With the MLB’s finest putting on a show in Miami for the Home Run Derby and the 88th All-Star Game, the stars of tomorrow also took to the field this past Sunday for the MLB Futures Game.
Representing the Brewers’ organization were Triple-A outfielder Lewis Brinson, Double-A shortstop Mauricio Dubon and Single-A outfielder Corey Ray. Brinson put in his work with an RBI double while Dubon showed off his hitting ability with a double. Ray showed his power during batting practice, a de facto home run derby, and ended up hitting enough to win.
This is only the tip of the iceberg for the Brewers farm system.
There are power hitters, average hitters, great defensive infielders, strikeout pitchers and players who have broken through after a few years of struggling.
The midseason MVP for the Brewers minor league system has to be AAA Colorado Sky Sox first basemen Garrett Cooper, who is currently leading the Pacific League in batting average with a .366 average over 274 at bats. He has also flashed power, knocking 17 dingers into the thin Colorado air and racking up 82 RBIs. However, Cooper’s position in the field has prevented him from being called up to the big leagues, as the combination of Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar is rock-solid.
Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips have also raked in Triple-A ball. Brinson isn’t far behind Cooper with a .339 average and a .985 OPS. Although he did struggle in his short major league stint, the 23 year old has plenty of time work out the kinks in the minors.
Phillips has bounced back from a dreadful 2016 and has posted a .293/.349/.506 slashline to go along with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs.
Dubon has flashed his speed on the bases totaling 31 stolen bases through 71 games. Ryan Cordell, the player to be named later in the Jonathan Lucroy trade (which looks better and better every day), has hit 10 home runs.
Pitchers are also shining, even in the hitter’s paradise of Colorado.
Tristan Archer and Wei-Chung Wang have shown good command in Triple-A. Archer is 6-2 with a 3.35 ERA over 43 innings and has only allowed three home runs. Wang, a Rule 5 draft pick for the Brewers back in 2014, has done even better posting a 2.14 ERA over 42 innings. He also has 37 strikeouts to only 11 walks.
In High A ball, Corbin Burnes has been shredding opposing hitters. Through 60 innings, Burnes is 5-0 with a sterling 1.05 ERA. He also has 56 strikeouts to 16 walks. Burnes has put together the best season for a pitcher in the Brewers minor league teams so far this season.
Down in Low A ball though, 21 year old Trey Supak is giving him a run for his money with a 1.76 ERA over 41 innings. Supak has also posted a good strikeout to walk ratio with 53 and 10 respectively.
The Brewers can utilize the talent down on the farm and the talent currently in the majors, such as Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia, to push this team deep into October.
Whether some of these players help bring over some quality starting pitchers in trades or get the call up to help the team down the stretch, the Brewers organization is set in the present and the future.