Lopez, Arcia are Brewers' Prospects of Year
MILWAUKEE -- It came as little surprise on Thursday when the only Brewers' affiliate with a winning record produced the organization's Minor League player and pitcher of the year. Double-A Biloxi shortstop Orlando Arcia and pitcher Jorge Lopez will be honored at Miller Park before season's end, and there's at least a chance that one or both will be on Milwaukee's active roster at that time.
Arcia, who tops MLB.com's list of the Brewers' 30 best prospects, and Lopez, No. 9 on the list, must each be added to Milwaukee's 40-man roster by November to protect them from December's Rule 5 Draft. Brewers officials have discussed the merits of giving Lopez a start, and letting Arcia get a taste of the big league bench as a reward for a breakthrough season.
While he wouldn't address the possibility of promotions, manager Craig Counsell said, "Those are two players we've always thought very highly of. They're certainly not guys who are coming out of nowhere. But [winning the award] is a sign they've taken the next step, for sure."
Arcia, 21, finished his first season at the Double-A level with a .307/.347/.453 slash line during the regular season, with 37 doubles, seven triples, eight home runs, 69 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 129 games. He was one of the youngest players in the Southern League, but led the circuit in doubles, ranked second in total bases and fourth in RBIs while setting personal bests across the board.
The Brewers signed him out of Venezuela in 2010.
Lopez, 22, went 12-5 with a 2.26 ERA in 24 regular-season starts, finishing second behind teammate Tyler Wagner for the league's ERA crown. Lopez was at his best down the stretch, going 7-3 with a 1.59 ERA in his final 12 regular-season starts, then going 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in a pair of postseason starts. He won Game 1 of the Southern League Championship Series on Wednesday.
Lopez, who is from Puerto Rico, was the Brewers' second-round Draft pick in 2011 and was signed by scouts Charlie Sullivan and Manolo Hernandez.