Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Brewers' Arizona Fall League overview

Ray gaining valuable experience at plate, in field in AFL
MLB.com

The Brewers' contingent of position-playing prospects are among the best in this year's Arizona Fall League, a group led by No. 58 overall prospect Corey Ray.

Ray was selected to participate in this year's Fall League to close out his first full professional season. Spending the entire year in the Carolina League, the 2016 No. 5 overall Draft pick had his ups and down before finishing with a .238/.311/.367 line, 40 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases over 112 games with Carolina.

The Brewers' contingent of position-playing prospects are among the best in this year's Arizona Fall League, a group led by No. 58 overall prospect Corey Ray.

Ray was selected to participate in this year's Fall League to close out his first full professional season. Spending the entire year in the Carolina League, the 2016 No. 5 overall Draft pick had his ups and down before finishing with a .238/.311/.367 line, 40 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases over 112 games with Carolina.

Arizona Fall League roster & stats

"I just took it as a learning process, the things I need to improve on and things I'll work on here," said Ray, Milwaukee's No. 2 prospect. "First full season and I was just getting acclimated to the speed of the game and playing 140 games. I learned a lot, and I was happy I stayed healthy throughout the year."

Now continuing his season in Arizona with the Salt River Rafters, the 23-year-old outfielder is making the most of his opportunity, taking in as much as he can from his coaches and peers.

"Even in the outfield drills, just picking up little tricks as far as getting jumps and ball off the bat and stuff like that," Ray said. "I think just being around the game and being around an environment like this you can't help but learn from guys who've played at a higher level."

Though he's working to improve himself as an all-around player, Ray also is using the Fall League to focus on several finer points of his offensive game after he struck out in 31 percent of his plate appearances during the regular season.

"Approach, most important," said Ray. "Just being able to be in a better position to hit. I think that there were some flaws and some loops in my swing that I have to clear up."

While the hits haven't quite fallen for Ray thus far in the Fall League, where he entered Monday with only two hits through his first 29 at-bats, it's worth noting that he's struck out just six times.

Brewers hitters in the Fall League

Lucas Erceg, 3B -- The Brewers' No. 10 prospect spent much of the regular season playing alongside Ray in the Carolina League, where he slashed .256/.307/.417 with 15 home runs, 33 doubles and 81 RBIs in 127 games. He finished his season with a brief-but-impressive stint with Triple-A Colorado Springs, and then he continued to see time in the Pacific Coast League playoffs before getting off to a strong start in the Fall League.

Video: Erceg on making strides on both sides of the ball

Jake Gatewood, 1B -- Gatewood struggled over parts of one-and-a-half seasons in the Midwest League before breaking out in 2017 with a .264/.333/.441 line, 15 home runs and 40 doubles, all career highs for the Brewers' No. 18 prospect. He made his progress at a pair of advanced levels, too, beginning the season in the Carolina League before moving up to Double-A Biloxi in early August.

Monte Harrison, OF -- Speaking of breaking out, Harrison, Milwaukee's No. 14 prospect, did just that in his first fully healthy season. Splitting the year between Class A Wisconsin and Carolina, the toolsy 22-year-old outfielder produced an impressive .272/.350/.481 batting line with 21 home runs and 27 stolen bases, making him one of just 11 players to go 20-20 in 2017. His power already has been on full display this fall, as he connected on a pair of home runs including a grand slam en route to seven RBIs in his fourth game for Salt River.

Video: Harrison on growing as a player in the Fall League

"There's definitely some pride in that," said Harrison about his 20-20 campaign, "but at the same time the season is over, and I'm in this now, trying to see what I can do in this league. Everyone has goals, so I'm just trying to keep striving towards mine."

Brewers pitchers in the Fall League

Nate Griep, RHP -- The 2015 eighth-rounder added to his already impressive resume as a closer by saving 30 of 33 games for Carolina while earning mid-season and post-season All-Star honors. Logging 49 1/3 innings over 45 appearances, Griep posted a 2.37 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .191 average. In the Fall League, the 24-year-old righty has shown a 91-94 mph fastball as well as a slider and a changeup that both register in the low 80s.

Adrian Houser, RHP -- Sidelined for roughly 13 months following Tommy John surgery in July 2016, Houser returned to the mound this season to post a 1.02 ERA with 27 strikeouts and four walks over 17 2/3 innings (eight starts) between the Rookie-level Arizona and Class A Midwest Leagues. Owner of a mid-90s heaters before TJ surgery, the 24-year-old righty has operated at 94-96 mph so far this fall while mixing in a hard, low-80s curveball and a changeup in the mid-80s.

Jorge Ortega, RHP -- Ortega was assigned to the Fall League on Monday and has yet to appear in a game for Salt River. The 24-year-old right-hander struggled with the move up to Biloxi in 2017, going 1-9 with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.30 ERA in 97 1/3 innings spanning 18 starts.

Jon Perrin, RHP -- Though he doesn't come with the fanfare of some of Milwaukee's other young arms, Perrin's pairing of a 91-93 mph two-seam fastball with an at times plus, swing-and-miss slider at 83-85 mph will allow him to contribute in the big leagues. Appearing in 23 games during the regular season, including 12 as a starter, the 24-year-old righty pitched to a 2.91 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 21 walks in 105 1/3 innings.

Quinton Torres-Costa, LHP -- A 35th-round pick in 2015, the left-handed Torres-Costa held same-sided hitters to a paltry .188/.313/.250 clip with a 37-plus percent strikeout rate this past season between Carolina and Biloxi, thanks largely his combination of an 89-91 two-seam fastball and a breaking ball in the mid-70s.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Milwaukee Brewers