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Milwaukee Brewers announce minor league rosters

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Where is the organization starting its best prospects this year?

Milwaukee Brewers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

While the big leaguers went through the pageantry of Opening Day on Monday, the minor leaguers won’t start their 2017 season for another few days. Today is still a big day, though, with all of the full-season affiliates in the Milwaukee Brewers system announcing their own Opening Day rosters.

Here’s where the Brewers’ top prospects and other interesting players of note will start the year (you can find the full rosters by clicking the link to the team’s official press release):

Colorado Springs (AAA)
OF Lewis Brinson
OF Ryan Cordell
OF Brett Phillips
LHP Josh Hader
RHP Brandon Woodruff
LHP Wei-Chung Wang
RHP Tyler Cravy

The headliners here are the organization’s best pitching prospect in Hader and the outfield prospect triumvirate of Brinson, Cordell and Phillips. It should be interesting to see how Woodruff fares with the move to high elevation a year after leading the minors in strikeouts. And yes, Tyler Cravy will head back to Triple-A and try to make it back to Milwaukee at some point this year.

Biloxi (AA)
RHP Jorge Lopez
OF Michael Reed
RHP Luis Ortiz
INF Mauricio Dubon
C Jacob Nottingham
RHP Bubba Derby
RHP Aaron Wilkerson
LHP Nick Ramirez
OF Clint Coulter
OF Victor Roache

If it wasn’t for the group of talent in Carolina, this might be my pick for Most Interesting Affiliate to start the year. You have one of the organization’s best pitching prospects in Ortiz, a dark horse pitching prospect in Wilkerson (a little bit of a surprise he wasn’t placed in Colorado Springs), a top-ranked infield prospect in Dubon, and the storyline of Nottingham trying to bounce back from a disappointing year. You’ll also notice that the Brewers decided to put Lopez back in Biloxi, where he’s dominated, rather than send him back to Colorado Springs after his deflating performance there.

The Shuckers will also have the Nick Ramirez Experiment, as he tries to transition from first base to the mound, and a pair of guys — Coulter and Roache — who used to rank among the organization’s best prospects until the recent wave of talent pushed them down the depth chart.

Carolina (A+)
INF Isan Diaz
OF Trent Clark
3B Lucas Erceg
RHP Marcos Diplan
RHP Cody Ponce
LHP Kodi Medeiros
RHP Corbin Burnes
RHP Freddy Peralta
RHP Jon Olczak
1B/3B Jake Gatewood

This is going to be one of the most fun Brewers affiliates in recent memory. At the new High-A affiliate, we’ll have Erceg’s first full pro season, my personal favorite Brewers prospect in Diaz, and a slew of interesting arms that might be ready to break out. Olczak and Burnes might only be relievers down the road, but they could both be really good relievers. The same might end up being true for Peralta and Diplan, but this year we should learn more on whether they can possibly hang in the rotation.

Wisconsin (A)
INF Gilbert Lara
OF Monte Harrison
OF Demi Orimoloye
C Mario Feliciano
RHP Luke Barker
RHP Trey Supak
RHP Braden Webb
RHP Zack Brown

It’ll be tough to top the recent crops of talent that have come through the Fox Valley, but this year’s Timber Rattlers will feature plenty of recent draftees, including the next exciting catching prospect in Feliciano. Independent Leaguer Luke Barker will also be with the T-Rats to start the year, as will last year’s 3rd round pick (Webb) and 5th round pick (Brown). Between Harrison and Orimoloye, two of the organization’s most freakish athletes will be at the same level. We’ll see if that can translate into baseball success this year.

One name who’s noticeably absent in the roster announcements: last year’s first round pick Corey Ray. According to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, Ray will still stay in extended spring training for another couple of weeks as he works his way back from offseason knee surgery. Callis expects him to join Carolina in mid-April.