If you’re looking for an elixir to numb the persistent midseason pain provided by a struggling Brewers club, the full slate of Brewers affiliates will be playing in no-time flat. In fact, the rookie leagues in Arizona and the Pioneer League just recently started their seasons. It’s time to meet some Brewers depth options and intriguing players alike. In what will be a two part series, let’s take a look at the Arizona Rookies for 2015.
Arizona Brewers (38 total players listed)
(1) Trent Clark, OF (1st Round, 2015). Arguably the Brewers’ most polished potential bat nabbed in the 2015 draft, Clark has already had an eventful start to his professional career. The outfielder collided with a wall during his second game, but luckily (thankfully!) escaped injury.
(2) Gilbert Lara, SS (Signed 2014). You read that right: the 6’2″ Dominician signing that loudly announced the Brewers’ (much awaited) presence in the lucrative international market is beginning his professional career in Arizona, rather than the Dominican Academy. Lara will be a player to watch this summer, for he is the stuff that MLB dreams are made of if his tools materialize and he fully develops. The Brewers have Lara on an aggressive path, and if this path works, it could maximize the potential speed of Lara’s trip to the big leagues (or, of course, it might never work. But let’s not talk about that right now).
(3) Demi Orimoloye, OF (4th Round, 2015). Thankfully, Orimoloye signed quickly with the Brewers, and he can begin his professional career to develop those loud tools. Given the contentious rankings of Orimoloye, including hints that the Brewers nabbed first round potential experiencing an inconsistent spring, Brewers fans could see one of the draft’s best values unfold if everything goes right.
(4) & (5) Nash Walters, RHP and Karsen Lindell, RHP (3rd and 9th rounds, respectively, 2015). The Brewers’ two top prep arms from the 2015 draft elected to play on the Brewers farm instead of taking their college commitments, which instantly improves the Brewers’ depth of projectable-if-risky arms. Walters is probably taller than Lindell, but both offer the Brewers big frames that could help to develop big fastballs. Particularly, I really like Lindell’s delivery a lot; I could be wrong, but it looks like the young righty has few moving parts in a delivery that could be honed into something special…
(6) Tyrone Perry, 1B (14th Round, 2015). I really hate to say this, but it’s impossible to see Perry’s stature and tools without thinking of former Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. Now, it’s not fair to call Fielder simply a power bat, as the veteran is a pure discipline, average hitter, too. However, it’s hard to hear reports about Perry’s power without getting excited. Brewers fans must watch his bat, as he offers left-side power potential that the system has lacked for a time. I understand that this might be a lazy comparison on my part, but it’s just what comes to mind; Perry is a prep bat known for his power, and that’s what Brewers fans must watch as that bat develops.
(7) Miguel Diaz, RHP (Dominican Academy, Graduate 2014). I will feature more Dominican Academy graduates below, but it is worth featuring Diaz’s name here because our very own J.P. Breen called Diaz “a much more popular name” for this season: “He’s a top-10 prospect in the entire system, hitting mid-to-upper 90s with a breaking ball that flashes plus.” H/t, Mr. Breen.
(8) Alex Farina, RHP (Free Agent, 2015). The Brewers signed Farina last week out of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. The righty served as a reliever, and his strike out / walk development is absolutely worth investigating. Farina is also a student of Coach Mazzoni’s, with the righty testifying, “Coach Mazzoni really truly is the one who got me to where I am today. He brought me from a thrower to a pitcher. He also is the single most responsible person for getting me to Lafayette, to the NECBL, and ultimately to the Cape. He’s my pitching guy, hopefully all the way to the pros.”
(9) Jose Flores, RHP (Free Agent, 2015). Another college free agent, Flores played for the University of Science and Arts Oklahoma. The righty is also an intriguing strike out pitcher, sitting down 124 in 99.3 career college innings.
(10) Trevor Lubking, LHP (14th Round, Tampa Bay 2014; Free Agent, 2015). The Brewers signed the southpaw in April, after he spent one season on the Rays farm. RaysColoredGlasses calls Lubking an “excellent command and deception” pitcher, rather than a power lefty. Still, with the Rays rookie club, Lubking went 43 K / 10 BB / 7 HR against 203 batters.
(11) & (12) Beau Bishop, C (Australian Professional) and Beau Wallace, C (Free Agent). Two catchers named Beau on the same roster must be pure evidence of the beauty of baseball. Bishop was previously an undrafted free agent from the Red Sox system, and played in Australian professional baseball in 2013. The catcher did not hit in four games (six plate appearances), but he did walk once. The other Beau, this one of the Wallace kin, was previously drafted by the Pirates in the 12th round (2013).
(14) Mitch Ghelfi, C (28th Round, 2015). Cheer for the local boy! Ghelfi caught for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and BaseballAmerica ranked him #373 in the Top 500 for the 2015 Draft (the Brewers landed him at #841).
Dig Ghelfi’s interview with Bill Michaels.
(15) Jonathan Oquendo, IF (14th Round, 2014). The Puerto Rican prep infielder is getting his second chance in Arizona for the Brewers farm. Oquendo played 2B, 3B, and SS in 2014.
(16) Caleb Smith, RHP (15th Round, 2014). The righty gets a second chance in Arizona for the Brewers. He trains with Positive Baseball Development, where one can find mechanical analysis of his delivery.
(17) Johnny Davis, OF / 60-Day DL (22nd Round, 2013). Davis is currently injured, but 2015 will be his third year in the Milwaukee organization. Miller Park Prospects features a lengthy discussion of Davis’s story and skills.
Dominican Academy Graduates
I featured many of these players in a previous installment of “30 Farmhands,” and it’s great to see them graduating to Arizona. If you’re looking for some surprises to emerge in the Brewers system, it is a good bet that a few of these youngsters will provide that jolt. While Lara is (somewhat justifiably) cited as evidence of the Brewers’ international emergence, a couple of these Arizona Rookies were also members of the Brewers’ notable 2013 signing class.
Unless otherwise listed, all players completed the Dominican Academy with 2014 as their last season:
(18) Joantgel Segovia, OF
(19) Nicolas Pierre, OF
(20) Joan de la Cruz, LHP (60-Day DL)
(21) Johel Atencio, C (7-Day DL)
(22) Yerald Martinez, OF
(23) Yosmer Leal, RHP (60-Day DL)
(24) Orlando Torrez, RHP
(25) Juan Ortiz, OF (2013 Graduate)
(26) Daniel Leonardo, IF (2013 Graduate)
(27) Victor Diaz, RHP (2013 Graduate)
(28) Jose Quiterio, IF (2013 Graduate)
2015 College Picks and Free Agents
(29) Drake Owenby, LHP (12th)
(30) David Lucroy, RHP (20th)
(31) Jon Olczak, RHP (21st)
(32) Christian Trent, RHP (24th)
(33) Jon Perrin, RHP (27th)
(34) Colton Cross, RHP (31st)
(35) Connor Baits, RHP (33rd). Potentially the tallest rookie pitcher in Arizona from this draft class.
(36) Quintin Torres-Costa, LHP (35th). Keep an eye on another Brewers “Hawaiian Pipeline” pick…
(37) Scott Grist, RHP (38th)
(38) Brad Kuntz, LHP (free agent). Code word: “live arm”