MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers will field a second team in the Rookie Arizona League in 2019, farm director Tom Flanagan confirmed, giving them seven North American affiliates for the first time, and nine Minor League clubs in all.The two Arizona League teams, one dubbed "Brewers Gold" and the other "Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers will field a second team in the Rookie Arizona League in 2019, farm director Tom Flanagan confirmed, giving them seven North American affiliates for the first time, and nine Minor League clubs in all.
The two Arizona League teams, one dubbed "Brewers Gold" and the other "Brewers Blue," will play home games at renovated Maryvale Baseball Park. The facility is in the midst of major upgrades ahead of Spring Training.
"The reasoning for the second team is to allow for enough playing time for the number of young prospects that we project to play at that level this summer," Flanagan wrote in an email. "We have had a sizable number of international signings over the last couple years, and some are projected to come over to the U.S. this year. And when you combine those numbers with those we had in the system already (plus the likely additions from the Draft), the second team will allow for the additional innings and at-bats that they will need."
The stateside clubs for 2019 are Triple-A San Antonio, Double-A Biloxi, Class A Advanced Carolina, Class A Wisconsin, Rookie Colorado Springs plus the two Arizona teams. The Brewers also will again pair with the Indians for a co-op team in addition to Milwaukee's own club in the Dominican Summer League.
"We have a very robust Latin America program that is turning out a number of real quality players every single year that are progressing through our system," general manager David Stearns said to Brewers broadcaster Lane Grindle. "On top of that, the last two years we've drafted a number of very young high school players in the domestic Draft. When you combine all of that, we certainly have ample opportunity to fill in a second Arizona League team. It's an efficient way to take advantage of a state of the art facility in Maryvale, and so we're very excited to have it."
The Brewers have yet to set their Minor League coaching staffs. The Arizona Brewers have been managed the past two years by Rafael Neda, who was just 29 years old entering last season.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.