Milwaukee Brewers Top 15 Prospects For 2024

With five top 100 prospects and plenty of depth, the Brewers quietly have one of baseball's stronger farm systems.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 24, 2023: Jackson Chourio #94 of the Milwaukee Brewers runs off the field after the eighth inning of a spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on March 24, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by David Durochik/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Headlined by five top 100 prospects, the Brewers feature a solid blend of high upside teenage prospects and as well high probability big leaguers. With several teenagers set for their first full season in 2024, the Brewers system could be one of baseball’s deepest if high-risk, high-reward players like Yophery Rodriguez, Cooper Pratt, Eric Bitonti, Filippo Di Turi and others take a step forward.

Note: Players with at least 100 plate appearances or 35 innings pitched graduate from prospect status.

1. Jackson Chourio – OF – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 170 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $1.8M – 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

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After putting up good numbers in the DSL in 2021, Chourio tore through Low-A and High-A pitching in 2022 en route to an unheard of Double-A debut as an 18-year-old. The Brewers top prospect has continued to get more comfortable at Double-A, posting fantastic numbers from June onward despite being being the youngest player in the league.

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Offense

A twitchy, explosive athlete, Chourio generates plus bat speed with relative ease. Chourio’s load is simple, picking his heel up while focusing on shifting his weight onto his back side. While not sporting the biggest of frames, much of Chourio’s pop comes from his sturdy lower half and rotational power. 

As a result, Chourio can get a bit out of control at times and pull off the ball. That said, Chourio has shown plenty of comfort going the other way, and has continued to use the whole field more frequently as he gains more experience. 

Already posting a max exit velocity of 112 MPH as a teenager and plenty of 105+ MPH batted balls to all fields, Chourio is already flashing plus power with a chance to tap into even more.

An aggressive hitter, Chourio’s 35% chase rate has limited his ability to take free passes, but thanks to how quick Chourio is to the ball, he has the ability to see the ball travel a bit longer and should be able to leverage that advantage into making better swing decisions.

He slowly saw his chase numbers drop as the 2023 season progressed and with average contact rates at the upper levels already, improved swing decisions makes an above average hit tool easy to envision. Factor in his big time power to all fields and the sky is the limit offensively.  

Defense/Speed

A 70-grade runner with good closing speed in center, Chourio has a great chance to stick in center field. His reads and routes can be a bit shaky at times, relying on his elite wheels to make up for it, but with more experience, he should develop into a solid defender.

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It took him some time to get comfortable as a base stealer, but Chourio has been aggressive and efficient in his second full season. He stole 44 bags on 53 tries in 2023 and should be able to steal 40+ bags per season at the highest level.

Outlook

What Chourio did at the Low-A and High-A level as an 18-year-old in 2022 was almost unprecedented. Though he struggled in the early goings of his Double-A stint, the fact that he was even able to reach the upper levels before his 19th birthday illustrates how special Chourio’s skillset and natural feel for the game is. Now putting up strong numbers as the youngest player in the Southern League, Chourio has solidified himself as one of baseball’s best prospects. 

Plus tools across the board aside from the hit tool–which is still above average–gives Chourio superstar potential. Assuming he continues to mature as a hitter, Chourio has 30/30 upside with a shot to stick in center.

2. Jeferson Quero – C – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 6’0″, 210 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $200K, 2019 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

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An impressive defensive catcher with intriguing offensive tools, Quero’s success in Double-A at 20 years old has him on the fast-track to becoming the future backstop for the Brewers.

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Offense

Using a rhythmic leg kick that precedes a short, flat swing, Quero repeats his moves well and produces a ton of line drives. Quero is an aggressive hitter, but drives the ball to all fields well and is able to get to pitches in difficult locations.

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Like many young hitters with a solid feel to hit, Quero can give away at bats by taking “B-swings” at pitcher’s pitches early in counts. As the season has progressed, he has slowly cut down his chase rate but his lack of approach caught up to him, struggling over the final couple months of the season. Possessing a good feel for the barrel, Quero makes plenty of contact and projects as an above average hitter if can continue to rein in his high swing rate. 

Quero produced strong exit velocities in 2023, flashing plus raw pop that he started to tap into more consistently. For such an aggressive hitter, Quero identifies spin well and puts good swings on secondary stuff for a younger player at his level.

If Quero can continue to refine his approach, he could develop into an exciting blend of well-above average hit and power at the plate. 

Defense/Speed

Viewed as a glove-first catcher because of his athleticism and maturity/energy behind the dish, Quero earns high marks for the way he commands games and works with pitchers. Quero blocks and receives well while boasting a plus arm behind the dish. His defensive skillset, paired with the intangibles have Quero looking like a potential plus defender behind the dish.

Outlook

A 21-year-old catcher with plus defensive tools and plenty of offensive upside Quero has blossomed into one of the best catching prospects in the game. Despite the Southern League using experimental baseballs that inflated strikeout rates some, Quero only whiffed 18% of the time in 2023 with above average offensive numbers.

Assuming Quero can continue to improve his plate discipline and game power, he has the goods to develop into an All-Star catcher.

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3. Jacob Misiorowski – RHP – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’7″, 200 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 2nd Round (149), 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2025

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A tall, lanky, explosive right-hander, Misiorowski can already touch 102 MPH with his fastball with a pair of wipeout secondaries.

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Arsenal

You will primarily see the fastball, cutter, and curveball from Misiorowski, but he will mix in a low 90s changeup on occasion. The fastball is Misiorowksi’s best pitch, averaging 98 MPH while routinely touching triple digits. 

A pitch that has simply overpowered lower level hitters, the fastball features good carry at the top of the zone. Some of Misiorowski’s fastballs will flash more arm-side run than others, but that could be a result of his inconsistent delivery. Through his first 16 outings of 2023, opponents hit just .155 against the fastball with a 17% swinging strike rate.

The go-to out pitch for the big right-hander is his sweeping curve in the mid 80s. He has a decent feel for it, landing the pitch for a strike just shy of 60% of the time while holding opponents to an OPS below .400. The downward action of the pitch off of his lively fastball makes for a tunneling nightmare for hitters when Misiorowski is able to hit his spots. 

The third big whiff offering for Misiorowksi is his hard cutter in the low 90s. It is less consistent than his other two offerings due to inconsistent release and action. Sometimes it will break like a true cutter, and others will back up on him at 93-94 MPH. Whether it backs up to his arm side or cuts glove side, hitters have a really tough time with it when it’s around the zone, posting a ridiculous 22% swinging strike rate and 45% in-zone whiff rate. With even fringy command of the pitch, it could be an elite third offering. 

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Rounding out the arsenal for Misiorowski is a hard changeup in the low 90s. The pitch is firm and inconsistent, but has flashed some potential. He has only thrown a handful this season.

Outlook

There’s clear reliever risk with a pitcher of Misiorwski’s profile and high effort delivery, but the stuff is good enough to give him frontline upside with the fall back option of one of baseball’s best relievers. The 21-year-old will need to clean up his mechanics and cut down the walk rate, but the upside is as tantalizing as any pitching prospect in the game. 

Boasting an elite fastball/breaking ball combination with a cutter that is not far off from giving him a third plus offering, Misiorowski has a rare arsenal from a rare frame.

4. Luis Lara – OF – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 5’9″, 160 | Bat/Throw: S/R | IFA: $1.1M, 2022 (MIL) | ETA: 2026

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Compact and speedy with great baseball instincts, Lara fast-tracked his way to Low-A as an 18-year-old and settled right in.

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Offense

A switch-hitter with a balanced swing and great feel to hit from both sides of the plate, Lara makes up for his below average power with the ability to spray line drives all over the field. Lara is an extremely patient hitter as well, putting up some of the lowest chase rates in the Brewers organization. Combine the patience with fantastic bat-to-ball skills (90% zone contact) and it’s easy to see why Lara has walked as much as he has struck out as a pro.

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Though the power is well below average at this point, he is already putting up exit velocities on par with Steven Kwan. At 18 years old, there is plenty of reason to believe that Lara can grow into gap-to-gap power, which is all he really needs. Lara has the offensive skillset to climb quickly, and should be a tough out at any level. 

Defense/Speed

An above average runner with good instincts, Lara has the goods to stick in center field. Like many young outfielders, Lara’s reads can be a bit shaky at times, effecting his jumps specifically on balls hit straight at him. But, he has also shown the ability to get good beats on balls in either gap with the closing speed to run them down. 

Lara’s above average arm should allow him to play all three outfield spots, but his offensive profile is probably best suited for center field, where he should be able to develop into an above average defender. Though not a major factor on the base paths, he will look to steal when the opportunity is there. Given Lara’s feel for the game, he could develop into a sneaky base stealer.

Outlook

While his hit tool is possibly the only potential plus tool for Lara, he has the potential to be 70 grade in that department while still offering an intriguing complementary skillset. Switch hitters with such a good feel to hit from both sides don’t grow on trees, and the Brewers acknowledged that when they shelled out $1.1 million for him despite limited projection physically.

Lara earns high marks for his makeup and work ethic and looks to be one of the safer bats in the Brewers organization with a strong chance at sticking in center.

5. Tyler Black – 3B – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 5’10″, 190 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 1st Round (33) – 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

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A bat-first prospect, the Brewers have tried to find a defensive home for the former first rounder to little avail, but his impressive ability at the plate continues to carry him.

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Offense

Black utilizes a big leg kick to get into his lower half, but similar to Zach Neto, it is something that he has done for so long that it does not disrupt his timing. He walked nearly twice as much as he struck out in his collegiate career at Wright State, and struck out just 15.5% of the time in High-A during his first full pro season in 2022.

After missing time with an injury last season, Black returned looking stronger, and the results could be seen in the batted ball data. Black has seen his 90th percentile exit velocity jump by 4 MPH while upping his home run total of four in 2022 (64 games) to 18 in 2023 (123 games).

With the added power has come a bit more whiff for Black, but the feel for the barrel that scouts fell in love with ahead of the 2021 MLB Draft is still there. Running a chase rate of just 18%, he is also an extremely patient hitter who will draw plenty of walks.

While the Brewers Double-A affiliate in Biloxi is a hitter-friendly park, the big jump in exit velocity is encouraging for Black’s power outlook, and he has also slashed his ground ball rate by 11% in 2023. Black’s power flashes above average to his pull side and he leverages his hitter’s counts well to pick his spots to try to do damage.

Defense/Speed

A sneaky plus runner, Black has really blossomed as a base stealer, becoming a consistent threat to run. After stealing 13 bases in 64 High-A games in 2022, Black stole 47 bases in 84 Double-A games during the 2023 season. 

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That athleticism has not quite translated into the field, where Black is still trying to find his defensive home. He mostly played second base in his first pro season before getting some run in center field, where he unfortunately fractured his scapula laying out for a fly ball.

The Brewers now have Black playing third base. His actions have improved some since he was drafted, but his arm is fringy at best. Though it helps that he has some familiarity with multiple spots, Black will likely grade out as a below average defender wherever the Brewers stick him and could wind up spending some time at first base.

Outlook

Black’s jump in power paired with a good feel for the barrel and great approach give him a strong offensive profile. His ability on the base paths helps provides some value beyond the bat, but the lack of defensive home is somewhat limiting. With his plus speed, it is worth wondering if he could get by in left, even with a weaker arm. 

The solid blend of above average hit and improved power should make Black a big league bat with enough offensive upside to be an above average regular despite his defensive shortcomings.

6. Joey Ortiz – Orioles – (MLB)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 185 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 4th Round (108), 2019 (BAL) | ETA: 2023

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An impressive defender who makes a ton of contact, Ortiz is a well-rounded shortstop who has added some thump, but still puts the ball on the ground too frequently.

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Offense

Ortiz starts with a slightly open and upright stance before getting into his back side with a controlled leg kick. He repeats the move well and will even cut down on the leg kick a bit with two strikes.

An athletic hitter, Ortiz controls his body well and makes a ton of contact with a flat swing that lives in the zone. His 88% zone contact rate was one of the better marks in the Orioles organization, and his spray charts show color foul line to foul line.

A shoulder injury hampered his swing a bit in the early parts of the 2022 season, but Ortiz went on to hit .347/.413/.610 over his final 70 games of the season between Double-A and Triple-A. Ortiz carried the momentum into 2023, seeing his average exit velocity jump by a whopping 6 MPH to 91 mph while his 90th percentile exit velocity rose to 106 MPH.

Though the exit velocities have jumped near the plus territory, it has resulted in more doubles for Ortiz rather than homers. His flat swing helps him post fantastic contact rates, but his average launch angle of 5 degrees makes it hard to leave the yard as much as other players with his EVs.

Ortiz’s feel for the barrel and control of his body helps him put up strong numbers against all types of pitches, posting an OPS above .800 against non-fastballs at the upper levels. His approach and swing decisions could improve a bit, but this is a common theme with plus hit tool prospects.

Much like the other aspects of his offensive game, Ortiz’s chase rate improved as the year went on. If he continues on his track, Ortiz is a high batting average bat who keeps the strikeouts low, hits plenty of doubles and mixes in around 15 homers.

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Defense/Speed

A good athlete with excellent footwork, Ortiz is rangy and seems to always get his body in the right place to make a play. He is comfortable covering ground to his left and right and has the arm strength and adjustability to make throws from all angles. He is a plus defender who should have no problem providing value with the leather at short, but can also play all over the infield.

Though he’s not aggressive on the base paths, Ortiz is an above average runner and provides some value there.

Outlook

Ortiz’s defensive prowess and high floor bat have helped him leapfrog some exciting prospects in the Orioles system. While he is a bit on the older side as a 25-year-old, he is a high probability regular with enough value on both sides of the ball to be an above average big league shortstop if the bat translates. It seems like some improvements to his approach could be the final piece to making that happen.

7. Yophery Rodriguez – OF – (DSL)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 185 | Bat/Throw: L/L | IFA: $1.5M – 2023 (MIL) | ETA: 2027

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The top IFA signing in the Brewers 2023 class, Rodriguez hit the ground running as a pro, standing out with his polish and upside in the batter’s box as a 17-year-old in the DSL.

Offense

Starting slightly open with his feet shoulder-width apart and a relaxed bat waggle to stay loose, Rodriguez gathers into his back side with a decent-sized leg kick that is relatively slow building and controlled.

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His hands are extremely quick with an adjustable lower half and a patient approach. His strong, but adjustable lower half and feel for the barrel helps him still have something behind his swing even when he is a bit out front or fooled. Already showcasing the ability to run into balls to his pull side, Rodriguez is also comfortable driving the ball where it’s pitched, spraying plenty of line drives the other way.

He is already an extremely patient hitter, walking more than he struck out in his 52 Dominican Summer League games with a chase rate below 20%. Like many young left-handed hitters, breaking balls from southpaws gave him trouble, sometimes bailing out on them even if they were in the strike zone.

On the flip side, the aforementioned adjustability and feel to hit shine through against right-handed secondaries, spoiling tough pitches while putting up strong overall numbers against non-fastballs.

With a swing and approach that is ahead-of-his-years, along with the potential for above average power as he fills out, Rodriguez boasts a lofty offensive ceiling along with less perceived risk than his peers.

Defense/Speed

At least an average runner, Rodriguez should be given ample reps in center field. He is still getting comfortable with his reads and jumps, which were shaky in his pro debut. He showcased good closing speed even after a delayed jump and can kick it into gear pretty quickly, providing optimism that he can stick up the middle as he gains experience. If he does move to a corner, his average arm could handle it.

Quick enough to be a threat on the base paths, Rodriguez struggled to get good jumps when stealing as well, swiping just 12 bags in 19 tries in 52 games during the 2023 season.

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Outlook

Left-handed hitting center fielders with Rodriguez’s upside do not grow on trees, and while he still has a long way to go, the Dominican teenager already looks like a great signing by the Brewers for $1.5 million.

The Brewers have enjoyed plenty of success in International Free Agency over the last couple years, with Jackson Chourio ($1.8M), Jeferson Quero ($200k) and Luis Lara ($1.1M) all serving as recent success stories. Similar to the aforementioned three, Rodriguez has the skill set to handle aggressive assignments stateside and could likely follow in their footsteps as yet another Brewers prospect who could reach Low-A within two years of signing.

8. Brock Wilken – 3B – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 230 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (18) – 2023 (MIL) | ETA: 2025

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Tied for the ACC record with 71 career home runs, Wilken tapped into his plus power as consistently as any power hitter in college baseball. With limited value outside of the bat, there is plenty of pressure on his fringy hit tool, but that may be all he needs to be an above average regular.

Offense

Starting slightly closed with his hands rested on his shoulder, Wilken is a bit more in his base with his set up than he was in his first two collegiate seasons, which correlated with better contact rates. His pre-swing moves are already simple, with little hand movement and a marginal stride.

Most hitting prospects with Wilken’s build–6-foot-4, 235 pounds and long levers–face an uphill battle towards average contact rates, but his repeatable pre-swing moves and strong approach make a fringy hit-tool attainable, which may be all he needs with his big power.

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Consistently producing strong EVs with a swing geared for lift, Wilken posted a ground ball rate below 30% between college and pro ball in 2023 while launching 36 home runs in 113 games. He cut his strikeout rate from 24.5% in 2022 to just 18% in 2023 while significantly upping his walk rate.

While there will always be some whiff to palate, the Brewers are betting on Wilken’s positive trend in the bat-to-ball department to continue against upper-level pitching. His 30 home run power and ability to draw walks gives him a chance to be an impactful offensive threat even if the hit-tool is fringy.

Defense/Speed

A below average runner, Wilken moves his feet just well enough to potentially fend off a move to first base in tandem with his plus plus arm. His hands are stiff and his range could take a hit as he ages, but for now, he projects as serviceable at the hot corner.

Outlook

There’s plenty of pressure on Wilken’s bat, especially if he moves off of third base, but with the Brewers were likely encouraged by his positive trend both contact wise and defensively to stray from their hit-over-power approach in the first round the previous two seasons (Frelick, Brown Jr.).

30 home run power with plenty of walks would be plenty valuable no matter where Wilken plays defense and he has the skill set to potentially do so if he can hit enough against more challenging pitching.

9. Robert Gasser – LHP – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 6’1″, 195 | Bat/Throw: L/L | CB-B Round (71), 2021 (SD) | ETA: 2024

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A deceptive lefty with a good pitch mix, Gasser looks like a high-probability back-end starter who could slot into the Brewers rotation in 2024.

Arsenal

Gasser creates tough angles for hitters, firing across his body from a low-three quarters release. While particularly uncomfortable for lefties, righties can struggle to pick the ball up as well as he stays closed for so long that his arm will seem like its the last thing coming towards them.

He will throw two variations of his fastball at 91-94 MPH, predominantly using his four-seamer which plays well at the top of the zone from his 5.1 foot release height. He will mix in a with around 14 inches of horizontal movement, giving him a much needed ground ball offering.

Gasser leans heavily on his upper 80s cutter, throwing it 30% of the time. He likes to utilize it as a weak-contact inducer to right-handed hitters, running it in on their hands or down and in beneath their barrel. It’s also an effective weapon to lefties as an in-between speed from the fastball and slider.

In terms of big league whiff potential, Gasser’s slider is his best pitch. He throws it at 79-81 MPH with 16 inches of sweep. The movement plays up even more from his horizontal release. Gasser has a fantastic feel for the pitch, pouring it in for a strike at a 66% clip, stealing strikes through the back door to righties while racking up a fair amount of whiff. Opponents hit just .160 against the pitch in 2023.

Gasser will mix in a firm changeup in the upper 80s which does not really look like a reliable pitch at the highest level at this point.

Outlook

After struggling a bit with his command following his promotion to Triple-A in 2022, Gasser cleaned things up in 2023, with an impressive 20% K-BB rate. In a vacuum, the stuff does not jump off of the page, but including both fastballs, Gasser has four viable big league offerings that all play up thanks to his funkiness and deception. Gasser is a high-probability back-end starter.

10. Eric Brown Jr. – SS – (Double-A)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 1st Round (27) – 2022 (MIL) | ETA: 2025

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Strong contact rates and the tools to potentially stick at shortstop give Brown Jr. everyday upside. How much impact there is will likely determine his ceiling.

Offense

An unorthodox setup, Brown starts with his feet no more than six inches apart and his hands closer to his front shoulder than his back shoulder. The bat is angled horizontally, straight across the brim of his helmet. Leaned heavily into his backside, Brown stretches his hands backwards as he slowly gains ground with his front leg.

Because of the slow build of the load and long distance both his hands and front leg have to travel, Brown starts the move right as the pitcher lifts his leg. A great athlete, Brown controls his body well through his load and consistently puts himself in a good position. The pull back with his hands and hinge into his back hip as he strides with his front leg likely helps him keep his weight back and avoid a power leak forward.

Brown has an excellent feel for the barrel, boasting the adjustability to get to pitches in different locations and spoiling plenty of tough two strike offerings. After launching just 16 homers in 123 collegiate games and nine through his first 100 pro games, there’s some questions about how much power he can tap into. A thumb injury followed by a fractured scapula wiped out much of his 2023 and could have negated some power output.

There’s flashes of average pop to his pull side and with some room to add a bit more muscle in addition to a full, healthy season, Brown could still tap into a bit more impact. If not, his gap to gap power should be enough, as he is a well above-average hitter with a very disciplined approach.

Defense/Speed

An above average runner with good range at shortstop and a good arm, Brown has the ingredients to not only stick at shortstop, but provide solid defense there. He is capable of making extremely difficult plays, throwing from all types of angles and showcasing his athleticism with impressive diving plays.

He also has the tendency to rely on his athleticism, often dropping to a knee on relatively routine plays and sometimes sitting back on balls. He has shown the ability to get the ball out quickly and his arm is strong enough for the position. Brown has also missed a chunk of reps with injuries, with only 99 pro games under his belt. With some improvements footwork wise and fundamentally, Brown can be an above average defender at the position.

Brown has turned into a strong stolen base threat in 2023, stealing 39 bags on 44 tries in just 72 games after swiping just 26 on 37 tries in his three years at Coastal Carolina.

Outlook

On the lower end, Brown seems like a high floor utility piece who can play all over the infield, get on base at a decent clip and steal bases. On the high end, it could look like something close to Nico Hoerner. If he lands somewhere in the middle, he could carve out an everyday role up the middle as a bottom-of-the-order bat.

11. Cooper Pratt – SS – (CPX)

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 190 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 6th Round (182) – 2023 (MIL) | ETA: 2027

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Projectable with good contact skills and a chance to stick at shortstop, the Brewers snagged Pratt in the sixth round, shelling out an over slot $1.35 million to sign him away from Ole Miss.

Offense

A simple setup with a short, direct swing, Pratt boasts strong bat-to-ball skills, especially for a teenager standing at 6-foot-4. Pratt’s path is more geared for line drives, but he flashes good exit velocities to his pull side with room for plenty strength. That said, he is comfortable catching the ball deep and can drive the ball to all fields.

Already with a good feel for the strike zone, Pratt looked comfortable against top-flight competition during the summer circuit as well as in his 16 games at the complex in 2023. He is unlikely to be a big time strikeout candidate and should draw a fair amount of walks.

It’s too early to definitively project how much power Pratt will tap into as that will depend on how much he fills out frame wise and his approach seems to be more geared for gap to gap at this stage.

Defense/Speed

For as long of a frame as Pratt carries, he moves his feet well with good actions and a strong arm. He could lose a step as he matures, which could push him towards third base, but for now, he looks like he has a decent shot to stick at the position. He’s an average runner who should be able to mix in some stolen bases.

Outlook

The Brewers have enjoyed some success identifying young, but advanced hitters over the last few years and Pratt may be the latest example. He should be able to handle aggressive assignments, though if the Brewers push him too quickly, it could stifle the development of his power some.

Even if Pratt does not add much strength, his feel to hit, approach, and the likelihood of sticking on the left side of the infield make him an intriguing prospect, but he’ll likely become more physical as he matures. Pratt could make some noise in 2024.

12. Carlos Rodriguez – RHP – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 5’11″, 195 | Bat/Throw: R/R | 6th Round (177) – 2021 (MIL) | ETA: 2024

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Rodriguez has a handful of pitches he mixes in to keep hitters off balance, but it is his plus changeup that typically determines what kind of start he will turn in. With improvements to his command, he can be a back end arm in a big league rotation.

Arsenal

Earning an aggressive assignment to Double-A in to start the 2023 season, the then 21-year-old sixth round pick (’22) settled right in.

Rodriguez simply knows how to pitch and even put his ability on display for Nicaragua in the Wold Baseball Classic. The stuff may not be elite, but he mixes his looks with his elite changeup as the put away pitch.

The fastball sits 91-93 MPH, touching 94 MPH on occasion. The pitch plays up a bit from Rodriguez’s low vertical attack angle in addition to the presence of his changeup in hitter’s minds, but it is an average fastball at best.

Rodriguez’s changeup is a 70-grade offering in the mid 80s averaging around 17 inches of horizontal movement. It has a side-spinner profile, fading away from left-handers. He will throw it nearly half of the time against left-handed hitters, but has success with the pitch against all hitters, holding them to a .140 batting average and 25% swinging strike rate.

While none of his secondaries are close to the quality of his changeup, Rodriguez’s slider has the best chance of being a decent big league pitch. He will throw it in the low 80s, flashing average or slightly better. The challenge for Rodriguez since the start of 2022 has been consistency with the pitch, landing it for a strike less than 60% of the time.

A new addition to his arsenal in 2023 is an upper 80s cutter which is still a work in progress, but could be a solid fourth offering. Rodriguez uses it likely to avoid being so fastball/changeup heavy to lefties, as well as having another weapon against righties when the slider may not be there. The pitch flashes average when he locates it on the outer half of the plate, but he has had the tendency to miss middle with it a bit too frequently.

Rounding out the arsenal is a taste-breaking curveball in the mid-70s that he gained confidence in as the season progressed. It flashed average over his final handful of starts in 2023, but likely lacks the bite to be a consistent, average MLB offering.

Outlook

Still just 22 years old, Rodriguez is a mature arm who knows how to get outs. The changeup has to be there for Rodriguez to turn in a good start at this point, but as he continues to refine his complementary pitches, there should be a bit less pressure on the changeup. Regardless, the changeup is going to be the pitch that takes him as far as he’s going to go.

While he has a good feel to pitch, Rodriguez could be more consistent with his command. His walk rate is a bit high and he has the tendency to give away pitches with a few too many non-competitive pitches per start. Handling upper-level competition well as one of the younger arms at each stop, Rodriguez has a chance to develop into a back end starter.

13. Eric Bitonti – 3B – (CPX)

Height/Weight: 6’4″, 225 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 3rd Round (87) – 2023 (MIL) | ETA: 2027

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A big, powerful left-handed corner bat, Bitonti’s long levers give him some exciting power potential, but also plenty of whiff concern. He moves well for his size with a plus arm and good hands, giving him above average defensive potential at the hot corner.

One of the youngest players in his class, the Brewers forked over $1.75 million to sign Bitonti away from his Oregon commitment. He’s more of a project, but the upside could be worth the wait.

14. Juan Baez – 3B/2B – (Low-A)

Height/Weight: 5’9″, 175 | Bat/Throw: R/R | IFA: $10K, 2022 (MIL) | ETA: 2026

HITRAW POWERGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
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Signed for just $10K out of the Dominican Republic in 2022, Baez’s ability to hit stood out the second he reached the Complex League in 2023, ripping through the competition to the tune of a .370/.395/.557 slash line in 48 games and earning a Low-A look months after his 18th birthday.

There’s some moving parts to Baez’s swing including a big leg kick, but he seems to always be in rhythm, making plenty of contact and spraying the ball to all fields. Baez is already close to maxed out physically, making it difficult to envision a path to average power. He impacts the ball enough to spray plenty of doubles and is a well-above average hitter.

Solid range and soft hands give Baez the potential to play average defense at both second base and third base despite his fringy arm. He gets good jumps on the base paths, swiping 19 bags on 21 tries in 2023.

15. Mike Boeve – INF – (High-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 215 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 2nd Round (54) – 2023 (MIL) | ETA: 2025

HITRAW POWERGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
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One of the best hitters in college baseball in 2023, Boeve hit over .400 for Nebraska-Omaha, striking out just 9 times in 211 plate appearances. With his hit-tool being far and away his best asset, there’s some question as to how much value he can provide elsewhere, with perhaps more pressure being put on his ability to slug.

Boeve actually posts average exit velocities, but his flat swing and high ground ball rate minimize his power potential. He projects as a fringe-average third baseman, but could be better off at second base.

16. Oliver Dunn – 2B – (Triple-A)

Height/Weight: 6’2″, 215 | Bat/Throw: L/R | 11th Round (345) – 2019 (NYY) | ETA: 2024

HITRAW POWERGAME POWERRUNFIELDFV
35/3555/5550/5055/5545/4545

A 19th round pick in 2019, Dunn entered 2023 with only around 150 professional games under his belt. He broke out in a big way in his age 25 season, launching 21 home runs at Double-A Reading with the Phillies before going to the Arizona Fall League where he slashed .343/.455/.616 in 19 games while going 12 for 12 on stolen base attempts.

Dunn’s performance caught the attention of the Brewers who sent Robert Moore and Hendry Mendez to Philadelphia in exchange for Dunn just ahead of the 40 man deadline. The blend of power and speed is exciting, but the hit tool is below average for Dunn, who struck out 28% of the time between Double-A and the AFL in 2023.

Dunn hedges the swing and miss with a chase rate below 20% and surprisingly solid numbers against top-end velocity. He projects best defensively at second base where he should be average.

Other Names to Watch

Luke Adams – CIF – (Low-A): The 19-year-old Adams got fifth/sixth round money in the 12th round in 2022 and has hit the ground running in his first two professional seasons, slashing .245/.410/.415 with 39 stolen bases in 110 games. The power hasn’t truly showed itself quite yet, but the 6’4″ teenager should see his homer totals creep up as he continues to fill out. It may simply be a matter of keeping the whiff in check for Adams as he climbs.

Jadher Areinamo – INF – (Low-A): Areinamo just turned 20 years old at the end of November, but he already has his High-A debut and a large Low-A sample to work with under his belt. A teenager that wants to showcase his feel to hit, Areinamo hit .306 with a .333 OBP in 103 Carolina League games in 2023, but logged 26 doubles and stole 16 bags in the process. If this youngster continues to get pushed up the chain, he’s certainly a name to watch.

Bradley Blalock – RHP – (High-A): Fresh off of Tommy John Surgery that wiped out his entire 2022 season, Blalock’s 2023 campaign got off to such a strong start that he was enough to net the Red Sox Luis Urias at the Trade Deadline by himself. His mid-90s heater and pair of breaking balls helped him log a sub-3.00 ERA in 67 innings between Low-A and High-A, holding opponents to a .220 batting average against. With his “ramp-up” season now in the rearview, Blalock is a candidate to fly through the Brewers system.

Wes Clarke – C/1B – (Double-A): Clarke is already 24 years old, but he has showcased his big-time power at three different levels. First it came in the SEC, pumping out 23 homers in 57 games at South Carolina in 2021. This year, it reared its head in Double-A, blasting 26 home runs and driving in 80 as a Shucker. Then, it came in a 21-game sample this past October in the Arizona Fall League, launching five more and OPS’ing over 1.000 with Surprise. Whiff and lack of defensive home may make his path to the big leagues tougher, but the juice should get him there, much like Colorado’s Hunter Goodman.

Coleman Crow – RHP – (Triple-A): Acquired for the tandem of Adrian Houser and Tyrone Taylor, Crow may have received the biggest boost to his fastball characteristics in all of the Southern League during the front half of 2023 with the chemically-tacked baseballs. However, a UCL tear sidelined him after just four starts, and will likely hold him out for virtually all of 2024. The 23-year-old will have to rely on his elevated fastball and good-enough slider to will him into the back of a big league rotation.

Filippo Di Turi – SS – (DSL): The newly-turned 18-year-old Di Turi was signed by Milwaukee in this past IFA cycle for $1.3 million and immediately showcased his abilities in his first 52 professional games. Despite not homering in the Dominican Summer League in 2023, Di Turi got on base at a .414 clip and swiped 12 bags while showcasing strong defense for a teenager at shortstop. There’s a decent bit of traffic at the shortstop position, but time is on Di Turi’s side.

Logan Henderson – RHP – (Low-A): Henderson was a fourth round pick of the Brewers in 2021 after he dominated the Junior College level, leading all of college baseball in punchouts with 169  for McClellan Community College in Texas. The 21-year-old found the domination again in Low-A this past season, punching out 106 and holding opponents to a .185 batting average against in 78.2 IP. His fastball may only be in the low 90s, but his changeup may be the third best in the organization behind Devin Williams and fellow prospect Carlos Rodriguez.

Daniel Guilarte – SS – (Low-A): Much like Areinamo, Guilarte is a newly-turned 20-year-old that has a large sample off the complex under his belt already. His ’23 season in Carolina didn’t go as well as Areinamo’s, posting a .691 OPS without leaving the ballpark in 58 games. However, his patience and defensive acumen at shortstop give him a good bit of prospect intrigue heading into 2024.

Josh Knoth – RHP – (CPX): The 33rd overall pick in the 2023, Knoth can run his fastball up to mid 90s and boasts a curveball that has the looks of a plus pitch. Questionable fastball characteristics and some effort in his delivery that can result in a lot of high misses provide some concern about the likelihood of sticking as a starter, but the 6-foot-1 right-hander is only 18 years old and is pretty athletic on the mound.

Dylan O’Rae – MIF – (Low-A): Small in stature, O’Rae puts up big numbers on the base paths with top-flight patience to make him a prospect to legitimately moving forward for Milwaukee. This past season, the 19-year-old O’Rae walked 20 more times than he struck out in 60 games, and swiped an eye-popping 44 bases during that span. Hitting .349 with a .491 OBP in 295 plate appearances will help, too.

Ethan Small – LHP – (MLB): Small was once heralded as a funky lefty capable of starting games at the Major League level. After dominating at Mississippi State and cruising through the lower levels of the minor leagues, Small hit his snag with Nashville in ’22. He came back as a reliever in 2023 and provided an exceptionally unique look from the left side, and could be a serviceable reliever at American Family Field this year.

Freddy Zamora – SS – (Double-A): The former Miami Hurricane just turned 25 years old and is coming off of his first full season at the Double-A level after being limited to just 24 games in ’22 due to injury. While Zamora hasn’t produced many attention-grabbing offensive numbers, he is a highly-skilled defender that could blossom into a third middle infield type.