A Minor Review of 2013: Brewers

There is always a bit of a lull between the end of the minor league playoffs in September and the start of the annual top prospects lists in early November. Because of that gap, I’m breathing new life into an old feature that I wrote for the site in FanGraphs’ infancy back in 2008 and 2009.

The series ‘A Minor Review of 2013? will look back on some of the major happenings in each MLB organization since the beginning of April as a primer for the upcoming FanGraphs Top 10+5 prospects lists. This series will run throughout September and October. I hope you enjoy the series and are eagerly anticipating the start of ‘Prospect List Season.’

The player listed in the sleeper section was featured in a pre-season series that looked at one fringe prospect in each organization that was expected to take a big step forward during 2013, chosen by myself, a scout or a front office talent evaluator.

The Graduate: Wily Peralta, RHP: Admittedly, I’ve never been a huge supporter of Peralta and he checked in with a modest freshman campaign for the Brewers in 2013. The Venezuela native struggled with his fastball command so he rarely found himself in counts to take full advantage of his slider, and his strikeout rate suffered as a result. Milwaukee is currently in a state of flux so Peralta will no doubt earn another shot to develop into an innings-eating, mid-rotation starter.

The Riser: Tyrone Taylor, OF: Taylor is a personal favorite of mine and he was a breakout prospect in an organization that badly needed one in 2013. The toolsy outfielder is still polishing his skills but the teenager flashes the potential to develop into a four- or five-tool talent. He does a nice job of making contact but he could stand to be more patient.

The Tumbler: Mark Rogers, RHP: It’s taken 10 years but Rogers’ career may finally be on life support. With less than 50 career big league innings under his belt, the right-hander pitched just 22.2 minor league innings while battling injuries yet again. He was removed off the club’s 40-man roster at the end of the season and could seek out a fresh start this off-season via minor league free agency.

The 2013 Draft Pick: Barrett Astin, RHP: The Brewers focused on hard-throwing relievers with a number of their selections in the first 11 rounds. Astin and his mid-90s fastball fit the bill and he has a chance to move quickly if he remains a reliever. Along with his heater he has a promising breaking ball that can help him rack up the strikeouts. Inexperienced hitters found it difficult to lift the ball against Astin and he produced an outstanding ground-ball rate.

The Sleeper: Josh Prince, OF/IF: Prince made a name for himself with a ridiculously good Arizona Fall League last October but it’s his versatility that could get him to the big leagues. He played six positions — three infield, three outfield — at the Triple-A level in 2013 but his bat failed to live up to the AFL hype. Despite the weak offensive output in the minors, he made his MLB debut and appeared in eight games.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 10 months ago

Hah, I didn’t know the Brewers had a farm system!

Vlad the Impaler
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Vlad the Impaler
2 years 10 months ago

The Brewers need to acknowledge a rebuild. They have a ton of salary commitments next year to terrible/injured players like Weeks and A. Ramirez.

Their farm system is awful, especially in the upper levels.

And they have three teams ahead of them that will contend next year, plus the Cubs with a great farm and willingness to spend behind them.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 10 months ago

all true. this may not be well received by Brewers fans but they might be best served by dealing Gomez for a haul given where they are and that his value is sky high right now and will prob never be higher. Combine that with finding a couple of decent looking young OFers this year (Davis, Gindl) plus Braun, Aoki, and Schafer and they can/should be ok in the OF.

Gomez should get them a sweet haul which is pretty much what they need. Say Skaggs, Pollock & Davidson+

Tim
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Tim
2 years 10 months ago

Gomez is signed for three more years at $24 million total. He was just worth 7.6 WAR. Even if you scale him back and expect 5, 4.5, and 4 WAR, he’s a tremendous value. 14.5 WAR at 5.5 mil is about 80 mil without inflation, for a 56 mil surplus.

He should bring back more than Skaggs (who lost some of his value in 2013), Pollock (who won’t more than a solid regular in centerfield unless you believe he really is a top 5 defensive CFer), and Davidson (whose rising K’s will probably prevent him from hitting for average).

I see how those three could all fill holes in 2013, but I think they need to look ahead a couple of years and get the best quality of haul as they can.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 10 months ago

whatever the haul is and I agree he’d most likely yield more than that (that was just off the top of my head), I guess you agree with the idea in principle…

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 10 months ago

the other moves would be to deal Gallardo and AramRam.

Max
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Max
2 years 10 months ago

Peralta is not Venezuelan. He is from Dominican Republic.

Bucko
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Bucko
2 years 10 months ago

I see above folks have cleverly framed any alternative ideas as a Brewer being defensive or overly optimistic or something other than an alternative perspective. I will still give it a shot and remain hopeful that the Fangraphs denizens do not respond with scorn and ridicule.

The Brewers have an offensive anchor returning in Braun, a defensive anchor in Gomez, some solid players in Lucroy, Aoki, Lohse, some kids with growth potential (Segura, Gennett, Davis, Peralta, Thornburg), and one would think a bounce upward from an injury plagued season.

That and there is a fundamental view in place where you seek to GET players like Gomez, not trade them away. If you want to look at trade options what of Aoki? There is a guy whose perceived value is higher than his actual value. You could get something of substance in return for Aoki that would push the team head in both the short and long term.

If the Brewers had a different manager I would be very positive on the team being able to get to 81-85 wins give or take. But the trend line with this manager is downward and while there all kinds of explanations I also am not going to ignore what is staring me in the face.

Bucko
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Bucko
2 years 10 months ago

There is no market for an Aramis Ramirez. The Brewers only path is to hope he comes to spring training healthy, you live through his usual slow start and come mid-May he starts hitting. If the team is doing ok you enjoy his last season with the team and if the team is struggling then you deal him for some grade b prospects near the deadline.

But trading a guy who is 35 years old coming off injury? There is no market for that player at his price tag.

Bucko
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Bucko
2 years 10 months ago

Gallardo’s velocity keeps dropping. He finished ok, but it was pretty well known around the league that his fastball just keeps taking a step back. Melvin did test the trade market and the best offer was the equivalent of some cheese coneys and a side order of fries.

The Brewers coaching staff needs to try and get him ‘fixed’ if remotely possible. Either help him make a transition into being a different kind of pitcher or see if the velocity is regained in some manner.

LaLoosh
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LaLoosh
2 years 10 months ago

Gallardo looks like a good buy-low candidate to me.

Bucko
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Bucko
2 years 10 months ago

Certainly. If you have the coach or organizational gift of helping a guy regain what he has lost. I do not see that in place with the Brewers. If anything I think the current Brewers pitching coach as a net negative. The pitchers have openly expressed how much they have learned from Kyle Lohse. Nobody has ever stated their appreciation for the efforts of the pitching coach.

Spike
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Spike
2 years 10 months ago

All this for a guy who had all of one bad half season…? I’m in to buy low.

Ruki Motomiya
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Ruki Motomiya
2 years 10 months ago

Gallardo is only a buy low candidate if someone fixes his fastball. IIRC, he’s also had issues placing his curve, but I don’t have the numbers handy so I could be wrong.

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