MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers added four of MLBPipeline.com's top 20 Milwaukee prospects to the 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect eligible players from next month's Rule 5 Draft. They are infielder Mauricio Dubon, pitchers Freddy Peralta and Marcos Diplan and catcher Jacob Nottingham.Generally, players who signed when they
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers added four of MLBPipeline.com's top 20 Milwaukee prospects to the 40-man roster ahead of Monday's deadline to protect eligible players from next month's Rule 5 Draft. They are infielder Mauricio Dubon, pitchers Freddy Peralta and Marcos Diplan and catcher Jacob Nottingham.
Generally, players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2013 or were drafted out of college in 2014 required a spot on a team's 40-man roster to avoid being exposed to the 29 other teams at the Winter Meetings. With their additions, the Brewers' roster is at 39.
The Rule 5 Draft is Dec. 14. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase, and that player must remain on the big league roster or be offered back to his original team for $50,000.
All four of the Brewers' additions Monday were acquired in trades over the past three years.
"You're always worried about roster crunch, but I do think the four players we protected this year separated themselves a little bit," Stearns said. "These were very deserving recipients to join the 40-man roster."
Dubon, a middle infielder and one of the players picked up from the Red Sox in the Tyler Thornburg trade at the 2016 Winter Meetings, is the Brewers' ninth-ranked prospect. He reached Triple-A Colorado Springs in late June about three weeks before his 23rd birthday and finished with a .274/.330/.382 slash line between the Double-A and Triple-A levels last season.
Peralta, 21 and No. 11 on the MLBPipeline.com list, was one of three teenage pitchers acquired from the Mariners at the 2015 Winter Meetings for Adam Lind. In a season split between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Biloxi, Peralta posted a 2.63 ERA in 120 innings, with 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings and a Minor League-best .178 opponents' average.
Diplan, 21 and coming off a 5.23 ERA in a season spent entirely at the Class A Advanced level, is Milwaukee's No. 15 prospect but might have gone unprotected in a different year. But his Rule 5 eligibility came one year after the Brewers lost 22-year-old pitching prospect Miguel Diaz with the first overall pick, despite the fact he'd never thrown a pitch above low Class A. Diaz posted a 7.34 ERA in 31 games for the Padres, but they managed to keep him all season.
The Brewers acquired Diplan with current closer Corey Knebel from the Rangers in January 2015.
Nottingham, 22, is ranked 19th in the Brewers' system by MLBPipeline.com coming off consecutive so-so seasons. Long regarded as a plus offensive catcher, Nottingham boosted his on-base percentage from .295 at Double-A Biloxi in 2016 to .326 in 2017, to go with 21 doubles and nine home runs.
"I think we're living in a little bit of a new world in the Rule 5 Draft now," Stearns said. "Selection behavior has changed over the last couple of years and players are selected now at times from lower levels, sometimes due as much to their prospect status as their ... production. As we evaluated our potential adds, we certainly had to take that into account."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.