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BCB Top Prospects Year in Review: #3 Clint Coulter

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Like many others, the Brewers' top power-hitting prospect found it slow going in the Florida State League in 2015

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We're nearing the top of our countdown of the Brewers top 10 prospects as voted on by you -- last January, that is -- and today we're reached the top three. You draped the bronze medal on Clint Coulter, Milwaukee's first round pick -- 27th overall -- in the 2012 draft. Before we take a look at the 22-year-old's season in 2015, make sure you get caught up with the rest of our list here:

10. Taylor Jungmann
9. Taylor Williams
8. Tyler Wagner
7. Devin Williams
6. Gilbert Lara
5. Luis Sardinas
4. Monte Harrison
3. Clint Coulter
2. Tyrone Taylor
1. Orlando Arcia

Coulter looked like a breakout prospect after a strong 2014 campaign with Low-A Wisconsin, where he led the Midwest League in home runs (22), OPS (.930) and OBP (.410) en route to being named the Brewers’ 2014 Minor League Player of the Year. However, a position change seemed inevitable for Coulter, and indeed after spending some time at instructs in the outfield, Coulter saw action in seven Arizona Fall League games playing exclusively in right field. He struggled mightily at the plate in a very small sample size, going 4-23 with one home run as he worked to learn his new defensive position.

Bumped up to High-A Brevard County after a year-plus stay with the Timber Rattlers, Coulter took a step back at the plate in 2015 in terms of numbers, but it was all on the surface. There were several contributing factors to the drop in his raw numbers: the jump from Low-A to High-A (probably the least of the three), moving to the notorious pitcher's paradise of the Florida State League, and the stresses of learning a new position.

Now that isn’t to say Coulter was bad, because he certainly was not: he hit just .246/.329/.397 with 13 home runs, but the depressed offensive environment of the league made those numbers good for an excellent 123 wRC+. His walk rate dropped (from 13.8% to 8.1%) but so did his strike out rate (19.5% to 16.2%); his ISO was merely good at .150, down from an other-worldly .233 in 2014; and some of his lowered stats can be accounted for by a 50 point drop in BABIP. As for his progression as a right fielder, there’s little data on fielding for the minor leagues, particularly at the lower levels, but scouts thought he looked easy in the outfield, and his plus arm will play well there.

Coulter will probably ship up to AA-Biloxi for 2016, where a number of Brewers prospects excelled in 2015. The jump from A+ to Double-A is usually the toughest for prospects to make, so this will be an important year for the 22-year-old slugger, but he has the tools to thrive there and I expect Coulter will make another leap in 2016, further crowding the organizations crop of talent at the corner outfield positions (FYI: this is a good problem). Though Coulter will inevitably fall in these rankings based on the improvement of the organization's farm system, it's no reflection on his performance -- Coulter remains a key cog in the organization's future plans.