After trading away many top prospects and seeing others underperform, the Brewers farm system was supposed to be terrible. But this season, they have completely exceeded expectations as players and teams are having great seasons. Here is a look at where the prospects rank as we near the midway point of the season.
#1 Jimmy Nelson
Jimmy Nelson has flat out dominated AAA this season. He is pitching better than ever before with a 7-1 record in his first ten starts. He has also has a minuscule 1.51 ERA that leads the Pacific Coast League. It is only a matter of time until he is the Brewers rotation.
#2 Tyrone Taylor
As just 20 years old Tyrone Taylor has the speed and tools to be a Carlos Gomez type player. He not only hits for average, but he has shown power that should continue to develop with age. Though he still has awhile until he arrives in Milwaukee, Taylor has all the tools to patrol centerfield for a long time.
#3 Mitch Haniger
After starting out the minor league season ice cold, Mitch Haniger bat has heated up as the season has progressed. Through his first 62 games his steadily rising average has grown to .263 and he has shown power by delivering eight homeruns. He showed his offensive potential last season as he was an offensive force in the Arizona Fall League. In the field he not only covers a lot of ground, but he has a strong arm that profiles well for a corner outfielder.
#4 Taylor Jungmann
Taylor Jungmann was not expected to be in the minor leagues very long when he was the 2011 first round pick. But after seasons of struggle, he has found the command of his fastball that made him a top selection. Earlier in the year he was promoted from AA Huntsville to AAA Nashville. While many gave up on him, this year he has shown he can still be a valuable rotation piece.
#5 Devin Williams
Though he is just 18 years old, last season’s second round pick has plenty of talent. Many compared him on draft day to Mariners top pitching prospect, Taijuan Walker. With a blazing upper 90’s fastball that can get even stronger, he may be a rotation mainstay for years to come.
#6 Clint Coulter
After a very disappointing 2013, Clint Coulter has rebounded this season in the Midwest League. The 20 year old catcher, has been among the leaders in the Midwest League in homeruns, RBIs, OPS, and slugging percentage. If he continues to perform, he should see a promotion to Brevard County in the near future.
#7 Orlando Arcia
When he was originally signed at the age of 16, Orlando Arcia had a great glove, but he was not a great hitter. This season his bat has begun to catch up. While he never will be expected to have the same type of power as his brother Oswald in Minnesota, Arcia has put together a .272 batting average to start the year. If he can continue to develop offensively, his solid defense should help him to get on the field consistently.
#8 Jed Bradley
As the other first round draft pick of 2011, Jed Bradley was supposed to quickly rise to the big leagues. But he like Jungmann, has struggled. This season he also has turned things around. After dominating in Brevard County, he has earned a call-up to AA Huntsville. If he can continue to improve his command, he still has a shot at being a lefty in the rotation that the team desperately needs.
#9 Jake Gatewood
When the Brewers drafted Jake Gatewood, on day one of the 2014 draft, they got one of the best prep bats available. With enormous height and size he may move from shortstop to third base, but his bat may be his calling card. Some scouts say that he has power potential to hit 30 homeruns per season as a major leaguer.
#10 Victor Roache
Out of all of the bats in the entire system, Roache may be the most powerful. His extreme raw power is what made him a first round selection in 2012. The problem with Roache this season however has been getting on base. Through his first 50 games this season, Roache has launched seven homeruns, but he is batting just .195. He will need to make adjustments if he is going to ever earn a major league promotion.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference
Reference: MLB.com Minor League Rankings