The Brewers called up on Friday and Saturday brings their top overall prospect, center fielder Lewis Brinson. Brinson gets the call as a corresponding move to Jonathan Villar being placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain.
Sure, things have mostly been going well on the field for the first-place Brewers, but Villar was actually in the midst of a terrible season (.213/.283/.342), following up on his breakthrough 2016. Perhaps a break and then a minor-league rehab stint will get him back on track.
In the meantime, the Brewers can see what they might have in Brinson. A 2012 first-round pick out of high school by the Rangers, Brinson came to the Brewers last summer as part of the return in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. In 45 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs this season, Brinson is hitting .312/.397/.503 with 13 doubles, a triple, six homers, 25 RBI, 41 runs and seven stolen bases.
Prior to the season, Brinson was ranked as the 12th best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus. Baseball America had him at No. 20 while MLB.com had him 13th. So he's a consensus top-20 prospect from all the major outlets.
Brinson can play all three outfield spots, but he's spent most of his time in the minors in center. One would expect Brinson to get the start in center pretty much everyday for the time being, with the Brewers seeing what he's got at the big-league level. He's likely past the Super-Two arbitration-eligibility cut-off, so he could well play himself into a situation where he's in the bigs for good.
For now, Brewers fans get yet another reason for excitement here in 2017.