At 28-46, the rookie level Helena Brewers were the worst team by win-loss record in the eight team Pioneer League this season. The club did boast some of the more talented prospects in the league, however, according to Baseball America. By their rankings, three Brewers’ prospects were named among the top 20 players in the league this season. Those players are:
4. 3B Lucas Erceg (Age 21)
Milwaukee drafted Erceg in the second round (46th overall) in this summer’s draft out of NAIA Menlo College. The 21 year old hit the ground running during his professional debut, tearing through the Pioneer League before getting promoted to low-A to finish out the year. Erceg is ranked as the club’s 16th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, a potential “middle-of-the-order corner bat” from the left-hand side who is athletic and possesses a strong arm at the hot corner.
115 PA || .400/.452/.552 || 11 XBH || 8 SB
8. SS Gilbert Lara (Age 18)
Lara signed with the Brewers for a club-record bonus in excess of $3 mil back in 2014 and he made his stateside debut last season. After a brief taste of the Pioneer League last year, Lara spent all season with Helena in 2016. He is currently ranked as the club’s 9th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, mostly based on his offensive potential: “He combines physical strength and bat speed to generate plus raw power from the right side of the plate...With enough contact, he should clear plenty of fences in his pro career.” Lara has an above-average arm and has been better than expected at shortstop, but the general belief seems to be that he’ll eventually have to move over to third base as his frame fills outs.
246 PA || .250/.293/.320 || 12 XBH || 2 SB
19. OF Demi Orimoloye (Age 19)
Tabbed by the Brewers in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Orimoloye was considered one of the top prospects to come out of Canada in recent memory. MLB Pipeline ranks Demi as Milwaukee’s 23rd-best prospect, calling him a “physical specimen with three legit plus tools in his raw power, speed, arm strength...he’s still very raw defensively, but he has all the prototypical right-field tools.”
247 PA || .205/.293/.324 || 13 XBH || 18 SB
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference