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Thursday, May 23rd 2019
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Brewers’ Minor League Review: April/May

Through two months of baseball, it is clear that the Brewers’ rebuilding project is moving along quite nicely. Cumulatively, Brewers’ minor league affiliates possess the 7th best winning percentage among all MLB teams, and house several players that profile as future big league talent while turning in excellent performances. The Brewers’ minor league system has not garnered this much attention since stars like Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, and Ryan Braun were coming through the ranks. Let’s look at what each affiliate has done through the first two months of the season.

King of the Diamond- Week of 5/22

If this is your first time checking out King of the Diamond pieces, here’s what you can look forward to seeing:

Every Monday we will look at which Milwaukee Brewer stood out from a game changing performance, or provided consistent production over the previous week. We will do the same for one other player within the NL Central (Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, Pirates).

The Brewers had a rough beginning this past week, losing five games in a row that began last Sunday. They saw their division lead evaporate, and needed to stop the bleeding in order to remain atop the NL Central.

King of the Diamond- Chase Anderson

Image result for chase anderson brewersChase Anderson picks up his first King of the Diamond award after a stellar performance that snapped Milwaukee’s five game losing streak. So far this season, Anderson has been rather average, earning a decision in just four out of ten starts this year. Saturday appeared to erase all of this, as Anderson failed to allow a hit through seven strong before a lead-off single in the eighth ended his hopes for a no-hitter. Despite Anderson coming up just short of what would have been the MLB’s first no-no this season, he picked up the much needed win with seven strong innings, allowing just one hit while striking out eleven. Milwaukee picked up another win Sunday afternoon to end the week on a high note.

King of the Diamond- Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds

Image result for zack cozart

The NL Central continues to be the most competitive division in all of baseball, with all five teams separated by a mere four games. The Reds are fourth in the division but are just two-and-a-half games behind the Brewers for the division lead. Reds shortstop Zack Cozart earns our divisional King of the Diamond award this week. He has been a pleasant surprise for Cincinnati this season and currently holds an eleven-game hit streak and has recorded a hit in 19 of his last 20 games played. Cozart has been on an offensive onslaught all season long and could be a valuable trade asset should the Cincinnati become active in the trade market.

Brewers draft slots provide look into possible future

The 2017 MLB Draft is just around the corner, as it kicks off on June 12th with rounds 1 and 2 as well as Competitive Balance Rounds A and B. On Day 1, the Brewers will hold picks 9, 34 and 46. Now, with a pick as high as #9, one may expect a large amount of future All-Stars and possibly even some hall of famers, right? After all, the draft has been held since 1965, and while it is true that there has been some success with players at #9, it’s not as much as you may think. In total, only eight players drafted in that slot have even played in at least one All-Star game. Those players are:

Barry Zito: Selected #9 by Oakland Athletics in 1999 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: 165-143, 4.04 ERA, 2576.2 IP, 1885 K, 1064 BB, 32.5 WAR
  • Resume: 3x All-Star (’02, ’03, ’06); Cy Young Winner (’02); WS Title with San Francisco Giants in 2012
  • Best Season: 2002 (23-5, 2.75 ERA, 229.1 IP, 182 K, 78 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2001 (17-8, 3.49 ERA, 214.1 IP, 205 K, 80 BB)

Michael Cuddyer: Selected #9 by Minnesota Twins in 1997 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: .277 average, 1522 hits, 197 HR, 794 RBI, 16.6 WAR
  • Resume: 2x All-Star (’11, ’13); NL Silver Slugger (’13); NL Batting Title (’13; .331 average)
  • Best Season: 2013 (.331, 31 2B, 20 HR, 84 RBI)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2006 (.284, 41 2B, 24 HR, 109 RBI)

Preston Wilson: Selected #9 by New York Mets in 1992 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: .264 average, 1055 hits, 189 HR, 668 RBI, 6.3 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (’03); WS Title with St. Louis Cardinals in 2006
  • Best Season: 2003 (.282, 43 2B, 36 HR, 141 RBI)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2000 (.264, 35 2B, 31 HR, 121 RBI, 36 SB)

Kevin Appier: Selected #9 by Kansas City Royals in 1987 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: 169-137, 3.74 ERA, 2595.1 IP, 1994 K, 933 BB, 54.9 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (’95); AL ERA Title (’93; 2.56 ERA); WS Title with Los Angeles Angels in 2002
  • Best Season: 1993 (18-8, 2.56 ERA, 238.2 IP, 186 K, 81 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 1992 (15.8, 2.46 ERA, 208.1 IP, 150 K, 68 BB)

Duane Ward

  • Career Stats: 32-37, 3.28 ERA, 121 SV, 666.2 IP, 679 K, 286 BB, 10.5 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (’93); WS Titles with Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993
  • Best Season: 1993 (2-3, 2.13 ERA, 45 SV, 71.2 IP, 97 K, 25 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 1992 (7-4, 1.95 ERA, 12 SV, 101.1 IP, 103 K, 39 BB)

Ron Darling: Selected #9 by Texas Rangers in 1981 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: 136-116, 3.87 ERA, 2360.1 IP, 1590 K, 906 BB, 20.1 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (’85); NL Gold Glove at P (’89); WS Title with New York Mets in 1986
  • Best Season: 1986 (15-6, 2.81 ERA, 237.0 IP, 184 K, 81 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 1985 (16-6, 2.90 ERA, 248.0 IP, 167 K, 114 BB)

Don Stanhouse: Selected #9 by Oakland Athletics in 1969 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: 38-54, 3.84 ERA, 760.1 IP, 408 K, 455 BB, 5.9 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (’79)
  • Best Season: 1979 (7-3, 2.85 ERA, 21 SV, 72.2 IP, 34 K, 51 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 1988 (6-9, 2.89 ERA, 24 SV, 74.2 IP, 42 K, 52 BB)

In addition, those selected with the 34th and 46th picks have also seen some success, as well as a high amount of name recognition, one of whom is among the best at his position of his generation.

Aaron Sanchez: Selected #34 by Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats (active): 24-11, 2.90 ERA, 341.2 IP, 267 K, 125 BB, 8.6 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (2016), AL ERA Title (2016; 3.00 ERA)
  • Best Season: 2016 (15-2, 3.00 ERA, 192.0 IP, 161 K, 63 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: N/A (Too early)

Todd Frazier: Selected #34 by Cincinnati Reds in 2007 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats (active): .248 average, 744 hits, 153 HR, 441 RBI, 19.3 WAR
  • Resume: 2x All-Star (2014, 2015)
  • Best Season: 2014 (.273, 29 HR, 80 RBI, 20 SB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2015 (.255, 43 2B, 35 HR, 89 RBI, 13 SB)

Arthur Rhodes: Selected #34 by Baltimore Orioles in 1988 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: 87-70, 4.08 ERA, 1187.2 IP, 1152 K, 516 BB, 15.5 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (2010); 2011 WS Title with St. Louis Cardinals
  • Best Season: 2002 (10-4, 2.33 ERA, 69.2 IP, 81 K, 13 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2010 (4-4, 2.29 ERA, 55 IP, 50 K, 18 BB)

Mark Gubicza: Selected #34 by Kansas City Royals in 1981 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: 132-136, 3.96 ERA, 2223.1 IP, 1371 K, 786 BB, 37.8 WAR
  • Resume: 2x All-Star (1988, 1989)
  • Best Season: 1988 (20-8, 2.70 ERA, 269.2 IP, 183 K, 83 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 1989 (15-11, 3.04 ERA, 255.0 IP, 173 K, 63 BB)

Yovani Gallardo: Selected #46 by Milwaukee Brewers in 2004 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats (active): 110-87, 3.85 ERA, 1641.0 IP, 1468 K, 622 BB, 23.0 WAR
  • Resume: 1x All-Star (2010); NL P Silver Slugger (2010)
  • Best Season: 2011 (17-10, 3.52 ERA, 207.1 IP, 207 K, 59 BB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2010 (14-7, 3.84 ERA, 185.0 IP, 200 K, 75 BB)

Jimmy Rollins: Selected #46 by Philadelphia Phillies in 1996 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: .264 average, 2,455 hits, 231 HR, 936 RBI, 46.0 WAR
  • Resume: 3x All-Star (2001, 2002, 2005); NL MVP (2007); 2008 WS Title with Philadelphia
  • Best Season: 2007 (.296, 38 2B, 20 3B, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 41 SB)
  • 2nd Best Season: 2006 (.277, 45 2B, 9 3B, 25 HR, 83 RBI, 36 SB)

Scott Rolen: Selected #46 by Philadelphia Phillies in 1993 MLB Draft

  • Career Stats: .281 average, 2,077 hits, 316 HR, 1,287 RBI, 70.0 WAR
  • Resume: 7x All-Star (2002, 2003-2006, 2010-2011); 1997 NL Rookie of the Year; 8 NL Gold Gloves (1998, 2000-2004, 2006, 2010); NL 3B Silver Slugger (2002)
  • Best Season: 2004 (.314, 32 2B, 34 HR, 124 RBI)
  • 2nd Best Season: 1998 (.290, 45 2B, 31 HR, 110 RBI, 14 SB)

 

Travis Shaw: The Mayor of Ding Dong City

Milwaukee has gladly welcomed Travis Shaw with open arms in 2017, his first season with the Crew. Affectionately nicknamed “The Mayor of Ding Dong City” due to his moonshot home runs, Shaw is an extremely likable player and exudes professionalism on all fronts. So, how exactly did Milwaukee become lucky enough to have his services?

After a promising 2015 rookie campaign, Travis Shaw looked like the Boston Red Sox third baseman of the future. He had hit 13 home runs with an OPS of .813 in just 65 games, putting him on pace for a 30+ home run season had he played the full year.

However, 2016 in Beantown did not bode as well for Shaw. Struggles at the plate pushed him out of favor by the end of the year, and he only garnered two at bats in the postseason for the Sox after amassing 480 over 145 games during the regular season. With his position in the organization marred by uncertainty following his disappointing performance at the plate (.242/.306/.421), Shaw became expendable.

This expendability led to him becoming the centerpiece of the Brewers’ return in dealing stud reliever Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox, with the Brewers receiving prospect Mauricio Dubon as well. Shaw fits the Brewers’ narrative in acquiring young, controllable talent, as he does not face free agency until after the 2022 season. Equally important, the Brewers had a gaping hole at third base following the trade of Aaron Hill during the 2016 season; Jonathan Villar’s extended trial at the position during the latter part of the season displayed that he did not possess the necessary defense to succeed there, and Hernan Perez seemed to be better suited for a super utility role. Enter: Travis Shaw.

Milwaukee presented the perfect opportunity for Shaw. After playing in Boston with a log jam of third basemen behind him threatening to supplant him at any moment, including top MLB prospect Yoan Moncada, Milwaukee’s lack of third basemen in the organization provided little in the way of uncertainty for Shaw. The job was his upon arrival, and would stay that way unless he failed his way out of a lineup spot. The worst-case scenario in this low-risk/high-reward acquisition would be that Shaw serves as a serviceable stop gap until the farm system develops a high-level third baseman. The best-case scenario, which looks to be the case, is that Shaw develops into a piece to build around in the Brewers’ future.

Thus far, Shaw has performed tremendously. He has solidified the middle of the lineup by leading the Brewers in RBIs (34) and hitting for a high average (.290), playing a huge role in the Brewers’ surprisingly elite offense thus far in the season. This production definitely could have resulted from the presumed confidence the Brewers have in Shaw, with him being the only true third baseman on the roster. More likely, this success is due to changes Shaw has made to his approach at the plate. To illustrate, Shaw has excelled from a sabermetric standpoint thus far in the season. He has cut his fly ball percentage by 27%, dropping from 45% in 2016 to 28% in 2017. This has translated to more meaningful contact, as 82.9% of his balls in play this year are classified as medium or hard contact in comparison to 78% last year. Hard contact translates into offensive potency, and that certainly has been the case for Shaw. Shaw’s OPS of .882 displays the straightforward output resulting from these improvements.

In addition to his bat, Shaw provides adequate defense at the hot corner. He possesses a strong arm, and although he looks a little stiff and athletically limited at times, he makes all the routine plays and will surprise you with a web gem every now and then. For Brewers’ fans reference, he falls somewhere on the spectrum between Aramis Ramirez (excellent) and Juan Francisco (atrocious).

Due to all of these factors, Shaw looks to have a relatively stable future in Milwaukee. Lucas Erceg, the Brewers’ presumed third baseman of the future, currently resides in Class-A Advanced. Erceg possesses a very comparable offensive skill set to Shaw, but it will be at least two years until he is ready for the MLB level, especially given his early season struggles in the minors. The only legitimate threat besides Erceg to Shaw would be current second baseman Jonathan Villar if he were forced off his spot at second base due to the call-up of a high tier minor league prospect like Isan Diaz or Mauricio Dubon. Even if this situation did come to fruition, Shaw offers a better offensive profile for third base, and his defense suits the position much better due to his strong arm and Villar’s awful defense at the hot corner during August and September of 2016.

Become familiar with the name “Travis Shaw”, Milwaukee; I have the feeling that we are going to be hearing it a lot for the foreseeable future.

King of the Diamond- Week of 5/15

If this is your first time checking out King of the Diamond pieces, here’s what you can look forward to seeing:

Every Monday we will look at which Milwaukee Brewer stood out from a game changing performance, or provided consistent production over the previous week. We will do the same for one other player within the NL Central (Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, Pirates).

The Brewers finished with another strong week, going 4-2 on the road against the Cubs and Padres. Milwaukee is now atop the NL Central and one player has been crucial to their recent success.

King of the Diamond- Eric Sogard

Image result for eric sogard

Sogard was a pleasant surprise for the crew this week. After being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs, the utility man went on a tear at the plate, hitting 10 for 20 while filling in for the injured Ryan Braun. The veteran added five runs, five RBI’s and three doubles in this span. Brewers manager Craig Counsell would be wise to find Sogard some playing time in the future despite Ryan Braun’s return from the disabled list.

King of the Diamond- Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh Pirates

Image result for adam frazier pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates remain at the bottom of the division, but their 4-3 week appears to have gotten them back on track. Frazier was a big part of this, shelling opposing pitchers all week long. Frazier had at least one hit in the six games he started in, and had at least two hits in five of those six. He added seven RBI’s in the process and continues to show no signs of pain from the hamstring injury that landed him on the disabled list last month.

Brewers Week in Review: 5/15-5/21

Brewers Week in Review

5/15-5/18: @ San Diego

Record: 3-1

Results: 6-5 L (10), 6-2 W, 3-1 W, 4-2 W

Star of the Series: Eric Sogard (9-for-15 (.600), HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB)

Coming to the Bay Area after winning 5 of their last 6 against Boston and the New York Mets, the Brewers really hit their stride in this four-game set. In addition to taking the division lead in the NL Central following their 3-1 victory in game 3 of the series, the bats really stepped up, particularly utility man and nerd power aficionado Eric Sogard. Of his 9 hits in the series, 4 of them went for extra bases (3 doubles, 1 home run). Corey Knebel also cemented his role as the club’s new closer, as Neftali Feliz has continued to struggle early on in the season. While the hard-throwing Knebel did surrender 3 walks in the final two games of the series, he did use 5 strikeouts to get two critical saves for the Crew in finishing out the Padres, including striking out the side in the finale.

5/19-5/21: @ Chicago Cubs

Record: 1-1 (Game 2 PPD; makeup date July 6 @ Chicago)

Results: 6-3 W, PPD, 13-6 L

Star of the Series: Jett Bandy (3-for-7 (.429), 2 RBI, 2 BB)

Now on to the series that everyone is currently talking about. Overall, it was a terrible weather weekend in the Windy City, as game one also had a significant delay (1 hour, 59 minutes) as a result of rain. 4 errors were committed in the opener in total, including 3 by the home side in Chicago. The game also featured the Major League debut of 30-year-old Paolo Espino, a decade-long minor league veteran. Espino posted a solid line (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K) and kept the reigning world champs at bay for most of his start. The Cubs responded Sunday with a 13-1 shellacking of the Crew, a contest only made more respectable due to a 5-run Milwaukee 9th inning. However, it is the result, or lack thereof, in the second game that really has people talking. Prior to the game on Sunday, Brewers GM David Stearns seemed to imply that he believed the Cubs had an “ulterior motive” of sorts to postponing Saturday’s contest, as he says it had stopped raining prior to the 1:20 p.m. start time. In addition, many Brewers fans had an issue with the placement of the makeup date, a previously scheduled off day between a home series with Baltimore and a trip to New York for a Yankees series. Whether this will truly make a difference in either team’s fate in a month is to be seen, but for the time being, the Brewers seem to remain a tad suspicious.

NL Central Standings Update (as of 5/22)

  1. Milwaukee Brewers: 25-19 (.568)
  2. Louis Cardinals: 22-19 1.5 GB (.537)
  3. Chicago Cubs: 22-20 2 GB (.524)
  4. Cincinnati Reds: 20-23 4.5 GB (.465)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 20-24 5 GB (.455)

Transactions

5/15: Designated RHP Jhan Marinez for assignment; Recalled LHP Brent Suter from AAA Colorado Springs http://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/mlb/brewers/2017/05/16/brewnot-16/322171001/

5/19: Selected contract of RHP Paolo Espino from AAA Colorado Springs; Optioned LHP Brent Suter to AAA Colorado Springs http://www.brewcrewball.com/2017/5/18/15659352/brewers-paolo-mlb-debut-chicago-cubs

5/20: Recalled RHP Tyler Cravy from AAA Colorado Springs; Optioned RHP Paolo Espino to AAA Colorado Springs http://www.foxsports.com/wisconsin/story/milwaukee-brewers-paolo-espino-tyler-cravy-triple-a-sky-sox-052017

5/21: Activated LF Ryan Braun from 10-day DL; Optioned RHP Tyler Cravy to AAA Colorado Springs http://www.brewcrewball.com/2017/5/21/15672062/brewers-activate-ryan-braun-disabled-list-injury-tyler-cravy

King of the Diamond: Week of 5/8

If this is your first time checking out King of the Diamond pieces, here’s what you can look forward to seeing:

Every Monday we will look at which Milwaukee Brewer stood out from a game changing performance, or provided consistent production over the previous week. We will do the same for one other player within the NL Central (Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, Pirates).

The Crew fell just a game short of a perfect week, taking two from Boston and sweeping the Mets over the weekend. This impressive homestand puts Milwaukee four games above .500 and just two losses behind the Cardinals for the NL Central lead.

King of the Diamond- Hernan Perez

Image result for hernan perez
ESPN

Hernan Perez picks up Cream City Central’s first ever King of the Diamond award. Perez was a big factor in the Brewers’ series sweep of the Mets, hitting .462 while adding three runs, three RBI’s, a pair of doubles and not striking out once all series. Perez continues to be a versatile slugger that Brewers manager Craig Counsell can place at multiple positions. Perez should continue to be a key member of Cream City’s lineup moving forward.

King of the Diamond- Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals

Image result for carlos martinez
ESPN

Carlos Martinez wins the first divisional King of the Diamond award after earning a pair of wins this past week over the Marlins and Cubs. In a combined 12.2 innings pitched, Martinez gave up just three earned runs and five hits while striking out seven in each contest. After a shaky 0-3 start to begin the 2017 campaign, Martinez has won three straight starts and the Cardinals (21-15) are thriving atop the division, winning eight out of their last nine games.

Brewers Week in Review

5

/1-5/4: vs. St. Louis

Record: 2-1 (Game 3 PPD)

Results: 7-5 W (10), 2-1 L, PPD, 5-4 W

Star of the Series: Travis Shaw (6-for-13 (.462),  HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, BB)

The Brewers had a strong showing in St. Louis in a series of tight games. Neftali Feliz picked up saves number seven and eight in the two victories for the crew. Meanwhile Willy Peralta picked up his second loss of the season while only allowing two earned runs over 5.1 innings pitched in game two. The star of the series was none other than Travis Shaw. The Mayor carried the Brewers to the first win in the series with a clutch home run in the tenth inning of the series opener. He then added some of the little offense that the Brewers added in game two of the series by tallying one of only five hits for the crew in a tough offensive game. Shaw then capped off the series with a solid

5/5-5/7: vs. Pittsburgh

Record: 1-2

Results: 4-0 L, 2-1 L (10), 6-2 W

Stars of the Series: Eric Thames (4-12 (.333), HR, 2 RBIs, R); Matt Garza (7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks)

The Crew made the flight from St. Louis to Pittsburgh to battle the Pirates. The bats for the Brewers were there in the first game, but they only managed to hit 1-for-7 with RISP. Milwaukee failed to improve in game two of the series. The Brewers only managed to scrape together a single run while only reaching base a total of five times and striking out in 13 of their 30 outs. The bright spot within the game was Garza’s 7 inning outing. Garza limited the Bucs to only one run and was able to do that while working out of the stretch for much of the game with runners on base. The real bright spot within the series was easily the final game. Milwaukee managed to get six runs across the board with the help of 3 home runs. Pittsburgh’s defensive errors allowed the brewers to capitalize for the other two runs and dominate the game from start to finish.

NL Central Standings Update (as of 5/8)

  1. Cincinnati Reds: 17-14 (.548)
  2. St. Louis Cardinals: 16-14 (.533)
  3. Chicago Cubs: 16-15 1 GB (.516)
  4. Milwaukee Brewers: 16-16 1.5 GB (.500)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 14-17 2 GB (.452)

Transactions

No transactions since last week.

Who is David Stearns – The Young Man Behind the Masterplan

In 2015, the Milwaukee Brewers under the leadership of owner Mark Attanasio hired David Stearns as the new General Manager. Stearns, a 31 year old from Manhattan is not your typical “career baseball guy.” He never played professional baseball, let alone at the collegiate level. The young GM went to Harvard University and graduated with a degree in Political Science in 2007. Despite what one would typically expect from a man with his suggested political career path, Stearns chose to intern with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization while at Harvard, and went on to the work at the MLB Central Office. Stearns, a huge baseball fan decided to pursue his passions through what he learned in his major, as well as by applying techniques that were not so commonly used in Major League Baseball with an increased emphasis on data analytics. In a move out of Moneyball, David Stearns has already orchestrated a number of controversial moves for one purpose, to increase the opportunity of winning.

When looking at the Milwaukee Brewers of 2015 and prior, many familiar faces remained from a team that went to the playoffs in 2011. Unfortunately, 2011 was 4 years ago at this point, and Stearns recognized the Brewers could no longer reload, but had to rebuild from the ground up. This was largely due to a farm system that was near dead last in the majors, and a team that while good, never had the potential to be great. With an aging lineup of ballplayers such as Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez, there was not enough room to improve. There was no major support coming from the farm system in the near future. This is why Stearns took it upon himself to overhaul the roster and replace more than half of the 40-man roster of 2015 by 2016. He also replaced 5 of the 7 assistant coaches for a complete rejuvenation of the roster and staff. With this replacement of players came a surge to the top of the power rankings in terms of minor league systems according to various reporting sites.

Stearns, who had already worked as an assistant manager of the Houston Astros from 2012 until his arrival in Milwaukee, had used similar methods of selling “average” players at their peaks for a bevy of prospects. During his time at Houston, he helped turned them into a contender that now has several of the brightest young names in baseball largely because of a very strong minor league system. His new approach in Milwaukee and decision for a complete rebuild has already been paying dividends. Despite fears over declining fan attendance due to a lack of name recognition among players, the Brewers are currently above .500 and competing in the NL Central even with a difficult opening schedule. As long as your team is winning and competitive, the name on the back of the jersey truly doesn’t matter when it comes down to it, and soon the names of these minor leaguers will become household names. Stearns’ approach is already paying dividends in this regard. Players recently acquired and called up from the minors such, as Jonathan Villar, Keon Broxton and Orlando Arcia are already becoming fan favorites. The future of the Milwaukee Brewers looks bright, and with other additional signings such as Eric Thames from Korea, the Brewers are producing at a level much higher than expected.

While many fans were upset about losing a number of their favorite players for no-name teenagers, they will soon realize just how good the Brewers will be because of a loaded minor league system that only looks to improve under Stearns’ leadership. Stearns, an incredibly young manager is already looking like a Theo Epstein, another young genius who has already won the Red Sox and Cubs the World Series. Both from backgrounds not directly related to baseball, their passion and approach through statistics and analysis have helped them to revolutionize the way business is done in baseball.

Brewers’ Second Tier Prospects Show Breakout Potential

When many fans think of the Brewers’ prospects, they think of only the top names. Brinson. Hader. Ray. Diaz.

However, thus far in the season we have seen tremendous performances from many of the Brewers’ second tier prospects. Actually, to call them second tier really is a disservice. In any other system, they would probably be top-15 prospect caliber players. In a Brewers’ system that is just brimming with talent, they unfortunately get the short end of the stick. That’s not to say that they won’t find themselves shooting up the prospect rankings come the midseason updates, especially if they keep performing the way they are.

Two of these prospects are former priority draft picks that are finally coming into their own, and the other is a draft pick from last year showing that he should have gone much higher. We’ll start with possibly the most impressive of the bunch: Jake Gatewood.