Moderator: Baseball America contributor Tom Haudricourt answered your questions about the Milwaukee Brewers’ Top 10 Prospects and the rest of their farm system.
Greg T. (Eagan): Scooter Gennett won't keep up the numbers he showed for an entire season, right? So what might a typical line be from him? Assuming he takes the starting 2B job in spring training. I'm excited to see him play in 150+ games!
Tom Haudricourt: Indeed, it’s difficult to project that Gennett will bat .324 over a full season, as he did in 69 games in 2013. But he has hit at or near .300 at every stop in the system, so he has shown he will hit. The issue is that he doesn’t draw walks and therefore his OBP is usually only slightly above his BA. That’s something he needs to work on. But he is a fun player to watch.
Brendan (Denver): Thanks for the chat, these are a lot of fun. If he hadn't used up his service time, where would Caleb Gindl have fit into this list? Any thoughts on his future?
Tom Haudricourt: Gindl was No. 27 last year so his name would have been under consideration again. Unless the Brewers outfield has a bunch of injuries in 2014, Gindl projects as an extra outfielder and hitter off the bench for them at present.
Junior (Twin Cities): Is there a current comp out there for Tyrone Taylor? I want to say a RH Grady Sizemore (pre injury), but is that too steep?
Tom Haudricourt: I’m not real good at comps. All I can tell you is that he projects as a true center fielder with good tools. And he’s still very young, so you can project he will get even better. Perhaps a lot better.
Not Jaypers (Wisconsin): Tom, how far down the list did Clint Coulter fall?
Tom Haudricourt: I believe Coulter is No. 11 on the Top 30 list, so just one place outside of the Top 10. Still young and raw with a lot of offensive upside.
Allan Dudek (Wi): Tom, did the Brewers find any positives from Jed Bradley's season?
Tom Haudricourt: He was physically stronger at the start of the season. You could see that in spring camp. Now, he just needs to stay healthy and become more consistent. Sometimes lefties come a little later. And the Brewers could definitely use a top LHP prospect to put in their rotation at some point.
JR (Iowa): How will be Brewers ever be able to compete when every other team in the division is either competitive in the bigs or will be in the near future with loaded farms? Will any of these guys be regulars some day?
Tom Haudricourt: Obviously, both the Brewers and Cubs have gaps to fill to catch up to the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds, as was evidenced in 2013. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t tell you who will become regulars and who won’t. Need and timing are factors there. But there were doubters last year with Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis, and they opened some eyes at the big-league level.
Not Jaypers (Wi): Tom, Jason Rogers continues to hit, is he a 1b only in the long run?
Tom Haudricourt: Rogers played a lot in the outfield in the Arizona Fall League. And I just saw that mlb.com’s Adam McCalvy reported that Rogers is going to the Brewers’ Dominican academy to get some time at third base. If he could play third base adequately, that would fill a big gap at present behind Aramis Ramirez, who is in the last year of his contract.
dave (atlanta): It looks like the Brewers picked up a big arm in the 11th round with RHP Andy Hillis. Did he make any progress with a second pitch, and do you think he moves through the system quickly?
Tom Haudricourt: Big arm on a big kid. How he comes with secondary stuff will depend how fast he moves. But he’s a definite sleeper in the 11th round. He had a very good showing with the rookie Helena club.
Allan (Wi): Tom, did any of the 2013 HS draftees stand out for thier post draft performance other than Devin Williams? Neuhaus, or Denson?
Tom Haudricourt: Denson has massive power potential and could be a late-round steal. CF Brandon Diaz (8th round) certainly held his own with the Arizona Rookie League club.
dave (atlanta): The Brewers picked one of the 2012 draft's hardest throwers, Damien Magnifico. He struggled in the FSL this season after his promotion. Does he move to the bullpen next year?
Tom Haudricourt: There has been no indication that the Brewers are considering moving him now but some scouts project that is where he will fit in at the big-league level because of how hard he throws and occasional issues with secondary pitches. Still time to figure that out.
dave (atlanta): What's the outlook for former FSU QB D'Vontrey Richardson? Is he fully committed to baseball and has he retained his athleticism from his college football days?
Tom Haudricourt: Richardson supposedly is committed again to baseball and fared well in the FSL after returning from a year off and shaking off the rust. But he’s 25 and therefore has to make up for lost time as quickly as possible. The skill set certainly is there.
Spike Wormington (Sudbury, Ontario): What kind of player is Nick Delmonico ? He is in my fantasy minor league system and I would like to know what the insiders say about him ... is there any buzz about Nick ? Thank You
Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers were very excited to get Delmonico from Baltimore in the Frankie Rodriguez trade. At first, they were told he was unavailable. He did not live up to his offensive potential this year but was banged up. The Brewers are high on him and I believe I have him ranked just outside of the Top 10 at No. 12 or so.
ballboy (watercooler): What is the scouting report on K. Davis....? Is there an arm, hit tool, glove and legs to go with the bombs? Is he not eligible for the "10" ? If he were, where do you stick him? ps. I do appreciate the BBA coverage and all the insights that you gentlemen bring to the game, but I've had to adapt...earlier ratings were provided by a smaller core group of your writers. In that context, when someone said "top of the rotation stuff" it meant a #1 or at least a #2. Same with "top shelf power." Now I have to backtrack: Is a Baez a Sano or a Bryant? Not complaining...just noting the diff....
Tom Haudricourt: Khris Davis has massive power potential. His HR per AB ratio was outstanding last year. The problem is his defensive limitations (including poor arm) relegate him to playing LF. Thus, the Brewers would have to move Ryan Braun to RF to accommodate Davis. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they did because his power fits into how they like to build a club.
Paul D. (San Francisco): Taylor Jungmann looked so promosing in college - and in the last few years it seems he lost what makes him great. What happened and where do you see his future in the organization?
Tom Haudricourt: Not sure what’s going on with Jungmann. He’s not throwing as hard as he did in college. He had a bad start at AA Huntsville, then pitched well for an extended stretch, then had a bad finish. Then he went to the Arizona Fall League and was shelved for most of the time with a groin injury. He’s not dominating the way you’d hope a high draft pick from an advanced college program would do. His season at Huntsville was OK but certainly not dominant. He needs to pick it up if he’s going to fulfill his promise.
Brewmann04 (Bronx NY): TOM what pitching prospects has the Higest celing to be a #1 guy.
Tom Haudricourt: Maybe Devin Williams, a second-round pick this year. Johnny Hellweg has the stuff if he’d harness his control. And Jimmy Nelson has good upside though I’m not sure I’d say a No. 1. Certainly top half of the rotation. There’s a group of good arms farther down in the system that we need more time to watch.
Kai (SLO): Does Devin Williams have a realistic chance of taking a big step towards the top of this system in the coming year. 3 projectable plus pitches with a good feel for pitching and room to grow into his frame might suggest he's just scratching the surface?
Tom Haudricourt: All I can tell you is the Brewers were thrilled to get Williams in the second round, considering they forfeited their first-round pick to sign free agent Kyle Lohse. You hear the phrase “up side” a lot with him.
Ken (Lakewood CA): Maybe it's just me, but do you see any of these guys making the Top 100 Prospect List?
Tom Haudricourt: I’d have to go through all the other prospects from the other clubs to answer that. The best bets would be Nelson, Taylor and Haniger.
Johnny (Miami FL): How close did Clint Coulter come to making your list, and what does he need to work on?
Tom Haudricourt: I believe Coulter missed by one place at No. 11. He needs to continue to work on his defense if he’s going to stay behind the plate. And, like all young hitters, he just needs at-bats to become more consistent. There’s a lot of offensive potential there.
Steve (Kenosha): What do you think of Jason Rogers? Was Brewers MiLB player of the year and now hit over .300 in the AFL
Tom Haudricourt: Rogers certainly is making his move. And as noted earlier, the Brewers are going to see if he can play third base. He has the kind of pop they like to have in their lineup. Look for him to be added to the 40-man roster next week.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Former top 100 player Mark Rogers is being exposed to the minor league draft by the Brewers. Looks like most have given up on him. Have you?
Tom Haudricourt: A healthy Mark Rogers is a player you like. But he just can’t stay healthy. I guess the Brewers could still re-sign him to a minor-league deal but I’m guessing they will let him move on.
Michael Stern (Rochester NY): Do you think Roache will hit enough and develop the plate discipline to be an above average major leaguer down the road? He already has the exceptional power. Thanks for the chat!
Tom Haudricourt: Roache does not project to hit for a high average in the majors. But he has massive power potential. And if you can hit 30-plus bombs in the big leagues, they usually don’t worry as much about your batting average.
Trevor (Milwaukee): Tom - Was very impressed with Gennett, had he qualified would he have beat out Nelson? Do you think he can hit .300 with double digit hrs/sbs playing average defence? thanks.
Tom Haudricourt: Don’t know if Scooter would have beat out Nelson but he certainly would have remained in the Top 10, where he was ranked last year. I like the kid and the way he gets after it. And his defense certainly looked better than was previously advertised. He looks like he can be an everyday second baseman to me.
SteveV (Chicago): The scouting report seems a little light on Arcia's offensive potential. Can you provide more detail please?
Tom Haudricourt: I’m not going to put any offensive limitations on Arcia right now because he’s still so young and missed all of 2012 with a broken ankle. The major thing he needs to improve on is plate discipline. If he gets more disciplined at the plate, draws more walks and doesn’t get himself out, he can be an above-average offensive player. The Brewers certainly love his defensive potential. He will play almost the entire 2014 season at age 19 and already has a year of Class A ball under his belt. A reason to be excited.
Mike (MKE): If Morris is the tenth best prospect, why isn't the team willing to move Aoki as part of a deal to get Ike Davis? Doesn't seem to make sense.
Tom Haudricourt: First of all, we don’t know that they wouldn’t do that deal. But you have to ask yourself what will you get from Davis? He had a horrible 2013 season. The Brewers might think they can do just as well with Juan Francisco and not have to give up a player to acquire a first baseman. Just because Morris spun his wheels a bit at Nashville this year, the Brewers aren’t ready to give up on him.
Ryan (Milwaukee, Wi): With Nelson atop the list, does he have a legitimate - emphasis on legitimate - shot at the 2014 Brewers rotation?
Tom Haudricourt: It always depends on what the other options are, and how Nelson looks in spring training. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the rotation at some point next season.
Brian D (Atlanta GA): So has Kyle Heckathorn reestablished himself as a prospect? or will he be a Kyle Farnsworth type pitcher?
Tom Haudricourt: He’s not in our Top 30. I will leave it at that.
Johnny J (Boise, Idaho): Looking at the big league rosters of the Cardinals, Reds and Pirates and looking at the Cubs' farm system, are the Brewers' destined for a long ride in the cellar?
Tom Haudricourt: Can’t find my crystal ball so hard to answer that question. But, as noted before, there is a lot of ground they have to make up.
James (Green Bay, WI): Do you David Goforth as the Brewers future closer? I read reports from the AFL where he was up to 98mph.
Tom Haudricourt: Goforth indeed could be the Brewers’ closer at some point. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if he made their bullpen in some role next spring. He’s coming pretty fast at this point.
Dave (Appleton, WI): With Hellweg being the PCL pitcher of the year, doesn't he need to be in the rotation next year? What good would more seasoning in the minors do him?
Tom Haudricourt: What good would more seasoning do? Did you watch any of his starts for the Brewers? It would appear he needs to sharpen up his command a bit, wouldn’t you say?
dave (appleton, wi): Was the signing of Kyle Lohse worth losing their first round pick last year?
Tom Haudricourt: Lohse was the Brewers’ most consistent starter and also a good influence on the team. You’d have to tell me who the draft pick would have been and whether he would have been a big-league contributor. Again, no crystal ball in sight. I think the Brewers like having a rotation spot accounted for with Lohse.
Nick (Milwaukee): Tom, which prospects do you see contributing on the major league club this year, and it what capacity?
Tom Haudricourt: Well, as noted, Nelson could be in the rotation at some point and Goforth in the bullpen. If Hellweg harnesses his control, he also could be in the rotation at some point. And, depending what the Brewers do at first base over the winter, Hunter Morris could be in the picture. Most of the other top prospects are younger and farther down the road.
Alex (Hartland): I know you cover the major league team pretty thoroughly and do a great job. How would you rate your knowledge of the minor league system? How to you prepare yourself to do this list?
Tom Haudricourt: Indeed, my primary job is covering the Brewers at the big-league level. But I’ve always prided myself in keeping tabs on the farm system and my work with Baseball America goes a long way toward helping me do so. I know there is a lot of interest by fans in the farm system and we try to provide as many updates as possible while focusing primarily on the Brewers’ club. I’d love to have more time to devote to the minors but try to do the best I can.
John (Crawford County, WI): Tom, of the top 10 prospects who has the highest ceiling and who is most likely to make a major contribution in 2014?
Tom Haudricourt: Most likely to make major contribution in 2014: Jimmy Nelson. Highest ceiling: Probably Tyrone Taylor.
Dave (Appleton): Do you buy the Brewers explanation for sending Clint Coulter back to rookie ball?
Tom Haudricourt: I believe there was an injury involved — an oblique strain, I believe — and considering the Brewers’ medical facility is based in Arizona, made sense to me.
Brett (Milwaukee): Assuming Yovani, Lohse, Perslta and Estrada get the first four spots of the rotation, there are 3 young prospects left for the 5th spot. Thornburg looked great, and Hellweg struggled. Where do you think those 2 and Nelson fit in and if not in the majors do you think they will be starters down the road for the Crew?
Tom Haudricourt: In the starts he was given, Tyler Thornburg did everything he could do to warrant getting a shot in the rotation in the spring. And if he pitches there as he did in 2013 as a starter, it will be hard to deny him.
JoeC (Germantown): Where do you see Mr. Nelson fitting in next year? BP or Starting rotation?
Tom Haudricourt: Starting rotation. That’s where he has the most value.
Tim S (Plymouth, WI): How long before we see Delmonico at 3B for the Brewers?
Tom Haudricourt: He played in A ball this year and had health and consistency issues, so I’m guessing it will be awhile. You’d certainly expect a couple of more years in the minors barring a major breakthrough.
Jason Arndt (Brewers Farm Report): Reports indicated Coulter was encouraged to continue catching by Brewer officials. Has he lost confidence?
Tom Haudricourt: From what I’ve heard about Coulter, I wouldn’t worry about a loss of confidence. Elite athletes usually believe in themselves.
Jack (Marquette): Jesus Sanchez has had 2 good years now in AAA but there hasn't been any talk of him. Is there a reason for this or is he in consideration for the bullpen this year?
Tom Haudricourt: Sanchez recently was removed from the 40-man roster, which wasn’t a good sign for him. He’s a minor-league free agent now who can sign with any club, as I understand it.
Jason Arndt (Brewers Farm Report): Will the Brewers add Tyler Cravy to the 40-man roster? He is Rule V eligible and has done enough to raise other teams eyebrows.
Tom Haudricourt: I would think Cravy stands a good chance to be added to the 40-man. He really came on this season and fared well in the AFL, so if he’s not added he’d be someone to watch in the Rule 5 draft.
Jason Arndt (Brewers Farm Report): Have we seen the last of Kentrail Davis? Although he is still under team control, he is exposed to the Rule V draft.
Tom Haudricourt: Let’s see if anyone picks him. He just seems to have too many people ahead of him at this point with the Brewers.
Jason Arndt (Brewers Farm Report): Rattlers' Tyler Wagner had a solid/productive season last year. Big innings eater and excellent K:BB rate. Will he receive some consideration in the future? He is 22 in Single A, but is often overlooked regardless.
Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers like Wagner. He was a closer in college but has fared well as a starter as a professional. I consider him a sleeper to watch. He certainly has raised his profile since being drafted.
BJ Surhoff (Milwaukee): Tom, do you think the Brewers plan on trading any of their top prospects this off season?
Tom Haudricourt: Doubtful but you never know what might come up. They traded so many prospects in the past in the deals for Sabathia, Greinke and Marcum, it has taken time to restock. Doug Melvin talks all the time about the need to build from within in the Brewers’ market size. I think that remains a priority. And, with that, I will call an end to today’s chat. Thanks to everyone for participating. Good day.