Down on the Farm: Checking in on Brewers Prospects

May 4th, 2022

While all eyes are glued to an outstanding start at the Major League level, the Brewers have plenty to be excited about at all levels in the organization through the season’s first month.

Each Minor League affiliate currently boasts a winning record, a feat that is backed by some impressive starts from Brewers prospects.

Here’s a look at some players within Milwaukee’s farm system that are turning heads to begin the 2022 season.

Joey Wiemer

The Brewers number two prospect -- and last year’s Minor League Player of the Year -- has picked up right where he left off in his first taste of Double-A baseball in Biloxi.

Through 22 games, Wiemer has been a potent bat for a lineup that has the Shuckers sitting in first place of the Southern League’s South Division. The former fourth-round pick is slashing .310/.390/.548 with 18 RBI in Biloxi while proving he can handle more advanced pitching.

The Brewers should be encouraged by how quickly Wiemer is finding his footing at the Double-A level. While he’s starting to tap into the big-time power he showed in 2021, he’s still showing the well-rounded prowess with the bat that’s sent him soaring in prospect rankings – he currently sits at 97 in MLB’s Top-100.

Look for Wiemer to continue to climb that Top-100 list if he keeps up his impressive year in the Brewers farm system.

TJ Shook

Shook is making a name for himself with a fantastic start to his season for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

The starter’s 1.05 ERA is good for third in the entire Midwest League, and his success has come by way of the strikeout: Shook is dishing out an impressive 11.92 strikeouts per nine innings.

Shook and fellow Brewers pitching prospect Brandon Knarr – with his 1.61 ERA – have formed an imposing one-two punch at the top of the Timber Rattlers’ rotation. With the duo joining the likes of highly regarded Brewers prospects in High-A like Tyler Black and Joe Gray Jr., they’ve led the team to a solid 13-9 start.

Shook has flown under the radar with an exciting mix of young talent surrounding him in Appleton. But if he keeps performing at his current level, he may garner similar levels of hype for himself very soon.

Ethan Small

The Nashville Sounds have cruised to a 16-8 record this season, thanks in part to a magnificent campaign from Ethan Small, the top left-handed pitching prospect in the Brewers farm system.

Through his first five starts, Small has surrendered just two earned runs in 23.1 innings pitched. That adds up to a sparkling ERA of just 0.77. The Sounds are also undefeated in games Small started.

Small’s dominance has been a key ingredient for a team that leads its league in runs allowed by a very wide margin, helping the team amass a +50 run differential. Nashville’s staff has allowed 72 runs in 24 games this season – just 3 runs allowed per game.

The Brewers have a strong track record of developing high-quality starters, including big-league stars Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta. With a spectacular start in Nashville this year, it Small may be next in line for success at the MLB level.