The Brewers are a little more than three weeks away from reporting to spring training, and a few players are probably adjusting their travel plans today. Mike Vassallo has the news:
OF Kentrail Davis, C Cameron Garfield, OF Mitch Haniger, OF Kevin Mattison, C Adam Weisenburger & RHP David Goforth NR invitees. #Brewers— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) January 22, 2014
We'll start with the lone pitcher: David Goforth is 25 and was the Brewers' seventh round pick in the 2011 draft. He has a 4.04 career ERA across 81 appearances but had his best season in 2013, posting a career-low 3.17 ERA between 14 starts with Brevard County and a string of appearances with Huntsville where he was primarily a reliever. Goforth throws hard and made 12 relief appearances in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 15 in 12 innings and recording four saves. Adam McCalvy wrote about him last week.
Outfielder Mitch Haniger is also an AFL alum, and is likely to show up near the top of many of this winter's top prospect lists. The #38 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Haniger hit .264/.348/.431 between Wisconsin and Brevard County in 2013, then hit the cover off the ball in the AFL (.280/.354/.480) and was named to the league's All Prospect Team. He's still only 23 and 2014 will be his second full professional season.
Haniger will be joined in the outfield by fellow former top pick Kentrail Davis, the #39 overall selection in the 2009 draft. Davis appeared in 137 games in 2013 between Huntsville and Nashville and hit .268/.364/.390 with seven home runs. He tends to get overlooked on prospect lists and has limited power, but his OBP and ability to play center field could make him a big leaguer someday.
The third outfielder among the invitees is Kevin Mattison, the Brewers' recent selection in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Mattison is 28 and has played in AAA in three of the last four seasons in the Marlins organization, mostly in center field. He's a career .240/.317/.378 hitter in six professional seasons.
One can never have too many catchers in camp, and one of the Brewers' extra backstops will be 22-year-old Cameron Garfield. The Brewers' second round pick in the 2009 draft spent 2013 with Brevard County and hit .250/.280/.379 with eight home runs in 109 games. 2013 was his first full professional season since being limited by injuries in 2011 and 2012.
The other catcher on the list is 25-year-old Adam Weisenburger, who spent the 2013 season splitting time at Huntsville. He's a career .241/.351/.336 hitter across three professional seasons and set a career high with five home runs in 2013. He also appeared in nine Arizona Fall League games and went 7-for-35 at the plate.
Adding these six players to the list gives the Brewers 15 non-roster invitees scheduled to attend big league spring training. The others were all signed or re-signed as minor league free agents this winter: Pitcher Zach Duke, catchers Robinzon Diaz and Matt Pagnozzi and infielders Mark Reynolds, Lyle Overbay, Irving Falu, Hector Gomez, Taylor Green and Eugenio Velez.