Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic
  • Brewers' Pitching and Catching Prospects' Grades


    James Zumstein

    In the first of this three-part series on the state of the Brewers Minor Leagues, we looked at where the experts at MLB.com have some of our individual players as well as the organization as a whole compare to other organizations. Part two looked at how some of the individual players fit into the Brewers future in the OF and IF. In part three, we will now look at the Brewers pitchers and catchers listed among the Brewers Top 30 prospects.

    Image courtesy of © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Brewers Video

     

    For the past few seasons, the Major League team has relied heavily on its strength: their pitching. While the MLB team has experienced almost unprecedented success (for the Brewers anyway) with both their starters and relievers in recent years, they are currently struggling to replicate that success in the minor leagues.

    Of their current Top 10 prospects, only one, RHP Jacob Misiorowski, is a pitcher. This year’s second-round pick is only 20 years old, but has shown enough promise with his two-pitch arsenal (70-grade fastball, 55-grade slider) that he vaulted all the way to the top of the Brewers pitching prospects.

    The next pitcher on the list is a recent addition to the Brewers system, LHP Robert Gasser (#11). He arrived via the infamous Josh Hader trade with San Diego, as the front office really liked his abilities (55-grade fastball, slider, and changeup, 50-grade control).

    Right behind Gasser at #12 is 2019 first-rounder for the Brewers, LHP Ethan Small. Small has fallen recently, as he has not been able to take that final leap from AAA Nashville and establish himself at the MLB level. His 55-grade fastball and 60-grade changeup give him two really good pitches, which he uses to get lots of strikeouts, but he also has walked way too many batters in his minor league career. This might spell future relief pitcher if he can’t find the solution to this ongoing problem.

    Next is the Brewers other Carlos Rodriguez, the right-handed pitcher at High-A Wisconsin. The 2021 sixth-round pick has been very impressive in his first year of pro ball, using a three-pitch mix (55-grade fastball and changeup, 45-grade slider) to show promise of a real future with the Brewers.

    Two other players in the Top 30 that must be talked about are likely pure relief pitchers, but don’t let that fact fool you. RHP’s Abner Uribe (#26) and Cam Robinson (#27) are legitimate threats late in games, and each could be contributing at the MLB level sooner rather than later.

    Uribe has had some injury issues the past two seasons, both times with meniscus tears. When healthy, he might have the most potent fastball in the minors (80-grade), which routinely hits triple-digits. Pairing that with his 60-grade slider, if he can learn to harness those two pitches consistently, he could be a dominating force out of the bullpen.

    Robinson is a completely different animal, showing a much-more traditional low- to-mid-90’s fastball (55-grade), a 12-to-6 curveball (55-grade), and even an occasional cutter (45-grade). His control problems (45-grade) are what is keeping someone with a three-pitch mix in the bullpen, but he has thrived the past two seasons working primarily as a closer, earning 38 saves across all four full-season levels.

    Last but not least, let’s move our focus to the Brewers catching prospects. While only two players cracked the Top 30, one of those players has a chance to make a real impact at the Major League level someday.

    Seventh-ranked prospect Jeferson Quero, who doesn’t turn 20 until early October, is already playing at High-A Wisconsin, although he has struggled in his short time there. He is already a defensive stalwart, throwing out 30 percent of baserunners so far in his two seasons. His 60-grade arm and field show that defense is going to be a strength for Quero as he moves up the system.

    However, he also has the ability to be a strong offensive player as well. A 50-grade for both hit and power for a catcher with stellar defensive abilities shows why the Brewers are so high on him, and why he may be pushed a little as he continues his climb towards the Majors.

    The other catcher listed in the Top 30 is a newcomer to the Brewers, 2022 fourth- round pick and #29 prospect, Matt Wood . The left-handed hitter is probably more of an offensive-minded catcher (45-grade hit, 50-grade power) than defensive, but he has strong enough defensive skills (50-grade arm, 45-grade field) to stay behind the dish.

    It’s been exciting to watch the Brewers Minor League prospects, as both individuals and as a collective group, climb their way back to respectability. Not only have they accomplished that in a rather short period of time, they have several players that appear ready to contribute in a big way at the MLB level right now, or at least in the very near future.

    Let me know your thoughts on the Brewers Top 30 prospects.

     

    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

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Featured Comments

    damuelle
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    Thank you. But I feel the need to say, "Mario, Mario, wherefore art thou Mario?" I'm not sure how MLB.com kept 23-year old C Mario Feliciano out of the Top 30 prospects...either he graduated or they got tired of him. With a 26-man MLB roster, 13-pitcher limit and two of Feliciano's option years already burned, I think there's a 75% chance he starts and ends 2023 on the MLB roster.

    Starting pitchers LHP Russell Smith, RHP Logan Henderson and RHP Victor Castaneda show up on that Top 30 list as well:

    • 23-year old Smith has struggled in his inaugural minor league season at High-A Wisconsin (and is now shut down with an injury)
    • 20-year old Henderson has only made a few recent appearances at Low-A Carolina after a year-long injury
    • 24-year old Castaneda has been a dependable leader in AA Biloxi

    Smith and Henderson should be expected to make major progress in 2023, with Henderson (I think) also being a candidate for the upcoming Arizona Fall League. Castaneda's obviously ready to try his luck in AAA ball next year.

    And then we've got three other starting pitchers definitely nipping at this list: 22-year old RHP Justin Jarvis (just promoted to AA), 20-year old RHP Stiven Cruz (doing terrific since recent promotion to High-A) and 21-year old RHP Alexander Cornielle (also recently promoted to High-A). Each has flashed dominance at times this season, with Cruz especially finishing strong.

    • Like 2
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    4 hours ago, damuelle said:

    Thank you. But I feel the need to say, "Mario, Mario, wherefore art thou Mario?" I'm not sure how MLB.com kept 23-year old C Mario Feliciano out of the Top 30 prospects...either he graduated or they got tired of him. With a 26-man MLB roster, 13-pitcher limit and two of Feliciano's option years already burned, I think there's a 75% chance he starts and ends 2023 on the MLB roster.

     

    I'm guessing Feliciano was in the majors when they did the update and thus they excluded him? That's the only thing that makes sense.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Joseph Zarr
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    Quote

    Seventh-ranked prospect Jeferson Quero, who doesn’t turn 20 until early October, is already playing at High-A Wisconsin, although he has struggled in his short time there. He is already a defensive stalwart, throwing out 30 percent of baserunners so far in his two seasons. His 60-grade arm and field show that defense is going to be a strength for Quero as he moves up the system.

    I'm going to chime in here, quickly. The statement '...he has struggled in his short time there.' certainly doesn't match the eye test. In my eyes, he has risen to the occasion and built an extremely solid High-A base. He had a minor injury or rest concern after a slow start, but, the sample size was simply too small there. In a now combined 66 AB's, given his return from the shelf and including August, he's flashed 0.288 BA, 0.779 OPS, 2 HR, 1 3B, 4 2B, 6 R, 9 RBI, 13 K, 2 BB. The sample size is still much too small but what you see is what you see on a game-in, game-out basis: the sky is the limit for this ascending massive talent. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    2 hours ago, Joseph Zarr said:

    I'm going to chime in here, quickly. The statement '...he has struggled in his short time there.' certainly doesn't match the eye test. In my eyes, he has risen to the occasion and built an extremely solid High-A base. He had a minor injury or rest concern after a slow start, but, the sample size was simply too small there. In a now combined 66 AB's, given his return from the shelf and including August, he's flashed 0.288 BA, 0.779 OPS, 2 HR, 1 3B, 4 2B, 6 R, 9 RBI, 13 K, 2 BB. The sample size is still much too small but what you see is what you see on a game-in, game-out basis: the sky is the limit for this ascending massive talent. 

    Thank you for noticing that.  At the time I wrote it, his numbers were okay but not great.  Then he absolutely exploded last week and made me look foolish.  He even made MLB.com's All-Prospect list for last week, which shows how much he has not only settled into A+ ball, but is now excelling. 

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Joseph Zarr
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    1 hour ago, James Zumstein said:

    Thank you for noticing that.  At the time I wrote it, his numbers were okay but not great.  Then he absolutely exploded last week and made me look foolish.  He even made MLB.com's All-Prospect list for last week, which shows how much he has not only settled into A+ ball, but is now excelling. 

    No problem - I figured as much but wanted to be sure something was said to point that out. The eye test will always tell you more than the numbers anyhow but the important thing is: with a guy with his toolkit - already having shown us really solid and improving offensive output in extended Low-A action, and given his youth - we are better served to give him time before judging level shifts. 3rd HR tonight. 2-for-2. 11th rbi. He's just a flat out stud. Listen to this sound. Watch the confidence in the swing. He is just an absolutely phenomenal prospect at his age:

     

    • Like 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    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.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...