keeping a close eye on in 2021.

While his profile does resemble Price in many ways, those secondaries need to develop for him to make it as a big-league starter. If they don’t, however, he will profile a bit like current Brewers pitcher Josh Hader.

For dynasty purposes, owners will hope for the former—but the latter isn’t a horrible consolation prize either.

ETA: 2023

 

5. Hedbert Perez, OF

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: N/A

It’s virtually impossible to know exactly how to rank 18-year-old, hyper-toolsy outfielder Hedbert Perez, but in a system that lacks upside I think he is well worth a gamble in deeper dynasty formats. The power and speed combo is reportedly extremely solid, and his baseball IQ is advanced for his age – likely due to his father, Robert Perez, who spent six years in the big leagues.

We have yet to see him play professional ball, but that should happen in 2021 and will give fans and dynasty players a better idea of what we are looking at here.

ETA: 2025

 

6. Drew Rasmussen, RHP

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

Rasmussen was a stud at baseball powerhouse Oregon State, but a pair of Tommy John surgeries hampered his college career. Milwaukee liked him enough to snatch him in the sixth round in 2018, and he made his pro debut in 2019—throwing 74 innings and posting a 3.15 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and an excellent 96/31 K/BB ratio.

I was the high man on Rasmussen heading into the 2020 season, and the absence of a minor league season meant we didn’t get to see him continue to develop as a starter in Double-A and Triple-A – although it did mean we got to see him make his big league debut as a reliever in Milwaukee’s bullpen, where he threw 15.1 innings of 5.87 ERA ball (3.75 SIERA) with a 29.6% strikeout rate and a 12.7% walk rate.

Rasmussen throws hard, with a riding fastball in the upper 90’s and a slider that sits 88-91. His changeup has rapidly developed into a plus-pitch as well, giving me hope he could be a mid-rotation starter.

Command is an issue—along with health (which is the biggest concern), but I love the upside enough to gamble pretty highly on Rasmussen and believe he could be the best big-league pitcher currently in this system (excluding Williams) when all is said and done.

Much like Kelly, Rasmussen’s floor is relatively high as a high-strikeout middle reliever, a player archetype the Brewers have developed well in the current regime.

ETA: 2021

 

7. Mario Feliciano, C

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Double-A

The Brewers system is loaded with two things: strikeout-prone, toolsy outfielders and catchers. Milwaukee has among the worst farm systems in the MLB, but they have a legitimate argument for a top-five system based on catchers.

The best of the bunch is Feliciano, a 22-year-old who overcame an injury-prone 2018 season to blast 19 home runs with a .273/.324/.477 in 116 games at High-A in 2019.

His 6.0% walk rate and 28.8% strikeout rate are concerning, but his raw power is very real and his athleticism behind the plate is enough that he should reach his potential as a bat-first starting-caliber catcher, possibly as soon as 2021.

ETA: 2021

 

8. Eduardo Garcia, SS

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: R

Ranking prospects by farm system is a challenge, primarily because your own dynasty team’s direction and contention window impact how you value prospects. For example, Small is a safe, somewhat boring, dynasty asset who should reach his floor in a year or so, but likely does not have much upside.

A few spots lower we have Garcia who is the exact opposite: an 18-year-old shortstop prospect who has tantalizing tools but has only played 10 professional games, and could just as easily flame out and never reach the big leagues.

Garcia hit .313 in rookie ball but is known more for his glovework than his bat. The power is not expected to develop into anything more than a 10-12 HR annually type guy, but his bat control and speed could make him fantasy relevant elsewhere, and the glove projects him as a potential everyday shortstop.

There’s a lot of similarities to another Brewers middle infielder, Orlando Arciawhich isn’t the most exciting fantasy player – but can be someone who holds some relevance.

ETA: 2024

 

9. Freddy Zamora, SS

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: N/A

Zamora is an older version of Garcia; a glove-first shortstop prospect with a hit-over-power profile that suggests he won’t have enough thump to be a hugely fantasy-relevant player at his peak. Taken in the second round of the 2020 draft out of Miami, where he missed the 2020 season with a suspension and a knee injury, Zamora has a lot of risk in his profile – but enough upside to warrant a top-10 place in this farm system before he even plays a professional game.

ETA: 2023

 

10. Aaron Ashby, LHP

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: High-A

Known more for the catchers and the toolsy outfielders, the Brewers do have a handful of sneaky good pitching prospects. Ashby came to Milwaukee as a relatively unheralded fourth-round pick in 2018, and made seven solid starts down the stretch in Single-A.

He improved on that in 2019, posting a 3.54 ERA and an 11.80 K/9 in 61 innings, before getting called up to High-A where he had similar success preventing runs (3.46 ERA) but with a diminished strikeout rate (7.62 K/9).

Ashby’s fastball is up into the mid-90’s now, and his curveball is among the best in the minor leagues, with a true 65-grade from MLB Pipeline. Add in the fact that his changeup showed improvement in 2019 and he has the tools to be a No. 2/3 rotation piece.

His command is the big concern here, as his 4.3 BB/9 indicates, but if he can refine his location he should be a very solid fantasy asset in the not-too-distant future – although there is a fairly strong chance he ends up in the bullpen, where the fastball/curveball combo would play up nicely but the fantasy relevance would dissipate.

ETA: Late 2021

 

11. Hayden Cantrelle, SS

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: N/A

Cantrelle slipped to the fifth round of the 2020 MLB draft after a disappointing junior season in college, which was shortened of course due to the pandemic. He hit .315 in the cape the previous summer, however, and like many other middle infielders in this system he has a hit-over-power profile that could make him a future top-of-the-order table-setter if he reaches his peak.

There’s enough power to project 15 or so home runs annually as well, making him a high-reward gamble in deeper dynasty formats and a worthwhile pick in the later rounds of first-year player drafts as well – although there’s a good chance he ends up as a utility infielder long-term.

ETA: Late 2022

 

12. Luis Medina, OF

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: N/A

Here we go. Luis Medina is Milwaukee’s bread and butter, a tremendous raw power outfield prospect that has a ton, I mean a ton, of variance – especially since he’s just 17 years old and has not played a single professional game.

Standing six-foot-two and swinging from the left side, Medina can impact the baseball in a major way, with 55-grade raw power that will play up extremely well at Milwaukee’s home park. He is extremely raw in every other way, however, and until we see him in a professional setting it’s hard to know exactly what we are looking at here. In deeper formats, he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on or grabbing and stashing for the time being. The upside is worth it.

ETA: 2025

 

13. Tristen Lutz, OF

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: High-A

You’ll notice a theme as we go down this list, as the Brewers have long prioritized power-over-hit with their outfielders. As such, the farm system is littered with exciting, toolsy power/speed outfield prospects who are hampered by huge strikeout issues. It is a system full of Keon Broxtons with the hope that one or two of them will blossom into a George Springer.

Perhaps the best chance of that kind of development happening is with Lutz, the 34th overall pick of the 2017 draft who hit .255/.335/.419 with 13 home runs in 112 games at High-A in 2019.

Lutz is still just 22 and is expected to add even more power as he matures. He has a line-drive stroke and uses all fields well, a sign he could actually buck the trend and develop into a well-rounded hitter.

Along with decent speed, Lutz has the potential to be a five-tool contributor in the future—although that 28.7% strikeout rate in High-A is hard to ignore.

ETA: Late 2021

 

14. Corey Ray, OF

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: Triple-A

Another toolsy outfield prospect with contact issues, Ray appeared to finally breakthrough in 2018 with an absolutely monstrous performance at Double-A, blasting 27 home runs and swiping 37 bases with a respectable but underwhelming .239/.323/.477 slash line.

However, Ray regressed considerably in 2019, hitting an abysmal .188/.261/.329 with seven home runs and three steals in 230 plate appearances at Triple-A. A wrist injury may have had something to do with that, but the days of hoping for Ray to be a 20 home run/30 stolen base hitter in the big leagues seem far away at this point.

He should get a chance to make his big league debut in 2021, but he looks more like a tooled up fourth outfielder at this point – which doesn’t hold much (if any) dynasty relevance.

ETA: 2021

 

15. Carlos Rodriguez, OF

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: R

The Brewers haven’t had a ton of luck drafting and developing players in the past few seasons, but they have heavily invested in the J-2 market, including snatching Rodriguez in the 2017-18 class, who signed for $1.3 million.

Another Milwaukee J-2 signing who is known more for his glove than his bat, Rodriguez plays center field well enough to get regular playing time at the big league level.

Whether he will hit enough is the question, and while his .327 batting average through 104 professional games is extremely promising, along with his sub-10% strikeout rate, what is not promising is his 13 career walks and 24 total extra-base hits.

Rodriguez will need to learn how to take a walk, while growing into some legit pop, or else he runs the risk of being a defense-first fourth outfielder with little fantasy relevance.

ETA: 2023

 

16. Jeferson Quero, C

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: N/A

Another young, promising backstop prospect for Milwaukee, Quero joined the team as a J-2 signing in 2019. First thought of as a glove-first backup, Quero hit well enough after signing and grew into his body that he now looks like a potential all-around starting catcher, with an advanced approach at the plate and developing power.

Quero performed very well at instructs last year, as one of the youngest players in the group, and he has a chance to move up quite a bit with a strong showing in professional games in 2021.

ETA: 2024

 

17. Zavier Warren, C

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: N/A

The Brewers drafted Warren, who primarily played middle infield while at Central Michigan, with the intention of converting him into a catcher – as if they don’t have enough athletic catching prospects in the system.

Warren does a little bit of everything, and he performed well in the cape in 2019, but he’ll need to find a way to get to his power in game situations if he wants to be an everyday big-league regular – and at this point it’s hard to know exactly how he will look behind the dish until we see him in game action. For now this is a risky, but potentially very rewarding, dynasty target in deeper formats.

ETA: 2023

 

18. Thomas Dillard, C/1B/OF

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Single-A

Dillard remains one of my favorite prospects in this system. Milwaukee’s fifth-round pick in 2019 caught in high school but has played mostly first base and left field in his brief professional career, and honestly probably profiles best as a DH—which is why he isn’t featured as highly on other rankings. However, reports from the team’s alternate site indicate some improvement behind the dish defensively, which would go a long, long way toward building back up his dynasty value – although he has a lot of catchers he’ll need to outperform to win a starting job in Milwaukee in the near future.

Dillard has tremendous bat speed and very, very projectable raw power, with comparisons to Kyle Schwarber being tossed around. Beyond that, he has an absolutely elite eye at the plate, walking a staggering 19.9% of the time in 51 games at Single-A last year.

Dillard has the tools to be a 25+ home run threat with OBP’s in the .380s—numbers that will play at any position on the field, and look darn good in your UTIL spot on dynasty teams. His below-average athleticism and fringy bat control make him a risk, but one I’m willing to gamble on in deeper leagues.

ETA: 2022

 

19. Payton Henry, C

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: High-A

I objectively know this farm system isn’t very good, but maybe because I’ve been writing about them for a few years now I’ve developed a love for a handful of their guys. That includes catcher Payton Henry, a guy who has steadily risen through the system while improving every stop of the way.

That culminated in a nice showing at High-A in 2019, where he slashed .242/.315/.395 with 14 home runs and 75 RBI. Mix in his high marks for arm strength and pitch framing, and you have a potential power-hitting starting catcher, a tantalizing premise.

Of course, he wouldn’t be down at 18 if there weren’t concerns, which is where his 5.4% walk rate and 29.5% strikeout rate come in. You can stomach a catcher with a bad batting average if he provides power and plays most days—which is still within the realm of possibilities for Henry, but you’d like to see those numbers improve in the lower levels before you count him as a top prospect.

Factor in Milwaukee’s rampant addition of other catching prospects, as well as Henry’s advanced age (24) and lack of experience above High-A, and you have a guy who may be destined to be a backup catcher with some thump, which holds little fantasy relevance.

ETA: 2022

 

20. Zack Brown, RHP

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: Triple-A

Brown was the biggest faller on this list from 2019 to 2020, and he slips again in 2021 thanks in part to other additions to the system, and because he was not given a chance to make his big league debut last year, despite being 26 and with experience at Triple-A.

The 2016 fifth-round pick excelled in the minors in 2018, breaking out with a 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 23.1% strikeout rate at Double-A across 22 appearances—enough for him to be crowned the Southern League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher.

Things went very south in 2019, however, as home runs and a sudden lack of command (11.9% walk rate) lead him to a ghastly 5.79 ERA in Triple-A, with a 5.67 FIP and a 5.59 xFIP to back up his unsightly numbers.

Brown has the makings of a mid-rotation starter, with a mid-90s fastball that he carries late into starts and a plus curveball, along with a good feel for his changeup. However, his command has been up-and-down, and he relies too often on a sinker which has proven to be susceptible to the long ball, as evidenced by last year’s numbers.

The floor is too risky for me to have him among Milwaukee’s top 10, a spot he resided for the past few years, and it may make sense for him to get pushed to the bullpen where the fastball/curveball combination would play up nicely. Otherwise, he looks like a sixth starter or long reliever, which won’t make him an appealing dynasty target.

2021 is a big year for the 26-year-old, and if he looks good to begin the year he should be up in the big leagues in short order.

ETA: 2021

 

21. Joe Gray, OF

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: R

Another toolsy, high-strikeout outfield prospect who struggled at the plate in 2019, Gray is known for his cannon arm and ridiculous raw power, two qualities that are Vladimir Guerrero-esque.

His tendency to swing at everything is Vlad-like as well, but he has a long, long way to go in the contact department in order to even be an average big league regular. Milwaukee has a lot of toolsy outfield prospects who came from the prep ranks and who struggle with professional pitching early on, and Gray runs the risk of bottoming out before he makes the big leagues if he can’t learn to make more contact at the higher levels.

The tools are there for him to be a power-hitting regular, but I need to see more before I fully buy in.

ETA: 2024

 

22. Jesus Parra, 2B/3B

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: R

Parra is a six-foot-two teenager with a lot of strength and pull side power, which should develop even more as he fills out. He’s almost certainly destined for third base, where his strong arm and limited range make him a natural fit.

The hit tool is a huge question mark at this point, making him a very high-variance prospect, but if he starts to make consistent contact he should shoot up this list as one of very few corner infield prospects in this system.

ETA: 2025

 

23. Max Lazar, RHP

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Single-A

Lazar had a 109/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio along with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP as a 20-year-old in Single-A in 2019, numbers that place him on the radar. His fastball barely reaches 90 though, and while the command is good and the room for growth (6’3″, 165 pounds) is there, he’ll need to improve those secondaries to make it as anything more than an org. guy.

More than likely he’s a spot starter or long reliever, but there is still room to grow.

ETA: 2022

 

24. Dylan File, RHP

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Double-A

File posted an absolutely eye-popping 133:22 strikeout-to-walk ratio between High-A and Double-A in 2019, putting him on the prospect radar despite being a 21st round pick in 2017.

Reports from the alternate site indicate an improved fastball velocity, into the mid-90’s, and his slider is a solid secondary. He’s been working out a ton with Tigers left-hander Tarik Skubalanother pop-up pitching prospect, so maybe there’s something here. He should debut in 2021.

ETA: 2021

 

25. Micah Bello, OF

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: R

Bello is another one of the prospects in this system that I have a small crush on. A speedy center fielder who could steal 20+ bases with full-time work in the show, Bello showed a glimpse of power in 2019, with his ISO going from .084 to .186 in his second go-round of rookie ball. He was also one of Milwaukee’s instructional league stars, showing more bat-to-ball skills and increased power in 2020.

He looks the part of a high-OBP, top-of-the-order table-setter, but he needs to continue to make more contact and maintain some power growth in order to avoid being a pinch-runner/bench bat at the next level. 2021 could be a breakout year for the 20-year-old, and he’s one to keep a close eye on.

ETA: 2024

 

26. Nick Kahle, C

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: High-A

Kahle was a fourth-round pick by the Brewers in 2019, playing most of his first season in rookie-ball but drawing a two-game cameo in High-A. He is a glove-first receiver who most scouts believe can hit for average in the big leagues, a rarity behind the plate, but whose slight frame doesn’t lend itself to much power potential.

As such, he has the ceiling of an average starter, with a long career as a backup the likely floor. Not the most exciting fantasy outlook, but someone worth stashing in deeper leagues thanks to his high floor.

ETA: 2022

 

27. Tyrone Taylor, OF

 

Age: 27

Highest Level: MLB

A 2012 second-round pick who has long been lauded for his athleticism, bat control and speed on the bases, Tyrone Taylor finally found his power by revamping his swing back in 2018, leading to a 20-home-run, 13-steal season in Double-A.

He regressed a bit in 2019, but still managed to hit 14 home runs in 92 games at Triple-A, and then hit .400 in a 15-game cameo with Milwaukee. He had a bigger showing at the big league level in 2020, slashing .237/.293/.500 with two home runs and six RBI in 22 games played.

Taylor looks like a prototypical fourth outfielder, and while his tools and recent power surge make him someone worth keeping an eye on, at age 27 and in a crowded outfield picture in Milwaukee there’s not much to look forward to at this point.

ETA: 2021

 

28. Alec Bettinger, RHP

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Double-A

Bettinger merits a high spot on this list thanks to a statistically excellent 2019 season, but his stuff likely caps him with the ceiling of a back-end starter. Still, you cannot ignore his 26.7% strikeout and 6.0% walk rate in 2019, along with his 3.44 ERA (3.13 FIP) and 1.07 WHIP.

I’m not investing too much here, but he might not be too far away from making starts at the big league level, which is something.

ETA: 2021

 

29. David Hamilton, 2B/SS

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: N/A

An eighth round pick in 2019, Hamilton’s stock dropped because of a torn Achilles, and he has yet to make a professional appearance. However, he had a very strong showing in independent ball in 2020, slashing .296/.430/.370 with 20 stolen bases in 27 games, while getting caught 0 times and drawing 19 walks compared to just 16 strikeouts.

Hamilton has the chops to stick at shortstop long term, and the stick to potentially hit near the top of the order, but the variance remains really high here. He’ll be a very intriguing player to watch in 2021, and he should start out in Single-A.

ETA: 2022

 

30. Lucas Erceg, 3B

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Triple-A

Erceg has long been one of Milwaukee’s top prospects, but his bat just has not shown enough consistency for him to take that next step. He has serious raw power, blasting 15 home runs in 116 games with Triple-A in 2019, but his .218 batting average ranked dead last in the PCL, and his 25.1% strikeout rate is an issue.

At this point, he looks like a platoon 1B/3B at his ceiling, and while the power is tantalizing, the risk is too high for me to invest much. Perhaps a move to the bump, where he excelled as a closer at Menlo College, is in order?

Regardless, Erceg should get his first taste of big-league action in 2021.

ETA: 2021

 

31. Clayton Andrews, LHP/OF

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Double-A

Clayton Andrews is perhaps the most interesting prospect in this system. A 5’6, 160 pound left-hander with a fastball that barely scrapes 90 miles per hour, Andrews relies heavily on his curveball/changeup to induce soft contact. It’s not a profile that merits much fantasy relevance, as he’ll likely be a low-leverage middle reliever, but Andrews was also a two-way player in college who hit pretty well in a very brief sample of at-bats in 2019.

There’s potential for Andrews to be a seldom-used middle reliever who occasionally pinch runs and plays the outfield and—while I’m not sure it will lead to a ton of fantasy relevance—it’s definitely a fun profile and one to watch.

ETA: 2021

 

32. Victor Castaneda, RHP

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Single-A

Castaneda was a star for the Brewers in instructs this past year, pushing his fastball up into the mid-90’s. He’s been used as a power arm out of the bullpen and as a starter in the Arizona Fall League, so his fantasy value will be tied to how the Brewers opt to use him in 2021.

He profiles best as a high-strikeout late-inning arm, and could reach that potential as soon as 2021 if he gets off to a hot start in the minors.

ETA: 2021

 

33. Jackson Chourio, SS

 

Age: 16

Highest Level: N/A

Chourio just signed with the Brewers in the delayed January J-2 signing period. A 16-year-old shortstop out of Venezuela, Chourio looks like a shortstop long-term who flashes an intriguing blend of power and speed. Without seeing much else, he’s a hard prospect to firmly get a handle on – but he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on and may be worth a dart throw in deeper first year player mock drafts.

ETA: 2026

 

34. Nick Bennett, LHP

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Low-A

Bennett’s draft stock dropped after a disappointing junior year at Louisville, but the Brewers believe they may have gotten a steal in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB draft.

Bennett did post 43 strikeouts in 33 pro innings split between rookie-ball and single-A in 2019, but he still has a ways to go to prove himself as a potential back-end rotation piece or potentially a bullpen weapon.

ETA: 2023

 

35. Joey Wiemer, OF

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: N/A

Wiemer was Milwaukee’s fourth round pick in 2020, and he joins the farm system as yet another hyper-toolsy outfielder with a hit tool that is, at least for the moment, lacking.

Wiemer has the potential to be a 20/20 contributor down the line, but his swing needs some refinement and it remains to be seen if he will make those adjustments in order to reach that threshold. He’s one to watch.

ETA: 2023

 

36. Je’Von Ward, OF

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Single-A

Most expected Ward to turn down his 12th round selection in favor of a scholarship to USC in 2017, as he was viewed as far too raw to be ready for minor league action. Ward instead signed for much more than his slot value and has looked, well, raw in his first few minor league seasons.

The hard contact and size give him a tantalizing power profile, but a near 70% ground-ball rate has resulted in just four professional home runs, and while his plate discipline is solid he needs to prove he can lift the ball in order to move up on this list, which he could do in a hurry.

ETA: 2023

 

37. Pablo Abreu, OF

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Single-A

Abreu has the size, speed, and power to be a potential five-tool contributor down the line, but a lost 2019 season and of course no season in 2020 has his floor bottoming out, making me concerned he won’t reach what remains a lofty ceiling.

If he can get the strikeouts under control, he’ll rise back up this list in a hurry. 2021 will be a big year for the 21-year-old.

ETA: 2023

 

38. Eduarqui Fernandez, OF

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Fernandez rounds out a small run of toolsy, young, extremely raw outfielders – an archetype the Brewers have long coveted but struggled to develop fully, outside of Ryan Braun.

Fernandez’s first professional season showed that the power is clearly real, as he hit 11 home runs in 72 games. However, he only managed a .214/.301/.372 slash line with a frightening 32.5% strikeout rate.

Fernandez has speed as well, swiping 15 bases, which gives him some serious potential as a 20/20 type threat. However, he’ll need to work on his contact skills and patience at the plate in order to reach that ceiling.

At age 19, there’s still plenty of time for him to right the ship, but the floor is very, very low here.

ETA: 2024

 

39. Zach Green, 3B

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

The Brewers inked Green to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training this offseason, shoring up a key area of need in their minor league system. Green made his big league debut last year, going 2-for-16 with a double for the Giants in eight games played.

However, he blasted 25 home runs in the PCL in 2019 and hit 20 with the Phillies in 2018, split between Double-A and Triple-A, and the former third round pick carries a little bit of pedigree. He’s probably nothing more than a platoon/bench bat, but one with a little thump that should play up in Milwaukee’s home park.

ETA: 2021

 

40. Ernesto Martinez, 1B

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: R

Standing 6’6″ and weighing in at an incredibly built 229 pounds, Martinez is “built like a Greek God,” according to Fangraphs. That hasn’t helped him much on the field however, as his 70-grade raw power has only resulted in nine home runs in 132 games across four levels of rookie ball.

Six of those dingers came in 48 games during the 2019 season, along with a .262/.356/.445 slash line and four steals, but he needs to prove he can stay healthy, improve his game power, and limit his strikeouts (28.7%) if he wants to reach his potential as a legitimate home-run threat.

That’s a tall order, but at age 21, there is still time.

ETA: 2023

 

41. Phil Bickford, RHP

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: High-A

Hello old friend. Bickford is one of the most fascinating minor leaguers around, having been drafted twice, traded once, suspended once, injured a crapload, and finally moved to the bullpen. Despite all this, Bickford is still just 25 years old and is coming off a strong 2019 season at High-A, where he posted a 2.48 ERA (2.03 FIP) with a 1.04 WHIP and a 41.1%(!) strikeout rate.

He pitched well at the team’s alternate site in 2020, reportedly, which earned him a call-up to the big league bullpen. He gave up four runs in just one inning of work, but there is still a good chance he competes for a role right out the gate in 2021. He’s unlikely to be more than a middle reliever, but could hold some value in leagues that count holds or K/9.

ETA: 2021

 

42. Alexis Ramirez, RHP

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: R

Ramirez hasn’t performed the best statistically in the past few seasons, but reports out of instructs say he’s up into the high-90’s with his fastball, and if his slider feel is continuing to grow he could be a high-strikeout middle-relief arm. Milwaukee develops arms like this better than most teams in the league (see Hader, Williams, etc.) so this is one to keep an eye on.

ETA: 2022

 

43. Leo Crawford, LHP

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Triple-A

Acquired from the Dodgers in the recent Corey Knebel trade, Crawford is a crafty left-hander with outstanding minor league numbers, including a career 3.22 ERA and 2.27 BB/9. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, limiting his potential in real life and in fantasy, but he’s got the potential to end up pitching in the back end of a big league rotation, or at least as a spot starter – and he could reach that floor in 2021.

ETA: 2021

 

44. Felix Valerio, 2B

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: R

Valerio was the third piece in the Keon Broxton a few years ago, but he finds himself first on this list after Adam Hill was traded to Seattle and Bobby Wahl got bumped thanks to injuries. Valerio hit for a high average in 2018 and 2019 in the DSL, but at 5’7″ and 165 pounds, it’s hard to imagine him as a big-league regular.

Valerio also has no power to speak of (three home runs in 108 games) and looks more like a utility infielder than anything. Still, the high averages and lack of strikeouts are interesting, and he’s flashed some stolen base skill as well.

ETA: 2024

 

45. Jacob Nottingham, C

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

It feels like forever ago that Nottingham was a top-100 prospect (No. 66 by Baseball Prospectus in 2016), but the power-hitting catcher still cracks this list, despite limited improvements with the stick and strikeout concerns.

He got his first ‘extended’ look at the big league level in 2020, hitting .188 with four home runs, 13 RBI, and a ghastly 37% strikeout rate in 20 games.

Nottingham has flashed enough power at AAA to merit consideration as an offense-first backup catcher in the show, if he can make more contact – something we haven’t seen from him yet.

He might be worth a look in deep dynasty formats and NL-only formats that—for some reason—carry two catchers, but with Omar Narvaez and Manny Pina ahead of him right now, and a ton of catching depth with more upside in this system, his best bet for big league success may be with a different organization.

ETA: 2021

 

46. Braden Webb, RHP

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Double-A

Webb is a big right-hander with a plus fastball and curveball, and a solid changeup to boot. He has very little command and control, however, and seems like a near-lock to transition to the bullpen in 2021.

The 2016 third rounder has the tools to be a decent middle reliever, and possibly even a late-inning option if he can get the walks under control. If he looks good in the minors, he could be up by midseason

ETA: 2021

 

47. Caden Lemons, RHP

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: R

Injuries have limited Lemons to just 34.2 innings pitched professionally, and none since the 2018 season.

The 2017 second-round pick has a plus fastball and an average slider, and while the Brewers were hoping to see him make it as a starter, his injury history and lack of changeup development likely have him ticketed for relief, a role he could excel at if he can stay healthy.

ETA: 2022

 

48. Lun Zhao, RHP

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: R

Zhao has not pitched since 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but prior to that he was up to 93 with his fastball along with a plus curveball that gets over 3000 RPM of spin. He’s very projectable, but very raw, at this point – so how he looks after a few years without professional innings will be something to watch in 2021.

ETA: 2024

 

49. David Fry, C

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: A

Fry is another strong catching prospect in a system full of them. As a 23-year-old in Single-A, Fry expectedly raked, bashing 41 doubles and 17 home runs with a tidy .258/.329/.444 slash line in 2019.

He went down to Arizona and was an AFL All-Star, so his stock was squarely on the rise before the 2020 season. It remains to be seen how he will look in 2021, and a 25-year-old with no experience above Single-A has some catching up to do, but he’s a name worth watching.

ETA: 2021

 

50. Cooper Hummel, C/OF

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: Double-A

A product of my old employer, the University of Portland, Hummel blasted 17 home runs with a .384 OBP in Double-A in 2019. He has massive strikeout issues, and is going to have to really hit now that he is transitioning out from behind the plate, but his profile is an interesting one.

ETA: 2021

 

Others given consideration: OF Larry Ernesto, OF Dylan Cozens, IF/OF Weston Wilson, 2B Mark Mathias, RHP Justin Jarvis, 1B Chad Spanberger, RHP Bobby Wahl

Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Content Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on Baseball cards and dynasty deep sleepers. Andy also co-hosts the Never Sunny in Seattle podcast on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and separately hosts Score Zags Score Podcast.

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