Over the next couple weeks, it is expected that the Brewers will announce those players in the organization who will play in the Arizona Fall League. Today, we found out the first of those players as first base prospect Nick Ramirez announced on Twitter that he has been selected to play for the Glendale Desert Dogs.
Pumped to have been selected to play in the @MLBazFallLeague #glendaledesertdogs— Nick Ramirez (@N_Ramirez33) August 21, 2014
Ramirez, a 25-year-old who was selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, has been playing in Double-A for the first time this season. In 122 games for Hunstville, he is hitting .238/.315/.422. Though he has not been great at getting on base in a four-year minor league career (.312 OBP), he has a lot of power. This year, he's hit 18 home runs and will likely eclipse his career-high of 19 that he set last year.
Brewers senior director of baseball operations Tom Flanagan said in July that the team would first work to decide on 'priority players' before then choosing who else would be sent to fill out the roster. Priority players are guaranteed to have more playing time and are typically then the players teams most want to see get extra work. The fact that Ramirez is the first known Brewer being sent to the 2014 AFL doesn't necessarily mean he is a priority player, but it seems likely.
Last year, outfielder Mitch Haniger -- who was recently traded to the Diamondbacks for Gerardo Parra -- was the Brewers priority player. Speculation in the above linked MLB.com article was that another outfielder, Tyrone Taylor, could receive that designation this year.
The Arizona Fall League is an off-season league where teams often send their top prospects. It's seen as a finishing school of sorts for those players teams see as being close to the major leagues. Last year, the Brewers sent pitchers Taylor Jungmann, David Goforth and Kevin Shackelford, catcher Adam Weisenburger and first baseman/outfielder Jason Rogers along with Haniger to the AFL.
The Brewers will likely announce within the next couple weeks the remaining contingent of players being sent to the Fall League in 2014.