The vast majority of the Brewers future infield is already at the major league level, playing almost everyday. Considering the Brewers are in the midst of a rebuild, this doesn’t make sense, as the Brewers should be considering trades and the future of their franchise should be in the minors.
But certain players on this 2016 Brewers roster are beginning to play their way into the future of this franchise, players who were thought of only as place holders.
Jonathan Villar is a breath of fresh air. His speed (he leads the majors in stolen bases), his hitting (he boast a .307/.406/.455 batting line) and his blossoming power (he hit three home runs in the series against the Philadelphia Phillies) have made Villar one of the most entertaining players to watch on this Brewer team.
Villar currently mans the shortstop position, but has the ability to play third and second. With star prospect Orlando Arcia due up to the majors sometime this year, 21 year old Arcia and 25 year old Villar could man a stud middle infield for the Brewers for years to come.
At third base, the future may be in the hands of 25-year-old Hernan Perez. He started the year in Triple-A Colorado Springs and got the call up after posting a .339 average to start the season. Perez’s hot start continued in the majors where he has posted a .316 average and an .837 OPS while adding three home runs. Veteran Aaron Hill was supposed to be the everyday third baseman coming into the year, but he also is not looked upon as the future at that position. With Perez slowly getting more time at the major league level, he could blossom into contention for the future starting spot.
And then we are left with first base. Currently manned by slugger Chris Carter, the first base position is the weakest position in the Brewers farm system. But like I said, the majority of the future Brewers infield may already be in the majors.
Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. Both tradeable players, and both would yield big returns in a trade for a Brewers franchise looking for any and all prospects. Rarely though, does a team completely succeed in gutting their team of the past as they rebuild for the future. It would not be crazy to think that one of the two, Lucroy or Braun, will be wearing a Brewer jersey past the trade deadline. One of them could be the answer at first base.
Lucroy, 29 years old, is having a resurgent year, batting for .316/.372/.539 and has seen his power return as he has hit nine home runs. Having a catcher that is as good of a hitter as Lucroy is not something most MLB teams have and with his team friendly deal, he would surely bring in a king’s ransom in any trade.
Braun, while he is one of the best hitters in baseball this year, is 32 years old and carries along the baggage of nagging injuries and past PED use, would make some teams leary and would most likely not bring in as much as Lucroy. Because of that, I think Braun will end up staying on the Brewers. Due to the fact the Brewers are loaded with outfield prospects, Braun may be forced to change positions. A position he could move to could be first base, completing the potential Brewers infield of the future.