Brewers add Supak, Stokes to 40-man roster
Milwaukee protects duo from December's Rule 5 Draft
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers added right-hander Trey Supak and outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. to their 40-man roster on Tuesday to shield them from next month's Rule 5 Draft, but they also left unprotected three others on MLB Pipeline's list of Milwaukee's top prospects.
They are No. 10 prospect Jake Gatewood, who underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee in August and will miss much of 2019, and pitchers Cody Ponce (No. 17) and Carlos Herrera (No. 28).
• Brewers' Top 30 prospects
Supak, 22, is No. 13 on that list and coming off a 2.48 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 137 2/3 innings between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Biloxi in 2018. Stokes, the Brewers' 15th-ranked prospect, is 22 and already has played parts of two seasons at Double-A Biloxi, where he slashed .233/.343/.430 with 19 home runs and 19 stolen bases last season while manning all three outfield positions.
The Rule 5 Draft offers a path to the Majors for players who have been in the Minor Leagues for a number of years, with the timing of their eligibility determined by a player's age when he signed. Generally, if a player is selected, he must remain on his team's big league roster for the entirety of the following season or be offered back to his original team.
Gatewood, 23 and coming off a career-high 19 home runs in 94 games in a season spent at Double-A Biloxi, would be tricky for a claiming team because of his injury, though the rules do allow for time on the disabled list.
Ponce, 24, was Milwaukee's second-round pick in 2015 and had a 4.36 ERA in 95 innings at Biloxi. Herrera is just 21 and has no experience above the Class A Midwest League. He logged a 5.46 ERA in 85 2/3 innings at Wisconsin last season and saw his strikeout rate fall to 6.3 per nine innings.
Other notable pitchers who will be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft include 24-year-old Bubba Derby and 25-year-old Jon Olczak, who represented the Brewers in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League; righty Nate Griep, who has 88 saves in 159 professional appearances; and former Top 30 prospects Phil Bickford, Nathan Kirby and Devin Williams. Bickford was the centerpiece of the 2015 trade that sent reliever Will Smith to the Giants, but he has been suspended and injured since joining the Brewers system. Kirby and Williams are former first-round Draft picks (Kirby in the supplemental phase) who have undergone Tommy John surgery.