5 Milwaukee Brewers Prospects You Must Watch During Spring Training
5 Prospects to Watch
The farm system for the Milwaukee Brewers is certainly nothing to write home about. We have seen a lot of talent moved out in recent years to acquire Major League-ready players. There is no question the decisions paid off for the Brewers in the short run because the team won the National League Central division in 2011. However, Milwaukee really needs some prospects to come through in 2014.
There have only been a handful of prospects invited to Spring Training for the Brewers. The big reason for that is because a majority of the players simply are not ready to be competing in camp. On the other hand, Milwaukee will count on several youngsters to step up and make a difference for the ball club this season.
It’s hard to say if any of the players on Milwaukee’s top 10 prospect list will be on the roster when the team gets ready for Opening Day. With that being said, I have to imagine a couple of players will give the coaching staff plenty to think about over the next eight weeks.
Nobody could have guessed that last year’s prospects Khris Davis, Scooter Gennett and Tyler Thornburg would have as big of an impact that they did in the big leagues. However, they proved that anything is possible when give the right opportunity. For that reason, don’t be surprised if some of this year’s top prospects accomplish the same thing if their name gets called.
Check out five Brewers prospects you must watch during Spring Training.
5. Taylor Jungmann
It’s safe to say that right-handed pitcher Taylor Jungmann took a step back in 2013. The 24-year-old posted a 4.33 earned run average with 82 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings in Double-A last season.
The truth is Jungmann has several issues, whether it’s mechanical or mental. With that being said, his mid-90s fastball and slider with plenty of movement is something that will be talked about amongst fans this spring. Even though he won’t leave camp with the team, I have to image he will be a September call-up if he can improve on his dismal performance from last year.
4. Hunter Morris
Slugger Hunter Morris is someone I don’t expect to see on the 2014 roster. However, he’s still a player who could be very entertaining to watch during Spring Training.
Morris recorded a .247 batting average, 24 home runs, 73 RBI, 26 doubles and three triples in 546 plate appearances in Triple-A last season. He provides plenty of power, which is something that is welcomed at Miller Park. Even though the Brewers signed Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay to play first base, Morris could surprise in Spring Training. He might not be on the Opening Day roster, but I’m confident he will get a call-up at some point during the season.
3. Victor Roache
Victor Roache possesses an enormous amount of power. Unfortunately, like Morris, he strikes out a lot and struggles tremendously on defense. Roache and Morris are two players the Brewers want to consider as bench players, but the fact that they can’t really do much right now besides swing for the fences limits the organization’s possibilities.
The good news is he has plenty of upside. In fact, some believe he could turn into a special player if he can improve several areas of his game. Even though he’s someone the Brewers aren’t exactly counting on, he could turn into a blessing in the near future.
If anything, Roache’s power and ability to spread the ball all over the field is something that will make fans remember his name.
2. Johnny Hellweg
Johnny Hellweg is someone Milwaukee would love to see succeed in the big leagues. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily in his first taste of the majors in 2013. With that being said, he has been dominating in the minors for the past few years so it’s just a matter of time until he brings that success to the majors.
Hellweg is someone I could see pitching out of the bullpen in 2014. He’s got monster stuff as his fastball consistently hits 96 MPH and has even been known to hit 100 MPH. The downside is he struggles to control his pitches, which has been a huge problem the past couple of years.
Regardless, 2014 is a new year and that means there’s a chance that Hellweg found some control. If that were the case, don’t rule him out of clinching a spot on the 25-man roster.
1. Jimmy Nelson
Jimmy Nelson is well-regarded as the No. 1 prospect in the Brewers organization entering the 2014 season. The groundball pitcher has three solid pitches and he’s working on a fourth. He’s someone the Brewers could use in the rotation down the road, but for now will do just fine out of the bullpen.
Like Hellweg, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him break camp with the team and find himself on the Opening Day roster. On the other hand, it will all come down to what he does in camp this spring. Either way, there’s no question he’s the top prospect fans should keep their eyes on during Spring Training.