Farm Report: Lewis Brinson is feasting

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Lewis Brinson has been on fire in the minors, while various Brewers batters are struggling in the bigs. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Lewis Brinson has been on fire in the minors, while various Brewers batters are struggling in the bigs. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Milwaukee prospect Lewis Brinson has opened his PCL season by hitting safely in 10 straight games, with seven extra-base hits (3 HR) and two steals included. The 22-year-old is slashing .395/.435/.698 at Triple-A thus far, looking pretty much like the same hitter we saw this spring (.973 OPS).

Brinson was dealt to the Brewers in the Lucroy/Jeffress trade last season, and, assuming continued good health, we can expect to see him in Miller Park this summer. He’s been a 20/20 guy in the minors, so he has plenty of fantasy appeal. He has some swing-and-miss in his game and isn’t likely to hit for average in the big leagues, but he nonetheless offers four-category potential.

Milwaukee is currently starting two outfielders with sub-.200 batting averages, so it’s not as if Brinson is hopelessly blocked. He’s an excellent add-and-stash fantasy option.

Yoan Moncada is off to the start that most of us expected at Triple-A Charlotte, reaching base at a .382 clip with four homers and four steals. With Moncada, Ks remain the worry. His strikeout rate this season is a ghastly 32.7 percent, among the highest in the International League. You might recall that he whiffed a dozen times in his 20 plate appearances with Boston last year. Still, whenever he arrives — let’s guess late-May or early-June — he’ll bring modest pop and high-end speed, along with middle infield eligibility.

Phillies prospect Rhys Hoskins is still raking, people. Meanwhile, Tommy Joseph is not. Hoskins, 24, is slashing a ridiculous .320/.433/.620 with four homers at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and he’s walked nearly as often as he’s struck out (9 BB, 11 Ks). Hoskins hit 38 bombs and drove in 116 runs at Double-A last season while posting a .377 OBP. He’s a preferred stash in N.L.-only, and he certainly has a shot to make a mixed league splash if he sees regular playing time in Philly.

It will not surprise anyone to learn that Cody Bellinger is still hammering baseballs. He’s batting .339/.426/.661 at Oklahoma City with five homers and, interestingly enough, five steals. (His minor league career high in stolen bases is just 10.) Bellinger hit 26 home runs in the high minors last season and 30 the year before at Single-A, so his power is well established. He’s primarily a first baseman — a position now occupied by a $21.5M player in Los Angeles — but he saw time at all outfield positions last year.

Dinelson Lamet struck out 13 batters over just 5.1 innings for Triple-A El Paso on Thursday, which leaves him with 19 Ks through his first 13.0 frames this season. He’s allowed only one earned run and eight hits. Last year, he produced a 3.00 ERA and 158 Ks in 150.0 innings across three minor league levels. Any talented high-level pitching prospect in San Diego’s organization needs to be on the watch list for fantasy owners, because that Pads rotation is dreadful.

Dan Vogelbach opened his season hitting .309/.409/.473 at Tacoma, and that effort has earned him a call to Seattle. Add wherever you can use corner infield help. He’ll play. Vogelbach isn’t built for speed (6-foot, 250-ish), but he was put on this earth to hit singles off outfield walls (along with the occasional homer). He’s a willing walker, too, with a career .391 OBP in the minors.

Tip of the cap to Reds pitching prospect Tyler Mahle, who spun a perfect game for Double-A Pensacola on Saturday. He struck out eight batters on the night and only reached a three-ball count once. He’s legit. Mahle is 4-0 this season with an ERA of 0.68 and 27 Ks in 26.2 innings. Last year, he went 14-6 across two levels with a 1.15 WHIP and 141 Ks in 150.2 IP.

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