May. 30, 2016
Brewers Outfield Preview
With the final piece of the five part Milwaukee Brewers preview, I will be doing the outfield, which of course is still led by the longest tenured Brewer (by far) Ryan Braun. The Brewers really can't go wrong in any way they turn in the outfield, as after all of the trades and drafts in recent years, the Brewers might have the best collection of young outfield talent in all of baseball. Add an MVP caliber player like Ryan Braun to that mix, and the next four years in the outfield is set for the Brewers. That is, assuming he isn't traded for more young outfielders.
LOCKS: Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, Domingo Santana
These are the guys who are penciled in as the starters, and there really isn't a whole lot about that that can change. Maybe UT Hernan Perez starts in right a couple of times, or Kirk Nieuwenhuis plays left or center, but these three are going to start off with the bulk of the playing time. I don't think it's an if Braun gets traded anymore, but more of a when, and when that happens, one of the many outfield prospects will jump over Nieuwenhuis to start in Braun's place. Keon Broxton struggled terribly to start the year in 2016, but a resurgent bat in Colorado Springs gave him his confidence back and he absolutely soared after being called up once again in July. Domingo Santana, the most MLB ready piece (at the time) in the Gomez-Fiers trade is going to get another crack at earning a spot in the outfield. Whether he is part of the long term picture or not depends on who the Brewers deem is going to be traded, and his numbers last year if his at bats were doubled are about 25 home runs and 70 RBI's, so he's definitely a good piece to have around.
BACKUP CANDIDATES: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Michael Reed
I only believe the Brewers are going to keep four outfielders to start the season, especially with the ability of Perez to play in the outfield and that they are going to give Scooter Gennett a few shots as well. Nieuwenhuis is a decent player, but he's not a long term solution by any means. Michael Reed has held prospect status for years, and he is the most ready and lowest ranked among the prospects, which is why the Brewers are less afraid to rush him into the majors.
PROSPECTS: Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, Ryan Cordell, Corey Ray, Trent Clark, Monte Harrison
Six of the top 18 prospects in the Brewers' farm system are outfields, included in nine out of the top 30. Brinson and Ray are the top two prospects, and don't expect Brinson to be in the minors for too long this season. Brett Phillips will also likely find his way to the big leagues at some point in 2017, while Corey Ray is likely going to find a spot in 2018, even though he is a non-roster invitee this year. Trent Clark is likely to make his debut in 2019.