Ranking the Milwaukee Brewers’ Top 5 Prospects of Spring Training

Top 5 Spring Training Performances by Milwaukee Brewers' Prospects

Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Spring training creates an opportunity for prospects to show off their skills and make an impression with the club's decision-makers. There's a risk of falling in love with fool's gold when it comes to spring performances, but it's nice to see the prospects in game action.

Admittedly, the Milwaukee Brewers haven't seen many of their prospects excel this spring, but there are a handful who have performed well.

5. Ariel Pena - Relief Pitcher

Ariel Pena Milwaukee Brewers
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5. Ariel Pena - Relief Pitcher

Ariel Pena Milwaukee Brewers
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Many see Pena as a late-inning bullpen arm in the future if he finds some control. He tossed just three frames this spring (two appearances) and he walked four in his two-inning stint. However, Pena didn't give up an earned run in either game and struck out a pair in his one-frame performance his last time out.

4. Adam Weisenburger - Catcher

Adam Weisenburger Milwaukee Brewers
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4. Adam Weisenburger - Catcher

Adam Weisenburger Milwaukee Brewers
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

He only played in three games, but Weisenburger took full advantage his time. The 24-year-old catcher went 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and a walk. It's a very small sample (obviously), but it never hurts to see production from a catcher, even if he's just organizational depth right now.

3. Kevin Shackelford - Relief Pitcher

Kevin Shackelford Milwaukee Brewers
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

3. Kevin Shackelford - Relief Pitcher

Kevin Shackelford Milwaukee Brewers
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have always liked Shackelford's arm and makeup, and he impressed in his limited time this spring. In three frames, Shackelford went 1-0 without allowing a run or a walk. He gave up three hits in a two-inning outing, but pitched a perfect frame his last time out. You may see him with the big club by the end of the season.

2. Mitch Haniger - Right Fielder

Mitch Haniger Milwaukee Brewers
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2. Mitch Haniger - Right Fielder

Mitch Haniger Milwaukee Brewers
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 23-year-old was extremely impressive during his few chances. Haniger hit .500 with an OPS close to 1.500 in just 12 plate appearances. Again, small sample, but he did a little of everything. Haniger hit a home run, had five RBIs, scored four runs and walked twice. He even stole a base and played solid defense in right. It's hard to do much more in such limited time.

1. Wei-Chung Wang - Starting Pitcher

Wei-Chung Wang Milwaukee Brewers
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1. Wei-Chung Wang - Starting Pitcher

Wei-Chung Wang - Starting Pitcher
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Though only 21 years old, Wang has proven the ability to perform at a high level. In 7.1 innings (as of March 16), he hasn't allowed an earned run or a walk thanks to a 92 mpb fastball, a great changeup and terrific command. He has given up just five hits while striking out four. The left-handed starter has a good chance of making the MLB team as a reliever this season.

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  • Scott

    Wow…kinda a depressing list of prospects.

    On Pena-
    By virtue of getting Jean Segura alone the Milwaukee Brewers did very well in the Zach Greinke trade, and I’d never fault them for going for the Home Runs in Hellweg and Pena rather than a….Mike Fiers type prospect(ie, control/command pitchers vs guys with incredible arms). But we really need one of those two to figure it out already and start to throw the ball over the plate. I don’t think either need elite command. Especially Hellweg who gets a ton of ground balls, but Pena does well in that regard himself. But they cannot walk guys like they do.

    Haniger-I REALLY like him. He has a great approach at the plate. He shortens up and has an inside-out swing late in the count or with men on, but he can get his hands out in front and drive the ball early in the count. Also, while he’s not a true CF’er IMO, he can play there and will likely be a very solid corner OF’er.

    Weisenburger
    -Yes, of course a very small sample size, but he’s a very-very good defensive catcher, and he’s always carried an OBP well above his BA. I believe he has a career OBP over .350. If you can receive it and get on base like that, you’ll have a future in the big leagues. He’s just 24 and put up a pretty good season in AA last year. He could get the nod at some point this year behind the plate if we have any injuries. If not this year, then the future.

    Shackelford is an intriguing prospect because of how new he is to pitching. One NL scout thinks so highly of him that he predicted he’d make the 2014 25 man and have a breakout year. He had a heavy 95-96 MPH fastball. Love having these power arms who are the 15th, 16th, 17th type guys in line in our BP. He clearly won’t make the pen out of spring, but he has the potential to be a impact reliever.

    But the ONE…THE ONLY…WANG!!!

    What a pickup by the Brewers. I love this kid. Find a way to keep him on the 25 man all year. Do not offer him back to the Pirates as they are NOT going to accept a trade IMO. I think they were shocked a 21 year old kid coming off Tommy John who had just 12 appearances at the rookie level would ever be grabbed in the rule 5.

    He has electric stuff. The stuff to be a starter. He attacks hitters having thrown some outrageous ratio of strikes vs balls(not sure if you mentioned that or not, but I’ve seen that in several places). And his change is already a plus pitch at the big league level. If Wang can just work on his curve(and Milwaukee fans can avoid sophomoric humor over his name) he could develop into a valuable starter for the Brewers.

    I think the biggest thing to come out of this off-season is going to be the two moves the Brewers made to add left handers that were under the radar. Will Smith, the 6’5 250 pound lefty with really good stuff.

    Kevin Goldstien said in 2010 when the Angels traded him to the Royals that in 5 years from now it would “look like the steal of the century.”

    After posting a 11.6 K/9 and a 6.8 K/BB ratio, he very well may. Big arm, inning eater potential who could be a legit #2/3 for a guy who was a very solid player, but ultimately limited in value as he hit for very little power and had just one year left on his contract.

    Two huge outstanding moves that are WAY under the radar.

  • Tim Muma

    You know your stuff, Scott. I love Will Smith. Thought that was a shrewd move most fans don’t understand the value in.