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Opening Day Countdown: The 2019 Prospects

We're in the teens now with just 19 days separating us from real live baseball!

We've been talking about the rebuild all winter long and with good reason. It's something most of us have been wanting to happen for years. I know not everyone is as enthused as we are. So I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the perks of a rebuild. Namely the prospects we can hope to see play for the major league team in the future. Today we're going to look at prospects whose major league ETA is 2019.

I'm going to be using the ETA on the list from MLB Pipeline. It's important to understand that the further we are from a prospect's ETA, the more uncertainty surrounds that player. Just because a player is expected to be ready around a certain time, does not mean he will be. Some of these prospect might never actually develop into major league players at all. Others could be traded. So just keep that in mind.

Position Players: SS Gilbert Lara, OF Trent Clark, OF Demi Orimoloye

Pitchers: RHP Marcos Diplan, RHP Miguel Diaz

While Diplan and Diaz are interesting pitching prospects in their own right, it's the position players that really shine through here. Gilbert Lara is a very young and dynamic player. Assessments varying on the present skill set, but most agree that if it all comes together he could be a very special player. He's a shortstop right now, and he's played the position better than expected, but most also assume a shift to third base is in his future.

The two outfielders were selected in 2015's first year player draft. Right fielder Demi Orimoloye was considered a toolshed, albeit an inexperienced one. It's that inexperience that allowed the Brewers to take him in the fourth round. He put together an impressive season in rookie ball, but some are still concerned about his hit tool. But he's very athletic and has the chance for 5 average or better tools with 60 grades being given to his power, fielding ability, and arm strength. If he can reach his ceiling he'll look like the steal of the draft.

Finally we come to the Brewers first pick in last year's draft. Leading up to the draft and even right on the day of the draft, everyone assumed the Rangers were going to take Trent Clark with the fifth overall pick. But they pivoted at the last minute and that allowed the Brewers to scoop him up with the 15th overall pick. It was quick the coup for Milwaukee. In Clark they have another outfielder with the potential for 5 average or better tools including above average speed and potentially a plus hit tool. He plays center field, but may have to move to left in the future. Regardless of where he plays, he should be able to hit anywhere. And if anyone on this list is going to speed up his ETA, my money is on Clark.

It's actually a shorter list than I expected to find. Tomorrow I'll be looking at the list for 2018 and that one will be longer. Despite the length of the list, the 2019 season could be a very exciting one for prospect watchers. Clark, Orimoloye, and Lara are three of the very best prospects in the Brewers farm system. We'll be waiting a long time for them. But if they can get close to their ceilings, it'll be worth it.