Keep these 5 Brewers prospects on the radar

October 21st, 2022

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dominated the headlines down on the farm for the Brewers in 2022, rocketing through Single-A Carolina, High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi on the way to No. 10 on MLB Pipeline’s list of baseball’s Top 100 prospects. and jumped to the Majors, and made it to Triple-A Nashville a mere 12 months after he was drafted.

But those top prospects weren’t the only players in the system who made big strides. Here are some other, perhaps lesser-known names that you should know.

3 players who forced their way onto the radar this year

RHP Carlos Rodriguez (Brewers No. 19)
Brewers fans probably know the name because Venezuelan outfielder Rodríguez has been a fixture of MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Brewers prospect list for several years. But while injuries have knocked that Rodriguez down, the Nicaragua-born, Florida-raised pitcher by the same name has risen so quickly that he was named Milwaukee’s Minor League pitcher of the year for 2022.

“He can really pitch and has an advanced feel for what he is trying to do on the mound,” Brewers vice president of Minor League operations Tom Flanagan said. “He had a tremendous first professional season.”

Rodriguez, drafted out of Florida Southwestern State Junior College in the sixth round in 2021, was 6-5 with a 3.01 ERA (107 2/3 innings pitched, 36 earned runs) and 129 strikeouts in 26 games/20 starts between Single-A Carolina and Wisconsin in '22. He ranked among the top qualifiers in the Brewers' system in opponent batting average (second, .198), WHIP (second, 1.06), ERA (third) and strikeouts (fifth), and has a chance to be in the Biloxi rotation next season as a 21-year-old.

RHP Cam Robinson (Brewers No. 27)
A former 23rd-round pick who sputtered for his first couple of years in the Brewers system, Robinson managed an uptick in velocity in 2021 and took more big steps in '22 with a 2.49 ERA and 25 saves between Wisconsin, Biloxi and Nashville. The 23-year-old will have to be added to the 40-man roster next month or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, meaning he has a chance to be in big league camp next spring. That, in turn, would mean he has a chance to contribute in the big leagues as early as late 2023.

“Bulldog on the mound,” Wisconsin manager Joe Ayrault said. “His fastball has some cut on it -- mid-90s, touching 96 mph. He has a good slider, good curveball. He fills the zone and attacks it. He has guts out there. He’s a guy late in the game who wants the ball.”

INF Cam Devanney
A 15th-round Draft pick in 2019 who hails from New Hampshire, but went to college at Elon University in North Carolina, Devanney’s pro career didn’t begin the way he envisioned. He lost his first full season to the pandemic in 2020 and then posted a .531 OPS after making the jump all the way to Double-A in '21.

But Devanney had a breakout season in '22, when he slashed .259/.340/.483 in 115 games at Double-A Biloxi, with 28 doubles, a triple, 20 home runs and 57 RBIs before a late-season promotion to Triple-A Nashville.

At the time of his promotion, the 25-year-old was second in the Southern League in total bases (194) and extra-base hits (49), tied for third in doubles, fourth in slugging percentage, seventh in home runs and OPS (.823) and eighth in hits (104). He also set the Shuckers' franchise record with a 19-game hitting streak in June. The only player in the system with more home runs was veteran slugger Jon Singleton (24 homers to Devanney’s 23). Defensively, Devanney split time between shortstop and third base. Like Robinson, Devanney would be Rule 5 Draft eligible if not added to the 40-man roster.

2 possible breakout players for '23

OF Jace Avina
The Brewers named Avina their player of the year from the “complex” affiliates -- meaning players from the Rookie-level leagues in Arizona and the Dominican Republic -- after the 19-year-old batted .271 with 12 doubles, 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in 64 games between the Arizona Complex League and Carolina in 2022. We first told Avina’s story after the Brewers made him their 14th-round pick in 2021. At the moment, he is ranked outside of MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 for the team, but that will change next season if Avina manages to trim his 34.7 percent strikeout rate.

INF Daniel Guilarte (Brewers No. 16)
Guilarte signed with the Brewers in the same class as Chourio back in January 2021 and has flown under the radar despite his high ranking from MLB Pipeline. That could change soon. In his first U.S. action in '22, Guilarte slashed .306/.403/.371 with eight doubles, eight steals and consistently smart swing decisions in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League. The only higher batting average in the Brewers’ Minor League system belonged to Frelick, who checked in at .331. Expect Guilarte, who turns 19 next week, to bump to Carolina in '23.

“Extremely athletic infielder,” Flanagan said. “Like any young player, he needs to continue to work to get stronger, but has the good frame to do it. He’s a smooth defender and has easy actions on the dirt.”

Other potential breakouts: RHPs , Cam Wagoner and Stiven Cruz.

1 big question

Who will make the jump in 2023?
Mitchell gave the Brewers a needed boost when he was promoted to the big leagues in late August, the first of what could be a wave of promotions in the coming months, as so many of the Brewers’ current core players see their salaries rise in arbitration. 

Infielder  added center field to his repertoire in 2022 and will be added to the 40-man roster next month. Frelick, a bona fide center fielder, blew through three levels all the way to Triple-A and led the system with an .883 OPS. , the Brewers’ 2021 Minor League player of the year, followed with an .801 OPS while ranking first in the system with 34 doubles and third with 21 homers and reaching Triple-A.