Results tagged ‘ Brewers Farm System ’
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
Interesting day in the Midwest League on Thursday:
Kane County Chronicle: Cubs cutting ties with Cougars
Chicago Sun-Times: Why the Cubs moved from Kane County to South Bend
Thursday morning, the Cubs and South Bend announced a new PDC that runs through 2018. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein realizes the decision might not be popular with area fans.
“I don’t think in this industry you can avoid looking like bad guys,” Epstein said. “So you just have to roll with it and make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons. In this case, we have to come back to what’s best for our prospects and move forward and try to handle the matters with as much professionalism as possible.”
South Bend already has started major renovations to their facility, including a new playing surface, and also has worked out a deal with the Cubs to change their name from the Silver Hawks and change their logos and colors. A news conference in South Bend is scheduled for next Thursday to announce the changes.
South Bend Tribune Column: Cubs fans in South Bend can cheer. Finally.
It’s not often that a Cubs fan gets good news in September.
Let’s face it, even when things seem promising — postseason success, one victory away from the World Series and a chance at the club’s first title since dinosaurs roamed the Earth — well …
But that fails to discourage me, a South Bend native and supporter since the late 1970s of the team that plays on Chicago’s North Side. Those weren’t exactly the team’s glory years — you’d have to go back a century or so for that — but through the magic of WGN-TV, I was pretty much hooked after the first game. What was not to like about a lineup featuring Jerry Martin and Dave Kingman? (Yes, I thought they were impressive, but I was young).
South Bend Tribune News Story: South Bend: Cubs town
Andrew Berlin, owner of the South Bend franchise for the past three seasons, made good on a promise he made when he took over the club. He has given downtown a shot of energy and enthusiasm.
That mission was put into play when the Chicago Cubs signed a four-year deal with the South Bend franchise as their Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, ending the 17-year partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The new affiliation also ends the Cubs’ partnership with its now former Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Ill.
In the Brewers system, there’s a new Triple-A affiliate:
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Brewers settle for Colorado Springs as AAA Host
The game of minor-league musical chairs finally came to an end Thursday, with the Milwaukee Brewers agreeing to a two-year player development contract with Class AAA Colorado Springs.
It was the culmination of a crazy 24 hours that saw the Brewers’ former Class AAA team in Nashville dump them for the Oakland A’s, leaving Milwaukee with Colorado Springs and Fresno as alternatives. The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, left Colorado Springs for a new deal with Albuquerque.
When Fresno and the Houston Astros announced earlier Thursday they had agreed to a two-year deal, that left Colorado Springs as the only Class AAA team without a parent club and Milwaukee as the only major-league team without a top affiliate.
Colorado Springs Gazette News Story: Sky Sox sign two-year affiliation deal with Milwaukee Brewers
“That’s how it works sometimes in this process,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “Nashville decided to go in a different direction after we were there for a lot of years, like the Rockies did. We are confident we can make this a good fit.”
Any Brewers concerns were eased because they are familiar with the Sky Sox’s Elmore ownership group, which also owns the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, the organization’s rookie-level club. The Elmores will do what a MLB club needs for its players, Melvin said.
Colorado Springs Gazette Column: Sky Sox rescued from Rockies clueless tyranny
Over the past few days, I’ve heard Colorado Springs voices bemoan the dissolving of the Sky Sox’s 21-season association with the Rockies. These voices wonder what Colorado Springs could have done to keep the Rockies happy.
I have a different response to the departure.
Hallelujah. It’s time to celebrate.
The Sky Sox just concluded a catastrophe of a season. They collected a mere 53 wins to go with a staggering 91 losses. They were atrocious on the road (26-46) and befuddled at home (27-45.) That’s consistency. They lost nine of their last 10 games.
Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial: Conspiracy theorists thought Colorado Springs mayor was wrong about Rockies
Bach hoped a serious stadium plan would encourage the Rockies to stay while helping revitalize downtown. The stadium could also help with plans by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to add NCAA Division II baseball in several years.
The mere idea of a stadium became instant fodder for pseudo conservatives and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. The Rockies would never leave, they said. Bach merely wanted to line pockets of “crony capitalist” developer friends. Most notable among the instant opponents were a handful of freshman politicians who had just been sworn to the Colorado Springs City Council.
Alumni Report (International League Pitchers):
Phillippe Aumont (’08) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-3, 3.93ERA, 35 games, 55.0IP, 39BB, 65K
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
2-2, 3.89ERA, 17 games, 4 starts, 39.1IP, 11BB, 35K
Cesar Jimenez (’03) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-2, 3 Saves, 1.45ERA, 38 games, 2 starts, 49.2IP, 15BB, 46K
Mark Lowe (’05) Columbus/Indians:
4-3, 17 saves, 5.62ERA, 41 games, 41.2IP, 17BB, 47K
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
1-0, 5.14ERA, 12 games, 14.0IP, 3BB, 11K
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.20ERA, 12 games, 1 start, 15.0IP, 4BB, 9K
Juan Sandoval (’03) Durham/Rays:
0-1, 1 Save, 3.12ERA, 14 games, 1 start, 26.0IP, 14BB, 15K
Fabian Williamson (’07) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.50ERA, 1 game, 2.0IP, 2BB, 2K
Baseball America has started to list their Top 20 Prospects for each of the leagues in MiLB.
The Brewers prospects listed so far are:
RHP Devin Williams
OF Michael Ratterree
RHP Barrett Astin
C Dustin Houle
Williams, Milwaukee’s 2nd round pick (54th overall) in the 2013 draft, was 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA for the AZL Brewers. He appeared in 13 games and made six starts. He was a high school selection out out of Hazelwood West in Missouri. Williams struck out 39 and walked 22 over 34-2/3 innings. Baseball America put him at #12 on their list of Arizona League prospects.
Ratterree, a 10th round pick in 2013, was the Pioneer League MVP this season. The product of Rice had a slashline of .314/.391/.585, hit 12 home runs, and drove in 58 runs. BA has him at #16 on their list of Pioneer League prospects.
Astin, a 3rd round pick out of Arkansas in 2013, was 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA. He appeared in 12 games – eight starts. Astin struck out 31 and walked 11 in 31-2/3 innings for Helena. He is #17 on the Baseball America list of Pioneer League Prospects.
Houle, an 8th round pick in the 2011 draft, is the only Brewers prospect on these lists to play with the Timber Rattlers. Houle, a high school pick out of Brookswood Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, joined Wisconsin very briefly – seven games – and was 6-for-23 with an RBI. Most of his time was spent with Helena where he hit .250/.290/.311 with a home run and 19 RBI. He was the #19 prospect in the Pioneer League.
Time will tell if all of these players will be with the Timber Rattlers in 2014.
Speaking of the Timber Rattlers…The Midwest League list will be released on Monday. We will see how many Rattlers will make that Top 20 List.
Here’s Ratterree with Jason Rogers on the Brewers broadcast from last week at Miller Park.
This is a video report on Williams just after the draft.