Brewers Stock Watch: Week One | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

If you know the slightest thing about baseball, it’s probably that the most positive thing you can do is base sharp judgments on players’ performances nine games into spring. It’s just the right thing to do. Kind of like bunting in the top of the first.

For modesty’s sake, we’ll tone down the reactions a bit for the sake of this article. World Series rings aren’t decided within the first week of spring training games, but it can get a player off on the right track and help some players make a name for themselves–just ask Khris Davis, circa 2013.

Which players can we overreact to the most, both positively and negatively after the Brewers’ 5-4 start? Let’s find out!

Stocks Rising

Wei-Chung Wang

The 20-year-old Taiwanese southpaw, having never pitched above rookie ball, came into spring already facing heavy odds to make the big league roster. But unlike most players with his age and lack of experience, Wang’s only option in order to not get released is to open up the season with Milwaukee as a Rule 5 draft pick. He’s not making that decision any easier on Brewers’ personnel. Through two outings spanning three innings, Wang has mixed speeds well, had good movement, and spotted the ball well, allowing only one base runner while striking out four. If he keeps going at this rate, it will make for a tough decision come late March.

Ryan Braun 

Okay, okay, yeah, yeah. I know. Ryan Braun wasn’t not going to make this team (sorry, Jim from Racine). But coming into camp, his stock has never been lower. And just when people were looking for reasons to make headlines about his post-suspension struggles, Braun reminded everyone that he doesn’t, in fact, suck at baseball. He hit a no-doubt home run in his first at-bat, and, through four Cactus League games, has only made one out in nine plate appearances with two homers, three RBI. A casual slash line of .857/.889/1.857. You know. The uzhe.

Mitch Haniger

The 23-year-old outfielder won’t be making the team this spring, but the former second round pick has started making people notice this spring. Last season, he emerged as the top prospect from the Brewers 2012 draft class. After dominating in the Arizona Fall League, Haniger is 4-7 with a homer and five RBI. Ron Roenicke said he “looks like he’s going to be a guy that can play every day.” Mitch Haniger is a baseball player and it’s truly a beautiful thing. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Stocks Sinking

Scooter Gennett 


Through four games and 13 at bats, Scoots McGee is hitting .077. He’ll still split time with Rickie Weeks come the actual season, but a shaky spring from a player the Brewers are heavily investing in after 69 games as a rookie doesn’t make me sleep well at night. Here’s to hoping he’s just working on regaining his #grit. That freaking adorable dog must have taken it all away.

Hunter Morris

Hey, um, Hunter. Yeah, man, you’re not really convincing people that you can produce at the big league level thus far. After scuffling in AAA last season, Morris still had an outsider’s shot at a roster spot coming into camp, or, much like Khris Davis last year, could have raised his big league stock with an impressive camp. So far? No hits in 11 at bats. He’s looked uncomfortable at times and not yet able to get his timing down.

Johnny Hellweg

He’s only appeared in one game, but it was Ugly. With a capital U. Three hits, one homer, three runs, no outs. Oh, Johnny, oh.

Ben Oglivie

Scouts saying his swing could use some work. Rolling over on literally everything. C’mon Ben.

(Image of the Ben Oglivie bobblehead courtesy of the Brewers)

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. dbug says: March 7, 2014

    A discussion about just how much it is worth giving the Pirates for Wang might be in order. Hey Hunter, you aren’t a Steelers fan by chance, are you?

    • Doug says: March 7, 2014

      The decision to keep Wang I think will hinge on Tom Gorzellany’s status at the end of spring. If not healthy – put him on the DL and that opens the room for a lefty in the bullpen.

      If Tom G. has not pitched well – DFA him and open up a spot on the team for Wang.

      If Wang truly is that talented the Brewers need to play the long game with him and find a way to keep him.

      • 2ndHS says: March 7, 2014

        Um…no, they’re not going to DFA Tom Gorzelanny. You don’t DFA good relievers, especially ones you’re paying over $2 million for. You certainly don’t do it because they’re not pitching well in SPRING TRAINING after coming off surgery.

  2. L says: March 7, 2014

    I’ve never really understood how the Rule 5 draft pick worked beyond the first year which requires a team to keep the player on their 25-man Major League roster for the entire season after being picked, so what exactly happens once the Rule 5 player spends the entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster?

    I imagine his status would revert to something more normal, but what would be considered normal given his quick path to the Majors? I imagine he can be optioned or designated for assignment in the preceding years, but what I’m really curious about is the kind or length of “team control” the team would have over him?

    Not to mention, the Brewers could potentially trade the Rule 5 player to another team if he’s desired by another team for their 25-man Major League roster or the Brewers could potentially try trading for the outright “rights” to the player (ultimately nullifying the Rule 5 status) so that they may option or designate him for assignment this season, correct?

    Again, correct me if I’m wrong but the Brewers may also draft players from other teams’ AA or lower affiliates to play for their AAA affiliate or from other teams’ A or lower affiliate to play for their AA affiliate, correct? If so, I’m just curious how often do the Brewers exercise this tactic and why didn’t they do this with Wei-Chung Wang if it appeared it would be such a long-shot for him to make their 25-man Major League roster yet they really liked his projected potential?

    • Ryan Topp says: March 7, 2014

      Thanks for reading.

      Once the player had spent the season in the bigs, the team is free to option the player down the next season. Players taken in the rule 5 were not on the team’s 40 man roster, but have to be put on it by the claiming team, so then they are subject to all the normal rules. They get 3 “option years” where the team is free to send them down or call them up as much as they want. Major league service time functions as normal.

      Yes, they may trade for him, though the fact that the Pirates are in the division and apparently really do like him makes that a tricky proposition. As for the other portions of the draft, the AAA and AA parts, I’m a little bit unsure how players end up eligible for that versus the regular rule 5. I tried to look it up, but I’m having trouble finding info on it. I’m assuming this wasn’t really an option for them, though, or they would have gone that way.

  3. Tyler says: March 9, 2014

    A little bit off topic but do you guys have any info on the catcher Millan Post? Seems like a good signing for the brewers but I dont really know anything about him other than he is an impressive thrower with some athletic ability.


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