30 groups of prospects, six teams, ~5.5 weeks. This is the Arizona Fall League.
As a premier showcase for talent on the cusp of breaking through to the upper levels of the minors and ultimately The Show, the Arizona Fall League plays host to some of baseball’s best and brightest of who you’ve likely never heard. This year the AFL runs from October 7 through the league championship game on November 15. The annual All-Star Game, appropriately dubbed the “Fall Stars Game” will be held on November 1.
Brewers prospects will be a part of a different, yet somewhat familiar, team this year. After competing last year as a part of the Saguaros of Surprise, the Brewers will be returning to the monicker under which they played in 2012, that of the Desert Dogs. In 2012, the Desert Dogs were referred to as the Phoenix Desert Dogs. In 2014, however, they’re known as the Glendale Desert Dogs. They play their home games at Camelback Ranch, which is the Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.
Farmhands from the Dodgers, White Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers will work alongside those of the Brewers as members of the Desert Dogs.
The Brewers originally were set to send six players to Surprise in 2013. They were pitchers David Goforth, Taylor Jungmann, and Kevin Shackelford, infielder Jason Rogers, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and catcher Adam Weisenburger. For 2014, Milwaukee will be sending ### players (and pitching coach Chris Hook) to Glendale. By position, here are those players and some supplemental information:
- Brooks Hall – RHP – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Double-A)
Ariel Peña – RHP – (Triple-A)(***9/3 UPDATE*** Peña was announced as no longer participating on September 3.)
- Mike Strong – LHP – Twitter: @Strong_Mike1188 (***9/7 UPDATE*** Strong was announced as a participant.)
- Tyler Wagner – RHP – Twitter: @_TylerWagner_ (Class-A Advanced)
- Wei-Chung Wang – LHP – Twitter: @LeftyWang51 (MLB – As a Rule 5 pick)
- Nick Ramirez – 1B – Twitter: @N_Ramirez33 – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Double-A)
- Hector Gomez – SS – (Triple-A)
Outfielders (Brewers’ Priority Position)
- Tyrone Taylor – Twitter: @Ty_roneTaylor – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Class A-Advanced)
- Taylor is currently ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Brewers’ Top Prospect
- Shawn Zarraga – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2014: Triple-A)
The Milwaukee Brewers today had four players selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It marks only the fifth time in franchise history that the team has had four All-Stars. Center fielder Carlos Gomez (starter), third baseman Aramis Ramirez (starter), catcher Jonathan Lucroy and pitcher Francisco Rodriguez will represent the Brewers at this year’s Midsummer Classic, which will be played at Target Field in Minnesota on Tuesday, July 15 at 7pm CT.
In addition to the 2014 season, the Brewers had four All-Star selections in 1980 (Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor, Ben Oglivie and Robin Yount), 1982 (Cooper, Rollie Fingers, Oglivie and Yount), 1983 (Cooper, Oglivie, Ted Simmons and Yount) and 2007 (Francisco Cordero, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy and Ben Sheets). The Brewers have multiple All-Star starters for the seventh time (1980, 1982, 1983, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014).
Gomez, 28, has been selected to his second All-Star Game and first as a starter. He was a first-time All-Star last season. Gomez finished second among National League outfielders in fan voting (4,068,745), trailing only the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (4,519,440) and just ahead of the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (4,059,746). He is batting .299 with 13 HR and 45 RBI in 80 games this season.
Ramirez, 36, has been selected to his third All-Star Game and second as a starter. He started the 2005 All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Scott Rolen. He was also an All-Star in 2008. Ramirez had 2,318,611 votes in fan balloting, finishing ahead of the Mets’ David Wright (1,979,883). He is batting .287 with 11 HR and 41 RBI in 63 games this season.
Lucroy, 28, has been selected to his first All-Star Game. He was selected via the player vote, finishing first among National League catchers with 420 votes. Lucroy is batting .329 with 9 HR and 44 RBI in 82 games this season. He entered today’s game leading the National League in multi-hit games (31) and among the league leaders in batting average (2nd), doubles (2nd), hits (T3rd), on-base percentage (4th), slugging percentage (5th), OPS (5th) and extra-base hits (5th).
Rodriguez, 32, has been selected to his fifth All-Star Game. He was also an All-Star in 2004, 2007 and 2008 with the Angels and in 2009 with the Mets. Rodriguez was selected via the player vote, finishing second among National League relievers with 138 votes, trailing only the Braves’ Craig Kimbrel (190). He is 3-2 with a 2.34 ERA and 27 saves in 42 appearances this season while holding opponents to a .187 batting average. His 27 saves tied Kimbrel for the Major League lead entering today’s game.
Official Release regarding the Day 2 Draft Choices:
The Milwaukee Brewers made eight selections during the second day of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft from rounds 3-10 this afternoon. Milwaukee selected four right-handed pitchers, two outfielders, one infielder and one catcher today.
The Brewers drafted RHP Cy Sneed From Dallas Baptist University with their third-round selection (85th overall). He went 8-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 starts (104ip, 41er) during his junior season. Sneed, the 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Idaho, was drafted out of high school by the Rangers in the 34th round of the 2011 draft, but chose to attend Dallas Baptist University. His older brother, Zeb, is a pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization.
Milwaukee selected CF Troy Stokes, Jr. from Calvert Hall College (MD) High School in the fourth round (116th overall). The speedy outfielder has a commitment to the University of Maryland. In the fifth round, the Brewers chose 3B Dustin DeMuth from Indiana University. DeMuth led the Hoosiers with a .374 batting average (79-for-211) and added five home runs and 40 RBI in 57 games during his senior season. As a junior, he was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection. Demuth was previously drafted by the Twins in the eighth round of the 2013 draft, but did not sign.
RHP David Burkhalter was the last high school player taken by the Brewers on Day Two (6th round, 176th overall). The high school senior finished the year 7-3 with a 0.70 ERA this season and gave up seven earned runs in 70 innings pitched and recorded 104 strikeouts.
A redshirt junior at Kansas State University, RF Mitchell Meyer was selected in the 7th round (206th overall) by the Brewers. He hit .264 (39-for-148) with eight doubles, one triple, three homes and 26 RBI in 51 games for the Wildcats this season.
The Brewers used their 8th and 10th round selections to select a pair of college right-handed pitchers. Jeffrey (J.B.) Kole was selected 236th overall and finished his 2014 campaign strong for Villanova, finishing 3-0 and allowing just three earned runs over his final 21.1 innings pitched this season. Javier Salas, a senior from the University of Miami, was selected with the 296thoverall selection today. Salas went 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 52.1 innings. On March 4, against Kole’s Villanova Wildcats, Salas tossed the second perfect game in Hurricanes history.
The only catcher selected by the Brewers today was Greg McCall from the University of Texas-Arlington (9th round/266th overall). A junior, McCall hit .238 (51-for-214) with 11 home runs and 48 RBI for the Mavericks.
Overall, the Brewers have made 11 selections over the first two days of the draft, which includes six college players and five high school players. Milwaukee has selected five pitchers (one left-handers and four right-handers), two infielders, three outfielders and one catcher.
Round: 3, Overall pick: 85
Cy Sneed – RHP – Dallas Baptist
6’4″ – 185 lbs – Age: 21
MLB.com profile: The younger brother of Royals right-handed pitching prospect Zeb Sneed, Cy could have preceded him in pro ball, but he declined to sign with the Rangers as a 35th-round pick out of an Idaho high school in 2011. He instead headed to Dallas Baptist, where he has been a rotation mainstay since the first weekend of his college career. Like his brother, Sneed relies mainly on his arm strength. He maintains a 90-92 mph fastball deep into games and is capable of reaching 95, though his heater is a bit straight. For now, the rest of Sneed’s arsenal is ordinary. He has some feel for using a three-pitch mix, though neither his curveball nor his changeup is a consistently average pitch. He throws a decent amount of strikes, but his command isn’t terribly reliable, so he could wind up as a reliever down the road.
MLB.com Scouting Video:
Round: 4, Overall pick: 116
Troy Stokes – CF – Calvert Hall College High School
5’8″ – 182 lbs – Age: 18 – B/T: R/R
MLB.com profile: Stokes may not have a true plus tool but he lacks any real weakness in his game with all of his tools having the chance to be average or better. Stokes’ best tool is his speed which will allow him to have solid range in center and steal a good amount of bases in pro ball. At the plate, he has shown a very advanced approach along with great discipline and many feel that he has a chance to be an above-average hitter in the future. He also has shown more power and harder contact lately, but at this point, it is more double power than home run pop.
Round: 5, Overall pick: 146
Dustin DeMuth – 3B – Indiana University
6’3″ – 215 lbs – Age: 22 – B/T: L/R
MLB.com profile: The Indiana senior has had a great spring, and his bat is most likely what will get him drafted. At the plate, DeMuth has a smooth swing and decent bat speed, and he has always shown the ability to hit for a high average. He also has good power to the gaps, but some wonder if he will have enough power to profile at a corner. Defensively, DeMuth has a strong arm and good actions at third, and he should be able to stick there long term. A team that wants an advanced, fast-moving college hitter could overlook his lack of homer power and take him as a senior sign.
Round: 6, Overall pick: 176
David Burkhalter – RHP – Ruston HS (Louisiana)
6’3″ – 190 lbs – Age: 18
Round: 7, Overall pick: 206
Mitch Meyer – RF – Kansas State University
6’2″ – 190 lbs – Age: 22 – B/T: L/R
Round: 8, Overall pick: 236
J.B. Kole – RHP – Villanova
6’4″ – 200 lbs – Age: 21
Round: 9, Overall pick: 266
Greg McCall – C – University of Texas – Arlington
6’1″ – 215 lbs – Age: 22 – B/T: L/R
Round: 10, Overall pick: 296
Javi Salas – RHP – University of Miami
6’4″ – 225 lbs – Age: 22
If Miller Park ever gets to host another All-Star Game to soften the memories of “The Tie”, and they made statues such as this year’s Apples, what should they be of?
New York made Statues of Liberty when the game was at Yankee Stadium a few years ago…
And when the Angels hosted in Anaheim, replica Mickey Mouse statues were constructed.
As you can see, the statues have been more about the host city than the host team. Let’s hear your opinion, Brewer Nation! What screams: “Milwaukee!” to you?
Vote on these options but if you select “Other”, please leave a comment with your idea.
The Milwaukee Brewers have made their pick in the Compensation Round in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, 38th overall.
With that 38th selection, the Brewers took: Mitch Haniger, an OF from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly SLO is current Nashville Sounds’ OF Logan Schafer’s alma mater.
Haniger bats and throws righty. Here is his profile on his college’s website.
Haniger was the 2012 Big West Conference player of the year, batting .346 and leading the league with 13 home runs and 64 RBI. He played center field but doesn’t have ideal speed for the position so with his strong arm he possibly projects as a right-fielder at the Major League level.
MLB.com has the following posted about Haniger:
“In a year that is not known for college bats, Haniger’s ability to hit with power has many teams intrigued with the Cal Poly outfielder. Strong and muscular, Haniger hits from a wide, open stance with plus bat speed and a slight uppercut that allows him to drive the ball to all fields when he makes contact. He’s been doing that more consistently this year, showing improved plate discipline to improve his overall offensive game. There’s enough loft and strength where he could hit 25 homers annually at the next level.
“Not a burner, Haniger is a heady baserunner who picks his spots to run. While he plays center field for Cal Poly, he’ll be better suited for right. He has a plus arm and his power certainly profiles well for what teams look for in the position. There’s going to be some swing and miss to his game, but the power, his arm and his aggressive style of play give him the chance to be an everyday Major League right fielder in the future.”
John Manuel of Baseball America offered this as a quick scouting report on Haniger: “Physicality and power potential make him a top prospect; 13 homers this spring.”
***UPDATE: Comments from Haniger***
“I’ve spoken to (Logan Schafer) every time he came back for our alumni game. I also trained one winter break at the facility he trained at. He loves playing for the Brewers; said everything has been great. I’m sure I’ll be in touch with him soon and talk about the minor-league system.
“I heard from my advisors they were one of the teams interested but once Victor Roache got taken in the late first round I thought there was a lesser chance they would take me at No. 38. But it’s awesome; a great feeling. Words can’t describe it.
“I played center field this year. I believe I can stay there. I think I profile well in both spots (center and right). I’m excited to see where the Brewers want me to play. We’ll see. I can play both. I’m happy to make a position change if necessary. I’m really confident in my arm strength.”
You can follow Mitch Haniger on Twitter at: @M_Hanny19
The Milwaukee Brewers have made their first two selections in the Major League Baseball ”Two-Thousand and Twelve First-Year Player Draft.”
(Yes, that’s an homage to the commissioner’s long-winded setup prior to each pick delivery at the podium.)
With the 28th selection, the Brewers took: Victor Roache, a 6’1″ 225 lb outfielder from Georgia Southern University.
Roache bats and throws right-handed.
MLB.com lists Roache as its 27th overall prospect available in this draft.
“A raw hitter coming out of the Michigan high school ranks in 2009, Roache’s years at Georgia Southern have served him well.
“A strong, physical specimen, Roache has plus bat speed and raw power, with the ability to hit the ball out to all fields. He has a solid approach at the plate, with good pitch recognition and rarely gets cheated. Speed isn’t a part of his game, but he’s a capable outfielder with enough range and arm to handle an outfield corner at the next level. He certainly looks the part and plays the game hard.
“There may be some who’ll question if he’ll hit enough to tap into that power, but it shouldn’t be a huge concern. Power in an advanced bat is always highly sought after (see Choice, Michael) and with a good spring, Roache should see him near the top of many Draft boards.”
ESPN.com ranks Roache 88th overall and has this to say:
“Roache may have gone in the first round prior to the broken wrist he suffered in February, ending his season, but wasn’t a first-round talent, just a one-tool player who has plus raw power but lacks the hit tool to get to it. Drafted in the 25th round by Detroit in 2009, Roache is a dead-pull hitter who collapses his back side as he tries to jerk everything out to left field, but showed on the Cape last summer that he couldn’t adjust to offspeed pitches, especially those on the outer half that he couldn’t pull.
“He’s a fair athlete who probably ends up in left field in pro ball. He’ll turn 21 in September, making him one of the younger college position players in the draft, but he’ll have to return to action and show he can make adjustments so that he’ll hit enough to let his power play.”
***UPDATE: Here are some quotes from Roache as he joined the media on a conference call tonight…***
Roache said that the broken wrist that cost him most of this past season would preclude him from playing pro ball this summer. He said he was about 4-6 weeks away from being cleared for all baseball activities.
“It was tough, breaking my wrist six games into the season. It was a hard pill to swallow.
“I was in a cast for seven weeks. I’m on the road to recovery right now. It’s going very well. The doctor said I’m in for a 100% recovery. I just have to take my time and not rush, and build my full strength back. I was strictly working on range of motion.
“The broken bone was the least of their worries. Dr. Hunt’s main concern was the ulnar joint was dislocated. He put pins in there and casted it up, and it remained stable and back to normal. In a week or two, I’ll pick up a bat and swing a little.
“Hopefully, by the end of the summer or early fall, I’ll be back on the field playing again. I heard someone say to get ready to go for instructional (camp in the fall), maybe go play winter ball and go from there.
“Everything happens for a reason. I’m very thankful to still be considered a first-round pick. That means a lot to me for the Brewers to still have faith in my talent and take a chance and draft me in the 28th spot. That motivates me even more to give it 100% and get back on the field as soon as possible, and produce for them for the next 10-15 years.”
You can follow Victor Roache on Twitter at: @_Heavy28Hitter_
The Milwaukee Brewers have made their first two selections in the Major League Baseball “Two-Thousand and Twelve First-Year Player Draft.”
(Yes, that’s an homage to the commissioner’s long-winded setup prior to each pick delivery at the podium.)
With the 27th selection, the Brewers took: Clint Coulter, a 6’3″ 215 lb catcher, out of Union HS in Washington State.
ESPN.com’s write-up of Clint Coulter notes that as “a state champion wrestler, (Coulter) brings that strength to the catcher position and into the batter’s box. He possesses plus arm strength and power at the plate. His swing is consistent and he’s shown the ability to hit the ball to right-center field.
“He should hit for enough average and power for pro ball, but his defense behind the plate is questionable, due to his lack of agility. His technique is sound, thanks in part to his work with coach and former big league catcher Tom Lampkin, and he’s an accurate thrower. If he can’t stick at catcher, the bat may play at first base. The power is easy and natural and he’s shown an ability to stay back on soft stuff and not drift out onto his front foot.
He’s drawn comparisons to Twins outfielder Josh Willingham and is committed to Arizona State. Coulter is a potential Day 1 selection, and if that rings true on draft day he’s not likely to see the Tempe campus this fall.”
MLB.com says of Coulter that as “the best player in the Pacific Northwest in 2012, Coulter has the chance to be a good all-around catcher at the next level.
“Strong and durably built, Coulter has some serious power potential, with the ability to hit the ball out to all fields. He might not be the best pure hitter in the Draft, but he won’t let any pitcher get away with a mistake. While he’s certainly not a burner, he’s not a slug on the basepaths, either. Behind the plate, his arm strength is a plus, but will need to work on his footwork as well as his overall receiving as he progresses. Few doubt he’ll get there though, as Coulter gets high marks for his all-out play and his work ethic. It’s those intangibles that should make him a good leader from behind the plate at the next level.”
Baseball America’s Jim Callis says that Coulter could be a “(Mike) Napoli type” as he is an offensive-minded backstop.
UPDATE: Coulter has had a conference call with the Milwaukee-based media. Here are some of his comments…
On whether he can do a backflip (like a fellow draftee did on live TV): “I don’t think I can do a back flip, but I can do a lot of push-ups.”
For how wrestling in high school has helped his baseball game: “I learned not to let emotions control me. I control my emotions.”
He said his nicknames were “Grunt” and “Country Strong”. Yeah, this kid might have a bit of power. He also told MLB Network that he once hit 29 home runs in little league.
And most importantly, on his chances of signing with the Brewers and forgoing his collegiate commitment: “That’s probably why I was drafted in 1st round.”
You can follow Clint Coulter on Twitter at: @ccoulter12