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January 29, 2014

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects

by Jason Parks

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Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Brewers list

The Top Ten

  1. CF Tyrone Taylor
  2. RHP Jimmy Nelson
  3. CF Mitch Haniger
  4. SS Orlando Arcia
  5. RHP Johnny Hellweg
  6. OF Victor Roache
  7. RHP Devin Williams
  8. RHP Taylor Jungmann
  9. RHP David Goforth
  10. SS Yadiel Rivera

1. Tyrone Taylor
Position: CF
DOB: 01/22/1994
Height/Weight: 6’0” 185 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2012 draft, Torrance HS (Torrance, CA)
Previous Ranking: #9 (Org)
2013 Stats: .274/.338/.400 at Low-A Wisconsin (122 games)
The Tools: 7 run; 5+ arm; 6 potential glove; 5+ potential bat; 5+ potential power

What Happened in 2013: In his full-season debut, the former second round pick showed prowess in the field and at the plate, pushing himself to the top of the Brewers prospect pyramid.

Strengths: High-end athlete; well above-average run; tools to stick in center; good arm; bat projects to solid-average; good hand/eye; some pop in the stick; could find average or better power.

Weaknesses: Still transitioning from athlete to baseball player; reads/routes need refinement in center; struggles against arm-side stuff; struggles against spin; streaky hitter that will need to make quicker adjustments as he climbs.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Realistic Role: High 4; below-average major leaguer/bench player

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; limited experience at full-season level; questions about offensive profile.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Taylor is the guy to own in this system if forced to carry someone on a dynasty farm team. He could be a legitimate 20/20 candidate playing in Miller Park (where his power will be accentuated) and the combination of the scouting takes on his swing and his contact rate in the Midwest League leave open the possibility of some average as well.

The Year Ahead: Taylor has the highest ceiling on the Brewers farm, a five-tool player that projects to stick up the middle. But the 20-year-old is more raw tools than baseball skills at this point, and several sources are hesitant to profess much faith in the offensive profile, despite his solid season in the Midwest League. If he can take steps forward with his pitch recognition and reaction skills, and learn to tap into his strength at the plate, he’s going to offer more than just contact and speed. In the field, he has a chance to be very legit at a premium position, and that alone will end up eventually carrying him to the major leagues. If the bat steps up, Taylor will climb prospect lists as he climbs toward the highest level.

Major league ETA: 2017

2. Jimmy Nelson
Position: RHP
DOB: 06/05/1989
Height/Weight: 6’5” 245 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2010 draft, University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Previous Ranking: Factor on the Farm
2013 Stats: 0.90 ERA (10 IP, 2 H, 8 K, 5 BB) at major-league level, 3.67 ERA (83.1 IP, 74 H, 91 K, 50 BB) at Triple-A Nashville, 2.74 ERA (69 IP, 63 H, 72 K, 15 BB) at Double-A Huntsville
The Tools: 6 FB; 6 SL; 5 potential CH

What Happened in 2013: Nelson pitched his way to the major-league level, but his below-average command continued to cloud his potential.

Strengths: Big, sturdy frame; pitches with good angle and plane; fastball is plus offering; consistent in the low 90s with weight; slider is out pitch; 82-84 with tilt; shows changeup; attacks hitters.

Weaknesses: Below-average command; struggles with release points; won’t finish and will miss arm side and up; changeup is fringe; gets firm and deliberate; what you see is what you get; several sources see a reliever.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Realistic Role: 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; upper minors experience; achieved major-league level.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: This is exactly what to expect from the Brewers’ list. Nelson is not close to a top-100 fantasy prospect and is really ownable only in deeper formats. Could be a big ground ball guy who logs a lot of innings, but the ERA and strikeout numbers are likely to leave him near replacement-level in shallow leagues.

The Year Ahead: Nelson is a workhorse starter, with a big, physical body and two above-average offerings. The command is below average and could limit his effectiveness in a rotation, and the changeup is a fringe-pitch at present that is often too firm and lacking deception from the arm. If the command can refine, Nelson should enjoy a long career as a backend starter, and even if the command remains below average, he can carve out a role in a major-league bullpen.

Major league ETA: Debuted in 2013

3. Mitch Haniger
Position: CF
DOB: 12/23/1990
Height/Weight: 6’2” 180 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Previous Ranking: #8 (Org)
2013 Stats: .250/.323/.396 at High-A Brevard County (88 games), .297/.399/.510 at Low-A Wisconsin (41 games)
The Tools: 6 power potential; 5 potential hit; 6 arm

What Happened in 2013: A supplemental first-round pick in the 2012 draft, Haniger hit his way to the Florida State League in 2013, wrapping up his first full season with a successful 25-game run in the Arizona Fall League.

Strengths: Plus power potential; good hands; good present strength; feel for hitting; has a plan at the plate and forces pitchers to work; arm is above average; will play in a corner.

Weaknesses: Lacks high-end tools; hit tool only projects in the average range; can try to yank too many balls; struggles against balls on the outer half; game play might play under projection; fringe defensive profile; fringe run; bat has to play to projection (or above) for impact.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; above-average player

Realistic Role: 5; major-league regular

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate risk; yet to play at Double-A level.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: A better fantasy prospect than real life one, Haniger could hit his fair share of homers playing at Miller Park. However, the hit tool is going to have to play to at least a fringe-average level or else the power won’t matter all that much. Upside is for .260 and 25 homers.

The Year Ahead: Haniger is a hitter, but just how much he will hit is a subject of debate. While he has good hands and can produce good bat speed, he has yet to find his over-the-fence stroke and might only profile for average game power. With defensive limitation, the bat will need to play for Haniger to profile as a major-league regular, and without loud physical tools, the margin of error is slim. But after a strong showing in the prospect heavy Arizona Fall League, several sources were more confident that he can make the bat work against quality pitching, a vote of confidence as the 23 year-old will attempt to pass the Double-A test in 2014.

Major league ETA: 2015

4. Orlando Arcia
Position: SS
DOB: 08/04/1994
Height/Weight: 6’0” 165 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2010, Venezuela
Previous Ranking: On The Rise
2013 Stats: .251/.314/333 at Low-A Wisconsin (120 games)
The Tools: 6 arm; 6 potential glove; 5+ potential hit; 5 run

What Happened in 2013: The slick defender struggled in his full-season debut, which is to be expected given the fact that the 19-year-old lost a season to injury in 2012 and was last seen playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2011.

Strengths: Lean and athletic body; skinny but room to add more strength; impressive baseball instincts; fluid actions in the field; great hands; quick reads and reactions; natural shortstop; strong arm; good plan of attack at the plate; contact swing with some natural jump off the bat; hit tool projects to solid-average or better; average run.

Weaknesses: Needs to add strength; struggles against quality spin; fastball-first approach; well below-average power; speed is average at best; glove-first profile.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Realistic Role: High 4; utility player

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; yet to play in high minors; questions about bat.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Sort of a reverse Haniger, Arcia’s strengths are on the defensive side of the equation, making him a guy not worth paying much attention to in fantasy leagues. There is a chance that he could be a .280 hitter with 15-20 steals per year, but if that’s your fantasy ceiling, it’s not worth much of an investment.

The Year Ahead: Arcia is a highly instinctual player with excellent hands on both sides of the ball, fluid actions, and a strong arm. He’s not a burner but he has range, and he’s not a power hitter but he can make hard contact, showing a good feel for squaring up velocity. He struggles against secondary stuff and the bat is more about consistent contact than impact, so the profile is more about his glove than his stick. Arcia could develop into a down-the-lineup bat with an above-average defensive profile at shortstop, making him a very valuable first-division player if everything comes together. There is a high risk involved because of the bat, but the glove should at least carry him to a utility position down the line, so the major league floor is relatively high.

Major league ETA: 2016

5. Johnny Hellweg
Position: RHP
DOB: 10/29/1988
Height/Weight: 6’9” 205 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 16th round, 2008 draft, Florida College (Jacksonville, FL)
Previous Ranking: #3 (Org)
2013 Stats: 6.75 ERA (30.2 IP, 40 H, 9 K, 26 BB) at major-league level, 3.15 ERA (125.2 IP, 103 H, 89 K, 81 BB) at Triple-A Nashville, 3.14 ERA (6 IP, 5 H, 4 K, 2 BB) at Low-A Wisconsin
The Tools: 7+ potential FB; 5 CB; 5 potential CH

What Happened in 2013: Hellweg’s control problems continued as he climbed all the way to the major leagues, struggling to miss bats and limit damage.

Strengths: Extreme height/length; excellent extension; fastball can show elite velocity; routinely works in the 93-97 range; shows big arm-side run; hard curveball in upper 70s/low 80s; two-plane break and occasional depth; average changeup; some fade and sink.

Weaknesses: Well below-average command; struggles to control body/delivery; arm can show drag; excellent in bursts but struggles deeper into games; arsenal is fastball heavy; secondary arsenal is average at best; starter profile is shaky.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; no. 4 starter

Realistic Role: 5; late-innings reliever (setup)

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; achieved major-league level; some injury concerns.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Hellweg is best left to be someone else’s problem in fantasy leagues. There was a time where he made for a nice upside play, but with less of a chance to stick in a rotation (and less upside there even if he makes it), the likelihood is that Hellweg has a Jon Rauch-type career as a huge man with little fantasy interest.

The Year Ahead: Hellweg has a lot of length to control in his delivery, and when he manages to repeat his mechanics, his fastball can be a monster offering, with the ability to work mid-upper 90s with big arm-side life. The secondary arsenal often looks underdeveloped and struggles to find much utility; the curveball can get slurvy and loose and the changeup can get too firm and flat. Command is his biggest hindrance, and without a step forward, high-leverage relief won’t be an option, much less starting. But the length that is at times a detriment is also an asset, and if he can find a way to repeat with any consistency, he has a chance to be an impact arm in the back of a major-league bullpen.

Major league ETA: Debuted in 2013

6. Victor Roache
Position: OF
DOB: 09/17/1991
Height/Weight: 6’1” 225 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA)
Previous Ranking: #5 (Org)
2013 Stats: .248/.322/.440 at Low-A Wisconsin (119 games)
The Tools: 7 power potential; 5 potential glove; 5 arm

What Happened in 2013: In his professional debut, the former first-round pick managed to slug 40 extra-base hits, including 22 bombs, but the swing and miss was a little more grotesque than anticipated, with 137 whiffs in 119 games.

Strengths: Monster raw power; leveraged swing capable of driving the ball out of the park; impressive strength; glove could play to average; raw arm strength is solid

Weaknesses: Questionable hittability; struggles against arm-side stuff; pitch recognition skills might be a problem; hit tool could pull game power down; limited defensive profile; most likely a LF because of range and arm utility.

Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player

Realistic Role: High 4; below-average major leaguer

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; limited professional experience; questions about hit tool.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: It’s easy to squint and imagine Roache as a solid fantasy contributor—that power could play to 30-plus bombs in Milwaukee’s homer haven. However, he has red flags that run from his injury history to his hit tool, which makes him an interesting flier and not much else. Better for shallow leagues.

The Year Ahead: Roache possesses the most sought after attribute on the offensive side of the ball—big raw power—but his overall feel for hitting and defensive limitations make the profile tough to champion. If Roache can find a way to fully tap into his well above-average raw power, his other shortcomings can be ignored, as we all can appreciate the beauty that is 35 bombs a season. But as a player that really struggles against arm-side stuff and seems to have a slower trigger because of pitch read/reaction skills, bringing that power into game action against better arms is as task with a low probability of success.

Major league ETA: 2016

7. Devin Williams
Position: RHP
DOB: 09/21/1994
Height/Weight: 6’3” 165 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2013 draft, Hazelwood West HS (Hazelwood, MO)
Previous Ranking: NA
2013 Stats: 3.38 ERA (34.2 IP, 28 H, 39 K, 22 BB) at complex level AZL
The Tools: 7 potential FB; 6 potential CH; 5 potential SL

What Happened in 2013: The electric second round arm turned a lot of heads in the Arizona League, missing more than a bat an inning despite wobbly control.

Strengths: Highly projectable body; athletic; big arm strength; fastball works 90-94; touches higher; good vertical life; projects to be a well above-average offering; shows feel for 82-85 mph changeup; plays well off the fastball; shows confidence in the offering; slider can flash potential; low-80s with occasional sharp tilt.

Weaknesses: Inconsistent mechanics at present; needs to add strength; fastball command is below average; can overthrow changeup; breaking ball lacks an identity at present; slurvy slider without consistent velocity or tilt; long developmental road ahead.

Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 2 starter

Realistic Role: 5; no. 4 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: High risk; limited professional experience; big gap between present/future

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Williams was one of my favorite unheralded arms in the 2013 draft class, and is worth taking with a late second or third round dynasty league pick. It’s going to be a slow burn with him, but there is more potential here than in any other arm in this system (admittedly, that’s not saying much). He has the foundation to miss bats.

The Year Ahead: Williams has the highest ceiling of all the arms on the farm, but he’s just starting his professional journey and he’s not going to reach his ceiling overnight. With a projectable body and plenty of athleticism, Williams should be able to refine his command and pound the lower zone with his already plus fastball, that projects to develop into a 70-grade pitch. He shows some feel for the changeup, but the breaking ball will need to announce itself with more authority if the 19-year-old arm wants to climb on the national prospect radar in 2014. It shouldn’t take long. This kid is going to be a stud.

Major league ETA: 2017

8. Taylor Jungmann
Position: RHP
DOB: 12/18/1989
Height/Weight: 6’6” 210 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 draft, University of Texas (Austin, TX)
Previous Ranking: #4 (Org)
2013 Stats: 4.33 ERA (139.1 IP, 117 H, 82 K, 73 BB) at Double-A Huntsville
The Tools: 5+ FB; 5+ SL

What Happened in 2013: In his Double-A debut, the former 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft failed to gain any prospect traction, losing his feel for command and showing an average arsenal.

Strengths: Excellent size and present strength; creates good angle to the plate; multiple fastball looks; sinker in upper 80s/low 90s; can spike a little higher with four-seamer; good natural weight to the sinker; can cut the ball as well; slider is solid-average offering; upper-70s with some tilt; will show a playable changeup; durable.

Weaknesses: Lacks impact stuff; can lose his release points; tendency to miss arm-side; doesn’t pitch with a lot of athleticism; below-average command (present); changeup is average at best; routinely plays fringe or below; some sink but mechanics can get deliberate and giveaway the pitch.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Realistic Role: Low 5; long relief/no. 5 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; mature arsenal; 26 starts at Double-A level.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: That strikeout-to-walk rate of nearly 1:1 in Double-A speaks volumes about how interested I am in Jungmann from a fantasy perspective. He has name recognition at this point and little else. Pass.

The Year Ahead: Normally you wouldn’t draft a non-descript workhorse starter with the 12th overall pick in a loaded draft, but that’s the reality of the former Longhorns ace. He has the body to log a ton of innings, and the stuff is solid-average, so with sharp command he could find sustainable success at the highest level. But without bat missing stuff, his pitch-to-weak-contact approach gets put to the test when he struggles with the free pass, a problem that he can successfully side-step in the minors but one that will likely limit his major-league production if he doesn’t take a step forward.

Major league ETA: 2014

9. David Goforth
Position: RHP
DOB: 10/11/1988
Height/Weight: 6’0” 188 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 7th round, 2011 draft, University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS)
Previous Ranking: NR
2013 Stats: 3.28 ERA (46.2 IP, 32 H, 36 K, 18 BB) at Double-A Huntsville, 3.10 ERA (78.1 IP, 67 H, 58 K, 28 BB) at High-A Brevard County
The Tools: 7 FB; 5+ CT; 5+ SL

What Happened in 2013: The diminutive righty eventually transitioned from starter to reliever, where he saw a spike in his stuff and put himself of the fast-track to the major leagues with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League.

Strengths: Near elite arm strength; fastball can work in the mid-upper 90s; power pitch; easy plus-plus offering; shows bat breaking hard cutter in the upper 80s/low 90s; shows a low-80s slider that can miss bat; aggressive late-innings approach.

Weaknesses: Shorter than listed height; needs to work down to create plane; secondary arsenal comes and goes; hard slider/cutter can play too short/flat; shows below-average curveball and changeup; command is below average.

Overall Future Potential: 5; late-innings reliever (setup)

Realistic Role: 5; reliever (middle)

Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; limited Double-A experience.

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: There’s really nothing to see here from a potential good middle reliever. Even if you’re in an NL-only league that counts holds, you don’t want to bother here.

The Year Ahead: What Goforth lacks in size he makes up for with fastball velocity, an attribute that will eventually carry him to the back of a major-league bullpen. He doesn’t have wipeout secondary stuff, but if he can refine his command, he can pound with mid-upper 90s fastball and make the slider/cutter combo more effective as a result. It shouldn’t take the 25-year-old righty long to establish himself as a legit back-of-the-bullpen force at the major-league level.

Major league ETA: 2014

10. Yadiel Rivera
Position: SS
DOB: 05/02/1992
Height/Weight: 6’2” 175 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 9th round, 2010 draft, Manuela Toro HS (Caguas, PR)
Previous Ranking: On The Rise
2013 Stats: .241/.300/.314 at High-A Brevard County (129 games)
The Tools: 6+ glove; 5+ arm; 5 raw power

What Happened in 2013: In his first pass in the Florida State League, the Puerto Rican shortstop swung an empty stick, making weak contact and slugging an anemic .314.

Strengths: Excellent hands/actions on defense; fluid and effortless; arm is strong enough to make the throws; can stick at the position all the way up; bigger than expected raw power; has a plan at the plate.

Weaknesses: Hit tool is well below average; linear in-game stroke; fringe bat speed and weak contact; raw power doesn’t translate into games; struggles against off-speed offerings and good velocity; lacks plus run; range built on instincts and positioning.

Overall Future Potential: 5; major-league regular

Realistic Role: High 4; utility player

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate risk; glove can play; bat is big question mark; yet to play at Double-A level

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: Rivera is like a poor man’s Orlando Arcia from a fantasy standpoint, and Arcia wasn’t all that interesting. He shouldn’t be rostered outside of Yadiel-only leagues.

The Year Ahead: I’m still relatively high on Rivera despite the realities of his bat, as the fluid and natural actions in the field are above average at a premium defensive position. With a solid approach and good raw pop, you would think the bat had more projection and promise than it currently shows, which is possibly true. While the bat needs to step up for him to become a major-league regular, the baseball instincts and glovework will eventually carry him to the majors. But its utility-at-best profile if the stick doesn’t start packing a bigger punch, and the pitching isn’t going to get any easier at the Double-A level.

Major league ETA: Late 2015


Prospects on the Rise:
1. RHP Jorge Lopez:
I thought 2013 would be the breakout season for the Puerto Rican arm, but Lopez struggled with stuff and command in his full-season debut. The athletic and highly projectable right has all the necessary components to right the command ship and let the plus stuff out in game action, an eventuality that will push him into the top 10 list and onto the national prospect landscape.

2. 3B Tucker Neuhaus: A second round pick in the 2013 draft, Neuhaus has all the tools to blossom into a top 10 talent in this system, a distinction that his paper grades make a case for right now. With a very big arm in the field and a clean, powerful stroke at the plate, the 18-year-old brings potent dual-threat profile to the field, a player with the potential to hit for average and power while showing a good glove at the hot corner (his eventually home). He’s very young, so it’s going to take time. But the projections make him a very interesting prospect to keep an eye on.

3. SS Franly Mallen: A recent signing in the J2 international market, Mallen was one of the top shortstop prospects available in the class. The 16-year-old Dominican will show good actions in the field with a strong, and enough bat speed and bat control at the plate to offer average or better offensive projections. Because of his age, the projection (both physically and emotionally) is very abstract, but in a system that is thin on Latin American talent, signing Mallen was a step in the right direction.


Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2014)
1. 1B Hunter Morris: With above-average pop from the left-side, Morris was able to rip 53 extra-base hits in his Triple-A debut, but his struggles against arm-side stuff and high whiff rates could limit his major-league role to that of a platoon bat, assuming the opportunity opens up at the position at some point in 2014.

2. 1B Jason Rogers: With big boy raw power from the right side, Rogers has a chance to hit his way to the major-league level in 2014, but positional deficiency clouds the path, as does his struggles against arm-side pitching. If you put Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers together, you might just have a first-division first baseman: Hunter Rogers/Jason Morris.

3. RHP Ariel Pena: Large and in charge Dominican arm with a big fastball, Pena has the stuff to pitch at the major-league level in 2014, even though his below-average command points to a bullpen future.


Top 10 Talents 25 and Under (born 4/1/88 or later)

  1. Jean Segura
  2. Tyrone Taylor
  3. Wily Peralta
  4. Jimmy Nelson
  5. Scooter Gennett
  6. Tyler Thornburg
  7. Mitch Haniger
  8. Orlando Arcia
  9. Johnny Hellweg
  10. Victor Roache

The contents of the Brewers minor league cupboard are not pretty, and when we expand the scope to those players 25 and under the picture doesn’t get much prettier. With Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy long gone from qualifying for this list, and Khris Davis just missing the cutoff, the only name of note is shortstop Jean Segura.

Segura exploded in his first full season in the big leagues, hitting a robust .294/.329/.423 while manning shortstop on a daily basis—something many scouts long ago thought would not be possible. Segura doesn’t look the part of an impact talent, but his contact ability, surprising pop and excellent speed will allow him to be a high-end shortstop at the major-league level for quite some time. Segura is the no doubt number one player on this list and the drop off behind him is significant.

Parsing the difference between Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson can be difficult at times. Nelson has a little more upside and could sit in the middle of a big-league rotation, or his control/command development could stagnate and he could end up in the bullpen. With a narrower range of outcomes and a major-league resume, Peralta gets the nod from me as a workhorse fourth starter who should help solidify the back of the Brewers rotation for a few years. In the end, both players are likely to end up with similar roles, so the nod goes to the guy with the MLB resume.

The only two other talents that merit mention on this list are two players that have inspired doubts. Both Scooter Gennett and Tyler Thornberg have been questioned in scouting circles because of their size and because of what role they will be charged with filling at the highest level.

Gennett has hit everywhere he has been, including at the big-league level, but he will have to continue to hit .300 to have value in the Brewers lineup every day. That is a tall order for any player, particularly one who will consistently be challenged by major-league arms and will have to prove he is up to the task.

Thornburg’s role remains uncertain at this time. Scouting circles have long felt he would shift to the bullpen, and while I have remained higher on his potential to start, even I am beginning to see the writing on the wall. Thornburg’s stuff plays up in shorter bursts and should lead to sustained success in a relief role—something that impacts his value when compared to other under-25 talents in this organization. If I had more faith in his future as a starter, he would likely rank more closely with Peralta and Nelson.

The Brewers’ major-league roster will have to be augmented by free agent talent—as with the recent signing of Matt Garza—if the team expects to contend over the next few years, because the young talent approaching the big-league level won’t have the impact necessary to supplement the Milwaukee roster. –Mark Anderson


A Parting Thought: While the farm system is near the bottom in baseball, the Brewers can at least boast some high-ceiling talent at the lower levels (Taylor, Arcia, Williams) and some low-risk/low-ceiling arms nearing the majors, which could end up making this list look a lot better than it currently does in only a few years.

***

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Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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29 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

delatopia

Well, at least Tyrone Taylor and Victor Roache make the Reggie Cleveland Top 100 Prospect All-Stars.

Jan 29, 2014 03:18 AM
rating: 0
 
tonynelson19

You know it's a rough system when the top prospect has a High 4 realistic role.

Jan 29, 2014 04:31 AM
rating: 0
 
jfranco77

Overall Future Potential: 5; reliever (middle)
Realistic Role: 5; late-innings reliever (setup)


So David Goforth is expected to exceed his OFP? Setup > Middle, right? I think maybe a typo, but maybe not.

Jan 29, 2014 04:50 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Yes; those are reversed.

Jan 29, 2014 07:25 AM
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Fixed.

Jan 29, 2014 07:31 AM
 
KerryFam4

Goforth's Realistic Role and OFP Role may be reversed.

Jan 29, 2014 04:51 AM
rating: 0
 
FastballVelociraptor

How is Hellweg's potential "High 5" with Low risk but behind another "High 5" with Moderate risk (Haniger) and a regular 5 with Low risk (Nelson)?

Jan 29, 2014 08:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Player specific; nature of the future role. Hellweg is going to be a major league pitcher, but he's likely to end up in the bullpen. Nelson has more value because he has a a better chance to start. Position players tend to have more value than relievers.

Jan 29, 2014 08:13 AM
 
FastballVelociraptor

So shouldn't Nelson's potential be higher or Hellweg's risk higher or something? If Hellweg is 55/Low he should rank higher than a 50/Low or a 55/Medium, otherwise the scale doesn't work.

Jan 29, 2014 08:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Read my response above. It's about future role.

Jan 29, 2014 08:49 AM
 
FastballVelociraptor

Sorry I'm just trying to understand the system because it's used for all players on all teams. I thought the numbers represented the future role. If better chance to start or being a position player is more valuable shouldn't that be reflected either in the number value of the role or in the risk of achieving it?

Jan 29, 2014 08:55 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

The value is expressed in the order in which the players are ranked.

Jan 29, 2014 10:49 AM
 
AJ

I know he's a ways away, but any love for the portly David Denson?

Jan 29, 2014 08:42 AM
rating: 0
 
newsense

It's strange to see(and Rivera) move up so far in the rankings from last year with such lackluster offensive showings. Did fielding improve that much or did the space in front of them in the rankings empty out?

Jan 29, 2014 09:00 AM
rating: 0
 
Scott44

Does Gennett have enough bat to off-set the questionable def. at 2nd? What kind of triple stat line would you expect from him?

Jan 29, 2014 09:21 AM
rating: 0
 
psblcws

Two unrelated questions:

1) If Khris Davis was eligible for the 25-and-under list, where would he rank? Any thoughts on him?

2) Any thoughts on Drew Gagnon? Does he have a shot?

Jan 29, 2014 09:36 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Mark Anderson
BP staff

Davis would have talked 5th on the U25 list.

Jan 29, 2014 17:20 PM
 
Nojsztat

Clint Coulter was that bad, huh?

Jan 29, 2014 09:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

In the mix. Just didn't crack the top 10. Long way to go.

Jan 29, 2014 10:50 AM
 
AJ

Devin Williams gets some Taijuan Walker comps... no so much for stuff, but for athleticism. Any similarities?

Jan 29, 2014 10:05 AM
rating: 0
 
smocon

What an awful system. Hopefully the FO is getting ready for a massive rebuild. Hangier and Nelson are the only guys on the list with any realistic hope of being contributors in the future.

Jan 29, 2014 10:18 AM
rating: 0
 
boards

Valuable information for my Yadiel-only league!

Jan 29, 2014 11:00 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Great fantasy name: Reverse Haniger

Jan 29, 2014 11:40 AM
 
huztlers

Why do some players get potential tool grades as opposed to those that get stuck with actual grades? For example Devin Williams does not get his actual tools rated.

Jan 29, 2014 20:27 PM
rating: 0
 
Probably Handsome

It seems logical to list his potential tools rather than his current tools, given that Williams is on this list because of the way that he projects to develop. Jimmy Nelson, by comparison, is pretty much what he is going to be. Or at least that is what we are presumably supposed to infer from the respective scouting reports. Basically, I understand “the tools” part of the report as “this guy is on the list because: ….”

Jan 29, 2014 21:57 PM
rating: 1
 
seabass77

I'm curious on the Brewer's international scouting. How is the team viewed in the industry when comes to being competitive in signing international free agents? Do the Brewers have a focus in any particular countries?

Jan 30, 2014 02:07 AM
rating: 0
 
melotticus

Any word out there on "Calvin and" Hobbs Johnson? 14th rounder from UNC Chapel Hill dominated in his pro debut, finishing the year in Low A.

Feb 01, 2014 11:32 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mark Anderson
BP staff

Short guy, four pitch mix, average fastball, struggles too throw strikes at times, not much of a prospect for me; maybe a middle relief future.

Feb 02, 2014 04:28 AM
 
melotticus

Thanks Mark, just got around to reading this.

Feb 15, 2014 09:33 AM
rating: 0
 
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