The Milwaukee Brewers made a rather significant addition earlier on the final day of the 2018 Winter Meetings, picking up reliever Alex Claudio from the Rangers in exchange for their competitive balance pick in next year’s MLB Draft. But the club also added a pair of less notable names to their player development system today, selecting two prospects during the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft:
In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Brewers have selected INF Julio Garcia from the Angels’ Double-A roster.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 13, 2018
In the second round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Brewers have selected C Alexander Alvarez from the Rays’ Class-A roster.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 13, 2018
Julio Garcia, 21, got his first taste of full-season ball this year while suiting up for Class-A Burlington. The former Angels’ farmhand was named among the ‘other prospects of note’ by Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs when he published Anaheim’s top-20 prospect list for Fangraphs prior to the 2018 season:
Garcia finally started having statistical success in 2017, but scouts are still concerned about his ability to hit. His swing is visually beautiful, but Garcia’s bat control and offspeed recognition are both still very raw. He’s similarly inconsistent — if also, at times, spectacular — on defense ... He’s a high-variance prospect who has a small, but non-zero chance to do some offensive damage and play an above-average defensive shortstop. He’s just light years from the majors.
Garcia failed to build on his strong 2017 campaign, batting only .232/.265/.320 with five homers and three steals in 486 plate appearances for a 64 wRC+ and 68 DRC+. His bat currently projects as well below-average, though he has shown average raw power at times. Garcia spent time at second, third, and short in 2018, but his plus arm plays well at shortstop and he figures to see plenty of time there for the Brewers next season, perhaps in Class A-Advanced Carolina.
As for Alexander Alvarez, there is a scarcity of scouting information about him online. The 22 year old native of Venezuela began his career in 2014 after signing with the Rays and made it to full-season ball for the first time this past year, though he didn’t take the field until June. In 32 total games at the Class-A level, he hit .237/.268/.381 with four doubles, two triples, and three homers across 132 plate appearances. That was good for an 81 wRC+ and 78 DRC+, which isn’t bad production out of a backstop. He also caught 33% of would-be base stealers and was charged with only one error in 222.2 innings behind the dish.
Though there was speculation in regards to Jake Gatewood and Jon Olczak floating around this morning, the Brewers did not lose any of their own prospects in either the Major or Minor League phases of today’s Rule 5 Draft.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and Baseball-Reference