By DAN ZIELINSKI
Every major league baseball team relies on players from its farm system to provide production each season. It could be because of injuries or a lack of production from players on its 25-man roster.
Here are five prospects who could make an impact for the Brewers this season:
Keston Hiura, 2B
Keston Hiura has rapidly moved through the minor leagues since being selected ninth overall in the 2017 MLB draft. His calling card is his ability at the plate. He consistently generates hard contact to all fields and is capable of hitting for average and power.
He likely will never be more than an average defensive second baseman, but his hitting ability will make up for it. He has the potential to be one of the top offensive middle infielders in baseball. Don’t be surprised to see Hiura in the major leagues at some point this season.
Mauricio Dubon, SS/2B
Mauricio Dubon was off to a notable start at Triple-A and likely would have played for the Brewers last season if it wasn’t for a torn ACL in May. Dubon is a well-rounded player who can play shortstop and second base. He is more of a gap-to-gap hitter and also has above-average speed.
He has a strong arm and quick feet that make him an above-average defender. His versatility will allow him to play for the Brewers this season, especially if shortstop Orlando Arcia struggles in the first couple months.
Zack Brown, RHP
The Brewers have shown a willingness to rely on their young, homegrown pitchers. Right-hander Zack Brown is their top pitching prospect and is starting the season in Triple-A. He is the reigning minor league pitcher of the year in the Brewers’ organization.
Brown, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound hurler, attacks the zone with his low-90s fastball. He also has an above-average curveball and improving changeup. Last season, he generated ground balls at a 55.6-percent clip. He will pitch at some point this season in a Brewer uniform.
Tyrone Taylor, OF
With only four true outfielders on the 25-man roster, Tyrone Taylor likely would be the first outfielder called up. Taylor has been a well-regarded prospect since the Brewers drafted him in the 2012 draft. Injuries and a lack of consistency have slowed his development.
Taylor, 25, is healthy and coming off a productive season at Triple-A last year. He’s capable of playing all three outfield positions and possesses speed, making him at the very least a valuable player off the bench.
Trey Supak, RHP
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Trey Supak in the second round of the 2014 draft. They dealt the right-hander to the Brewers as part of the Jason Rogers trade in December 2015.
The 22-year-old is a 6-5, 240-pound hurler and is starting the season at Double-A. In 25 games, he posted a 2.48 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 137 2/3 innings between Single-A and Double-A last year. He has a solid four-pitch mix, featuring a mid-90s fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.
He has the size, pitches and potential to be a solid starting pitcher at the major league level. If he’s called up this season, he also could pitch out of the bullpen.