How do Brewers' prospects fit Milwaukee's needs?
This series is designed to evaluate the role prospects play in each Major League organization, looking at the short- and long-term needs of each club and illustrating how prospects fit in both scenarios.
Here's my look at the Brewers.
Like many other teams, many of the Brewers' finest prospects happen to be pitchers. They have a number of huge power pitchers in the pipeline.
Johnny Hellweg threw 30 2/3 innings at the big league level last season. His 7.6 walks per nine innings certainly didn't help on his way to a 6.75 ERA and a 2.15 WHIP. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound righty is better than those numbers. Hellweg throws a mid-90s moving fastball as his primary weapon. With his long arms, the ball is at the hitter's bat instantly. However, he has to rein in his control to be effective.
PROJECTED 2016 BREWERS LINEUPProjecting the Brewers' 2016 lineup based on players in their system.
Jimmy Nelson might also be a rotation option for Milwaukee. Another huge right-hander, the 24-year-old Nelson is 6-foot-5, 245 pounds. He throws his fastball at about the same speed as Hellweg. Nelson also throws a changeup and a slider to go along with the rising and sinking fastballs.
Nelson threw 10 innings in the big leagues last season. He had a 0.90 ERA in four games, one of them a start. Like Hellweg, command and control are issues in need of improvement. Nelson has to throw more strikes and increase his command to be effective.
Taylor Jungmann is a bit behind Hellweg and Nelson. Like those other two pitchers, the right-handed Jungmann is big -- at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds. He was the Brewers' first-round selection in 2011. Jungmann is effective at mixing in breaking balls with his fastball.
Jungmann left this past Arizona Fall League with a groin strain that limited his progress. He threw to an ERA of 9.82 over three starts. Jungmann couldn't find his rhythm and yielded seven bases on balls in his seven innings.
Right-handed-hitting Mitch Haniger is a solid outfield option. Haniger was a 2012 supplemental first-round Draft choice. He hasn't disappointed. Haniger is a fine athlete with good power coming from a 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame.
Haniger hit .297 with five homers at Class A Wisconsin last season in his first full year. Later, he was promoted to Class A Advanced Brevard County, where he hit .250 with another six homers in 365 plate appearances. Haniger followed his season by playing in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit four homers and drove in 24 runs on his way to hitting .280.
At first base, Hunter Morris may be counted on in the future. His power bat is needed, but he also has to improve his contact rate. Morris has to take advantage of a limited first-base pool in the system.
Only 19 years old and a long way from the Major League club, 6-foot, 165-pound Venezuelan shortstop Orlando Arcia has a chance to become a quality shortstop capable of hitting and playing solid defense. A broken ankle slowed his progress. Still learning the game, Arcia hit .251 at Class A Wisconsin last year. That came after a rookie season in the Dominican Summer League, in which he hit .294. Arcia has some pop in his bat.
Yadiel Rivera, at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, is a tall, thin, defense-first shortstop. He has good, soft hands, good range and solid arm strength. So far, in Rivera's four seasons, he has not hit, however. He has only a .237 Minor League average, including .241 at Class A Advanced Brevard County last season.
On the pitching side of things, David Goforth can possibly become a big league closer. Or if he develops an additional pitch, he might even start. I saw Goforth in this past Arizona Fall League, where he saved four games. He struck out 15 in 12 innings.
Goforth can hit 98 mph with ease. But he has to have more than that fastball to pitch late in games. Goforth's secondary pitches are still in development. Given all the huge Brewers pitchers, the right-hander is an exception, at 6-foot, 188 pounds.
Outfielder Tyrone Taylor has speed on the bases, bat speed at the plate and enough raw power to be a potential source of the long ball. It looks like he best fits in center field, as he can chase down balls and captain the outfield. But it is Taylor's hitting that brings some excitement. The 6-foot, 185-pound right-handed hitter is only 20 years old, and his upside is outstanding.
Having suffered a severe wrist injury, outfielder Victor Roache is still working on his mechanics, but he figures to improve as his injury continues to heal. His upside remains as a source of power.