The Milwaukee Brewers will have 19 non-roster players at spring training this season -- in 2020 and ‘21 they brought in 20 and in 2019 it was 15. Among the 20 this year are some prospects getting their first taste of the majors while others are veterans hoping for another chance. Don't discount these guys -- among last year's non-roster spring training camp players, nine – including seven pitchers -- made it to the big club for various stints (Aaron Ashby, Brad Boxberger, Jake Cousins, Blaine Hardy, Hoby Milner, Jace Peterson, Pablo Reyes, Miguel Sanchez and Jordan Zimmermann).
Here's a look at each of this year's 19 invitees to Milwaukee's camp.
RHP Jason Alexander
An undrafted free agent who spent the first few years of his career with the Los Angeles Angels, Alexander toiled last season in Miam’s minor-league system. He pitched in seven games total, five at the Triple-A level where he allowed five runs (three earned) on 12 hits and three walks with 18 strikeouts. A rare sinkerball pitcher, Alexander, who turned 29 on March 1, has career rates of 0.8 HR/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
OF Abraham Almonte
The switch-hitting 32-year-old has 440 games of major-league experience from 2013-21 with Seattle, San Diego (twice), Cleveland, Kansas City and Atlanta. In 2021, Almonte appeared in 64 games with the Braves, slashing .216/.331/.339 over 175 plate appearances. In his career, he’s batting .234/.302/.374 with 23 home runs and 26 stolen bases. Almonte can play any of the three outfield positions, having appeared in at least 93 games at each over his nine MLB seasons.
RHP Luke Barker
If nothing else, Barker, who just turned 30 on March 11, is a nice story. Undrafted out of Chico State, he pitched in the independent Frontier League in 2016 and was signed by Milwaukee that winter. Barker has worked his way up the chain. In 2021 he had his first full season at Triple-A and posted a 2.35 ERA, 0.799 WHIP and 11.3 K/9 over 61 1/3 relief innings. Barker actually did better against lefties (.162/.217/.303) than righties (.192/.230/.350) last season.
LHP Rex Brothers
A former first-round pick by Colorado who at one time was thought to be the future closer of the Rockies – and he did have 19 saves in 2013 – but he’s bounced around the past few seasons. In 2021 he appeared in 57 games for the Chicago Cubs – his most in a major-league season since 2014 – and recorded a 5.26 ERA, 1.434 WHIP and 12.7 K/9 in 53 innings. Over his career he’s held left-handed hitters to a .214/.336/.321 slash line (.180/.347/333 in 2021). Overall, he has a 4.08 ERA, 1.476 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9 and 11.0 K/9 in 322 1/3 innings, all in relief.
OF David Dahl
Dahl was signed to a minor-league contract by Milwaukee last season after he was released by Texas but did not make it to the majors although he did slash .327/.375/.536 with Nashville. Dahl hit .210/.247/.322 with the Rangers. He had some success with Colorado in 2018-19, slashing .291/.342/.528 with 31 home runs in 684 plate appearances. He’s a .318/.361/.556 career hitter in 141 games at Coors Field. On the road, including 2021 with Texas, he’s at .244/.296/.404.
OF Jonathan Davis
Another veteran outfielder, Davis turns 30 in May. Davis has 134 games of MLB experience, mainly with Toronto, from 2018-21. Last season he appeared in a combined 64 with the Blue Jays and New York Yankees, slashing just .126/.252/.172 in 103 plate appearances. In his last minor-league season in which he saw extended playing time, Davis hit .262/.382/.449 with 10 homers and 13 steals for Triple-A Buffalo. Davis has played all three outfield positions but mainly in center field.
RHP Moises Gomez
Signed this past offseason as a minor-league free agent, Gomez began his career as a 17-year-old in 2014 in Minnesota’s system but never got above the Single-A level for the Twins before becoming a free agent after the 2019 season, when he signed with Seattle. Gomez pitched at two levels in 2021 for the Mariners. With Double-A Arkansas he posted a 1.23 ERA, 0.989 WHIP and 7.7 K/9 over 29 1/3 innings. With Triple-A Tacoma, he had a 5.94 ERA, 1.560 WHIP and 9.7 K/9 in 16 2/3 innings.
RHP Hobie Harris
The 29-year-old began his career in the Yankees’ farm system before being claimed off minor-league waivers by Toronto. In 2021, Harris pitched in 43 2/3 innings, all in relief, with a 3.92 ERA, 1.168 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. Over his career in 171 games, all out of the bullpen, he has a 3.34 ERA, 1.246 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9 and 10.5 K/9.
RHP Trevor Kelley
Kelley spent 2021 with Atlanta’s Triple-A Gwinnett team, recording a 1.52 ERA, 1.089 WHIP and 10.0 K/9 over 41 1/3 innings. In six minor-league seasons he owns a 2.25 ERA, 1.148 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. Kelley also pitched in 8 1/3 innings for Boston in 2019 and 3 1/3 for Philadelphia in 2020. He allowed a combined 12 runs on 17 hits with six walks and 11 strikeouts.
RHP Josh Lindblom
Signed after a couple of very successful years in Korea, Lindblom did not fare well with the Brewers in limited action in 2020 or ’21 and was taken off the 40-man roster. Pitching for Triple-A Nashville last season, he had a 3.10 ERA, 1.223 WHIP and 10.1 K/9 in 104 2/3 innings, which occurred over 22 games and 20 starts. Lindblom turns 35 in June.
IF Mark Mathias
After playing in 16 games with the Brewers in 2020, Mathias tore the labrum in his right shoulder during spring training and missed the entire 2021 season. In his brief time with Milwaukee the previous year he went 10 for 36 (.278) with three doubles and a steal while playing all three outfield positions, first base and second base. With Triple-A Columbus in 2019, Mathias slashed .269/.355/.442 with 12 home runs and 13 stolen bases.
IF Andruw Monasterio
Monasterio signed with the Chicago Cubs as a 17-year-old and was traded to Washington in August 2018 in a deal for David Murphy. The Nationals sent hm to Cleveland four months later with Milwaukee signing him as a minor-league free agent this past offseason. In 2021 he played 33 games at Triple-A, slashing .279/.385/.414, and 74 at Double-A, hitting .291/.365/.453. As with many players in the Brewers’ system, Monasterio can play multiple positions. Last year he appeared in 55 games at third base, 29 at second base and 22 at shortstop, although he’s played more games at short in the minors (250) and the fewest at third (97) among those three positions.
RHP Luis Perdomo
Signed as a minor-league free agent in January 2021 despite undergoing Tommy John surgery the previous October. Milwaukee inked him to a two-year deal knowing he’d miss the 2021 season. He did appear in seven games in the Dominican Winter League this past offseason and didn’t allow a run, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out eight. In 133 games with the Padres, which includes 61 starts, Perdomo recorded a 5.19 ERA, 1.517 WHIP and 6.7 K/9 over 444 1/3 innings.
C Jakson Reetz
A former third-round pick of Washington, Reetz played at three levels last season: Double-A, Triple-A and the majors. Reetz spent most of his time with Double-A Harrisburg, batting .190/.298/.303 in 64 games. While he showed off a good arm at the lower levels in the minors, last season he combined to throw out just 17 of 72 (24%) attempted base stealers. Reetz appeared in two July games for Washington, getting one hit – a double -- in two at-bats. A team always needs extra catchers in spring training, even a shortened one.
RHP Connor Sadzeck
Another veteran reliever looking to perhaps make some rides on the Triple-A to Milwaukee shuttle. Sadzeck, 30, was released in August by the Chicago White Sox after posting a 5.86 ERA and 1.590 WHIP in 27 2/3 innings for Triple-A Charlotte. The Brewers signed him a week-and-a-half later and in 17 innings with Triple-A Nashville he had a 3.18 ERA, 1.353 WHIP and 11.1 K/9. Over his minor-league career, Sadzeck gets his fair share of strikeouts (8.5 K/9) but with control issues (4.3 BB/9). He pitched 9 1/3 innings for Texas in 2018 and 22 2/3 for Seattle in ’19, owning a career 2.18 ERA, 1.515 WHIP and 9.3 K/9.
LHP Ethan Small
Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2019 seems on the precipice of the major leagues. The 25-year-old split his time between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville in 2021. He made eight starts for the Shuckers, posting a 1.96 ERA, 1.137 WHIP and 14.6 K/9 over 41 innings. In nine starts for the Sounds he had a 2.06 ERA, 1.371 WHIP and 6.2 K/9. He could find himself in the rotation, or perhaps as a bullpen piece, with the Brewers sooner rather than later.
INF Brice Turang
A 2018 first-round pick, Turang has mostly played shortstop in the minors but could eventually be moved to second base. Like Small, Turang spent 2021 at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. In 73 games with Biloxi he slashed .264/.329/.385. With Nashville, he batted .245/.381/.315 in 44 contests. He combined to steal 20 bases as well. Turang has consistently shown a knack for getting on base, posting a career .364 on-base percentage in the minors.
1B Tyler White
The addition of the universal designated hitter could be a boon for the right-handed hitting White’s chances of making the opening roster. However, he’s not a DH-only player, having appeared more games at first base (175) than DH (54) in his four-year MLB career. White owns a career .236/.315/.409 slash line in 256 games, mostly in Houston (244 games) with a brief time with the Los Angeles Dodgers (12 games in 2019). White, though, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2019. He played in nine games in Korea in 2020 and spent all of last season with Toronto’s Triple-A Buffalo team, batting .292/.424/.476 with 13 homers in 105 games.
OF Garrett Whitley
The No. 13 overall pick by Tampa Bay in 2015, Whitley split time with the Rays’ Double-A and Triple-A teams last season. Playing in 57 games with Double-A Montgomery, Whitley slashed .255/.370/.510 with 11 home runs and 11 steals. In 31 games with Triple-A Durham he hit .172/.269/.301. This was the first year in which Whitley played above the Single-A level.