Every day on Arcia…

Seems like we could provide an update daily on Brewers’ top prospect Orlando Arcia. Here’s a great piece by Josh Jackson of MiLB.com on the short stop’s season and development so far:

MiLB article on Orlando Arcia

By the way, Arcia collected a double last night to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Catching up…

It’s been a big last week for the Brewers’ farm system. So big, that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the hardware.

Orlando Arcia collected his Rawlings Gold Glove a few days ago for his stellar defense last season at AA Biloxi.

Arcia

Arcia displays his hardware

Defensively, he’s as good of a prospect as there is out there. The short stop has great natural instincts, a strong arm and outstanding range. What’s more though, is that Arcia has made great strides offensively this season and has handled the jump to AAA with relative ease. That was probably one of the remaining questions in regard to the super prospect. Could he handle pitches that were “in” and could he lay off some of the off-speed and secondary pitches that are more prevalent, even in hitter’s counts, in AAA and eventually at the Major League level. I’ve been able to talk with Sky Sox Manager Rick Sweet about this and he feels Arcia has done well with it. Brewers’ GM David Stearns agrees and seems very pleased with the 21-year old, who’s currently sporting a 9-game hitting streak with an average hovering around .300.

gatweood

Gatewood was the Midwest League Player of the Week

Last week, Jake Gatewood was awarded the Midwest League Player of the Week for Wisconsin. He’s been on quite a roll. He hadn’t hit a home run through the first month of the season, but the weather has improved and along with it, so has Gatewood’s power. He has 5 HRs since May 4th. The 3B prospect has raised his average to the .270 range and is also doing some things defensively. This is an encouraging development.

Also in Appleton, 2015 First Round Pick Trent Clark has started his season and has reached in all 7 contests he’s played in so far. He’s drawn 11 walks in 7 games and also has collected 4 doubles in that time frame. Clark looks to be as advertised so far.

On the mound in Colorado Springs, Jorge Lopez has had better results in his last two starts. He’s combined for 11 innings, 6 hits and 2 earned runs. He’s lowered his ERA by almost 3.

I’m currently in Brevard County and had a chance to talk with many prospects yesterday. One of the names that came up the most though was recently promoted Brandon Woodruff (AA Biloxi) – everyone raved about Woodruff’s stuff and the belief that he has a chance to be special. Woodruff was 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA before being called up.

IMG_0293

LHP Zach Hirsch pitched 3 hitless/scoreless frames on Monday night for the Manatees

The Manatees sports some impressive arms even without Woodruff. Recently promoted Jon Perrin, Kodi Medeiros, Cody Ponce & Bubba Derby all figure to be risers through the Brewers organization over the next few years. I also talked with outfielder Johnny Davis and he’s one of the most interesting stories for the Brewers’ affiliates. He’s 26 and hadn’t really played much baseball until a few years ago. Davis has elite speed and is doing really good things at the plate. His age will work against him in the eyes of publications and prospect rankings. However, he’s a confident guy that still has a high ceiling. He should be an interesting one to watch.

Hader continues to rise.

Great story on MiLB.com today on Brewers’ LHP prospect Josh Hader. He’s off to a tremendous start at AA Biloxi and his development continues. You’ll learn a lot about what makes him so difficult for hitters to square up and get an idea of just how big his upside is. Good stuff from Sam Dykstra here:

MiLB’s Toolshed on Josh Hader

hader1280_34ks4jyn_wb9x5jbh

Keep in mind, Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun mentioned in Spring Training that Hader’s overall makeup reminded him of Chris Sale. Pretty high praise. If Hader can get his pitch count down and learn how to work longer into games and eat more innings, he could be a rapid riser though the Brewers’ system.

They call him Maverick.

Brett Phillips is an exciting prospect with a great laugh. That much has been established. However, he’s also proving to have that infectious personality that will play well with fans when he makes it to the big leagues. It seems wherever he goes, he does something that is “vine-worthy” or “gif-able.” He made news again this week.

Yes, although Phillips went 0-5 in the game, he made news. He goes by the nickname “Maverick” and it seems to fit. He’s a character.

Oh by the way, he’s a pretty special player too. He has one of, if not the best, outfield arms in the Brewers’ system. He’s got some pop in his bat and good speed. He’s currently hitting .254 at AA Biloxi as he’s cooled down a bit in the last few weeks after a very hot start. His .354 OBP and his .720 OPS are solid and it’s a good bet that he’ll continue to push for his numbers up over the summer. He’ll definitely have a story to tell though. This was his 2nd run in with an opossum in his career.

The Rest of the Story

By the way, Biloxi continues to be one of the top teams in MiLB this year sitting at 15-6 currently. It’s a team full of prospects and a handful of them could be with the Brewers in the next 2-3 years. Should be a fun group to follow for the on-field play and personalities.

 

 

Arcia Shows Why He’s Highly Regarded.

Orlando Arcia is continuing to show why he’s one of the top prospects in all of baseball. His 3-run walk off home run on Wednesday for Colorado Springs was his first home run at the Triple A level. Remember, Arcia is the 2nd youngest position player in the PCL and is more regarded for his ability to defend and hit for average than his ability to hit for power.

The shortstop won’t turn 22 until August but is well beyond his years defensively as evidenced by a leaping catch in the video below.

He has tremendous range, reflexes and instincts.
And while Arcia has yet to steal a base this season, he has stolen 56 bases in the last two seasons at High A Brevard County and AA Biloxi. He can run.
He’s currently slashing .265/.309/.367 with an OPS of .676 – which isn’t earth shattering from a numbers standpoint. However, it’s very early and he only has 49 at bats so far. Those numbers could change significantly over the next few weeks with just a couple of big games. He’s certainly shown that AAA has not been an overwhelming jump for him. It will be fun to watch his progress over the course of the spring & summer. Arcia is a gem in the Brewers’ very healthy farm system.

One week in…

We are a week into minor league games and plenty to cover among the 4 levels of baseball in the Brewers’ system that are currently playing…

At AAA Colorado Springs, outfielder Michael Reed is off to a very strong start. Reed is hitting .346 with a .818 OPS through the first week. He’s 9-26 at the plate. Other notable names for the Sky Sox at the plate have been Garin Cecchini and Orlando Arcia. Cecchini is 6-19 at the plate while Arcia is 8-28. Surprisingly, only 2 home runs have been hit by the Sky Sox so far.

On the mound Zach Davies has made 2 starts, throwing 9 innings and allowing 6 hits and 2 ER while Junior Guerra has tossed 13 innings of 5 hit, 3 ER baseball. The Sky Sox are just 3-4 on the season.

AA Biloxi is enjoying a good start to the year. They are off to a 5-2 start and have been led by Brewers’ #2 prospect Brett Phillips. Phillips is 8-26 at the plate with 3 DBLs, 1 HR and 6 RBI. Nate Orf and Tyrone Taylor both have 7 hits for the Shuckers in the first week, while Jacob Nottingham leads the team with 2 home runs.

LHP Josh Hader has allowed just 1 earned run in 9 innings pitched so far in 2 starts. He’s certainly a special talent.

High A Brevard County is 2-5 in the Florida State League. While Clint Coulter is only hitting .143 at the plate, the former catcher turned outfielder showed off his strong arm this week in the video below:

RHP Bubba Derby has turned heads at Brevard County also as he threw 5.2 scoreless innings in his first start.
Class A Wisconsin has had challenges getting games in but still sits at 2-5 in the Midwest League. Isan Diaz has been the highlight for the Timber Rattlers as he’s hitting .381 with 4 DBLs, 1 HR and 5 RBI. The shortstop is slugging .714 on the season.

41823025001_4836238998001_4836211603001-vs

Isan Diaz is making noise at Class A Wisconsin

 

With one week in the books plenty of the Brewers’ top prospects have picked up where they left off in the spring. Keep your eye right here as we continue to update their progress throughout the season.

Minor League Rosters set…

Always exciting to glimpse at the future and this week has provided us with Minor League assignments in the Brewers system. The system is full of premium talent and some of that talent is knocking on the Brewers’ door. Let’s start with AAA Colorado Springs and work our way down:

Sky Sox (AAA) – The headliner on the Sky Sox roster is definitely Orlando Arcia (Brewers #1 prospect and the #3 SS prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline). Also in Colorado will be “almost ready” arms like RHPs Zach Davies (#19 Brewers’ prospect) and Jorge Lopez (#3 Brewers’ prospect). Outfielder Michael Reed figures to be a factor in the outfield. Reed was called up in September last year after a fantastic season in Biloxi (.278/.379/.422) and is the Brewers’ #18 prospect. Also keep an eye on Damien Magnifico, the RHP has a plus fastball (perhaps the best in the system) and could really develop as a nice relief option down the road for the Crew. The roster is listed below.

Sky Sox Opening Roster – 2016

davies

Sky Sox RHP Zach Davies may be up in Milwaukee sooner than later.

With the injury to Matt Garza, Davies may be headed for Milwaukee soon.

In AA Biloxi, the prospect pool could be incredible again in 2016. Seven (7) of the Brewers’ top 30 prospects will begin the year in Biloxi.

The top names figure to be OF Brett Phillips (#8 outfield prospect in MiLB), LHP Josh Hader (#6 LHP prospect in MiLB) and Jacob Nottingham (#8 catching prospect in MiLB), all three were acquired in trades within the last year. Biloxi is a great example of why the Brewers’ system and talent pool has risen so much over this past off-season.

Shuckers Opening Roster – 2016

In High A Brevard County, the top names will be on the mound in the forms of LHP Kodi Medeiros and RHP Cody Ponce. Medeiros and Ponce are the 7th and 8th ranked Brewers’ prospects. Also in Brevard County is new RHP Bubba Derby. He’s been impressive since being acquired in February.

Manatees Opening Roster – 2016

The other incredibly intriguing club in 2016 will be just up the road in Appleton. The Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are chalk full of high-ceiling prospects that had strong springs. In total 5 of the top 30 Brewers’ prospects will begin in Appleton. The infield boasts #11 Brewers’ prospect Isan Diaz at SS and 3B Jake Gatewood (#24 prospect). The outfield is highlighted by #15 prospect Monte Harrison while on the mound, #20 prospect RHP Marcus Diplan is among the brightest stars.

Timber Rattlers Opening Roster – 2016

Other names, some of the youngest of the bunch, are not yet assigned. OF Trent Clark,  SS Gilbert Lara (#5 & #6 respectively) and OF Demi Orimoyole (#14) all are under 20 years of age and figure to be a big part of the future also.

Games will get underway starting tomorrow for most of the MiLB teams.

Strong spring for young hitters in system.

Monte Harrison has had two at bats in Major League Spring Training games this spring. He’s struck out both times. However, in yesterday’s contest against the Cleveland Indians, he hit a foul ball about 420 feet. He has power to go with that elite speed and it’s showing up.

Some of his highlights while playing primarily in the Class A games are:

3/19 – Solo HR

3/20 – 2 hits (1 DBL)

3/22 – 3 hits (1 DBL)

3/25 – HR, 3 runs scored

He’s been very good at the plate. Which is huge, considering that’s usually the last part to come along for young prospects like Harrison. He’s big, he can run and you don’t have to look at him twice to understand why he had almost every football program in America knocking down his door a couple of years ago. The best news? He looks to be just fine in his return from last year’s nasty ankle injury. His ceiling is very high and while he’s still a few years away – he’s going to be fun to follow as he works his way through the Brewers’ system. Harrison is currently the Brewers’ #15 prospect but if he can have a breakout year in 2016, I see him climbing not only the Brewers’ list, but the overall prospect list as well.

20501105846_8e8683c970_o_1_m7r83wkq_voqc0kgq

Phillips has returned from an oblique injury

By the way Brewers’ #2 prospect Brett Phillips is finally getting some game action after dealing with an oblique issue earlier in camp. He has made his presence felt. On 3/27 Phillips homered and drove in 3 runs for the Biloxi Shuckers while he went 2-2 on 3/24. His arm strength is a major plus too. He’s much more than a unique laugh and he’ll prove it this year in my opinion.

Other bats that continue to impress are Jake Gatewood, Trent Clark, Demi Orimoyole and Isan Diaz. While Josh Hader (8 strikeouts in 4 perfect innings on 3/27), Cody Ponce and Bubba Derby have all been impressive on the mound.

 

Another day…more games!

The first day of minor league games is in the books and the Brewers organization enjoyed a great deal of success. Squaring off against the Reds farm system, the Brewers saw Colorado Springs tie Louisville 6-6, Biloxi defeat Pensacola 7-4, Brevard Country beat Dayton 10-9 and Wisconsin walk-off on Dayton 8-7.

Some of the Brewers’ top prospects played big roles in it as well:

AAA: #3 prospect Jorge Lopez tossed three scoreless frames.

AA: #10 prospect Jacob Nottingham proved he can do more than shatter his windshield with two doubles, two RBI and two walks.

jacob-nottingham-broken-windshield

Jacob Nottingham poses next to his car’s windshield, which he shattered himself during batting practice last week.

High A: #24 Jake Gatewood legged out two triples and #8 Cody Ponce threw four innings of one hit, shutout baseball.

Today is a match up with the White Sox and you can see the roster assignments here:Image-1 (002)

As you can see, there are some new names that have come across the parking lot at Maryvale. That’s because the Brewers announced some transactions earlier today:

RHP Zach Davies, RHP Junior Guerra, INF Garin Cecchini and 1B Andy Wilkins were all optioned to minor league camp while non-roster invitees RHP Hiram Burgos, RHP Daniel Tillman and C Adam Weisenburger were reassigned to minor league camp.

Burgos is starting for Colorado Springs today on the mound while Wilkins and Cecchini are at the corners.

A plethora of other prospects will be on the field today as well like #12 Tyrone Taylor in center field for Colorado Springs and #14 Demi Orimoloye in right field for Brevard County.

If you’re wondering why Brewers’ #2 prospect Brett Phillips hasn’t appeared yet? It’s due to that oblique injury that kept him from playing on the Major League side earlier in camp. The Brewers are mainly concerned with getting guys ready for the regular season right now and do not want to rush Phillips back.

Also if you want to follow the Brewers’ minor leaguers’ progress – I’d highly recommend following the official twitter feed of the Milwaukee Brewers Player Development Department (@BrewersPD).

 

Minor League Games Begin Today…

Welcome to a new era of the Minor Details blog! Thanks to Jeff Levering for his outstanding work on Minor Details over the past year plus. I only hope we can live up to the standard he’s set!

Today is the first day of Minor League games and the Brewers will be in action against the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Although the attached rosters are not “official” assignments for the upcoming season, you can get a good feel for where certain prospects will start on the minor league side. Today we’ll see RHP Jorge Lopez on the mound in the AAA game. Lopez opened camp with the big league squad, as he’s currently a member of the 40-man roster, but was optioned to minor league camp on Monday morning. Lopez went 12-5 with a 2.26 ERA last season at AA Biloxi while making 24 starts. He made two starts in September for the Brewers, notching his first victory at San Diego. He’s considered the Brewers #3 prospect. Also featured in the AAA game will be SS Orlando Arcia, the Brewers top prospect and the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2015. The rosters are featured below:

March 18th Minor League Rosters

March 18th Minor League Rosters

The AA game will feature catcher Jacob Nottingham who was reassigned from big league camp on Monday. The #10 Brewers’ prospect showed the ability to hit at the highest level during his time on the Major League side and the organization has said that his position will be behind the plate. No position change for the former Astros and Athletics farmhand that the Brewers acquired in the Khris Davis deal with Oakland. Another name to keep your eye on in the AA game will be Brewers’ #13 prospect Clint Coulter who is getting the start in RF.

The High A and A games also feature some intriguing prospects. High A will likely use #8 Brewers’ prospect RHP Cody Ponce, out of the bullpen, while also getting #21 RHP Bubba Derby onto the hill. The A squad will lead off Brewers’ #5 prospect Trent Clark in center field. Clark hit .310 for Helena in the Pioneer League last summer. The other names to watch in the A game are SS Isan Diaz and OF Monte Harrison. Diaz is currently the Brewers’ #11 prospect and has generated a big early buzz within the organization. Diaz was acquired in the deal that sent Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner to Arizona which also returned to the Brewers Aaron Hill and Chase Anderson. Harrison is one of the best overall athletes in the Brewers’ system and is just getting healthy again. He’ll need to develop offensively but has the ability to be a difference maker as his approach continues to improve.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.