Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (29) | 2013 (23) | 2012 (25) | 2011 (30) | 2010 (14)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [82-80] NL Central
AAA: [77-67] Pacific Coast League – Nashville (2015: Colorado Springs)
AA: [77-63] Southern League – Huntsville
A+: [73-62] Florida State League – Brevard County
A: [72-67] Midwest League – Wisconsin

Graduated Prospects
Jimmy Nelson, RHP

The Gist
Heading into 2014, the Brewers checked in as the 29th ranked farm system according to Baseball America. This season was a step in the right direction though. The major league club looked like a playoff team for much of the first half before things fell apart in the second. Jimmy Nelson logged over 69 innings in the bigs and looks like a quality major league starter. Prospect Mitch Haniger was moved in the Gerardo Parra deal, but for the most part the farm stayed intact. With three picks in the top 50 of the June draft, the organization added a solid left-handed pitcher and two promising bats. This year saw a shake-up among minor league affiliates across all levels, and the Brewers were a part of that. Their AAA club is now Colorado Springs, formerly affiliated with the Rockies.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Tyrone Taylor, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
573 69 142 36 3 6 68 7.0% 11.0% 24 7 .273 .326 .388

Come for the name and stay for the bat. Taylor spent most of the year in the pitching-friendly FSL before a quick 5-game promotion to Double-A Huntsville in late August. Still just 20 years old, Taylor is a great athlete whose speed is currently his best weapon. He makes a lot of contact which is evident in his low strikeout and walk rates. Right now Taylor doesn’t have over-the-fence power, but he did lead the FSL in doubles (36). It’s possible more pop could develop as he continues to mature. His speed and approach make him a better bet to end up as a center field/leadoff type down the road.

2. Monte Harrison, OF | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
224 37 47 7 2 1 20 13.8% 21.4% 32 2 .261 .402 .339

Harrison was tagged as the best overall athlete in the 2014 draft class by Baseball America. The Brewers selected the 19-year-old in the second round (50th overall). Harrison is about as toolsy as they come, having excelled in football and basketball as well. His arm is actually his best tool according to reports and should allow him to play anywhere in the outfield. He led the AZL in both walks (31) and steals (32) this season. At 19 there is still a lot of development time left, but the chance for above average power and speed makes him a very interesting prospect in the fantasy game.

3. Orlando Arcia, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
546 65 144 29 5 4 50 7.7% 11.9% 31 12 .289 .346 .392

Orlando Arcia’s older brother is the slugging outfielder for the TwinsOswaldo Arcia. Orlando has a great chance to stick at shortstop thanks to his defense. Unlike his brother, the 20-year-old infielder doesn’t strike out much and has plus speed. He was one of the youngest players in High-A this season and would make a case for ranking higher on this list if his value wasn’t as tied to his glove.  Already a good contact hitter, Arcia could also develop more power as he matures. Next year will be telling as he gets away from the FSL and gets his feet wet against Double-A pitching.

4. Jake Gatewood, SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
222 19 42 6 0 3 32 5.9% 32.0% 6 8 .206 .249 .279

According to Baseball America, Gatewood was this draft’s best power hitter after the CubsKyle Schwarber. He was taken 41st overall by the Brewers and profiles as the typical free-swinger that sparks debate among prospect hounds. He’s most likely going to move off of the shortstop position – probably to third base. The big question is whether Gatewood can make enough contact to allow that raw power (graded 70 by BA) to play up. He’ll have plenty of time to work on it at only 19 years old.

5. Kodi Medeiros, LHP | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
0 2 7.13 9 4 1 17.2 24 21 14 2 6.6 13.2 .257

Medeiros was taken 12th overall by the Brewers this past June and immediately ranks as their best pitching prospect. If you’re into comps, BA recently threw a Madison Bumgarner comp on Medeiros. The left-hander already has three pitches – fastball/slider/changeup – that are considered plus offerings. Medeiros doesn’t throw gas (low 90s) but there is enough movement on his pitches to be effective. Like his fellow draft classmates, there is plenty of fantasy upside here but it will be a while before we see him in the big leagues.

6. Clint Coulter, C | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
529 84 123 28 3 22 92 13.8% 19.5% 7 6 .287 .410 .520

Coulter is still catching and made improvements defensively in 2014, but overall it’s still up for debate whether he will be able to reach the big leagues as a backstop. For fantasy purposes, his bat would bring more value if he were to remain behind the dish. A corner infielder/outfielder may be a more realistic future role. Either way it’s his offense that is his bread and butter. Coulter had a poor 2013 that was plagued by injuries. He bounced back this year though, tying for the Midwest League lead in homers (22). He was also top three in the league among qualified hitters in OBP, SLG, and RBI.

7. Devin Williams, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
4 7 4.48 15 8 0 66.1 74 39 33 5 2.7 9.0 .279

Williams remains far away, but he has upside to spare. Commanding his fastball and developing his secondary pitches will be the next tests for the 20-year-old righty. His control improved tremendously this season after posting a 5.7 BB/9 in 2013. Look for him to build on that success in 2015 as he enters just his third season of pro ball.

8. Jorge Lopez, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
10 10 4.58 25 25 0 137.2 144 80 70 12 3.0 7.8 .273

Lopez might not have the overall stuff of Medeiros or even Williams, but he has a plus curveball and a hard, sinking fastball. His walk rates have improved in each of the past three seasons. The 21-year-old right-hander was drafted back in 2011 and really struggled out of the gate, but has since turned it around. It will be interesting to see if Lopez can build off of this breakout season when he hits Double-A.

9. Tyler Wagner, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
13 6 1.86 25 25 0 150.0 118 41 31 10 2.9 7.1 .221

Wagner was a reliever in college but the Brewers continue to work him as a starter. He doesn’t whiff many batters, but his control has improved in each of the past three seasons (4.1, 3.4, 2.9 BB/9) and he is a ground ball machine. His ground ball percentage (51%) was the second highest in the FSL in 2014. In 2013 he led the Midwest League in that category with a whopping 63%. Wagner’s 1.86 earned run average was top five in the league this season. He’s one to keep an eye on if he has continued success as a starter.

10. Victor Roache, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
481 46 98 17 2 18 54 7.9% 28.7% 11 4 .226 .298 .400

Roache is still displaying solid power, but his stock is starting to fall thanks to poor plate discipline for the second consecutive year. His strikeout percentage got worse as the season progressed, topping out at 34.4% in July before settling back to a more reasonable 27% in August. If Roache is going to pan out, he’ll need to make enough contact to go along with the raw power. Unfortunately his numbers to this point don’t lead us to believe he is making the necessary adjustments and at 23 years old he hasn’t even hit Double-A yet. 30 homers has a place on both MLB and fantasy rosters, so let’s hope he gets it figured out.

Brewers Previews: 2014 | 2013

NL T10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    Mike!

    Great article, man! I’m loving Harrison, he looks, statistically, like a Tim Raines type leadoff hitter. We’ve been dying for someone like that for…well since Tim Raines / Rickey Henderson.

    I’m also looking forward to drafting Jimmy Nelson in round 20 – 21 in hopes he pans out for a full season. He has some good stuff, just needs to hone it a wee bit.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      thanks Ante! yup, Harrison is an interesting piece for fantasy. Looks like the complete package.

      Agree on Nelson, should be a really nice late round option at starter in 2015

  2. Swfcdan says:
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    Seems the Crew drafted some nice talent at this years draft. Which of these guys should go first in a prospect draft, and where would they go in a fantasy draft of purely 2014 drafted prospects? In fact could you give rankings for the top 3 guys. Harrison sounds definitely intriguing.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: And reason I say who would go first is because Taylor seems a safer type but Harrison potentially more upside. I forget are these guys ranked purely for fantasy purposes or real baseball?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yup, they did well this year in the draft. If you’re looking at just the 2014 draftees, Harrison, Gatewood, Medeiros is how I would rank them. Yes, these are fantasy focused rankings.

  3. Alex Toole says:
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    How close was Gilbert Lara to making this list?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Sorry Alex, not sure how I missed this comment but I’ll answer it now. Super close, but he’d still be in that 9 or 10 spot since he’s so far away (kind of like Brayan Hernandez on the Mariners’ list). My guess is with a solid debut he’ll be firmly in the top ten, maybe even top 5 next year.

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