According to Mike Vassallo, senior director of media relations for the Brewers, infielder Taylor Green and right-handed pitcher Mark Rogers have officially been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Green suffered a left hip labral injury on Friday, Mar. 22. Rogers has battled through shoulder instability with his throwing arm this spring.
Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that they “don’t expect surgery and hopefully he can strengthen this and get back on the field,” about Green earlier today. “When he is ready he will start his rehab here in Phoenix and move on to (Class AAA) Nashville when ready.”
Green, 26, holds true to a .139/.244/.222 slash line over 15 games (41 PA) for Milwaukee this spring. Rogers, 27, has allowed seven earned runs to cross home over nine innings — four starts — this spring, which includes dishing out 12 walks to just three strikeouts.
UPDATE 3/26, 4:00 PM: The Brewers have announced the signing of shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt this afternoon. The veteran shortstop had been a part of the Phillies’ roster this spring but opted out of the minor league deal he had been under. Monetary figures and length of the contract have not yet been released.
Betancourt, 31, appeared in just 57 games for the Royals last season. He posted a .228/.256/.400 line in 228 plate appearances, yielding a .280 wOBA and 73 wRC+. With Jean Segura holding down the starting job at shortstop and Alex Gonzalez willing and able to fill in if need be, Betancourt will likely serve as a utility infielder off the bench.
Every year, it seems there are at least a handful of players on each Major League roster whose job security hinges on his performance over the course of Spring Training.
At Milwaukee Brewers camp in this spring, there are a number of players who have either elevated their opening-day roster spot security or have increased the likelihood of their being either sent to minor league camp, or released from the organization altogether.
Just past the midway point of spring training, now seems a perfect time to pinpoint those players who have impressed and disappointed. Here is a look at a few winners and losers of Brewers camp thus far.
Loser: Hunter Morris
Although his scintillating 2013 campaign — he hit .303/.357/.563 and with 74 extra-base hits — warranted national recognition, scouts questioned his big league power potential at the next level, with many saying his swing entails too many holes for him to become a productive everyday first baseman.
In his first go-around with the big-league camp this spring, he seems to be backing those evaluations.The 24-year-old Huntsville, Ala. product has in 27 plate appearances hit .120/.185/.280, striking out six times to drawing just two walks.
With Corey Hart out for what could be the first month of the season, Morris hasn’t done much this spring to increase his value within the organization. His chances of landing an opening-day roster spot (and Major League salary) have taken a hit this spring, to be sure.
Winner: Carlos Gomez
Carlos Gomez has cashed in this spring — literally.
After his best season as a professional, hitting .260/.305/.463 with 19 home runs and 37 stolen bases, the 27-year-old center fielder procured a four-year, $28.3 Million contract extension from Milwaukee on Wednesday, Mar. 13. The deal will keep Gomez with the club through the 2016 season, and presumably validates the club’s confidence in his ability to be the starter in center field for the future.
Exactly what compelled general manager Doug Melvin to extend Gomez? His aforementioned 2012 campaign had a lot do with it. However, a terrific spring training may too have had a strong affect. In 28 plate appearances, Gomez is presently hitting .474/.615/.684 with six walks to just five strikeouts and 13 total bases.
Loser: Mat Gamel
Mat Gamel doesn’t have much to smile about these days.
Once considered the heir-apparent to Prince Fielder as Milwaukee’s first baseman of the future, the now 27-year-old suffered his second ACL tear in consecutive springs. The difference between the two? Last year’s came well over a month into the season, whereas this year’s incident came before he stepped into the batter’s box in spring training. Unfortunately for Gamel, this year’s ACL tear will cause him tomiss the entirety of his 2013 season. With this injury, Gamel’s future with the organization has been put in jeopardy. No player at camp this spring has lost more than Gamel.
Winner: Mike Fiers
It’s funny how dramatically a person’s situation can change over the course of 12 months. Mike Fiers is a perfect example. At this time last year, the Nova Southeastern University product was having a rough go at spring training,registering just eight total innings while allowing 10 earned runs to cross home on 12 hits, three of which were home runs.
This spring, Fiers is rekindling the stuff that gave him an opportunity for the Brewers’ starting rotation from mid-season onward. Over 12.1 innings, the 28-year-old right-hander boasts a 2.19 ERA with 11 strikeouts to four walks. The concerns that surrounded Fiers toward the back end of last season seem to be fading away with each preseason appearance. Should he continue at this pace, he may find himself as the team’s No. 3 starter come April in a rotation desperate for stability.
Loser: Mark Rogers
Mark Rogers wishes he could push the ‘redo’ button this spring.
After getting his long-awaited opportunity to contribute to the starting rotation last season, garnering a 3.92 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 9.5 K/9 rate over seven starts, Milwaukee’s former first-round draft selection has labored this spring to a 7.50 ERA and 3.00 WHIP over six innings. He hasn’t fooled anyone with his stuff, as evidenced by his walking 10 batters to striking out just one to this juncture.
Given his respectable and often impressive 2012 campaign, many surmised at the start of spring training that Rogers would contend for a back-end starting rotation spot to start 2013. But for Rogers’ command to be as shaky as it has been this spring, all signs point to him starting this season in triple-A Nashville.
Winner: Jean Segura
The centerpiece to the trade that sent Zack Greinke from Milwaukee to Anaheim, Jean Segura’s first go-around as an everyday big league shortstop left something to be desired. In 44 games as the Brewers de facto everyday shortstop, the 22-year-old struggled putting consistent contact on many offerings, leading to a .264/.321/.331 slash line toward the bottom of Ron Roenicke’s order over that span. His speed on the bases wasn’t utilized and he labored a bit defensively, too.
This spring, Segura is putting to bed much of the doubt had by scouts last season. Over 29 plate appearances, Dominican-born youngster boasts a .321/.345/.464 slash line at the plate with three runs scored and a stolen base. His defense has improved, as he’s committed just one error on 31 total chances while turning three double plays in 10 games.
Winner: Khris Davis
No minor leaguer upped his value within the system as much as Davis has this spring.
Rated as my No. 10 prospect at the end of last season, the 25-year-old Davis has never been one to overwhelm scouts with his skill-set. Indeed, talent evaluators seem to agree that he doesn’t possess one ‘plus’ tool. Instead, Davis has let his production do the talking.
Between rookie, double-A and triple-A ball last season, Davis posted a .350/.451/.604 slash line with 15 home runs and 52 runs scored. This spring, he has made an impression on Milwaukee’s coaching staff by leading all players with three home runs, eight runs batted in, six runs scored and a .655 slugging percentage over 31 plate appearances.
A spot on the opening-day roster may not be in the cards for Davis, but if he continues to put solid contact on the ball while showing versatility defensively, he will be of great value once rosters expand in September.
For the better part of the last decade, the Milwaukee Brewers have prided themselves in their outstanding scouting, drafting, and development of young players from minor-league amateurs to MLB talent. Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and, yes, even Prince Fielder (to name a few) are quintessential examples of that efficiency.
Last winter, however, GM Doug Melvin dealt a number of top-tier minor league prospects to furnish deals that would send Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee. Though largely successful, the transactions would recede the level of talent in Milwaukee’s minor league system, sparing a handful of pertinent players down on the farm.
Which remaining youngsters have the best opportunity for success in the near future? Let’s take an early look at Milwaukee’s top 15 prospects heading into 2012.
Honorable Mention: RHP Santo Manzanillo
Manzanillo signed with the Brewers as a non-draft pick back in 2005, but has only begun to find his stride down in the minors.
The young power-righthander put together a nice 2011 campaign between high class-A Brevard County and double-A Huntsville. He worked 61.2 innings and posted a combined 1.75 ERA, distinctly in a reliever/closer role. He also punched out 62 in that same time-frame.
He’s been able to find the most success with his upper-90s fastball thus far. If he’s able to stay within himself as far as his command goes, he’ll only continue to work his way through the system.
Dishonorable Mention: RHP Mark Rogers
No matter how disappointing or enigmatic his short-lived career has been up to this point, it would be an outrage not to mention the 25-year-old former prodigy.
Drafted fresh out of high school as the fifth-overall pick in 2004, Rogers was expected to be the next best thing since sliced bread for the Brewers, but quickly found out his arm wasn’t quite ready for prime-time. Suffering a shoulder injury in 2006, Rogers injured his right shoulder and underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum.
He would not pitch until three years later, where in 2009 he would go 1-3 with a 1.67 ERA, 67 SO in 64.2 IP. His 2010, arguably his best, Rogers went 6-8 with a 3.71 ERA while garnering 111 SO in 111.2 IP, prompting a mid-season call-up, where the youngster made his first start as a Brewer.
Then, last March, the right-hander was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for a stimulant. He probably still has a future with the organization, but this certainly isn’t the way we all foresaw it transpiring.
Selected by Milwaukee at 49th overall back in 2009, the lanky right-hander made a solid impression on the organization back in 2010, going a combined 10-6 with a 2.98 ERA between single-A and class-A advanced ball.
Coming off his stellar showing, Baseball America ranked Heckathorn as Milwaukee’s ninth-best overall prospect heading into 2011. He wouldn’t live up to expectations, however, going a lackluster 5-10 with a 4.97 ERA while punching out just 89 in 22 starts.
While there’s no questioning his skill-set, the 23-year-old has yet to strut his best stuff with consistency. The youngster will have that opportunity next spring with double-A Huntsville.
15. RHP Jimmy Nelson
Coming into 2011, the 6’6″, 235-pound power right-hander was ranked as Milwaukee’s eighth overall prospect by Baseball America — and for good reason.
In his first minor league go-around with, Nelson went 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA while punching out 33 in just 26.2 innings of work as a member of the Brewers’ rookie club in Helena. As a starter, the University of Alabama product would go 8-9 with a 4.38 ERA, 120 SO and 146.0 IP in 25 starts with single-A Wisconsin.
He features a four-seam fastball that tops out in the mid-90s with a sinker, along with a slider and developing changeup. Look for him to start with class-A advanced Brevard County in 2012.
14. RHP Austin Ross
Another productive pitcher taken by the Brewers back in 2010, Ross has gone relatively unknown around Milwaukee. That may be about to change.
In five starts with Milwaukee’s rookie club in Helena, the 23-year-old went 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 52 SO and walked just six in 46.2 innings of work. He also held the opposition to a .246 BA and allowed just one home run during those starts. Yet, like so many other young pitchers, Ross’ production tapered a bit as he moved up, posting a combined 5.28 ERA and striking out 114 in 133.0 IP between class-A Wisconsin and class-A advanced Brevard County.
By no means is Ross a power pitcher that will strike out a lofty number of batters. However, he’s able to limit mistakes — he conceded just a 1.13 HR/9 in 13 class-A advanced starts last season — making him a near lock to be promoted to Milwaukee within the next few seasons.
There’s no doubting the 24-year-old righty is on the cusp of being a call-up for Milwaukee in the very near future, but his poor execution has led to him dropping out of our top 10.
Signed by the Brewers back in 2005, Rivas has put together a number of splendid minor-league campaigns, most notably in 2010, going 11-6 with a 3.37 ERA and 114 SO in 141.2 IP with double-A Huntsville.
Invited to spring training prior to last season, the youngster had his sights set on another noble effort with triple-A Nashville in 2011. That was not the case, going 7-12 with a less-than-impressive 4.72 ERA in 28 starts. He has the stuff to be a potential No.4 starter for Milwaukee, but he’ll need to put together a complete minor league season before that becomes a reality.
12. LHP Dan Meadows
“Unheralded” doesn’t even begin to describe this 24-year-old southpaw.
A 49th-round selection out of Temple Texas College in 2008, Meadows’ 6’6″, 223-pound frame initially classified him as a future starter in the big-leagues.
Going 13-6 with a 4.07 ERA and 108 SO in his second minor league season in class-A ball, Meadows established himself as a real workhorse in the making. The very next year, his label would change drastically.
Promoted to class-A advanced Brevard County, Meadows registered 2.86 ERA, 92 SO and a .221 BAA in 91.1 IP (42 games) in 2010, strictly in a relief role. He would be called-up to double-A Huntsville to start his 2011 campaign, where he would go 6-2 with a gaudy 1.51 ERA while holding batters to a .185 BAA, evoking yet another promotion to triple-A Nashville later that year.
11. 2B Eric Farris
Calling the 25-year-old Farris “fleet-of-foot” would be a bit of an understatement.
In just five seasons in Milwaukee’s system, the former fourth-round selection out of Loyola Marymount has ripened into a true barn-burner on the basepaths, stockpiling a Brewers record 70 stolen bases in 2009, a year he also batted .298 with 7 HR and 49 RBI.
Like so many other speedsters before him, though, Farris truly lacks power at the plate. The youngster maintained a .792 OPS during his lone year in rookie ball in 2007, but has seen a gradual decrease in OPS ever since.
We had him ranked higher in our preseason rankings last March, but after a pedestrian 2011 campaign with triple-A Nashville (.271 BA, 6 HR, 55 RBI, .689 OPS), Farris will have to prove himself capable once more in 2012.
One of the few classic power-hitters remaining in Milwaukee’s system, Gindl has yet to disappoint in five minor-league seasons.
His inaugural rookie season with the Brewers’ rookie club in Helena, the then 19-year-old outfielder batted .372 with 5 HR and 42 RBI, including a 1.000 OPS in 55 total games (207 AB). His outstanding production was enough for him to be named a Baseball America Rookie All-Star.
Since then, he’s only continued to make strides in the organization. Last season, the now 23-year-old amassed 15 HR, 60 RBI, .307 BA and ranked fourth among all Brewers prospects with a .309 OBP.
The only thing that could hold him back from a big-league promotion is Milwaukee’s lack for talent in the outfield. However, if he continues to generate runs at such a rapid pace, management may have no other choice than to bring him up for an audition.
9. RHP Cody Scarpetta
Blazing his way through rookie ball (2-0, 2.23 ERA, 58 SO) in 2008, Milwaukee’s 11th-round selection back in 2007 seemed intent on making a serious impact in the organization early on.
The very next year, the young Scarpetta worked his way from single-A ball to double-A Hunstville, posting a combined 3.52 ERA while striking out 116 in just 105.0 innings of work. However, the 6’3″, 244-pounder has since gained a reputation of poor command, ultimately leading to punching out just 98 batters in 117.0 innings of work last season in double-A Huntsville.
Despite all the negativity surrounding the youngster, he still has a boatload of potential in the big leauges. A number three spot in Milwaukee’s rotation in 2014 could be in the works if he gets his act together.
8. RHP Mike Fiers
One of the older prospects you’ll ever see — he’s currently 26 years old — Fiers has been an absolute gem in Milwaukee system in each of the past two seasons.
In just his second year in the minors, Fiers attained a 5-9 combined record, 3.53 ERA and 130 SO in 125.0 IP between class-A advanced Brevard County and double-A Huntsville in 2010. This past season, he persevered, going 13-3 with a staggering 1.86 ERA along with striking out 132 in 126.0 innings of work in double-A ball and triple-A Nashville.
He would later be named Milwaukee’s top minor-league pitcher of 2011, and subsequently found himself in a Brewers uniform mid September.
You know your farm system is dry when a player who has yet to make a minor-league start is a top-ten prospect. But that’s exactly the position the Brewers find themselves in.
Bradley, taken with the 15th overall pick in last summer’s 2011 draft, is currently polishing his exceptionally raw game in the MLB Arizona Fall League, where though over three weeks of baseball, has pitched but 2.0 innings.
Nevertheless, his talent and tremendous upside makes him a top-ten prospect by Milwaukee’s standards. Last season with Georgia Tech, the youngster went 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA, struck out 106 and allowed just one home run in 16 starts. Expect him to be pitching with Milwaukee’s rookie club in Helena next spring.
6. RHP Taylor Jungmann
Whatd’ya know, another first-round draft pick from last June’s draft cracks Milwaukee’s top-ten preseason prospect rankings.
The recipient of the 25th annual Dick Howser Award — an award handed out to college baseball’s player of the year — in July, the 6’6″, 220-pound Jungmann has been a portrait of success at the collegiate level. Chances are he’s well on his way toward stardom with the Brewers, as well. Last season, the lanky right-hander went 13-3 with an insane 1.60 ERA, 126 SO in 141.0 IP. He held opponents to a .165 BA, and an otherworldly 0.214 BABIP.
Jungmann signed a $2.525 Million deal with Milwaukee back in mid August. Like Bradley, he’s likely to be designated to the Brewers’ rookie club in Helena next spring.
One of my personal favorites, Ryan “Scooter” Gennett is, unlike many prospects in the system, on the virtual fast-track to the majors. The Florida State product has been nothing short of a sensation in just two full seasons in the minors.
In 2010, the speedy second-baseman batted .309 with 9 HR, 55 RBI, scored 87 runs and stole 14 bases in 118 games with class-A Wisconsin. The very next year, he progressed to class-A advanced Brevard County, amassing a .300 BA, 9 HR, 51 RBI and 11 SB.
This offseason, he’s lighting up opposing pitching in the Arizona Fall League, where through 13 games, he’s batting .357 wih 2 HR and 8 RBI, with a .946 OPS. Talk around the organization estimates he could push to be the full-time starting second baseman as soon as 2014.
4. CF Logan Schafer
An athletically capable outfielder by nature, the 25-year-old Schafer has been bustling his way through the system since his rookie season in 2008, where he batted .272 with 2 HR and 28 RBI in Helena.
He started his 2009 campaign in class-A advanced ball, and would really burst onto the scene shortly thereafter, batting .308 to go with 6 HR and 58 RBI.
A groin injury in spring training shattered his hopes for a productive 2010 season, but he would recover handsomely, amassing 5 HR, 43 RBI and a .315 BA between class-A advanced, double-A and triple-A this past season. His performance would be enough for a September call-up last season, but was specifically limited to a pinch-hitting/running role.
Depending on how management handles their depth chart in center-field, Schafer could be in a starting role by 2013. He’s presently sharpening his skill-set with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.
Through just one and a half years in the low minors, the 5’11”, 185-pound Thornburg is already drawing comparisons to Tim Lincecum. Its easy to see why.
Milwaukee’s lone third-round pick in the 2010 draft, Thornburg went 1-0 with a gaudy 1.93 ERA, amassing 38 SO in just 23.1 innings of work while holding opponents to a .179 BA with Helena in 2010. He started his 2011 campaign in single-A ball, going 7-0 with a 1.57 ERA, including 76 SO in just 68.2 innings.
Promoted to class-A advanced Brevard County at mid-season, Thornburg went 3-6, but still managed a 3.57 ERA and a .186 BAA. His stature will raise question marks regarding his durability and stamina, but, for now, he looks the part of a future ace.
2. 3B Taylor Green
Working his way up through the ranks of the unknown for quite some time, Green has manifested his big-league potential in admirable fashion, being named Milwaukee’s top minor-league hitter of 2011.
Last season, Green led all Brewers prospects with a .336 BA, amassed 22 HR, 91 RBI, and an organization-best .412 OBP and .580 SLG in triple-A ball. In brief, 2011 was a suptuous one for the rising star.
A September call-up, Green recorded 10 hits in 37 at-bats in his short stint with Ron Roenicke’s crew. It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be the opening-day starter in 2012, but he’s nonetheless made an exceptional impression on the club thus far.
Peralta, who signed on as a non-draft pick in 2005 at the ripe age of 16, is unquestionably Milwaukee’s top talent down on the farm and will be bound for the majors in the very near future.
His first two seasons in rookie ball were forgettable, but the young right-hander would really start materialize into a top prospect in 2009, where he went 4-4, maintained a 3.47 ERA and, most notably, struck out 118 in 103.2 IP in low-A ball.
In 2010, he went a combined 8-6 with a 3.79 ERA between class-A advanced and double-A, but witnessed his prominent K/BB ratio drop from 2.6:1 in 2009 to 1.6:1. He then took his talents to triple-A Nashville toward the end of 2011, where he would go 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA while garnering 40 strikeouts in just 31.0 innings, also holding opponents to a .193 BA.
There were rumblings about the 22-year-old being promoted to the majors last September, but that obviously didn’t happen. You can count on the youngster making his Brewer debut sometime in 2012, and there’s an outside chance he’ll be on the opening-day roster this March.
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Mark Rogers, Cody Scarpetta Lead the Way for Milwaukee’s Top Prospects; What Other Prospects Should We Take Note of?
By now, it should be no surprise to know that the Milwaukee Brewers have accumulated some of the most promising young stars via the draft over the past few seasons.
Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo and Rickie Weeks are just a few examples of Milwaukee’s uncanny ability to recognize future difference makers within the organization.
So with a new season nearing, here are the top 10 prospects headlining the Brewers’ farm-system.
Mark Rogers, RHP
Standing in at 6’3”, 220 pounds, Rogers is undoubtedly the Brewers’ top prospect who could potentially become an essential part of Milwaukee’s starting rotation in the near future.
Despite a few minor injuries, the former fifth overall pick in the 2005 MLB Amature Draft maintains an arsenal of capabilities that could be of use in 2011.
A low to mid 90 MPH fastball complemented by an impressive breaking ball topping out around 79-83 MPH are the primary assets Rogers carries with him, however he does have other convenient swing-and-miss pitches that will be of great importance in the major leagues.
The only thing keeping him from a position in Milwaukee’s starting rotation are lingering shoulder issues that sidelined him for two full seasons.
Should Rogers pitch up to his capabilities in Milwaukee’s minor league affiliates, he could soon find himself in a starting position in the Brewers’ five-man rotation as early as next season.
Cody Scarpetta, RHP
A near carbon-copy of Mark Rogers, Cody Scarpetta is as fundamentally sound a pitcher as you will ever seen in on a minor league diamond.
A slow start to his 2010 campaign in the Florida State league, Scarpetta rebounded in excellent fashion to vault himself atop the league leaders in strikeouts, and could certainly see playing time in the near future for the Brewers.
Milwaukee selected Scarpetta in the seventh round of the 2007 draft hoping for him to become a solid third starter in their rotation of the future, and so far it’s looking bright for the bulky right-hander.
For the time being, expect Scarpetta to continue his progressions in the minor leagues as he attempts to make his way up into the major league in the near future.
Wily Peralta, RHP
Drafted as Milwaukee’s first-round selection back in 2005, Peralta has quickly become one of the hottest commodities in the Brewers’ farm system along with other notable draft picks Eric Arnett and Mark Rogers. Unfortunately for Peralta, he could conceivably stay in Hunstville (Milwaukee’s AA affiliate) for another full season as he continues to improve on his stuff.
Since being drafted by the Brewers some five years ago, Peralta has spent many of his years in different locations (i.e. Helena, West Virginia, playing for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Brevard County and AA Hunstville.
Should he continue to work on his stuff, it’s not out of the question for this 6’2”, 225-pounder to secure a legitimate role in Milwaukee’s bullpen to work his way up to the starting rotation.
Kyle Heckathorn, RHP
The fourth member of Milwaukee’s plethora of young arms on the farm, Kyle Heckathorn could be considered the prospect with the most major-league potential mostly due to his 6’6”, 235-pound stature.
Drafted by the Brewers in the first-round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Kennesaw State, Heckathorn will become a major piece of Milwaukee’s starting rotation in the seasons to come.
With the impressive ability to hit his spots with his mid to high 90 MPH fastball, Heckathorn makes for a dominating talent for the Brewers in the next few years. However; due to an inconsistent slider that will need some maintenance, Heckathorn will most likely be stuck in Milwaukee’s minor league affiliates for another full season or two.
When Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum officially depart from Milwaukee after the next few season, expect Heckathorn to be called up to assume a major role in the Brewers’ rotation.
Amaury Rivas, RHP
In the midst of Milwaukee’s plethora of up-and-coming young prospects, one such talent has yet to be fully recognized by even most Brewers fans.
Amaury Rivas, who made his pitching debut back in 2005 as a member of the Brewers’ minor league affiliate in Arizona, is clearly one such pitcher who will contribute a surplus of positivity to Milwaukee’s pitching staff in the coming future.
The 25 year old Dominican-born stands in at 6’2”, 210 pounds, and attributes many positive features to his game including a knack for hitting his spots with consistency. Combine that with a fastball topping out in the mid 90s and you’ve got yourself one impressive prospect.
With a solid amount of experience already under his belt, and impressive 2009 & 2010 seasons pitching for both A+ Brevard Country and AA Hunstville, we’re almost certain to get a great look at Rivas over the course of Milwaukee’s 2011 regular season.
Scooter Gennett, 2B
The 20-year old all-purpose phenom Scooter Gennettmay have only one season’s worth of minor league experience under his belt, but that won’t stop him from becoming Milwaukee’s top in-fielding prospect for the next few seasons.
Yes, Gennett is without question one of the biggest assets the Brewers maintain in the minor leagues, and his potential as a major league infielder has no known limits whatsoever.
Contributing to the Brewers’ minor league affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers last season has increased his exposure to a bulk of Brewer fans; however his name still remains a mystery for the most part in Wisconsin.
A .309 batting average, 55 RBI, nine home runs, 14 stolen bases and .817 OPS in his inaugural season in the Brewers’ farm system now has scouts raving over his potential within the ballclub. In fact, rumor has is that Gennett will most likely replace Rickie Weeks at second base when he is called up in the next few seasons.
The former 16th-round selection from the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft will have a lasting impact on the future success of Milwaukee baseball.
Kentrail Davis, OF
Without question one of Milwaukee’s most aspiring young talents down on the farm, Kentrail Davis is certainly a prospect to watch closely each of the next few seasons.
The Brewers took a chance on the speedy 5’9”, 195-pound Davis in the first round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft to find out he could be roaming the outfield of Miller Park as soon as next season.
Last season, Davis maintained a successful season with the Wisconsin Timber-Rattlers and the Brevard County Brewers — two of the Milwaukee’s premier minor-league affiliates — by accounting for 63 RBI, 28 doubles, 10 home runs, and 10 triples while posting a OPS of .866.
As impressive as his batting has become, it is his fielding that will eventually take him to the next level with the Brewers; preserving a .974 fielding percentage playing predominantly center and right field.
Look for the 22-year old Davis to become a staple in Ron Roenicke’s aggressive-style offense just a few seasons down the road.
Eric Farris, 2B
Another up-and-coming speedster from Milwaukee’s farm system, Eric Farris is by far and away the most dangerous base-runner the Brewers have maintained in a long time.
Drafted by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, Farris has spent his days with many of the Brewers’ minor league ballclubs. However due to his youth, the Brewers have opted to develop Farris’ talents for an extensive amount of seasons.
Nevertheless, you can’t ignore his speed, tenacity and overwhelming offensive and defensive skill-set that carried him to three profoundly effective seasons in the minor leagues. From his rookie season in the minors, 2007, to his latest campaign in 2010, Farris has furnished 161 RBI, scored 208 runs, batted at least .271, and accumulated an awe-inspiring 138 stolen bases including a total of 70 stolen bases in 2009 alone.
Farris has a bright future ahead of him, and we should get a great look at what he has to offer this season for the Brewers.
Hunter Morris, 1B/3B
When the Milwaukee Brewers took to the 2010 MLB Draft, they already had maintained one of the best farm-systems in all of the major leagues. But after taking Auburn’s versatile infielder Eric Morris with their fourth-round selection, they managed to add yet another powerful bat to their system.
Standing at an athletic 6’4”, 215 pounds, Morris is a prospect that looks to make a difference for the Brewers in the years to come — possibly sooner depending on whether or not Milwaukee decides to trade away Prince Fielder for more pitching before the end of the 2011 season.
Morris’ statistics during his rookie minor league season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2010 aren’t what you’d expect given the hype: 44 RBI, .251 batting average and nine home runs. However; don’t expect those numbers to duplicate in 2011.