Brewers catching prospect Nottingham slugging the ball in Triple-A

The Milwaukee Brewers‘ retooling happened quicker than expected, but the team still has a number of promising prospects.

Every Thursday for the rest of the season, FOX Sports Wisconsin will take a closer look at some specific young players in Milwaukee’s farm system — as well as noting others who might be stepping up — measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

This is the 9th edition of the 2018 Young Brewers Tracker.

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Corbin Burnes, SP (age 23/Triple-A)

Last week: 2 games (0 starts), 0-0, 3.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Season: 16 games (13 starts), 3-4, 4.82 ERA, 74.1 IP, 81 H, 7 HR, 31 BB, 78 K, .282 OBA, 1.51 WHIP.

Notable: Burnes’ conversion to the bullpen has not gone swimmingly after his first scoreless appearance. At Iowa on June 22, he allowed two runs in the seventh inning and on June 25 at home vs. Memphis he served up two home runs en route to allowing five runs.

 

Lucas Erceg, 3B (Age 23/Double-A)

Last week: 6 games, 25 AB, 8 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 7 K, .320 BA.

Season: 71 games, 276 AB, .243 BA, .299 OBP, .359 SLG, .658 OPS, 12 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 29 R, 32 RBI, 1 SB, 22 BB, 48 K.

Notable: Erceg has a hit in five straight games, which includes three two-hit games. He also hit just his second home run of the month on June 24 at Chattanooga.

 

Keston Hiura, 2B (Age 21/Double-A)

Last week: 6 games, 25 AB, 7 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 5 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 8 K, .280 BA.

Season (Double-A): 22 games, 85 AB, .353 BA, .402 OBP, .553 SLG, .955 OPS, 11 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 16 R, 4 RBI, 6 SB, 4 BB, 18 K.

Season (High-A): 50 games, 206 AB, .320 BA, .382 OBP, .529 SLG, .911 OPS, 16 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 38 R, 23 RBI, 4 SB, 14 BB, 47 K.

Notable: Both of Hirua’s home runs this season for Biloxi have occurred in the ninth inning. His first was a walk-off while his shot on June 25 came at Chattanooga. Hiura is riding a seven-game hit streak.

 

Jacob Nottingham, C (Age 23/Triple-A)

Last week: 5 games, 18 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 7 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 6 K, .333 BA.

Season: 39 games, 143 AB, .308 BA, .369 OBP, .552 SLG, .922 OPS, 10 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 28 R, 27 RBI, 2 SB, 10 BB, 49 K.

Notable: Nottingham has a modest five-game hitting streak and homered in back-to-back games June 25 and June 27. Both of his home runs came at home and he has hit six of his seven homers in Colorado Springs.

 

Luis Ortiz, SP (age 22/Double-A)

Last week: 1 game (1 start), 0-1, 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Season: 10 games (6 starts), 1-3, 2 SV, 3.86 ERA, 42 IP, 40 H, 6 HR, 14 BB, 46 K, .244 OBA, 1.29 WHIP.

Notable: Ortiz was rocked for three home runs by Chattanooga on June 21 — he had allowed only three home runs in his previous nine games in 2018.

 

Brett Phillips, OF (Age 24/Triple-A)

Last week: 7 games, 22 AB, 6 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 R, 0 RBI, 2 SB, 3 BB, 9 K, .273 BA.

Season: 58 games, 203 AB, .251 BA, .349 OBP, .414 SLG, .763 OPS, 9 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 32 R, 18 RBI, 10 SB, 31 BB, 76 K.

Notable: Phillips continues to show off his speed this year. He had two more stolen bases this past week — giving him four in his last seven starts. He’s yet to be caught stealing and his 10 stolen base attempts match his total in 105 games with Colorado Springs last season. Including his time with the Brewers, Phillips has 24 steals and has been caught just once since 2017. He was 12-of-19 in steal attempts in 2016 with Double-A Biloxi.

 

Corey Ray, OF (age 23/Double-A)

Last week: 5 games, 18 AB, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, 2 BB, 9 K, .167 BA.

Season: 73 games, 292 AB, .247 BA, .343 OBP, .442 SLG, .785 OPS, 20 2B, 5 3B, 9 HR, 43 R, 31 RBI, 18 SB, 39 BB, 92 K.

Notable: While Ray continues his recent struggles at the plate, he did go 2 for 5 with a double and triple on June 22.  … Biloxi 1B Jake Gatewood (1st round comp., 2014) hit .320/.370/.520 last week. After a rough April (.167 batting average), Gatewood has 14 home runs — one shy of his career high set last year with two teams — and a .467 slugging percentage.

 

Others: OF Domingo Santana, recently sent back to Triple-A, was 2 for 7 with a double, triple, two runs and three RBI in his first two games with Colorado Springs. … RHP Marcos Diplan was promoted to Biloxi and allowed two unearned runs in five innings in his debut. He had a 3.52 ERA in 13 starts for Carolina. … Also promoted to Biloxi: SS Luis Aviles Jr. (30th round, 2013), C Max McDowell (13th round, 2015) and RHP Jon Perrin (27th round, 2015). …  OF Demi Orimoloye (4th round, 2015) was promoted to Carolina and hit .333 with three walks and two steals in his first six games. He hit .260/.343/.419 with 15 steals for Wisconsin. … SS Devin Hairston (6th round, 2017) and 1B Pat McInerney were also moved up to the Mudcats. … Carolina RHP Braden Webb (3rd round, 2016) allowed one run on eight hits in 13 innings in two starts while striking out 17. … Wisconsin RHP Bowden Francis (7th round, 2017) fanned 10 in seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits without a walk. … Helena SS Jean Carmona, who is just 18, batted .360 last week and in 11 games is slashing .317/.391/.512.

Statistics courtesy milb.com and STATS

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns