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Top prospect Lewis Brinson headlines a young, touted Sky Sox roster

April 4, 2017 Updated: April 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm
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photo - This is a 2017 photo of Lewis Brinson. This image reflects the Milwaukee Brewers active roster as of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, when the photo was taken in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
This is a 2017 photo of Lewis Brinson. This image reflects the Milwaukee Brewers active roster as of Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, when the photo was taken in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) 

Lewis Brinson hasn't played in the major leagues just yet, but that didn't stop the Sky Sox center fielder from discussing goals that shot well past a call-up from Milwaukee.

He'd like to one day be a 20/20 (home runs and stolen bases) guy. Or maybe 30/30. Heck, why stop there?

"If your goal is not to get to the Hall of Fame, then why are you playing baseball?" said Brinson, the Brewers' top-rated prospect on Tuesday at a welcome luncheon at Security Service Field. "That's the way I look at it. You play the game to win the World Series and celebrate on the field with your brothers for eight months.

"The other reason you play is to get in the Hall of Fame. That's the ultimate goal."

The Triple-A season doesn't start until Thursday, but Brinson's bright-eyed optimism reflects the state of the Sky Sox as they enter a season with a young roster topped with several high-end prospects.

The Brewers have rebuilt their minor league system in short order, trading valuable commodities in Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy over the past two years to help build a system ranked No. 8 by Baseball America in overall talent. And much of that talent is now in Colorado Springs.

Brinson and right-handed pitcher Josh Hader are widely considered top-35 prospects. Right behind them within Milwaukee's system is right-hander Brandon Woodruff, the Brewers' minor league pitcher of the year last season. Outfielders Brett Phillips and Ryan Cordell could also be looking at big-league futures.

"It's going to be a fun year," manager Rick Sweet said.

If a brief cameo at the end of last season was any indication, watching Brinson might bring the most fun.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound 22-year-old batted .382 in 23 games for the Sky Sox after arriving from Texas in a trade for Lucroy. He is considered a five-tool prospect, which includes hitting, hitting for power, speed, defense and throwing arm.

A native of Coral Springs, Fla., Brinson had the athleticism to play other sports but decided to focus on year-round baseball in middle school.

"I just loved it," he said. "I fell in love with the sport and a very young age, and when you fall in love with it you just stick to it. I didn't want anything to keep me from playing baseball, so with basketball, football or anything else, I was like, 'I don't want to get hurt.' Baseball was always No. 1."

This figures to be a unique season for the Sky Sox. This is not a roster with experienced MLB players looking for a return, like Will Middlebrooks, Michael McHenry and Eric Young Jr. last year. Instead, the veterans on the team are largely players who have logged only a partial season or two of big-league experience, while the core of the team will be made up of prospects like Brinson and Hader who hunger for that first taste.

"We're going to have a lot of fun on and off the field," Brinson said. "We're going to make a lot of people smile in the stands. It's very exciting."

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