Brewers Announce Five Pitchers, Three Position Players Headed To Arizona Fall League

A few minutes ago Adam McCalvy tweeted this announcement:

Then he added this:

Here's a bit more on the eight players above:

RHP Nick Bucci was ranked #16 in our Community Prospect list before the season. He's 22 years old and in his fifth professional season but lost most of 2012 to injury. He's posted a 1.82 ERA over nine 2012 starts between Arizona and Brevard County this season. Sending him to the AFL will allow him to make up for some of the time he's missed this year.

OF Khris Davis is the one player on this list we already knew about. He's 24 years old and has hit at every level of the minors, posting a .292/.3999/.510 career line and .344/.449/.595 mark this season between Huntsville and Nashville with 15 home runs. He's probably the #3 outfield prospect in the organization behind Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl, but he might be the closest to major league-ready out of this group.

RHP Kyle Heckathorn was a compensatory pick (#47 overall) in the 2009 draft who has backslid a bit over the last couple of seasons, posting a 4.97 ERA between Brevard County and Huntsville in 2011 and a 4.81 ERA while repeating Huntsville this season. He's thrown over 100 innings each of the last three seasons, though, so he's got some room under his workload cap.

RHP Johnny Hellweg is an interesting choice, as the Brewers just moved him from the rotation to the bullpen in Huntsville to keep his innings down. He has a career 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings, but is down to 6.7 over 137.2 innings of work between AA Arkansas (with the Angels) and Huntsville this season. He's one of three players acquired in the Zack Greinke deal.

1B Hunter Morris might be the Brewers' biggest breakout star in the minors this season. The 2010 fourth round pick has always had good power but has really put it together in 2012 and has a chance to win both the Southern League's MVP and triple crown. He's raised his OBP from .301 in 2011 to .348 this season and hit 25 home runs. He could also be a September callup.

RHP Jimmy Nelson has also raised his stock a fair amount this season: The 2010 second round pick has posted a 2.83 ERA and struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings between Brevard County and Huntsville. He's struggled with walks since moving to Huntsville (7.2 per nine innings over ten starts), so facing advanced competition in the AFL could be interesting for him.

The six players above will be on the full roster and can be used every day. The two below will be on the "taxi squad" and are only eligible on Wednesdays and Saturdays:

1B/OF Brock Kjeldgaard's stock has fallen pretty heavily this year, as he's gone from 40-man roster member and spring training invitee to Arizona Fall League in one season. Kjeldgaard struggled for the Brewers this spring before missing a big chunk of the 2012 season and hitting .199/.313/.367 across three levels. Kjeldgaard has massive power but is a converted pitcher and has always been a little raw for his level.

RHP Santo Manzanillo, like Kjeldgaard, is coming off a year where he took a big step back. He had a breakout campaign in 2011 when posted a 1.75 ERA over 48 relief outings in Brevard County and Huntsville, but was injured in an offseason car accident and has appeared in just 16 games this season, posting a 5.40 ERA.

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