MILWAUKEE -- Homegrown Brewers prospects Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg and Jake Gatewood are poised to play in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League, and that is just the start of the list of Milwaukee farmhands who will play past the end of their Minor League seasons.Ray, an outfielder rated the No.
MILWAUKEE -- Homegrown Brewers prospects Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg and Jake Gatewood are poised to play in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League, and that is just the start of the list of Milwaukee farmhands who will play past the end of their Minor League seasons.
Ray, an outfielder rated the No. 2 Brewers prospect by MLBPipeline.com and No. 66 in baseball, plus infielders Erceg (No. 10 on Brewers list) and Gatewood (No. 18) were named on the Salt River Rafters' roster unveiled Tuesday. The roster also includes four pitching slots assigned to the Brewers that remain to be determined.
The Arizona Fall League is a "finishing school" for prospects who are close the Majors. Generally speaking, if a team sends a player to the Fall League, it's an indication that the club thinks he has the chance to contribute in the big leagues in the near future. In other words, it's generally a short leap from the AFL to MLB.
2017 Arizona Fall League rosters
The league has a total of six teams, with five organizations represented on each. Every MLB team is required to send at least six players from its organization.
Ray, Erceg and Gatewood spent most of this season with Class A Advanced Carolina, though Gatewood was promoted to Double-A Biloxi earlier this month and posted a .793 OPS in his first 17 games at the higher level.
For Ray, the Brewers' first-round Draft pick in 2016, the extended season offers a chance to make up some at-bats lost to his early-season recovery from knee surgery. Ray entered Tuesday hitting .242/.315/.374 in 482 plate appearances for the Mudcats.
Erceg, who starred in big league Spring Training games for the Brewers, has 14 home runs and 77 RBIs in 527 plate appearances for the Mudcats, with a .257/.307/.414 slash line.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.