Troy Stokes Jr. Shows Power-Speed Combo
Players with the rare combination of power and speed quickly get the attention of scouts.
With that in mind, the Brewers considered it an easy decision to add 22-year-old outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. to the 40-man roster, thus protecting him from the Rule 5 draft. He turned in a strong season at Double-A Biloxi that included 19 home runs and 19 stolen bases.
At 5-foot-8, 182 pounds, Stokes packs a lot of talent in a small package.
"He's a little small in stature, but he has a lot of pop in his swing and gets to a lot of balls he can really handle and drive," farm director Tom Flanagan said. "He gets on base and can steal bases.
"Troy has that speed-power combo you really like, and his defense has really come on. He's certainly capable of playing center."
Stokes primarily played left field at Biloxi because the Brewers had Southern League MVP Corey Ray patrolling center. But Stokes played the position well enough to earn a minor league Gold Glove, a nod to his stellar defense.
A 2014 fourth-round pick out of Calvert Hall High in Baltimore, Stokes batted .233/.343/.430 in 129 games at Biloxi.
Stokes then cemented his spot on the 40-man roster with a stellar showing this winter in the Venezuelan League. In 28 games for Aragua, he batted .298/.391/.447 with four home runs and seven steals in seven attempts.
Stokes has some swing-and-miss in his game, as evidenced by his low batting average and strikeout rate of nearly 27 percent. But his overall plate approach is good, resulting in 65 walks and an acceptable on-base percentage, and he is very strong with a short, compact swing and above-average power.
The Brewers traded away some of their top outfield depth when Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison were sent to Miami last January in the Christian Yelich trade. But they’ve restocked it by adding Tyrone Taylor and Stokes to the 40-man roster this winter, with Ray on the horizon.
"We feel really good about it,” Flanagan said. "It could be a really good outfield at Triple-A if it’s Taylor, Stokes and Ray. Those guys have a lot of talent.”
2018 MLB Rule 5 Draft Preview (Updated 12/12)
Multiple players eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft, led off by Richie Martin.
— The Brewers added 22-year-old righthander Trey Supak to the 40-man roster. He split the 2018 season between high Class A Carolina and Biloxi, recording a 2.38 ERA in 25 starts while walking 44 and striking out 123 in 137.2 innings.
— The Brewers did not add Biloxi first baseman Jake Gatewood to the 40-man roster, making him eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft. His 2018 season was shortened by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.