The Milwaukee Brewers have recently called up three of their top-10 Minor League prospects in the past week. The players that the Brewers called up were outfielders Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson, as well as pitcher Josh Hader. Each guy has been thrusted into the Brewers lineup shortly after arriving from Colorado Springs. These three prospects may have been recalled earlier than the Brewers organization may have wanted, but with all the injuries at the Major League level they had no choice. Fans should undoubtedly be excited to see these young players, but shouldn’t expect these guys to come in and take the league by storm.
Brinson was called up by the Brewers only a day ago due to the Brewers having to put Jonathan Villar on the disabled list. He batted lead off for Milwaukee in his Major League debut Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Brinson went 0-2 on the day, but did show great patience, working two walks and showing his great speed by stealing a base.
Brinson is a 23 year old outfielder, who was a former first-round draft pick by the Texas Rangers in 2012. He was one of three players the Rangers traded to the Brewers in the Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress deal. Brinson is the Brewers top prospect according to most experts. He is a player that many scouts believe could have a 5-tool ceiling. Brinson is a very athletic player who has power, speed, as well as a good arm and solid defense in his arsenal. Many scouts believe Brinson could one day become a 30 home run 30 stolen bases type player. Since being drafted, Brinson has really improved his pitch recognition and has become more consistent with his patient approach.
Before being promoted to the Major League club, he was hitting .312 with six home runs and 25 runs batted in. He also added 41 runs and seven stolen bases in 45 games played for Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Hader was called up just one day before Lewis Brinson. He made his Major League debut Saturday night in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He started the seventh inning struggling to find the strike zone as he walked his first two batters. Hader settled down after that as he ended his lone inning of work striking out Jacob Lamb, who’s leading Major League baseball in the runs batted in category.
Hader is a 23 year old left-handed pitcher, who was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles and then traded to the Houston Astros. He was apart of the trade that sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros, while the Brewers got Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, Adrian Houser, and Hader. Hader is currently the Brewers number three rated prospect. Hader has electric stuff as he consistently throws a mid-90’s fastball and also features a nasty slider. The key for Hader will be to prefect and improve his changeup, which will give him three good pitches. Many scouts believe his ceiling could be that of an ace if he consistently controls and commands his three pitches.
Since being called up to Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2016, Hader has struggled due to his control and elevated pitch counts. Colorado Springs is also a hitters friendly park due to the altitude and thin air. In Triple-A this season Hader posted a 3-4 record with an ERA of 5.37 in 12 games. He also struck out 51 batters in 52 innings of work. A change in scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for Hader who has struggled in Colorado Springs, but has the stuff to become an ace.
Phillips was the first to be called up by the Brewers in this wave of prospects. He has appeared in five games and started two sine his promotion. He is currently hitting .200, going 2-10 in his first ten career at-bats. Phillips has always been a guy who strikes out at a high rate, as he was striking out 35% of the time in Triple-A. In a small sample size with the Brewers, he is striking out at an alarming rate of 70%.
Phillips is also a 23 year old outfielder. He was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. Like Hader, Phillips was apart of the deal with Houston that sent Gomez and Fiers to the Astros. Phillips comes in as the Brewers tenth best prospect this season. He is known for his great arm strength and defense as well as his power bat. Many scouts believe that Phillips has a ceiling of a dynamic top-of-the-order hitter. He was the prized prospect in that trade a couple of summers ago, but has struggled since due to injury. This is the first season that Phillips has been completely healthy and it’s showing.
In 49 games with Colorado Springs, he was batting .297 with 11 home runs and 41 runs batted in. He also added 35 runs and 4 triples. Even with his high strikeout rate, Phillips had a .369 on base percentage due to his good eye and discipline at the plate.