New docuseries chronicles Crew's top prospects
PHOENIX -- The Brewers are taking fans behind the scenes with top prospects in a new documentary series that launched Tuesday.
Called “The Freshmen,” the docuseries comes from the Brewers’ in-house production team and will feature MLB Pipeline’s Top 5 Brewers prospects: Jackson Chourio, Sal Frelick, Joey Wiemer, Brice Turang and Garrett Mitchell. Episodes will come in three weekly installments before Opening Day, with the potential for more episodes during the regular season.
“The thing I like about it is it’s not just a normal interview,” Turang said. “There’s meaning behind it. It’s allowing people to know us better as the younger guys coming in, and how we get along with each other.”
Episode 1 introduces fans to the quartet of top position prospects in big league camp: Outfielders Frelick, Wiemer and Mitchell and infielder Turang, starting with Mitchell’s Major League debut last August and September. He was the first callup from this position player prospect wave, which has drawn comparisons to the mid-2000s group of Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and eventually Ryan Braun. That crew helped lift the Brewers to postseason contention for the first time in a generation.
Like that prospect group, this one is all homegrown. Chourio was the Brewers’ top international signee in the class of 2020-21. The others are Draft picks; Turang in the first round in 2018 out of high school, Mitchell (first round) and Wiemer (fourth round) in 2020 out of college and Frelick (first round) in 2021, also out of college. Turang, Mitchell, Wiemer and Frelick were all both within 18 months of each other.
“I had a sneak preview, and it looks like they’ve done a great job with this,” Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said. “Any time you can draw attention to these kinds of players -- and these guys are absolutely worthy of the attention -- it’s a good thing for everybody. It’s a great behind-the-scenes look at these guys, maybe something different for the fans.”
Besides wearing microphones in workouts and, in the case of Spring Training roommates Frelick and Wiemer, inviting cameras into their apartment, each of the players sat for extended documentary-style interviews and talked about the others.
“‘G’ is definitely the best behind the camera,” Wiemer said, referring to Mitchell. “Me, I’m not great behind the camera. But I got to see the first episode and I think it came out awesome. Not that I didn’t expect it to be good, but it exceeded expectations for me.”
“It’s fun to see what they came out with, and how it’s more getting to know us instead of us just running around and playing,” Turang said. “You actually get to hear us talking about each other.”
Episode 2 has off-the-field footage with Frelick and Wiemer at home (early word is that Frelick is quite an entertaining poker player) as well as Mitchell and his wife, professional softball player Haley Cruse Mitchell.
In Episode 3, fans will learn about the origin stories of each prospect in their own words, from Frelick’s New England upbringing to Wiemer’s Midwest roots in Michigan to Turang and Mitchell from Southern California.
“It’s awesome to have guys to go through this with,” Wiemer said. “I think the show does a really good job of representing that. Behind the scenes, off the field, it’s really cool to be part of that group of guys.”