The Brewers’ outfield is going to have a different flavor this year compared to 2022. Lorenzo Cain was released in June of last year, Andrew McCutchen reached free agency at season’s end and has since signed with the Pirates, while Hunter Renfroe was dealt to the Angels. That leaves room for some fresh faces to step up and take over. Let’s take a look at some of the options.
Yelich, 31, is the one constant in the Milwaukee outfield picture, as his contract runs through 2028. He was one of the best players in the league in 2018 and 2019, winning National League Most Valuable Player in the first of those two seasons. In each of those two campaigns, he posted a wRC+ of 167 or higher, stole at least 22 bases and was worth 7.2 fWAR or more. His production has dropped off from those incredible heights over the past three years, but he’s still a solidly above-average player. Last year, he hit 14 home runs, stole 19 bases and walked in 13.1% of his plate appearances. That led to a .252/.355/.383 batting line, a 111 wRC+ and 2.3 fWAR.
His contract and past performance ensure that he’ll be part of the team on a regular basis, though he’ll likely serve as the designated hitter a few times, leaving plenty of outfield playing time for others. The last time he played the field in more than 115 games in a season was 2019. Since the club is invested in Yelich for the long haul, they’ll want to continue giving him the occasional breather to keep him healthy. Advanced defensive metrics are also split on his glovework, with Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average both grading him as subpar last year and for his career, while Ultimate Zone Rating is much more encouraged.
Winker, 29, is looking for a bounce back after a down season. In 2020 and 2021 with the Reds, he hit 36 home runs and produced a batting line of .292/.392/.552. Of all the hitters in the league with at least 650 plate appearances in that stretch, his 145 wRC+ was one of the 10 best. His work was even stronger with the platoon advantage, as he hit righties to the tune of .321/.417/.619 for a 167 wRC+, with only Juan Soto and Bryce Harper ahead of him in that department. He was traded to the Mariners prior to 2022 but struggled, hitting just 14 home runs last year and slashing .219/.344/.344 overall for a wRC+ of 109.
The Brewers acquired him as part of the Kolten Wong trade and will hope that a second change of scenery will suit Winker better than the first. It’s possible that injuries played a role as Winker required left knee surgery and a second procedure to address a bulging disc in his neck in October, though Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times has also reported that Winker’s work habits were a concern in Seattle. Regardless of the cause, Milwaukee is considered to be a much more favorable offensive environment than Seattle, which should work in his favor.
It remains to be seen how much the Brewers want to rely on Winker as a defender. His glovework has generally been rated poorly in his career and his numbers declined in that department in 2022. That could have been impacted by his health situation, but it’s possible he spends more time as the DH than in the field. However, as mentioned, Yelich will likely see his share of time in the DH slot as well, which will likely require Winker to spend at least a bit of time in the field. Winker is slated for free agency at season’s end.
Anderson, 30 in May, is also looking for a bounceback like Winker. From 2018-20, he hit 42 home runs for the Marlins and produced a line of .266/.350/.436, 115 wRC+. But the past two seasons have seen injuries diminish his playing time and performance. He got into just 165 total games over 2021 and 2022, hitting .233/.321/.359 for a 93 wRC+. He was eligible for one more pass through arbitration but the Marlins non-tendered him instead, with Anderson then signing a one-year deal with the Brewers.
Anderson has a bit more time at third base in his career than the outfield, and he told reporters last month he expects to see more time at third base than in the outfield. Milwaukee has Luis Urías to man the hot corner, through. That should leave Anderson in the mix for some outfield time, perhaps in a platoon role. He hits from the right side while Yelich and Winker both his left-handed, as do some of the guys below him on this list. Anderson has modest reverse splits for his career but did hit lefties better last year. Defensively, in over 1,500 outfield innings, Anderson has a -8 OAA but 8 DRS and 9.3 UZR. Even though he was hurt last year, his arm strength was still considered to be in the 99th percentile by Statcast, which could serve him well at third base or in the outfield.
Controllable Guys With Some Experience
Taylor, 29, has been largely a part-time option for the Brewers in recent years but took on a larger role last year as Cain was gradually phased out. He got into 120 games in 2022 and provided enough power to overcome some lackluster work at the plate otherwise. He struck out in 25.2% of his plate appearances and drew walks at just a 5.4% clip, but he did hit 17 long balls in 405 plate appearances. The result was a .233/.286/.442 batting line and a wRC+ of 102.
That work at the plate was just above average but he was much stronger on the other side of the ball. He played all three outfield positions but mostly in center, earning 6 DRS, 6 OAA and 2.0 UZR overall. It wasn’t a superstar performance but was competent in enough areas to produce 2.1 fWAR on the year. He’s set to reach arbitration for the first time after this year and can be retained through the 2026 campaign.
Mitchell, 24, was only drafted in 2020 but has already cracked the majors. He hit .287/.377/.426 between Double-A and Triple-A last year for a wRC+ of 118. He was selected to the major league club in August and was somehow even better in the big leagues. He hit .311/.373/.459 for a wRC+ of 136 in his first 68 MLB plate appearances. That’s a small sample size, however, and he did strike out 41.2% of the time. His defensive work was also graded as above average and he stole eight bases in 28 games.
Mitchell is a real wild card in this bunch since his 2023 could seemingly go in many different ways. On the one hand, he’s shown impressive results in all facets of the game and could be an immediate center field solution, pushing Taylor into a corner role. On the other hand, he has played less than 50 games above Double-A, the strikeouts are a real concern and his .548 batting average on balls in play will require serious regression.
Bolt, 29, and Harrison, 27, are in a similar boat to each other. They have both posted some solid minor league numbers but struggled in the majors. They’re now both out of options and had to settle for minor league deals for 2023. Bolt has a career batting line of .156/.205/.266 while Harrison’s is .176/.253/.294. They’ll likely only get a shot if the club gets bit by the injury bug a few times. Neither has reached arbitration yet and could theoretically be retained well into the future if they carve out a role.
Infielders That Can Play Some Outfield
Brice Turang/Mike Brosseau/Keston Hiura
With Wong having been traded to the Mariners, the second base job is up for grabs. Turang is one of the club’s top prospects and had a strong season in Triple-A last year, making him the favorite to take the job at the keystone despite not having cracked the majors yet. He played a bit of center field in Triple-A last year but is primarily a middle infielder. Brosseau can play all over and will be in a super utility role, allowing the club to pencil him in for any regular that requires an off-day. Hiura’s not quite as versatile, having only played first base, second base and left field in his big league career so far. He has tremendous power but has struck out in 36% of his plate appearances thus far, which will make it hard for him to carve out meaningful playing time.
On The Cusp Of A Debut
Perkins, 26, has long been considered a glove-first player but his bat seemingly took a step forward last year. Splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A in the Yankees’ system, he stole 21 bases, hit 15 home runs and slashed .246/.357/.456 for a wRC+ of 120. He wasn’t added to that club’s roster at any point but the Brewers were intrigued enough to sign him onto their 40-man roster in November. He’ll likely be in the minors waiting for an opportunity to get called up, but he should have a decent floor thanks to his defense and speed. If the power he showed last year was a real development, he could be a well-rounded contributor.
Frelick, 23 in April, was the club’s first round pick in the 2021 draft but has quickly climbed the minor league ladder. Last year, he went from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A, hitting .331/.403/.480 for a wRC+ of 137, stealing 24 bases in the process. He doesn’t have much power but he’s very tough to strikeout, hitting 11 home runs last year but getting punched out at just an 11.2% rate. He’s still not on the 40-man roster but he’s considered one of the club’s top prospects and could force his way into the picture soon.
Wiemer, 24 this weekend, is the inverse of Frelick with big power but strikeout concerns. He hit 21 home runs last year between Double-A and Triple-A but went down on strikes 26.8% of the time. The result was a .256/.336/.465 batting line and a 109 wRC+. Despite being a power hitter, he has sneaky speed, swiping 31 bags last year. Like Frelick, he’s not on the 40-man yet but is on the doorstep. Both he and Frelick are considered capable of playing center field.
Top Prospect That Could Show Up This Year
Chourio is arguably the most exciting of this whole bunch but he might require patience since he’s very young, still over a month away from his 19th birthday. Last year, despite being just 18 years old, he went through Low-A, High-A and Double-A, hitting 20 home runs and stealing 16 bases in 99 games. His .288/.342/.538 batting line resulted in a 135 wRC+ and he got strong reviews for his glovework in center field.
Based on those excellent results at such a young age, he’s now considered the #3 prospect in the league by Baseball America, #8 by MLB Pipeline and #5 at FanGraphs. Given his youth and the fact that he’s played just six Double-A games, he won’t be a solution for the Brewers in the short term. Even reaching the big leagues by the end of the season seems like a long shot, but it probably can’t be completely discounted given the tremendous talent he seems to possess.
There’s a ton of young talent here, including about a half dozen plausible center fielders. That puts the Brewers in great shape for the long haul, though it might take some time to allow these guys to sort themselves out. Chourio isn’t close, while Wiemer, Frelick and Perkins still haven’t made it to the majors. Mitchell had a great debut but will need a longer stress test. Taylor should be solid for now but isn’t elite at anything and could be surpassed by the younger guys in time. Winker and Anderson will both be free agents after this year but it seems like the club could easily replace them from within.
In the future, it seems likely the Brewers will not only have a strong outfield but will likely have enough options to make trades that address other areas of the roster. We already saw one such move when they included Esteury Ruiz in the three-team deal that netted them William Contreras as their potential catcher of the future. Not all young players end up panning out as hoped, of course, but the quality and quantity both appear to be strong here. If the club can keep pace with the Cardinals in the division this year and there’s enough development from this group, perhaps the Brewers could be key players for deadline deals to help them push to return to the postseason after missing last year for the first time since 2017.
Perkins is garbage and Hiura CAN’T play outfield.
Especially with his arm, which struggles at 2nd.
Regardless, Milwaukee appears to be in great shape in the outfield over the next 3-5+ years at least. This year might be the worst of them as they wait for their youngsters to fully develop, but they have a lot of young talent that appears to ready for MLB contributions sooner than later.
Aaron Hicks available….maybe even with the pot sweetened by Josh Donaldson…..
(joke, friend, just a joke)
No, no, no joke at all… Aaron Hicks is available.
He meant that Hicks is the joke.
Actually, Donaldson and Hicks is a great idea.
The Brewers have a good young group of OFs coming up.
$26MM a year for Yelich is a killer. Winker sucks and Anderson isn’t much better. Ouch.
No Travis, you’re wrong about them all. After several large cups of one of those famous Milwaukee brews, whether it’s Pabst, Blatz, Miller, or Schlitz, Yelich, Winker, and Anderson will be outstanding!
Winker is a 2 cup minimum…
GO, you forgot Shotz Beer. RIP Cindy “Shirley” Williams
Outstanding after a couple Pabst, Blatz, Miller and Schlitz.
I think both Winker and Anderson are great additions. Their less than stellar numbers were probably impacted by significant injuries. I also like Mitchell a lot. If he can cut down on those Ks, the Brewers desperately need guys who can play small ball and steal some bases.
You’re joking, right?? If you’re not you need to wake up and face the fact that the Brewer’s outfield, and the whole lineup for that matter, is awful. And the pitching is going to suffer when they get tired of losing because there is no offense.
True, their lineup overall isn’t very good among the legitimate contenders, but Winker is still an excellent hitter and could very well be their best hitter this year. He just had a down year last year.
Winker legitimately was one of the biggest underperformers in actual stats vs his expected stats in 2022. With the shift changes and a fresh start he should be poised for a very solid bounce back season at the plate.
Young help is on the way. Contreras, Mitchell, Frelick. No shift which impacted Tellez, Yelich, and Adames. Winker is this Brewers season Renfroe. 1000% the Brewers have a better offense than last season. No Cain, no Narvaez, no McCuthchen. Yelich hold the key to just how great vs good the offense will be moving forward.
You are so wrong. Winker will DH and Anderson start at 3B and both will return to their best form.
Mitchell will become a star.
Taylor will finally get to be a full time starter (it was only 95 starts last year) and projects to 30-35 HRs with 600 ABs.
They will improve dramatically over the pathetic offense last year. Yelich will be overpaid for it, but he will lead off and hit 25 HRs and score 100 runs. AGAIN.
If Yelich actually does hit 25 HRs (which he hasn’t even come close to doing since 2019), that would be such a waste of power in the leadoff spot.
No, it would be a HUGE bonus in the lead off spot if he can continue to be the guy who gets on base the most.
It never hurt us when Paul Molitor hit HRs to start a game. It often helps a starter relax to be staked to a lead.
It was a waste for Molitor as well. As long as you have someone else with relatively less power who also gets on base a lot, that guy should bat leadoff, while the guys who excel at both OBP and SLG should bat 2nd, 3rd, and/or 4th in order to drive in more runs with their home runs and other extra base hits.
Relaxing a starter with a one-run lead in the 1st inning is good, but it’s even better to give him a two or three-run lead after the 1st inning.
It’s amazing how well you prove each day that you are an idiot.
His starting pitchers LOVED that he staked them to 1-0 leads.
Because starters generally do WAY better the first time through the line up.
When a great hitter in the first spot of the order can ambush the first pitch of the game that’s a HUGE advantage. Not a waste at all. Because even if he were to have scratched out a single, double or walk, the most likely outcome after that is the next 3 guys going down IN ORDER. In virtually EVERY case (unless it just happened to be a bad day for said starter).
2 and 3 run leads after the first are a HUGE rarity. They almost NEVER occur.
And I didn’t say I wanted the 30-45 HR guys in that first position.
I want Yelich there because that’s what he has become and he’s going to be a better version of Cain going forward and we just have to accept that.
As to your LUDICROUS comment that he hasn’t come close to 20 HRs since his MVP caliber seasons (and my bad, I should have said 20 and not 25): one was the COVID shortened season and the next he fell 200 ABs below a full season.
So basically, with full ABs, he’s had 15 in each of the last 2 years. A better line up and hitting 1st all year could easily get him to 20, if not 25.
And a 25 HR lead off guy is not wasting power, Especially since if he had been doing that in the last 2 years in the 3rd or 4th slot, they would have ALL been solo shots anyway with how poorly this team got on base.
I’ll take a run in the first any day. Especially in the modern age. But even back then, pitchers were better the first couple of times through.
2 and 3 run firsts don’t even happen 1% of the time.
Go troll the blue team you like.
Good piece today on Fansided about how the VASTLY underrated Taylor was also one of the biggest shifted and had among the most lost stats.
100 point difference in expected averages.
You describe Yelich of recency as to who should bat leadoff. The team as a whole last year didn’t possess what you’re saying a leadoff batter should be beyond Yelich. Adding Winker or Contreras aren’t that type either. It’s not like placing Yelich as leadoff has to be a permanent thing. He would make a whole lot of Brewer fans happy if he could slug 25+HRs a season again. Being realistic you have to play him as leadoff who won’t see over 20HRs a season. Now maybe in the not to distant future Mitchell, Frelick, or even Turang are quality enough to supplant Yelich at leadoff. That Yelich finds his HR stroke and fits the #2-4 batters you’d like filling out your lineup. He has the exit velocities. Just needs to get some air under the ball like his 2018&2019. He was better than 2021. Maybe he progresses further back towards 2018. He’s a polarizing player good for baseball when that 2018/19 is on display. SB/HR combo.
Mitchell is a power bat. Not a lead off type at all with that K rate and lacking a superior walk rate.
Turang seems like a bust to me.
Frelick could be as well.
It’s Yeli’s job until that onerous contract ends in 5 years.
Who’s the idiot when you can’t even figure out that you also get a lot of one run leads in addition to those two and three run leads? The overall amount of first inning leads you’d get is roughly the same, but you get the addition of more of them being multi-run leads with power bats at 2 and 3 instead of at leadoff. Even if it’s just an improvement from 1% to 1..5%, that’s a significant improvement.
No, going down is order like that is NOT virtually the case, since the next guys up are the guys who are just as good at getting on base plus have power, including Yelich himself in this scenario. He’s just as likely to hit a home run in the first inning from the 2 or 3 spot as he is at leadoff, but surprise, there might actually already be someone on base when he hits it! If not, then you’ll still have the same one run first inning lead that you’d have with him at leadoff.
If Yelich stays as he is as a guy who hits less than 20 HRs, then yes he works as a leadoff hitter. You were the one who claimed he was going to improve to 25 HRs, which yes is indeed too much power for the leadoff spot in general. The only issue is that I’m not sure the Brewers actually do have a guy with less power and a high OBP who could replace him at leadoff if Yelich gets his power to bounce back.
Besides, while you’re correct about discounting 2020, he still only hit 9 HRs in 475 PAs in 2021, which would be well under 20 over a full season, and he did have a full season of 671 PAs in 2022 and still only hit 14 HRs.
@Chris Koch Now *this* is how you make a good counterargument. I did make an exception for not actually having a good low power, high OBP hitter for leadoff, in which case putting a power bat who also gets on base a lot at leadoff is the best choice.
I also concede that the Brewers very well may not have a good replacement leadoff guy if Yelich’s power returns, although I find that unlikely in the first place.
Why? Because he is being realistic?
There lineup is bad, but the outfield isn’t that bad at all. It also had more upside than most. Frelick and chourio both could play their way into starting roles this season- neither would be a surprise. And winker will be very good in Milwaukee. Yelich will be the concern. They need him not to regress anymore.
Neither rooks will play this year. Frelick isn’t that good and Chourio is at least a year away, closer to two.
You use that word like you know what it means, when you are in fact psychotic.
Frelick is Tony Gwynn like with the bat.
I think you left out the word Junior. Because my bet is that he is much closer with the bat to Tony Gwynn Jr than Sr.
Jr never OPS 800 in his minors career aside from a short sample years after playing at ML level. All Frelick has done is bat 800+ OPS aside from small sample finishing 2021 at a higher level. 1 of only 2 top 100 prospects with a 70grade hit tool.
I didn’t say the guy would be exactly Junior in the majors. I said he would closer to Jr than Sr. The odds favor every prospect will be closer to a league average player than a Hall of Fame player. Sure a handful will become HOF players, but far fewer than will be league average or worse. Expecting anyone coming from the minors to be “Tony Gwynn like with the bat” is just asking for disappointment before the guy ever begins.
My guess is he ultimately lands somewhere between Tony Gwynn Sr. and Tony Gwynn Jr.
Yes, a safe bet Frelick ends up somewhere between a journeyman and a HOF outfielder.
So you expect Frelick to be closer to below average with the bat. Sr-131OPS+ Jr-71OPS+ 101OPS+ is the line above or below Frelick needs to be for closer to one or the other. You failed to remember how bad Jr was. If it wasn’t a 12+year ordeal I’d have said easy bet for me to chose which he’d be closer to.
Or a complete bust. I’m not sold on him for some reason.
Recency bias. Brewers don’t develop good hitters. Decade ago it was Brewers don’t develop good pitching. Hiura being a bust to this point. Mitchell has boom or bust written on him. Higher Kpct. Frelick is a safe bet for an easy 800+OPS. I’m enthusiastic on both. Both have speed on the bases theres more action going on in a game with them versus Renfroe, Taylor, and McCutchen.
The Crew’s staff are not at fault for Hiura. He’s bad and couldn’t take instruction. He made a subtle change last year that was working and then just dropped back into his bad habits.
The Crew NEVER had hitting prospects until the last 5 years and are waiting for that to come to fruition.
As they’ve become great at developing pitchers, they’ve tried to rely on signing established hitters. They made a huge mistake with Cain (everyone knew the last 3 years of that contract would be a burden), and most of the other bats they signed (Tellez being a notable exception).
They try to find lightning in a bottle with bounce backs and guys who never quite made it (even this year with Perkins).
This will be the first year they are trying to go with some of their own. We’ll see over the next few years.
Even when they had a top prospect, we all knew he was bad and traded him (Brinson, and last year Ruiz).
Or a bust.
In time Brewers will have Yelich (or maybe as the DH), Frelick, and Mitchell as the starters in OF possibly Taylor as Yelich DHs
Milwaukee needs a name change. Brewers are never going to win ANYTHING,,,
How about the Serial Killers or the Cannibals??
The Central is going to be a division for the taking this between the Cards, Crew and Cubs.
The Cardinals have a great offense but a paper thin rotation. The Brewers have a great top of the rotation but the offense is iffy and so is their relief corps. The Cubs have the high floor but low ceiling, choosing to use the Novocain approach to building a team.
Which all means, the Cardinals will be at the top again if for no other reason than they have two big guns in the middle of their order
The Brewers are a puzzle to me. A couple years ago, I thought they had all the pieces to compete for years to come. But now….
I think the Cardinals are the best team as far as talent is concerned but the Brewers have that high end talent in the staff and in my opinion are the best coached team in the division.
I really like the moves the Crew made this off-season with Willy’s younger brother. I think buying low on Winkler was a good move as well. Their offense will be deeper than it has been since Yelich was putting up mvp numbers
The Cardinals have a very good rotation, just not as good as the Brewers. They do have some question marks, but they also have excellent depth behind their Top 5, which is pretty much the opposite of “paper thin.”
The Cubs are most likely still at least a year away from contending.
We will see how good this rotation now they swapped out Molina for Contreras. Contreras is awful at managing pitchers.
In my opinion, the Cubs are more likely to compete this year than next. Stroman and Mancini can opt out, Hendricks, Bellinger and Happ are free agents. The could lose Gomes and Barnhart as well.
It’s one thing to rely on a rookie or two, but the Cubs, to compete in 2024 would be reliant on Mervis, PCA and either Canario (who will miss most of not all the season) or Davis producing at the ML level. Not to mention they will need to fill 2/5 the rotation and they are choosing not to leave the fifth starter slot open for Thompson/Wesneski/Alzolay etc to learn and develop.
So many “ifs” associated with these young teams—the Cubs, the Pirates and even the Reds
“If” all of these young players pan out in the next few years, it may be one helluva division at last
Here in Pittsburgh, we have to hope the balance of a few veteran signings to go along with Cruz, Hayes and apparently, Reynolds, will translate to 12 or 14 more wins.
Looking forward to seeing if the kids already here and those on the cusp are the real thing or just a lot of hype
Bud Selig Fan
The Brewers have a strong & deep rotation. Woodruff-Burnes-Peralta-Lauer-Miley-Ashby-Houser is as good a 7 deep as there is in the game. Health on the top 3 and this team can win like they did in ‘21.
Offense is better as long as Winker is healthy. Contreras improves the catching, and the teams 4 rookie potentials, Turang-Mitchell-Frelick-Wiemer won’t be counted on to have to contribute, but thru talent alone could force. Nashville loaded with talent gives the team tremendous depth they haven’t had from their farm in memory.
Sleeper team from the NL. Don’t anoint St Louis the central folks.
St. Louis and Chicago already have those nicknames sewed up.
Frelick is the real deal. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the power shows up after he has a chance to settle in.
I wish I had a dollar for every “real deal” that turned into a bench player or middle reliever or worse. Not judging Frelick at all, because I honestly have no idea who he is, but you don’t get to be the “real deal” until you prove it against the best of the best in the majors. He has not done that yet.
Believe Frelick is one of if not the only top 100 prospect with a 70grade hit tool. Checked he’s 1 of 2 only in top 100. He’s knocked because his power and arm. Little uncertain he will stick for CF and immediately the lack of power putting him at LF drops only because one expects power from corner OFs.
Pirates Termarr Johnson has 70 hit tool
Yep that was the other.
Some of the prospects with a 70 grade hit tool in the past.
Some good players on that list, but I don’t think I would refer to any of them as “real deal” hitters. Sure there were others like Mike Trout, Manny Machado, and Francisco Lindor that did turn out to be superstars. But just because a player is assigned a 70 by someone doesn’t mean anything other than someone’s opinion of what a player will become. This is not an exact science no matter what some want to believe. You still have to prove it on the field.
Sometimes these grades become an albatross around a players neck. If my kid was a prospect, I would tell him in the strongest words possible not to read ANYTHING about himself in the media. And right at the top of the list would be these stupid prospect ranking reports.
Listen to your coaches. Talk to other players who have had success. And work your ass off. And under no circumstances should you read your own damn clippings!!!
They didn’t start using the current system until 2014, and they didn’t have any grading system in place (publicly) in 2011 when players like Dustin Ackley were prospects.
So, where did you find this list?
Again, you’re reading into this too much. Of course the players have to prove themselves, but once they’ve done that, it becomes kind of redundant to hype them. You don’t hear people saying “Mike Trout is the real deal!” Everyone knows that and has known that.
Many prospects get over-hyped, but that’s not the case here and Frelick has the athleticism that excites coaches and control of the zone that you rarely see anymore.
There have been exactly three hitting prospects in the minors that have really excited me the last few years: Julio Rodríguez, Corbin Carroll, and Sal Frelick. I’m sorry if my excitement annoys you, but I’ll continue to refer to him as the real deal and look forward to his debut (and hope for the best, despite not being a Brewers fan).
I think that anyone who has seen him in a game would be as excited as I am and understand why the hit tool is so remarkably high. He recognizes breaking pitches as well as any prospect I’ve seen. It’s going to be fun to see him break in.
Here’s what a Seattle-area scout had to say about him back in early 2021….
They have been using the 20-80 scoring chart for FAR longer than 2014. Just because YOU cannot find it doesn’t mean it did not exist.
Those grades don’t come from the media.
They come from coaches and scouting.
They used single-digit grading before then, but again, none of that was public in 2011.
What you saw on fangraphs was updated/adjusted.
The bigger point is that you, again, read into my comment too far.
You don’t have to wait…just look three comments below yours. It’s already there and has been there.
I can see why you were never able to track down numbers from pre-2014 if you have this much trouble finding a link in a single comment strand.
Yeah you’ll have to forgive me for not immediately seeing your second comment that should have been part of a single response.
See my response to that.
Worth noting Fangraphs has their own scouting and assessment system that has had an influence on MLB scouts.
There is no more point to this argument because you are just asking for proof, then I show you the link, then you say it’s not real. Have a nice day Kyrie.
I asked where you found that list and you answered. I never said it wasn’t real, You just ignored/dismissed my points which were all relevant. And I never even got into the advancements in technology that have benefited scouts more and more each year. 2011 was ages ago compared to what they have today. Do you think Dustin Ackley would have a 6/7 (or 70) grade hit tool today? Not likely.
It’s fair to want a prospect to prove themselves. But that has always gone without saying. Again, that doesn’t mean there isn’t reason to get excited about a player, especially one that hasn’t had a lot of attention despite high praise from those who know this business best.
Think maybe you’re reading into my comment too much?
It goes without saying that an unproven prospect has to prove himself. That doesn’t mean you can’t admire someone doing everything right.
Yeah, I knew off the bat that HiFlew’s list was BS. That’s not accurate. Most of that list you mentioned would not have received a 70 grade hit tool, if that was around when grading.
Frelick obviously has to prove it in the majors but it would be very surprising if he isn’t a .300 hitter. That’s what his bat to ball and pitch recognition skills suggest
It’s a little weird to see people brush off tool grades as just ‘opinions’ as well. The scouts that assess these players are professionals. Huge difference between random comments from fans (especially those who admittedly haven’t seen the player in question) and a career employee properly trained and well-experienced giving an opinion. on what a player might become.
Frelick really has an advanced approach. Struggled a bit with off-speed stuff, but this is a guy who had a 17% whiff/swing on fastballs and just 3% on fastballs last season. And he’s been doing this in a time when there has been emphasis on pitchers striking hitters out.
That deserves hype, in my opinion.
Not “hiflew’s list” it is Fangraph’s list.
Educated opinions are still opinions.
Yeah, and Scott was saying don’t listen to the media.
It’s not the media assigning these grades, it’s the very coaches and scouts he said the kids should listen to!
You realize that scouts don’t make guarantees, right? But teams put millions of dollars on their assessments.
Sure. And we can all agree or disagree.
I was 4 years all conference in HS.
I personally think Frelick will be average or below and Turang a bust.
I like Taylor way more than most.
It all depends on what you look at (including stats, which I place a lot of value on since I can’t see the minor league guys in person; but I also think most of them will be lucky to perform at 70% of what they did in the minors).
I realize that…do you?
Says the guy who’s down-playing their work.
Or he’s the next Hiura.
Whoever wrote this knows nothing about the Brewers. Not even worth commenting
Why? Because he is being realistic??
Nothing realistic about suggesting the Winker or Anderson will play OF.
Hey nice comment
“Tons of young talent” seems rather a lot. I mean, most teams could write the same piece if you simply disregard or discount all the discouraging parts. The only really exciting pieces are Frelick, who is great at what he does but limited and probably maxed out, and Chourio, who is forever away.
Once you succeed at AA, you are ready for trial. Chourio is a realistic option this season if brewers are contending.
Why, so they can lose him as a free agent sooner? The coffee needs to sit in the French press before you can sip it, whiffa
C Yards Jeff
Chourio. Hmmm. So young. IMO, risky to move him up. Thought the Mets kinda rushed Alvarez last year. Regardless of Top Ten talent ranking, slow play it?
Labial-If the kid proves he can play, let him. You can always see how he does, and if he does well, extend him early. The Brewers need all the offense they can get.
Motor City Beach Bum
Garrett Mitchell is going to be an awesome player, probably as soon as this year. I was very surprised he lasted so long the year he was drafted. At one point he was in the discussion for 1-1 that year. I would love for the Tigers to grab him but I expect Milwaukke knows what they got and would’t trade him. Future all star right there. Milwaukee has a solid group of OF prospects. Kudos
What was the purpose of trading Renfroe? Brewers seem like a team who could have really used his bat, and they traded him for what seems like a fairly mediocer return.
He’s now on his fifth team in five years, I’m getting the impression his skills aren’t worth it due to coaching/attitude.
Salary relief. They shed money and that’s the only reason to trade Wong and Renfroe.
Wong is gone so Urias can move to second for BA2. Turang could conceivably be a utility guy. Renfroe had a fine year, and has a good arm, but Wiemer is actually a better defender. Frelick might just claim rightfield this spring. Stolen bases will become more of a thing this year, too, so Mitchell, Frelick, and Wiemer offer way more than Renfroe there. And the rumors of Renfroe not being a “good clubhouse guy” have been around for a while.
Renfroe is still clearly the better player for now.. If they could’ve afforded to keep him, they would’ve done so.
Agree mostly, except I really don’t think the running game will return to what it was 20 or 30 years ago.
And people still ignore Taylor, who is a personal favorite of mine and a better defender than Weimer, and also a proven MLB hitter.
He’s better than anyone thinks.
And I personally believe Frelick will be the next Hiura. A bust.
minor league guy
wiemer profiles as a renfroe type with better speed, though probably still a season out. the brewers saw an opportunity to get three pitchers for renfroe (at least two of which should contribute this year) and salary relief… all in all, it was a ‘meh’ move, and for the second straight season, the brewers move on from a decent hitting RF. just not willing to go north of 10 mil for RF
It wasn’t that meh considering how bad the bullpen was last year.
It’s the main reason we fell a game short (and Hader blew several of them himself in just a 2 week period).
minor league guy
While I don’t disagree that the bullpen was bad last season, this move didn’t net us a lock down bullpen arm and it weakened our offense. That’s pretty “meh” to me.
Will probably be Yelich Taylor and Anderson in the outfield with Winker DHing against RHP. Mitchell or Perkins will likely make the club as the backup and the other will be in AAA to start. None of the other options are major league ready or productive enough to get a roster spot.
Frelick is readier (is that a word?) than Wiemer. But Joey is a good defensive outfielder with very good speed and a plus arm. He might show up this year.
I could see both come up this year but not making the club out of spring. They Brewers tend to ease rookies into the bigs and they could have them in AAA while the see how the big league options are doing.
It’s not a word.
He is more ready.
He just probably still won’t be very good or ready for MLB pitching.
I think there are holes in his approach and his strike zone that they will exploit like they did with Hiura.
Anderson will be mostly at 3rd and Perkins sucks
Anderson will not play OF this year. He’s the starter at 3B so Urias can play second.
Mitchell will start in CF.
Too bad Yelich’s performance dropped off after the ringworm.
He was great leading off last year and scored 100 runs.
Overpaid for that role, but it’s his until he’s gone.
I like Winker a lot as a hitter but as a fielder not so much. Will all the good prospects in the brewers, cubs and cards system it should be a fun season.
winker will primarily be the DH
Winker’s a nice player, but he hit 36 home runs in Cincinnati while playing in a Little League park. It would have been 22 anywhere else.
Milwaukee Is a good hitters park as well. Winker I’m Seattle was a disaster waiting to happen.
With that said, i don’t think Winkler is going to hit like a middle of the order bat, probably more in the 20 range but he gets on base
That sounds like Winker should bat second in the order, I guess with Yelich third and Tellez at cleanup?
They’ll bat Yelich first. Unsure on 2 Winker there?. Adames 3rd. Tellez 4th. Contreras or Urias 5th. Anderson 7. Taylor 8. Mitchell 9.
I think they’ll try to avoid back-to-back lefties, so maybe switch Winker with Adames and Tellez with Contreras.
Yelich will lead off and Adames second (you want your best hitter there).
Probably Winker third and Tellez clean up with Taylor or Mitchell 5th. Maybe even Urias.
Could be a potent line up!
Forgot about Contreras. I agree for the most part but Adames 2nd and Winker 3rd.
Maybe Anderson moves down to the 6th because he gets on base more and Urias 7th.
Could be a potent line up….
You don’t put someone with Winker’s power in the 2 slot.
Adames. He has the best bat to ball skills on the team.
Yelich will lead off, as he did for the last 1/3 of the season successfully.
It’s his new role.
Mitchell was the fastest player from home to 1st last year which helped him get several infield hits that pretty much everyone else in the league would have been out on. That speed is going to help his BABIP stay well above league average. So excited to see a full season of him.
Mitchell looks like a solid player. Taylor has been decent as well the issue moving forward is going to be health as far as Yelich, Winker and Anderson are concerned. With Mitchell in CF the Brewers can mix and match and cycle the other four players in the OF corners/DH.
You know your outfield is a disaster when these two, Bolt and Harrison, are mentioned pretty early in the article.
Early? They were the LAST mentioned besides Hiura and Brosseau among those who have made their MLB debuts.
The rest are all prospects who may not see a minute in the bigs this year.
Yelich goes from winning MVP/then taking second……to mediocre offensive player after the huge contract extension? Looks beyond suspicious. That gambit of production disparities was common in the 90s.
Well, he did shatter his knee into a million pieces in-between…
Yelich was drafted as a 1B, so when all the prospects are called up it will be Frelick in left, Chourio in center, Weimer in right, Mitchell can spell all 3 and Yeli becomes 1B/DH (Tellez will prolly cost too much by then).
Yelich should have been at first a couple years ago. Why would you list Mitchell as fourth OF when none of Frelick, Chourio, and Weimer have played any games in MLB. Mitchell at least is proven he can hit big league pitching. The other 3 are prospects until they prove otherwise.
My feeling is they will start the season with Taylor RF, Mitchell CF, Anderson 3B, and Urias 2B. If Mitchell flounders or they decide to platoon him w/Taylor, then Anderson RF, Urias 3B, and Toro or Turang 2B.
But, as always, the bat will play.
Urias won’t be moving back to 3rd under any circumstances. Toro is better there than 2nd and will play 3rd if the UNLIKELY scenario you suggest happens. Though I think they will stick with Mitchell or test out Frelick if GM fails, and Anderson will stay right where he belongs at 3rd.
I guess Brosseau can play 3B too. But that begs the question, who exactly makes the opening day 13? Can they carry Toro, Turang, and Brosseau? IDK…
Turang has ZERO chance of making the opening day roster. I personally think he will be a bust, but he’s going to be the first depth piece on the IF riding the option train if any of those guys you mentioned go down.
And the problem with Turang, as you put it above: the bat doesn’t play at the MLB level. He can probably be an elite defender, but I’d imagine his bat is no better than that of Jace Peterson. And that’s the peak he will reach with 4-5 years of experience.
I tried working out the 26-man and I came up with only a 3 man bench because we have too many bullpen arms that don’t have any options left! I had Mitchell starting in CF (probably won’t happen) and a bench of Hiura, Brosseau and Caratini. So unless we get rid of one of Houser, Payamps, Guerra, Wilson or Bush (or if we send Varland back to LA) our bench will be pretty thin.