As an organization, the Brewers have traded an entire 25-man roster worth of players in the last 18 months. Some deals were clear rebuilding types of trades, while others were counterbuilding sort of moves that returned some players at the big league level. The fruits of these labors are an MLB-level club that’s sprinkled with compelling young talent, and a farm system that is now a consensus top-five group in the league.
As a Brew Crew Ball community, we have been discussing and voting to rank the Milwaukee Nine’s top prospects for the past few weeks. To top off the list, here are the last 10 prospects in the BCB Top 30 as selected collectively by you, the reader:
21. RHP Freddy Peralta
2016 Stats (A-A+): 82.0 IP || 3.62 ERA || 97 K || 36 BB || 7 HR || 1.317 WHIP
One of three players the Brewers received from Seattle in exchange for Adam Lind, Peralta broke out with the Timber Rattlers to start 2016, putting up a 2.85 ERA in Appleton with 77 strikeouts in 60 innings, making 8 starts in 16 appearances. He was aggressively pushed to High-A mid-season, where he struggled as a 20-year-old against advanced competition, dropping his overall numbers from "great" to "okay." His small stature (5'11", 175 lbs.) raises some questions about his ability to start, but he's carried impressive strikeout rates through every level of the minors so far. He's likely to head back to High-A this year with new affiliate Carolina.
22. LHP Kodi Medeiros
2016 Stats (A+): 85.0 IP || 5.93 ERA || 64 K || 63 BB || 4 HR || 1.941 WHIP
The former first round pick has struggled mightily with his control so far in his professional career. That's not a surprise, since there was plenty of concern about his mechanics heading into the 2014 draft, with many pegging him has a future reliever. Last year, that came to a head as his BB/9 (6.7) was nearly identical to his K/9 (6.8). Like Peralta, he was young for High-A last year, but the control has been worrisome dating back to rookie ball. He'll need to figure out a way to get guys out while also cutting down the free passes.
23. C Mario Feliciano
2016 Stats (R): 127 PA || .265/.307/.359 || 0 HR || 2 SB || 19 K || 7 BB
After getting drafted in the second round out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, Feliciano was considered a bat-first catcher with above average power. That didn't translate in his first handful of professional at-bats, but it's always risky playing with small sample rookie league stats, especially when guys are playing stateside for the first time. There's been some question as to whether he can stick behind the plate or will have to move elsewhere in the future. He only threw out 5 baserunners on 30 steal attempts last year and was charged with 7 passed balls in 165 innings.
24. OF Demi Orimoloye
2016 Stats (R): 247 PA || .205/.293/.324 || 5 HR || 18 SB || 57 K || 23 BB
A physical freak, Orimoloye is still working to translate raw tools into baseball skills. After hitting .292/.319/.518 in 144 plate appearances during his first professional season in 2015, he struggled in 61 games in the Pioneer League in 2016. It should be interesting to see what he can do with the bat once he gets into full-season ball, but when he's reached base he's been exciting, stealing 37 bases in 94 career games. Orimoloye has the kind of power and speed potential that makes scouts extremely excited, and he's been a popular breakout candidate for 2017 if he can put it together.
25. LHP Nathan Kirby
Did not play in 2016 (Tommy John surgery)
A supplemental first round pick in 2015, Kirby hurt his elbow after just five appearances in Appleton that year. Prior to being drafted, Kirby was one of the best college pitchers in the country for the University of Virginia, but his junior season was cut short due to a lat strain. He was also knocked for a lack of control, but a solid fastball-slider combo makes relief a fallback option for him if he never quite irons out the delivery issues. Considering his injury occurred at the end of 2015, he should be on track to appear early in the season, but the idea of him being fast-tracked might be on hold due to missing an entire year.
26. 3B/1B Jake Gatewood
2016 Stats (A): 524 PA || .240/.268/.391 || 14 HR || 3 SB || 141 K || 18 BB
Gatewood's first year of full-season ball showed many of the holes in his game that have raised concerns over the past couple years. There are no typos in the above stat line -- Gatewood did strike out in nearly 27% of his at-bats while walking 18 times all year. He has a decent amount of power (33 doubles to go with his 14 home runs), especially has he grows into his 6'5" frame, but he committed 24 errors in 93 games at third base last year, and with Erceg now in the system, Gatewood's future may be relegated to first base -- where he'll have to hit more than he's shown outside of Rookie ball.
27. RHP Taylor Williams
Did not play in 2016 (Tommy John surgery)
Another Tommy John recovery case, the Brewers thought enough of Williams to protect him from the Rule 5 draft this winter, adding him to the 40-man roster and starting his option clock despite him not throwing a competitive pitch since 2014. Williams' elbow discomfort began during Spring Training in 2015 and kept him on the shelf until he underwent surgery that August. Still, he impressed enough during that spring to cause some to believe he could quickly rise through the ranks as a power reliever. Ryan Braun once called Williams' fastball the best he's ever seen in live BP.
28. OF Michael Reed
2016 Stats (AAA): 492 PA || .248/.366/.365 || 8 HR || 20 SB || 124 K || 74 BB
This ranking was actually a tie with the 29th ranked prospect that was broken by Kyle. Reed's been in the system for a long time and has managed a couple cups of coffee with the big league team, but now may be getting caught up in the outfield logjam. Reed has always shown very good on-base skills, but hasn't been able to hit for much power, even in Colorado Springs. He can be a decent enough fourth or fifth outfielder, but with all of the talent in the system at his position, his time in the organization might be running out if he can't secure a spot on the Milwaukee bench.
29. 3B/1B Chad McClanahan
2016 Stats (R): 159 PA || .208/.277/.333 || 3 HR || 1 SB || 45 K || 11 BB
The Brewers were able to lure the 6'5" corner infielder away from a commitment to Arizona State after taking him in the 11th round last summer. He slipped so late in the draft because of that commitment, but the Brewers were able to throw enough money at him -- $1.2 million -- to get him into the system. A left-handed hitter, scouts drool over his offensive potential, but he did struggle in his first taste of professional baseball. He's athletic enough to stay at third right now, but a move to first base or left field might be in his future.
30. RHP Aaron Wilkerson
2016 Stats (AA-AAA) 147.0 IP || 3.73 ERA || 159 K || 41 BB || 12 HR || 1.204 WHIP
Part of the return the Brewers got from the Red Sox for Aaron Hill, Wilkerson is the oldest member of the list, but the production is just too much to ignore. A great story: Wilkerson didn't start his professional career until he was 24, pitching in the independent leagues after going undrafted and undergoing Tommy John surgery. His strikeout numbers have jumped off the page at every level -- he has a career 9.4 K/9 in the minors -- and he generally stays out of trouble. He does that without exceptionally hard stuff (his fastball sits in the 90-91 range), but scouts say his delivery is deceptive and keeps hitters off balance. If he was three years younger, he'd probably be 15 spots higher on the list.
Statistics courtesy Baseball-Reference