Results tagged ‘ Brewers Farm System ’
MiLB.com is….well….I will let them explain.
This offseason, MiLB.com will be honoring the players — regardless of age or prospect status — who had the best seasons in their organizations. We’re taking a look at each team to determine the outstanding seasons in Minor League baseball
The link at the top of the post leads to their All-Stars in the Brewers organization.
The biggest moves for the organization came off the field when the Brewers hired 30-year-old David Stearns as their new general manager, succeeding Doug Melvin. Stearns had been assistant GM for the Astros and helped their rebuild, which began, of course, with the farm system. Stearns dismissed former farm director Reid Nichols, replacing him with Tom Flanagan, who started as a Brewers batboy in 1990 and had spent the last decade as the club’s director of baseball operations. He takes over a system on the way up.
Spoiler Alert: No one on the list played for the Timber Rattlers in 2015. However, there are several Rattlers from past seasons who made the list….Like Orlando Arcia:
This year Arcia showed why he is the Brewers top prospect with a breakout season — and he has the MiLBY to prove it. The 21-year-old led the system with 157 hits while posting career highs in homers (eight), RBIs (69) and average (.307).
“He is a natural leader, not necessarily a kid that has to be loud, but just the way he goes about the game. It speaks for itself, all players look up to him,” Subero said. “If it’s a tight ballgame in the seventh, you want Orlando up. He wants to be up there and he’ll deliver. So that’s the type of player he is, he’s a kid that, with help and God-willing, he’ll definitely be an impact at the Major League level soon.”
After repeating the Midwest League, McFarland found success at the next level. The 22-year-old hit .274 with a career-high 46 RBIs and 28 walks. McFarland ranks second in the organization with 150 hits, while topping second basemen with 183 total bases.
A shortstop in high school, the Texas native continued to work on his defense as he transitioned to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League this past season. McFarland will look to cut the errors down as he enters his fifth campaign as a second baseman in 2016.
Lopez turned his Double-A introduction into an eventual Major League debut with an organization-leading 137 strikeouts and 12 wins. The 22-year-old posted a 2.26 ERA and finished the year with three straight Brewers Pitcher of the Month honors en route to being named the Southern League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher.
“I was able to see him turn from a kid into a man in terms of baseball savvy and on the mound, working with his pitches,” Subero said. “Just a kid who’s hard-working, great competitor with three pitches — all three are plus pitches — and he would even show plus command at times during the game. That’s what got him over edge and definitely made him one of our top guys in the whole system.”
Along with the promotion to Double-A, Magnifico was sent to the bullpen. The right-hander started out as a middle reliever, but after rebounding from a tough outing, Subero saw a closer in Magnifico. The University of Oklahoma product allowed three inherited runs without registering an out against Mississippi on May 10. Instead of letting him fester over it, the manager threw Magnifico back in the fire the following day.
“He performed and saved the game, and ever since, we called him our closer,” Subero said. “It’s just really electric stuff with good sink on it, mid-90s to upper-90s and is developing a slider, which has been very impressive, in the Fall League.”
Click the link up top for the whole list.
Baseball America released their Top Ten list of 2016 Milwaukee Brewers Prospects yesterday.
1. Orlando Arcia, ss
2. Jorge Lopez, rhp
3. Trent Clark, of
4. Brett Phillips, of
5. Gilbert Lara, ss
6. Kodi Medeiros, lhp
7. Tyrone Taylor, of
8. Clint Coulter, of
9. Cody Ponce, rhp
10. Devin Williams, rhp
Seven of the ten played for the Timber Rattlers. Two of the remaining three players (Trent Clark and Gilbert Lara) on that list could be Timber Rattlers at some point during the 2016 season.
Since the majority of the information on the players is behind the BA paywall, I will limit what I share here to Clark, Lara, and the three players (Medeiros, Ponce, and Williams) who were Rattlers during 2015.
The Brewers were surprised to find Clark available at No. 15 in the 2015 draft. They ponied up $2.7 million, the second-highest bonus in club history, to sign him away from Texas Tech. Clark ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Arizona League…He is polished and mature for his age, showing bat speed, a real understanding of hitting and leadership skills. He understands the strike zone and is tough to whiff. At times, he can be too patient, but he became more aggressive as his debut progressed. Clark hit just two homers in 2015 but should develop power as he matures and gains experience…A potential five-tool talent, Clark looked so smooth in a 12-game trial at Rookie-level Helena that he probably will head to low Class A Wisconsin at the outset of 2016.
The Brewers dedicat[ed] their entire international budget to sign Lara for $3.1 million in July 2014. He made a big impression in instructional league after signing…He has tremendous power potential if he can keep his swing quick and direct, but he hit only one home run in the AZL. Lara also must improve his plate discipline after recording a lopsided walk-to-strikeout ratio. He has no real speed on the bases and is not a threat to steal. Given Lara’s tall, physical build, scouts have pegged him as a future third baseman…Given that Lara faded down the stretch in the AZL, the Brewers might push him only to Rookie-level Helena in 2016. That would require spending time in extended spring training.
The Brewers gambled that he could handle the jump to low Class A Wisconsin in 2015, and they were right. Medeiros struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings and allowed Midwest League opponents to hit just .228, though he pitched just 33 innings in the second half as the Brewers regulated his workload…Many clubs believed that Medeiros would profile as a reliever because of his low arm slot. The Brewers believe his ability to induce groundball contact will keep him alive as a mid-rotation candidate, and he’s ready for high Class A Brevard County in 2016.
Ponce rocketed up draft boards in 2015, when the NCAA Division II Cal Poly Pomona junior ranked as one of the top college arms in his class…Because he pitched well in his debut, Ponce probably will begin 2016 at high Class A Brevard County. Some scouts consider him bullpen material, but the Brewers believe his repertoire and competitiveness will allow him to stay in the rotation.
[Williams] improved as the season progressed and pitched to a 3.31 ERA in 14 second-half appearances, recording a 57-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 52 innings…could be just a few small tweaks away from a breakthrough. He seems destined to begin 2016 at high Class A Brevard County as he reaches for a ceiling of mid-rotation starter.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel did a chat with BA subscribers yesterday, too. The chat is also behind the paywall, but here are a few bits that I can share.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Do you think the Brewers got a potential steal in [Demi] Orimoloye? Also, do you believe he’s ready for full season ball?
Tom Haudricourt: I indeed think Orimoloye was a steal in the draft. His tools are unbelievable. You don’t see that many guys that big who are so athletic. I’m guessing the Brewers will give him a shot at low Class A Wisconsin next year and if he can’t handle it, he can drop back to Helena as Monte Harrison and Jake Gatewood did last season.
Phil (Milwaukee): Any update on Monte Harrison’s rehab? Any reason not to expect him 100% for spring training?
Tom Haudricourt: Harrison’s injury indeed was a bad one but barring setbacks he is expected to be ready to play in the spring. Speed is a big part of his game, so we’ll see how compromised he is upon his return. The good thing is he still has youth and athleticism on his side.
EdgarDiazRocks (Seattle): Any idea how player development will change under the new regime? I would guess that the aggressive level starts of players like Gatewood and Harrison would be a thing of the past.
Tom Haudricourt: I’m not so sure of that. I think it’s OK to take chances on high-reward players at times as long as you think they can handle struggles mentally. It’s not for everybody. You go case by case. Look at Trent Clark. He handled low rookie ball so well he was moved to high rookie ball. He showed he could handle it.
Spencer (Tosa, WI): I’m wondering if Ponce could fly through the minors as he is an “older” prospect and flourished in Low A already last year. What do you think Tom?
Tom Haudricourt: Good chance of it happening. That’s why he is ranked so high. Took an immediate liking to pro ball? Has the big body and big arm to move through the system. The Brewers think he was a steal in the second round.
Larry (Vault 857): What type of power can we expect from Trent Clark? Will his golf style grip limit him to below average power?
Tom Haudricourt: I think it’s too soon to know because high school hitters, even advanced ones like Clark, often take time to develop their power. That may not be a big part of his game but he does everything else so well, that shouldn’t limit him.
Teddy (Granville): Hey tom, I live near Low a Wisconsin, and it seemed like a lot of there good players graduated, any players I should look forward to seeing next year
Tom Haudricourt: Well, look for Gatewood and Harrison to come back after starting there last year and then going down to Helena. I’m guessing you’ll see Trent Clark, Gilbert Lara, Marcos Diplan and Demi Orimoloye either at the start of the season or shortly thereafter. That’s four young studs right there. Cody Ponce might be past that stage. So, you should see plenty to top prospects at Class A Wisconsin next year, for sure.
Earlier this week, MiLB.com announced the winners of their 2015 MiLBY Awards. One of the categories was Breakout Prospect and the MiLB.com staff chose Orlando Arcia.
“When [pitchers] first saw him, they just saw a skinny kid and thought they could just throw a bunch of fastballs by him,” [Biloxi Manager Carlos] Subero said. “Once he showed he could hit those, they gave him a lot of breaking pitches, and it took a while before he caught on, but he did. He had to grow and lay off the pitches that got him for a month or so, but that showed the great intagibles he has — a lot of players aren’t able to make those adjustments.”
By August and September, Arcia, who had participated in the All-Star Futures Game in July, was thriving once again and produced a .324/.356/.493 line with three homers, two triples and 11 doubles from Aug. 1 on over the final 36 games of the regular season and finished the season with an average over .300 (.307) for the first time as a pro while setting career highs with eight homers, seven triples, 37 doubles, 69 RBIs and 74 runs.
Arcia’s older brother Oswaldo, a 24-year-old outfielder in the Twins system with 219 games of Major League experience, went to see his brother play after his season came to an end with Triple-A Rochester and was immediately taken aback by what happened since he last saw his brother play live, when they were teammates in the Winter League back home.
“He was with us for three or four days, and he turned to me and said, ‘Wow, he’s turned into a big leaguer,'” [Biloxi Hitting Coach Sandy] Guerrero said. “So I looked back at him and said, ‘Shh — don’t tell him.’ We didn’t want to get things in his head yet.”
Others didn’t quite get the memo. MLB.com has moved him up from No. 88 among top overall prospects to his current spot at No. 12. The Brewers named Arcia their Minor League Player of the Year in mid-September, and later in the same month, Rawlings announced he had won the Minors’ version of the Gold Glove award. All the months of working with Mischik [sic] & Co. on arm angles and effort at shortstop had officially turned him from a plus defender into a mettalic [??] one.
“You need to work with this kid to understand it,” Subero said. “Just his willingness to get better is such a part of who he is. We told him he was the Minor League Player of the Year, and he was happy. To me, that’s a huge deal. But to him, he was even more excited for the Gold Glove. He knew the work he put in, and it paid off huge.”
The easy question now about Arcia is “What’s next?” The likely answer is an invitation to Major League Spring Training, a trip to Triple-A Colorado Springs to start the season and a likely Major League debut at some point in 2016, barring injury or trade.
Arcia was a Timber Rattler in 2013
Heading into his 2013 season with the Timber Rattlers, Baseball America had rated him as the #17 prospect in the Brewers organization.
Arcia played 120 games at shortstop for Wisconsin in 2013. He hit .251/.314/.647 with 14 doubles, five triples, four homers, and 39RBI. The most amazing things about Arcia’s season with the Rattlers was that he struck out just 40 times in 442 at bats…as an 18-year old for most of the season.
Here is his game log from that 2013 season. Take a really good look at it.
He struck out twice or more in a game just five times in 2013. There was an eight-game stretch (August 2-9) where he went 32 straight plate appearances without striking out. He also had at least one hit in the first seven of those games and was 9-for-29 (.310) during the stretch. By the way, he turned 19 on August 4, 2013. That would be right near the start of that impressive streak.
Put the ball in play indeed.
Day Two of Mehring in Arizona – or the cooler title of Mehring in Maryvale that I didn’t come up with but is on the media wall image – is up on the main website. Here are some photos from today at minor league camp.
Alumni Birthdays for March 20:
Javier Salas (’14) – 23
Dana Williams (Hitting Coach ’02-’04, ’07) – 52
Donn Koch (’82) – 56
Paul ‘Frosty’ Francis (’51) – Would have been 86
`Frosty” was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Middletown, The Choate School and a 1950 graduate of Wesleyan University. Upon college graduation, Francis pursued his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. He pitched in the St. Louis Browns organization until an injury forced him to pursue his other dream of coaching basketball. After two years as the head basketball coach at the Saint James School in Hagerstown, MD, “Frosty” accepted the head basketball coaching duties back in CT at the Kingswood School. At Kingswood, for 25 years he was a teacher, coach, Director of Athletics, and finally Director of Finance and Development. Among his many accomplishments as a coach were two Class “B” New England basketball titles, in 1956 and 1957, and the establishment of what is now, the “Frosty” Francis KIT (Kingswood Invitational Tournament) in 1963, the longest running prep basketball tournament in New England.
I count 17 former Timber Rattlers on that Top 30 List.
#1 is Orlando Arcia
#2 is Tyrone Taylor
Click the link up top to see the whole list.
Of note for fans of the Timber Rattlers, I count three players in the top ten who will most likely be in the Fox Cities this season and two other players in the top ten who COULD be with the Rattlers in the future…if not in 2015.
[I]f you’re looking for high-risk, high-reward players, the types of lottery tickets the Brewers hadn’t purchased in the past, the 2014 Draft took care of you. Scouting director Bruce Seid, in what proved to be his final Draft as he tragically passed away last September, had one of the most daring first nights of the Draft in recent memory. High schoolers Monte Harrison, Jake Gatewood and Kodi Medeiros are all in the Top 10, and they bring some added excitement about what they can become in the future. Add in international signee Gilbert Lara and Milwaukee has four teenagers in the Top 10 now.
At the top of the list are two longer-standing Brewers prospects, both with considerable upside themselves. Shortstop Orlando Arcia is the lone representative in the Top 100, but it wouldn’t surprise many to see outfielder Tyrone Taylor join him at some point in the future.
Alumni Birthdays for March 12:
Wick Udy (’03) – 36
Victor Martinez (’99) – 37
Jesus Marquez (’93, ’94) – 42
Donald Young (’90) – 48
Doug Bock (’88) – 49
Gary Keeton (’83) – 54
Steve Noworyta (’82, ’83) – 55
Tommy Toman (’75, ’76) – 59
Johnny Ellen (’61) – 75
This article by Jake Seiner was published on MiLB.com on Monday. It looks at Prospect Projections within the NL Central.
There are a few issues with the Brewers entry…mainly that Shawn Zarraga is no longer in the organization. BUT, overall, worthwhile to take “a look at rookie-eligible players who could make an impact in the Majors.”
The projections are:
analysis regarding who could make an impact, as well as Steamer projections (taken with gratitude from Fangraphs) for those players. For those who don’t know, Steamer is a projection system that uses statistics, age, level and other factors to predict player performance. The system makes for a fun point of reference in trying to gauge which prospects could play the biggest short-term roles.
Each team is broken down into hitters and pitchers. So, a look at the writeup on hitters in Milwaukee’s organization doesn’t have anything on former Rattlers. But, here are how they project a few ex-Rattlers to perform in the Majors based on that formula:
And now a look at the MLB projections of former Timber Rattlers pitchers:
Take those projections for what they are…projections.
Alumni Birthdays for February 5:
Eric O’Flaherty (’04, ’05) – 30
Jason Heath (’95) – 44
Biloxi Baseball announced the nickname of their team last night.
Shuckers general manager Buck Rogers did his best to pump up the crowd Monday before the curtains were pulled back to reveal the name and logo.
The colors: blue, coral and Biloxi Sand.
There were several different takes on the logo, but the main one features the shell of an oyster surrounding “Biloxi Shuckers” and two eyes peering out.
It seems like a simple design, but Rogers said there was a lot of background work that went into the logo.
“At first, people outside this market are going to say, ‘What’s a Shucker?'” Rogers said. “You have to explain it to them. If you’re not from Nebraska, you ask
‘What’s a husker?’ The people down here picked (Shuckers), justified it. They put in all the input on it. The locals didn’t have an owner come in and say ‘Name the team this.’ This was a community team since from jump street. We’re really pleased.”
Reaction on Facebook…mixed.
The Shuckers are the Southern League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. So, Welcome to the family, Biloxi!
Posting will be light over the next few days. But, I will be putting up the alumni birthdays every from Wednesday through Sunday. Regular posting will return on December 1. Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!
Alumni Birthdays for November 25:
Elvin Nina (Pitching Coach, ’14) – 39
Karl Drezek (’88, ’89) – 49
Mark Davis (’86) – 50
Bucky Dent (’70, ’71) – 63
Photo is from the excellent Baseball in Wartime website.
This link is to Those Who Served and were baseball players. Thank you to all who served.
MiLB.com has been announcing their All-Stars for each Major League organization for the last few weeks. Yesterday, they announced the Brewers organizational All-Stars.
Ten of the twelve positions were filled by players who played with the Timber Rattlers. Yes. Twelve. The eight defensive positions, a utility position, right-handed starting pitcher, left-handed starting pitcher, and relief pitcher.
Click the link for the whole list and for comments on each player from Reid Nichols, the Director of Player Development for the Brewers. I’ll excerpt the write-ups on the players who were Timber Rattlers in 2014.
Catcher — Clint Coulter, Wisconsin (126 games): After an injury-plagued 2013, Coulter improved across the board, playing in 56 more games than the year before while boosting his OPS by 216 points. The 2012 first-round pick led the organization with 22 homers and 89 RBIs while batting a solid .287 for the Timber Rattlers.
“He made a big improvement,” said Reid Nichols, the Brewers’ director of player development. “I think he’ll make more next year. He was a little more selective at the plate. He’s learning how to slow it down. He was a little too firm and hard on his stride and he’s learned to soften it up a bit, and it’s really helped him.”
Though there’s a good chance you’ll see the Brewers’ No. 7 prospect on this list next year, it almost certainly won’t be at the same position, Nichols indicated.
“His catching didn’t get a whole lot better and we moved him to right field for now,” he said of Coulter, who has continued his season in the Arizona Fall League. “He’s working in the outfield and he’s made a pretty good adjustment.”
Second baseman — Chris McFarland, Wisconsin (100 games): Repeating at Wisconsin, McFarland increased his batting average by 46 points and saw his OPS rise from .656 to .719. The 21-year-old also increased his stolen base total from seven to 30, tying for 12th in the Midwest League.
“I really think he came in more focused,” Nichols said. “Different approach at the plate, more business-like. I think he started getting a bit more serious about his job.”
Nichols attributed the rise in steals to an organizational emphasis.
“We [used to have] a roving baserunning instructor and we went without one this year, and I think everyone took it to heart that it was their job, too,” he said of the coaches at each level. “Our teaching was to be more aggressive on the basepaths — we didn’t care if you got thrown out, we just wanted to see if you could steal or not. I think it’s paid off. We were happy with the improvement in the basestealing, although that’s not the focus; we just want the guys to be more aggressive.“
Outfielder Michael Ratterree, Wisconsin (125 games), Huntsville (seven games): After winning Pioneer League MVP honors in 2013, Ratterree made the jump to full-season play and showed promise, despite a .228 average. The 23-year-old tied for second in the organization with 19 homers and tied for fourth with 76 RBIs. Ratterree helped balance out his low average with patience at the plate, drawing 79 walks, including 75 at Wisconsin to rank second in the Midwest League. He also received some postseason hardware, earning a Minor League Gold Glove.
“Anytime you get a young hitter who can take walks, he’s gonna do something later,” Nichols said. “While he didn’t have a really good batting average, his on-base was good and that will turn into a good batting average later, in my opinion. And he won a Gold Glove for the Minor Leagues, which is kind of cool. Same as all these guys — focus up the middle and be selective at the pitches you swing at early in the count. It’s kind of the formula for hitting in general. He’ll get it.”
Alumni Birthdays for November 11:
Michael Cox (’04) – 34
Jose Herrera (’01) – 35
Jim Horner (’97, Manager: ’06, ’07) – 41
Kyle Towner (’95) – 42
David Lawson (’93, ’94) – 42
Ryan Smith (’94) – 43
Chuck Hernandez (’83) – 54
Kim Girkins (’76) – 60
James White (’63) – Would have been 74
What do you think of my new office/summer home?
Earlier this week, Baseball America released their 2014 Draft Report Card for the Milwaukee Brewers. The details are behind the paywall. But, I wanted to share their rankings for some of these potential future Timber Rattlers. For the full report on each player, subscribe to BA:
BEST PURE HITTER: OF Monte Harrison (1s)
BEST POWER HITTER: SS Jacob Gatewood (1s)
FASTEST RUNNER: OF Troy Stokes (4)
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Harrison needs reps but has a chance to be a young Torii Hunter caliber defender in center field.
BEST FASTBALL: RHP Brandon Woodruff (11)
BEST SECONDARY PITCH: The best-case comparison for Medeiros, a strong-bodied, athletic, low-slot lefthander, is Madison Bumgarner.
BEST PRO DEBUT: Harrison hit .261/.402/.339 and led the AZL with 32 stolen bases, being caught just twice. Stokes hit .262/.363/.331 there with 19 steals in 22 tries. C Greg McCall (9) hit .326/.375/465 in 86 at-bats at Rookie-level Helena.
BEST ATHLETE: Harrison
MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Medeiros and RHP Cy Sneed (3)
CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: The Brewers hope to develop the younger Sneed as a starter but were judicious with his innings after he was Dallas Baptist’s ace in the spring, tossing 104 innings.
BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Woodruff
The city of Appleton finished 5th in all of MiLB cities as one of America’s Best Minor League Baseball Towns.
GRAND CHUTE, WI – SmartAsset.com recently rated all of the cities that host a minor league baseball franchise and released their Top 25 Minor League Baseball Towns in America. Based on the criteria surveyed, Appleton – home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers – was rated as #5 out of all minor league baseball.
There were five factors SmartAsset.com used to rate quality of life in each minor league city: Violent Crime per 100,000 residents; Property Crime per 100,000 residents; Disposable income – difference between average income and average monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment; Unemployment rate; and Dining & Entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents.
Three factors were also taken in to account for the baseball experience in each city: Team winning percentage during 2014 season; Stadium Experience – the rating of the home ballpark on StadiumJourney.com; and Minor League Class – the level at which each team plays.
Appleton and the Timber Rattlers finished fifth in the rankings behind only Portland, Maine (Portland Sea Dogs); Alexandria, Virginia (Potomac Nationals); Pearl, Mississippi (Mississippi Braves); and Frisco, Texas (Frisco RoughRiders).
You may have noticed I left the Brewers out of the MLB Alumni Reports that were done by division. I wanted to save those for later in the offseason…Like right now.
Here are the pitching alumni who were on the mound for the Brewers in 2014. Hitting alumni will be added in tomorrow.
Marco Estrada (Rehab, 2013): 7-6, 4.36ERA, 39 games, 18 starts, 150.2IP, 44BBs, 127K
Mike Fiers (2009): 6-2, 2.13ERA, 14 games, 10 starts, 71.2IP, 17BB, 76K
Jim Henderson (2009): 2-1, 7.15ERA, 14 games, 11.1IP, 4BB, 17K
Jeremy Jeffress (2010): 1-1, 1.88ERA, 29 games, 28.2IP, 7BB, 25K
Martin Maldonado (2009): 0-0, 0.00ERA, 1 game, 1IP, 0BB, 0K
Jimmy Nelson (2011): 2-9, 4.93ERA, 14 games, 12 games, 69.1IP, 19BB, 57K
Wily Peralta (2009): 17-11, 3.53ERA, 32 games, 32 starts, 198.2IP, 61BB, 154K
Tyler Thornburg (2011): 3-1, 4.25ERA, 27 games, 29.2IP, 21BB, 28K
Cip Garcia (’02, ’03) – 36
Pat Bailey (’87) – 50