Milwaukee Brewers 2013 Top 15 Prospects
The rest of Bullpen Banter’s 2013 Top 15 Prospects can be found on the 2013 Team Prospect Lists Bar on the right side of your screen. Thanks for reading! -BB
Bullpen Banter Milwaukee Brewers 2013 Top 15 Prospects
Jeff Reese: The Milwaukee Brewers depleted their farm system a couple of years ago in order to make a run at a championship while Prince Fielder was still under contract. It’s hard to fault a team for attempting to win and using their prospects to facilitate it, but it does open oneself up to losing a cornerstone type of player (Brett Lawrie). As a team that cannot compete with the biggest spenders around the league, you need that young, cheap talent to form the basis of your major league roster. The Marcum trade is a large blemish, but trading Greinke last July allowed the Brewers to recoup more value than they initially gave up for him — Jean Segura would have been my choice for best prospect on this list had he not graduated; John Hellweg and Ariel Pena both make the list. Hellweg is a very tall pitcher with excellent raw stuff who is still trying to master his delivery, control, command, and coordination. If everything happens to come together, he may be the best player listed. Ariel Pena has a similar profile with mediocre control of loud raw stuff.
Wily Peralta is the choice at the top. At 6’2 240, he has a large frame that is composed of its share of bad weight; yet that is not as troubling as would be with a position player. Peralta has enough athleticism for it not to hinder him, and that extra weight could help his durability. The fastball and slider can both be electric; the changeup is good enough for him to start so long as the major obstacle is cleared: refining his command.
The rest of the list is primarily filled with prospects acquired from the last few draft classes. The 2012 draft skewed heavily towards power hitters. Clint Coulter has question marks behind the plate but offers the prodigious power and ability for contact that would suit a move to first base (if necessary). Victor Roache was one of the premier collegiate power prospects heading into the spring, but he broke his wrist early in the year and the last legitimate look was from the Cape in the preceding summer. That Cape season can be split into two parts: a first half when the bat speed and leverage came together to make him the most dominant player in that league; and a second half where the lack of pitch recognition caused him to chronically chase pitches out of the zone and his production plunged. Mitch Haniger is another athletic corner outfielder with a knack for hard contact and plus power potential. Tyrone Taylor breaks that trend as a raw center fielder with impact level speed as his best tool.
The 2011 draft focused on pitching. Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley were their first round selections; the two went in somewhat divergent paths during their first professional season. Jungmann fared fairly well in the FSL with confidence and command of a low 90s fastball that is complimented by a couple of solid breaking balls. The unorthodox delivery can certainly draw its share of detractors, but he repeats it well and hasn’t hindered his command or durability. Jed Bradley, meanwhile, took his inconsistent Junior season into pro ball and had a poor showing in the FSL. Jorge Lopez was the second rounder and spent the entire season at their AZL complex. The statistics leave a lot to be desired, but the Puerto Rican still possesses the athletic, projectable frame and raw stuff that points to a brighter future.
There isn’t a lot to get excited about on Milwaukee’s list, but neither is there anything to be upset about. It’s a middle of the pack system with a lot of guys who project as mid rotation starters and solid to above-average regulars.
Al Skorupa: The Brewers farm is a system that’s been hampered by some mediocre trades and drafts in recent years. This is also a system full of flawed but interesting prospects. While I like many of the prospects in this org., I have reservations about many of them. I don’t really see anyone in this system who projects as an all star or franchise player, but Milwaukee still should end up with a number of quality regulars.
Wily Peralta’s stuff continued to improve in 2012. My concern last year with Peralta (which generated quite a few comments) was his inability to repeat his delivery and the resulting command and control issues. While his raw stuff looks like a front of the rotation pitcher I think his flaws will more often result in middle of the rotation production. Still, he’s a quality big league arm who is going to help Milwaukee in 2013 and could still make that next jump. Tyler Thornburg and John Hellweg probably both profile better out of the bullpen long term. Yet, there’s no reason they can’t give the Brewers lots of quality innings as starters as well. Command is an issue for both pitchers and its likely their shortcomings will eventually get exposed by major league hitters. Its interesting that Thornburg is an undersized pitcher with violent mechanics that lead to his command problems… while Hellweg is a really big guy with long levers that lead to the same flaw. I do really like both arms and its not at all unthinkable that they make the adjustments and find a way to succeed.
I saw Victor Roache quite a bit on the Cape a couple summer ago. His swing has tremendous natural leverage and his bat speed is elite. Bat head control and pitch recognition are far from elite, but I expect him to be a very productive major league hitter. I liked the pick of Clint Coulter. He’s a very talented player. It is going to be a somewhat longer development path for Coulter, but the tools are all there for him to be an above average major league catcher. I was disappointed by the years Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley have. I’m far from ready to give up on them, though.
While there are a number of talented players in this system there is also some work to be done. As funny as it sounds, I feel like the Brewers could probably benefit from a riskier draft where they try to infuse some raw tools into the org.
RHP Tyler Thornburg (Steve Fiorindo)
C Clint Coulter (Steve Fiorindo)
RHP John Hellweg (Steve Fiorindo & Peter Wardell)
OF Victor Roache (Al Skorupa)
2B Scooter Gennett (Chris Blessing)