Brewers: Recently Promoted Prospects

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.

Lewis Brinson

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.

Josh Hader

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.

Brett Phillips

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.


Anderson’s start spoiled as Brewers fall to D-Backs 11-1

PHOENIX — Chase Anderson gave the Milwaukee Brewers six innings, allowing just one earned run, but the offense only recorded four hits in an 11-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday evening.

A big part of Arizona’s success was its starting pitching. Robbie Ray competed with Anderson, but lasted into the seventh inning without allowing a run while striking out 12. It was Ray’s third straight start with at least 10 Ks, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell didn’t let that fact distract him from his own team’s great starting pitching.

“The thing was as advertised,” Counsell said. “The two guys threw the ball very well. [Anderson] was really good. They had a few good at-bats off him in the first inning. He pitched out of a few tough situations. Made a good pitch and struck out [Jake] Lamb, who’s a really good hitter, in the sixth. I was really proud of him. It was another excellent start for Chase.”

The floodgates opened once Anderson exited the game, as the Diamondbacks hit three home runs in the seventh inning and another in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Outfielder Keon Broxton accounted for the only Brewers offense, a solo home run in the ninth inning. But many of the fans’ eyes were on left field as top Brewers prospect Lewis Brinson made his Major League debut. He was 0-for-2 at the plate with a strikeout and two walks.

Outfielder Brett Phillips (who debuted June 5) made an appearance as a pinch hitter, while Josh Hader saw no playing time.

Arizona’s pitching silences Milwaukee in a 3-2 win

Milwaukee had few answers for Arizona’s pitching staff Saturday night in a 3-2 loss at Chase Field.

The Brewers managed just two hits all night, though one of them was a 2-run homer from Hernan Perez, his ninth on the year. But that’s all they’d get against starter Zack Godley and a trio of relievers, including closer Fernando Rodney, who came on for his 16th save of the year in the ninth inning.

Milwaukee’s Junior Guerra didn’t pitch poorly – he went six innings, giving up three runs on five hits – but he took the loss thanks to a two-run shot from Chris Drury in the sixth inning to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead. Guerra is now 1-1 on the year.

Guerra’s departure allowed for the debut of the Brewers’ top pitching prospect – Josh Hader. The big lefty walked the first batter he faced, got a pair of fly outs, issued an intentional walk and then got his first-ever Major League strikeout.

“He had a good inning,” manager Craig Counsell said afterwards. “He got the first batter jitters out of the way. After that, I thought he locked in and he pitched very well.”

Hader was the second of the Brewers top prospects to get called up, joining outfielder Brett Phillips. But that number soon became three, they were joined on Saturday but the club’s No. 1 prospect in outfielder Lewis Brinson. He got the call after the team put second baseman Jonathan Villar on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back injury. Brinson could make his debut in the series finale against Arizona on Sunday afternoon.

Zach Davies was sharp in his debut, but Milwaukee lost 6-3 to Kansas City

For the third time in four spring training games, Milwaukee came out on the losing end, the latest a 6-3 loss to Kansas City on Tuesday in Phoenix.

The outcome, though, didn’t take away from a solid day at the plate for centerfielder Keon Broxton, who had a pair of hits and a run scored as the Brewers leadoff man, helping Milwaukee jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. They followed that up with a monster home run from shortstop Yadiel Rivera in the second, but that was the end of the offense until top prospect Lewis Brinson tripled and Manny Pina singled him home in the eighth inning.

Zach Davies made his spring debut for Milwaukee, pitching a scoreless first inning and striking out a pair before giving way to seven relievers, including Hiram Burgos, who got lit up for four runs on six hits in just two innings of work and took the loss.

Milwaukee will face NL Central division rival Cincinnati on Wednesday, with the first pitch coming at 2:05 at the Brewers spring training home in Maryvale, Ariz.

Gennett and Brinson combine for five hits as the Brewers beat the Rangers 5-0

The Milwaukee Brewers earned their first win in Cactus League action Monday afternoon, shutting out the Texas Rangers 5-0.

Top prospect Lewis Brinson went 3-for-3 and had an RBI as the leadoff man, while left fielder Scooter Gennett was 2 of 2 with a walk to help the Brewers improve to 1-2 in spring training.

In total, the Crew managed to belt out 11 hits, with shortstop Orlando Arcia joining Brinson and Gennett with multiple hits.

Junior Guerra got the start for Milwaukee, allowing just one hit in one scoreless inning of work. Six other pitchers, including Jhan Marinez (W, 1-0) and Tyler Cravy (H, 1), limited the Rangers to just two hits the rest of the way.

Milwaukee will take on the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.

Brewers begin spring with 11-0 exhibition win over UW-Milwaukee

PHOENIX — A Milwaukee Brewers tradition of meeting with University of Wisconsin | Milwaukee in a spring exhibition resulted in an 11-0 win for the Brewers, thanks to a pair of home runs from top prospect Lewis Brinson.

Brinson drove in four runs with the pair of dingers in his first spring training game with the Brewers. Scooter Gennett added a solo home run, while Jesus Aguilar added a three-run blast to lead the offensive charge.

“He’s got a good approach,” Gennett said of Brinson. “He doesn’t try to do too much. He’s naturally gifted, he’s blessed, so those guys don’t have to do too much. They don’t have to create or try to hit the ball out of the ballpark, it comes natural when they square it up. That was an example of it today.”

Gennett will get work at third base and left field early in spring training while Ryan Braun takes time off (not injury-related). When Braun gets eased into the rotation sometime after the World Baseball Classic, Gennett will take reps at second base.

The Panthers only mustered a pair of hits in the third annual meeting with the Brewers.