Trades have significantly thinned out this system but the club has invested heavily in the international market in recent years so there could be some high-ceiling players (currently in short-season ball) on the way.
1. Keston Hiura | 2B | AA —> Hiura is mostly average across the board except for the hit tool, which has a chance to be plus. However, his BB-K of 35-102 in 122 games split between two levels shows that he needs to make some adjustments — especially after his numbers dipped when he faced better pitching in double-A (OPS from .911 to .749 after his promotion). He showed a little more power than expected in 2018 and could make his MLB debut by mid-2019.
2. Corey Ray | OF | AA —> For whatever reason, the Milwaukee system doesn’t develop hit tools very well. Ray has de-evolved as a hitter since turning pro although some of this other tools continue to shine. He is a 30-30 (HR-SB) threat with plus power and above-average speed. He also has a chance to be a strong defender. When he reaches the Majors, Ray should produce 20+ homers and 130+ Ks in a full season.
3. Brice Turang | SS | R —> Turang isn’t toolsy like Ray but he is a solid all-around player who had an excellent pro debut after being selected in the first round of 2018. He showed a strong understanding of the strike zone with a BB-K of 20-21 in 25 advanced rookie ball — although the whiffs were a little high for someone with limited power. He has the speed to steal 20+ bases. Turang, 18, is a long way from realizing his full potential but he has a solid shot at reaching full-season ball at the beginning of 2019 as a teenager.
4. Zack Brown | RHP | AA —> Brown quietly had a solid season in the Brewers system. He limited base runners while pitching a career high 127.2 innings. He also did a nice job of keeping the ball in the park by inducing a high number of ground-ball outs and missing bats at a solid (but not elite) rate. Because he throws a lot of fastballs and has a high-effort delivery, Brown may be better suited to a relief role but he has a shot at developing into a solid No. 4 starter if he learns to lean on his breaking ball a little more often.
5. Aaron Ashby | LHP | A —> Ashby has pedigree as the nephew of Andy Ashby and the young lefty has a chance to miss bats despite modest velocity. If his new-found velo holds up over a full pro season, the Brewers could really have something here. He has a plus curveball and a funky delivery that produces lots of deception (but also hinders his command/control).
6. Tristen Lutz | OF | A —> Much like Ray, Lutz has lots of power but serious swing-and-miss tendencies. Unless he tones down his approach, he will develop into a low-average guy with an ugly BB-K — but 20+ homer potential. Lutz, 20, has a chance to be a strong defender in right field thanks to a strong arm.
7. Lucas Erceg | 3B | AA —> Erceg has some above-average pop but his aggressive approach leads to little else. He has a chance to reach The Show in the new grip-and-rip culture that has evolved but I struggle to see him as anything more that a part-time or platoon player without some adjustments. Defensively, he has a very strong arm and could develop into a utility guy capable of playing both infield and outfield corners.
8. Carlos Rodriguez | OF | R —> Rodriguez might have one of the highest ceilings in the system but is years away from reaching the Majors. Just 17, he showed a strong approach in the Dominican Summer League before swooning late (perhaps tiring in his first taste of pro ball). He earned a last-minute trip to North America and showed an improved plate approach in a small sample size. Rodriguez has a chance to steal 20-30 bases, hit for average and play above-average defence.
9. Jacob Nottingham | C | AAA —> Once viewed a bat-first catching prospect, Nottingham has seen his defence improve while his offence has slipped. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling but the young catcher should settle into a back-up role or third string catcher capable of playing a couple of other positions. He’s too aggressive for his own good at the plate but he can send the ball a long way when he steps into one.
10. Je’Von Ward | OF | R —> I’m a big fan of Ward, who has come a long way in a short period of time. He has some swing-and-miss to his game but he’s also 6-5 so he’ll need time to learn to control his long levers. He’s made strides with his approach at the plate and doubled his walk rate to 12% in 2018. With two pro seasons already under his belt, Ward doesn’t turn 19 until October but he should be ready for full-season ball in 2019. The young hitter has oodles or raw power but his current swing produces a huge number of ground balls and I’m curious why the coaches haven’t made adjustments.
Marcos Diplan | RHP | AA —> The 21-year-old hurler split the year between A-ball and Double-A with mixed results as a starter. He struggles to throw strikes but his fastball-slider combo could make him a dynamic reliever.
Mauricio Dubon | IF | AAA —> A blown-out knee wiped out most of Dubon’s season and could threaten to have a long-term impact his best tool (his speed). He young hitter has shown flashes of potential but may settle in as a big league utility player.
Trey Supak | RHP | AA —> Supak has developed slowly after needing parts of three seasons in rookie ball. He finally reached double-A part way through 2018 and pitched well. He’s not overpowering but Supak has a big, strong frame that should be capable of providing tons of innings as a No. 4 starter.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.