Brewers prospect Ray has big day at plate in Double-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 11th edition of the 2018 Young Brewers Tracker.

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Micah Bello, OF (Age 17/Rookie)

Last week: 2 games, 6 AB, 3 H, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB, 1 BB, 2 K, .500 BA.

Season: 14 games, 52 AB, .346 BA, .433 OBP, .500 SLG, .933 OPS, 2 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 12 R, 8 RBI, 8 SB, 8 BB, 9 K.

Notable: Milwaukee’s second-round compensation pick this year turns 18 on July 21, but despite his age he leads the AZL Brewers in batting average and steals.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 20 AB, 4 H, 2 HR, 4 R, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 5 BB, 3 K, .200 BA.

Season: 83 games, 317 AB, .246 BA, .310 OBP, .375 SLG, .685 OPS, 15 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 36 R, 34 RBI, 1 SB, 28 BB, 55 K.

Notable: Erceg hit solo home runs on July 8 and July 11, his first longballs of the month. His last homer came on June 26. Last season, Erceg hit 15 home runs at Single-A Carolina.

 

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

Last week: 6 games, 26 AB, 2 H, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, 1 BB, 4 K, .077 BA.

Season (Double-A): 30 games, 118 AB, .271 BA, .326 OBP, .415 SLG, .743 OPS, 11 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 16 R, 4 RBI, 6 SB, 6 BB, 22 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: Hiura returned from a thumb injury on July 6 and proceeded to have a rough week, with just two singles in six games. However, he was named to Sunday’s MLB Futures Game.

 

 

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

Last week: 2 games (2 starts), 0-1, 7 IP, 10 H, 5 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 6 K

Season: 13 games (8 starts), 1-4, 2 SV, 4.33 ERA, 52 IP, 54 H, 6 HR, 16 BB, 53 K, .262 OBA, 1.35 WHIP.

Notable: Ortiz threw just 54 pitches over four innings, allowing three runs on five hits, on July 5 at Mississippi, then lasted only three innings (49 pitches) on July 11 at home vs. Jacksonville, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. On the positive side, he’ll join Hiura at the Futures Games, added as a replacement.

 

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

Last week: 4 games, 16 AB, 3 H, 1 2B, 3 R, 0 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 7 K, .188 BA.

Season: 68 games, 245 AB, .241 BA, .331 OBP, .392 SLG, .723 OPS, 11 2B, 7 3B, 4 HR, 36 R, 21 RBI, 11 SB, 34 BB, 90 K.

Notable: Could his name being bandied about in trade rumors be affecting Phillips? He’s just 5 for 27 (.185) in July with two extra-base hits, both doubles.

 

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

Last week: 7 games, 30 AB, 8 H, 1 3B, 4 HR, 6 R, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 3 BB, 9 K, .267 BA.

Season: 86 games, 343 AB, .248 BA, .340 OBP, .484 SLG, .824 OPS, 21 2B, 6 3B, 16 HR, 53 R, 49 RBI, 21 SB, 44 BB, 106 K.

Notable: Ray had a momentous game July 11, homering three times. It was the 18th time in the minors this season a player hit three home runs in a game, and just the fourth in Double-A. It marked the third such occasion in Biloxi franchise history. Ray also had a two hits, with a triple, and five RBI on July 9. Ray, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2016, took over the Southern League lead in home runs and is also tied for first in steals.

 

Others: SS Orlando Arcia was 4 for 14 (.286) with a double, three walks and one strikeout last week at Colorado Springs while OF Domingo Santana was 2 for 11 with no extra-base hits, four walks and two whiffs. … Biloxi OF Troy Stokes Jr. (4th round, 2014) had nine hits, including two triples and two home runs last week, as he slashed .360/.515/.760. He had 37 extra-base hits on the season with 13 HR. … Shuckers RHP Marcos Diplan tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings on July 11, striking out 11. In three starts since being moved up to Biloxi, Diplan has allowed four runs (two earned) in 16 1/3 innings with 20 Ks. … Wisconsin OF Zach Clark (19th round, 2016) went 5 for 5 on July 9 and overall last week hit .385/.407/654. … Timber Rattlers OF Tristen Lutz (1st round comp., 2017) had five extra-base hits (2 2b, 1 3b, 2 HR) in six games and batted .381/.500/.857. … Helena SS Yeison Coca hit .407/.448/.778 with three triples in six games. He now has six triples in 26 games on the season. … Helena C David Fry (7th round, 2018) hit three home runs last week and now has five in his first 19 pro games. … This year’s second-round pick, OF Joe Gray, hasn’t played since July 5. He was 2 for 18 (.111) with a double and home run in his first five pro games.

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