There is precedent: at the major-league level, Christian Yelich came to the Brewers via trade after being the primary center fielder for the Miami Marlins in 2017. He spent significant time there in 2015 and 2016. He spent lots of time in left and right field in 2018 and 2019 before taking the left field job in 2020 and staying there ever since.
So, let’s look at the minor-league system and see who will occupy left field.
If he is not on the Opening Day roster, Sal Frelick could be one option in left for Nashville, where he spent most of his starts (22 in left vs. 17 in center). Tyler Naquin, Skye Bolt, and Monte Harrison, all non-roster invitees for the Brewers, could also spend time in left for Nashville, particularly when Frelick heads to Milwaukee.
It seems pretty likely that last year’s duo of Noah Campbell and Tristen Lutz will be the primary options for Biloxi. Both are very different players. Lutz, a right-handed power bat, once was a top prospect but has been overshadowed by Frelick, Avina, Chourio, Mitchell, and Joey Wiemer. Conversely, Campbell is a switch-hitter with on-base skills who spent time in the infield and outfield in 2021 and 2022. Ernesto Martinez may see some time here if first base and catcher become crowded with Jeferson Quero, Wes Clarke, and Darrien Miller.
Hedbert Perez will likely move up to take left field after flashing power at Carolina. Once a heralded prospect, his struggles vis-à-vis OBP mean he could face some real competition from 2018 draft picks Arbert Cipion and Micah Bello. Bello, a second-round pick, showed some real offensive potential in 2022, but his big problem since the 2020 pandemic has been spending a lot of time on the DL. Cipion, on the other hand, has struggled offensively.
Luis Castillo is the likely front-runner of several prospects from the Arizona Complex League. He flashed OBP skills and power between the ACL Brewers Gold and Carolina. OBP machine and speed merchant Diego Larez (.393 OBP in 36 games) from the ACL Brewers Gold could also force his way to some playing time. Another OBP machine with a lot of speed, Jamal Zalm from the ACL Brewers Blue, could also see playing time.
Luis Watter looks to be the top contender to man left field for the sole ACL Brewers team in 2023, with Francisco Nina and Devin Gomez looking to rebound from rough years in the DSL. As for the DSL, the Brewers have a crop of new signees who could take lots of playing time.
Even though the top Brewers' outfield prospects mostly come from center field, the Brewers have some very credible prospects in left field. Frelick is clearly the best of the bunch, but Lutz, Perez, and Castillo all remain credible prospects, while Campbell is a potential bench asset, and Bello and Watter are sleepers.
Think you could write a story like this? Brewer Fanatic wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.
MORE FROM BREWER FANATIC
— Latest Brewers coverage from our writers
— Recent Brewers discussion in our forums
— Follow Brewer Fanatic via Twitter, Facebook or email
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.