Prospect Profile: Kyle Wren

Outfielder Kyle Wren was acquired from Atlanta in 2014 in exchange for pitcher Zach Quintana.
Outfielder Kyle Wren was acquired from Atlanta in 2014 in exchange for pitcher Zach Quintana.

The sport of baseball is definitely something of a family affair when it comes to 24-year-old Milwaukee Brewers outfield prospect Kyle Wren. His uncle Jeff played collegiately at Liberty University before becoming a professional scout, while his younger brother Jordan is in his junior season at Georgia Southern University, and his twin brother Colby played alongside Kyle in college at Georgia Tech.

Perhaps the most well-known of the Wren family is Kyle’s father Frank. A former minor league outfielder in the Montreal Expos organization, Wren served as the General Manager of the Atlanta Braves from 2007-2014, and currently holds the position of Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox.

With his father in a prominent position with the Braves while he was growing up, Wren had the benefit of being able to pick the brains of many talented big leaguers. Having that chance to mature around the game of baseball and learn the finer points of the sport from some of the game’s best players couldn’t help but pay off for Wren, who was a standout on the diamond in high school, where he hit .455 while attending Landmark Christian School.

Wren also played two years of wide receiver for the school’s football team, but it was clear to see that baseball was in his blood, and following his high school graduation, he was given a college scholarship to Georgia Tech to play baseball in the ACC.

It didn’t take Wren long to make a splash for the Yellow Jackets. During his freshman season, he hit .390, leading the team in hits while starting all 63 of his team’s games. That standout campaign earned Wren Freshman All-American honors as well as a spot on the All-ACC first team.

Playing in 62 of Georgia Tech’s 64 games in 2012, Wren’s average dipped down to .256 but as a draft-eligible sophomore, the Cincinnati Reds organization took a chance on the speedy outfielder, selecting him in the 30th round of MLB’s June Draft.

Unsatisfied with his draft position, Wren chose to return to college for his junior year, looking to up his draft stock with a strong season. The move proved to be a wise one for Wren, as he again played in all 64 games for the Yellow Jackets, hitting .360 with a pair of home runs while stealing 28 bases.

After being drafted in the 30th round in 2012, Wren went 22 rounds higher the following season when he was selected by his father’s team at the time, the Atlanta Braves, in the eighth round in 2013.

Upon signing with the Braves following the draft, Wren went right to work, appearing at three different levels as he briskly climbed through the ranks of Atlanta’s farm system. He played in just five games for Danville, the Braves rookie league affiliate in the Appalachian League before quickly earning a promotion to Low-A Rome after hitting .409 with three doubles and a triple in 22 at bats.

Wren split last season between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Colorado Springs
Wren split last season between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Colorado Springs

Wren enjoyed similar success with Rome, posting a line of .328/.382/.456 while swiping 32 bases in 47 contests, leading to a final stop at High-A Lynchburg to finish out the season.

He opened 2014 back at Lynchburg, where he continued to thrive at the top of the Hillcats order, hitting .296 and stealing 33 bags before earning another promotion, this time to Double-A Mississippi in late June. Wren finished out the year in Double-A by hitting .283 and scoring 28 runs in 56 Southern League games and was selected to be one of the Braves representatives in the Arizona Fall League following the end of the 2014 season. But after the Braves big league club went just 4-16 in the month of September and finished 17 games back of the Washington Nationals in the National League East, Wren’s father was let go as GM.

With Frank Wren out in Atlanta, and despite Kyle’s on-field success, the Braves decided that they would need to part ways with him as well. And so in the waning days of the Arizona Fall League season, Kyle Wren was traded by Atlanta to Milwaukee in exchange for minor league pitcher Zach Quintana.

With half of a Double-A season under his belt in 2014, Wren began his Brewers career with Milwaukee’s new Double-A affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi in 2015. He appeared in 60 games for the Shuckers and proved to be a steadying force during the team’s 54 game road trip to open the season.

Wren hit an even .300 for Biloxi, stealing 20 bases and scoring 26 runs, and shortly after the team debuted in their new stadium, he was on the move again. This time with a promotion to join Milwaukee’s Triple-A ballclub in Colorado Springs.

Wren would finish out the 2015 season with the Sky Sox, batting .251 over his final 76 games while roaming the spacious Pacific Coast League outfields in Colorado Springs.

Whether you’re talking about him in the outfield , on the bases, or his progression through the minor leagues, Wren seemingly does everything quickly. That rapid rise has benefited his parent club as well, as the Brewers have not yet had to create a space on their 40-man roster for Wren.

With an opening in center field in Milwaukee this season, his time could be coming soon. While he’ll likely return to Colorado Springs to start the 2016 season, given his sound knowledge of the game, plus defense and ability to make contact at the plate, it should come as no surprise that he now finds himself just a phone call away from Miller Park and the major leagues should a need arise for the Brewers.

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