This past week was a good week if you were one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ top prospects. The team managed to call up three of their top minor leaguers since June 5. For most of these prospects, their time in the big leagues is uncertain for the rest of the season. Some may be up for a short stint with the Brewers, others may be on the team for the rest of the season. The deciding factor for their time on the roster may come down to how much they can help the Crew continue to win games.
As of Tuesday, the Brewers are still on top of the NL Central. They’re still leading the Chicago Cubs by one game.
Brett Phillips was the first big name to get the call once Travis Shaw was placed on paternity leave June 5. Phillips has been a household name in the Brewers organization since he was acquired in the Carlos Gomez trade back in 2015. He’s been able to back up the hype with his play. Phillips has put up a slash line of .297/.369/.589 in 49 games in AAA this season.
Once Shaw returned to the team yesterday, Phillips was sent back down. The 24-year old outfielder only played in five games, but already showed signs of promise. Phillips struck out seven of his ten times at the plate but made up for it with his glove. Phillips was able to show off his defensive skills in the outfield.
Expect Phillips to rejoin the team sometime this season. He could be recalled once rosters expand in September or earlier on if another unexpected injury occurs. It’s clear that Phillips needs more at-bats until he starts to find his groove in the majors, but if he manages to improve the next time around, he could add to the depth in the outfield.
Josh Hader was called up June 10. He was also acquired by the Brewers in the trade for Carlos Gomez. The 23-year old lefty has been one of the Brewers’ top pitching prospects since 2015. Hader was expected to be a starting pitcher, but the Brewers are using him to help out the bullpen this season. The Brewers’ need all the help that they can get in the bullpen. The Brewers’ relievers lead the league in combined losses this season at 9-18. Corey Knebel is the only relief pitcher with an ERA under 3.50 this season. Why not give your top pitching prospect a shot? Hader’s mostly known for striking out batters with his fastball.
Hader’s only appeared in one game since the Brewers called him up from AAA. He’s still getting accustomed to the major league level.
Out of all of the prospects who received a call from the Brewers, Hader has the best chance to stay on the roster for the long haul. If Hader can dominate batters like he’s known to, the Brewers may be able to find some consistency in the bullpen to close out games.
Brewers fans have had their eye on Lewis Brinson since he was traded for Jonathan Lucroy last season. Brinson has been coveted as the organization’s top prospect since then. His stats from this season in AAA back that up. Brinson put up a slash line of .312/.397/.503 in 45 games.
On Saturday, the Brewers called up Brinson once Jonathan Villar landed on the disabled list with a back injury. The 23-year old outfielder has played less than five games but has already racked up a few hits. Brinson may be adjusting to the majors quicker than expected.
Brinson’s outlook for the rest of the season with the team is the most baffling out of the three call-ups. The outfield was already crowded before Brinson arrived. It’ll be even more chaotic to try to find playing time for Brinson once Ryan Braun returns from his stint on the disabled list. Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana have proven themselves to be worthy of starting every day in the lineup. If the Brewers are going to get rid of an outfielder, it would most likely be Nick Franklin. The Brewers would still have a problem finding playing time for Brinson even if they did cut Franklin. They could either rotate him into the lineup, or they could send him back down to AAA where he can continue to develop and get at-bats. Brinson’s performance will more than likely be the deciding factor until Villar returns.
The Brewers could have another talented outfielder this season if Brinson can manage to stay on the team. They would love to have another offensive juggernaut on their team if Brinson can come close to replicating his slash line from AAA. The addition of Brinson in the outfield would also give the team more depth down the stretch. Braun’s already been placed on the disabled list twice this season. Brinson would be a nice fit in the lineup if Braun would need an off day here and there. The future looks bright for Brinson. It’s just a matter of when the young phenom will begin his reign in Milwaukee.