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5 Young Players Who Should Have Milwaukee Brewers Excited About 2014

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5 Young Players Who Should Have Milwaukee Brewers Excited About 2014

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers will be the first to admit that 2013 did not go as planned. The organization had high hopes for a team that was filled with talent at multiple positions. Unfortunately, numerous injuries and Ryan Braun’s suspension weighed the Brewers down to a point where they could not resurface. The good news is there is plenty of reason to be excited about the 2014 Major League Baseball season.

Milwaukee has a crop of young players that are expected to have a huge impact in the near future. Anyone remember 2005 when the Brewers called up Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy? Milwaukee added Braun to the list of stellar talent in 2007, which gave the Brewers several players that worked together to put the city back on the map. It is evidence of what can happen when players with high aspirations are brought to the big leagues around the same time.

Nobody can expect the current list of youngsters to accomplish the same thing. With that being said, there is certainly plenty of reason to be optimistic. Milwaukee’s young talent mixed with savvy veterans and proven players could have the makeup of something special next season.

Every single one of the players on the list has already spent time in the majors this season. They also are all 25 years old or younger, which means they have plenty of room to grow. Who are the five young players that should have fans excited about next year?

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5. Wily Peralta

Wily Peralta
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Wily Peralta’s 2013 campaign was certainly a disappointment t in the eyes of many. The fan base as well as the organization hoped for National League Rookie of the Year numbers. Instead, they received a performance in which many have questioned if he will ever reach the potential of a one or two starter in the rotation.

Peralta’s 11-15 record, 4.37 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 32 starters are not exactly ideal statistics. However, the fact that it was his first full season in the majors certainly gives plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future. Not to mention, two complete games and a shutout shows that he has potential to be a top-notch starter.

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4. Khris Davis

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Outfielder Khris Davis had such a stellar season that the Brewers are contemplating moving Braun to right field so that Davis can start in left next year. That’s right, superstar Braun is the one that will have to move to a different position. In his first season in the big leagues, Davis posted a .279 batting average, 11 home runs, 27 RBI, 10 doubles and three stolen bases in 136 at-bats. The 25-year-old has displayed an impressive amount of power that has the organization thinking big picture.

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3. Tyler Thornburg

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Tyler Thornburg struggled when he was called up last season and had a season to forget in the minors in 2013. However, Milwaukee decided to give him a shot in the big leagues just to see what he could do. It was a decision that could pay off huge for years to come.

The 24-year-old posted a 2-1 record with an impressive 1.47 ERA, 34 strikeouts and a .228 opponent’s batting average in seven starts. His ERA and opponent’s batting average are the best on the team among starting pitchers. Overall, he was 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 18 appearances.

At this point, the Brewers are not exactly where they will fit Thornburg next season, but there is no question he will be somewhere on the 25-man roster. My hope is that they make him a backend starter because I believe he could truly shine in the role. Regardless of where he plays, Milwaukee has to be happy about all of the possibilities.

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2. Scooter Gennett

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Scooter Gennett may forever be loved in Milwaukee if he becomes the player everyone is hoping he does. He will be the reason why the Brewers are finally able to get rid of Weeks’ horrendous contract. There is no doubt in my mind that Gennett will win the starting second baseman job in Spring Training next year, which will allow the Brewers to limit Weeks.

Gennett got my vote for the Brewers Rookie of the Year. He was unbelievable from start to finish this season, which is certainly rare for someone who is thrust into the starting role. The 23-year-old led the team with a .324 batting average and was third with a .356 on-base percentage. He also posted six home runs, 21 RBI, 11 doubles, two triples and two stolen bases in 213 at-bats.

I cannot wait to see what kind of production he brings to the team next year when he gets plenty more playing time to show what he can do.

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1. Jean Segura

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I have to imagine no one is surprised to see Jean Segura in the top spot on this list. The 23-year-old was incredible in his first full season as he consistently impressed at the plate and in the field. Segura is not someone who is going to deliver a lot of power, but he is someone who will hit for average and use his speed to his advantage. Not to mention, the countless jaw-dropping defensive plays that he made will have fans talking all offseason.

Segura batted .294 with 12 home runs, 49 RBI, 20 doubles, 10 triples and a whopping 44 stolen bases in 588 at-bats. If it were not for a hamstring injury that constantly gave him trouble down the stretch, Segura would have been only the second player in Brewers franchise history to bat .300 as a shortstop.

Obviously, he will be one of the faces of the franchise going forward. There is a tremendous amount of upside to him, which has to have everyone excited about what the future holds.