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2018 Brew Crew Ball community top prospects in review: Corbin Burnes

Back in January, we asked the Brew Crew Ball community to vote on the top prospects in the Milwaukee Brewers farm. Now, we’re looking back at how the community did with their selections. We’ll be looking at the top 10 players on the list, reviewing one each day. The only players we’ll be skipping are the players traded before the season started. That includes Lewis Brinson (#1), Monte Harrison (#4) and Isan Diaz (#9).

Take a look back at your picks:

Top Prospects 1-10
Top Prospects 11-20
Top Prospect 21-33

Corbin Burnes, RHP (#2)

AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox: 78.2 IP, 5.15 ERA, 1.449 WHIP, 81 K
Milwaukee Brewers: 38 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 35 K

Burnes’ season was one of two stories. In the first half, there were substantial struggles at Colorado Springs. The crafty right hander struggled with the thin air. His difficulties can be easily demonstrated by his 31 walks in his 78.2 innings. Burnes had previous career-high for a season was 38 over 145.2 innings.

When you look deeper into Burnes’ performance, he generally gets higher rankings than his results would indicate. Baseball Prospectus calculated a 3.50 DRA and 75.2 DRA-. His 9.3 K/9 with the Sky Sox sits above his career average.

The big league club obviously saw around Burnes’ performance. He joined the Milwaukee Nine in July and dominated in his big league debut. In 30 relief appearances, Burnes performed nearly as well as he did in every minor league stop besides Colorado Springs.

Burnes dominated with his bevy of above-average to plus pitches and plus command. Not only does he repeat his delivery and locate well, but all of his pitches look the same coming out of his hand, making it incredibly difficult for hitters to stay on the ball.

His fastball and slider are his most-trusted pitches, as demonstrated by his pitch choices. More than 58% of his pitches were fastballs, 34% were sliders. Hitters struggled with his offerings, swinging and missing at 15.2% of his offerings, a higher swinging strike rate than Jacob deGrom and Blake Snell.

It now looks like Burnes will serve as a key factor for the Brewers for many years. Whether it’s as an “initial out getter” or in the ‘pen, one can certainly argue that he deserved to be the top prospect in the system last year.

Next up is Keston Hiura, who ranked #3 according the the Brew Crew Ball community poll.

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