Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Thanks for the chat, Tom.
About how far down your top 30 did Jed Bradley slide this year? Are you
reasonably optimistic his stock won't go the way of Eric Arnett?
Bradley is in the 11-15 group of my
Top 30. This will be a big year for Bradley, who was sidetracked in 2012
by groin strains, mechanical issues, problems adjusting to pro ball
(such as appropriate amount of work between starts). He needs to bounce
back strong and show that was a mulligan.
Ben (Leland Grove): How close to your top 10
was Ariel Pena? Did you happen to catch his (unfortunate) stint at last
year's Futures game? Has his stuff improved since then?
Pena was not close to my Top 10
because he has shown too many command issues thus far. I'd like to see
him harness his pitches before I consider him Top 10 material. There are
throwers and there are pitchers.
Morrie (NJ): Does Tyrone Taylor evoke any comparisons to you? Was he in your second ten?
Tyrone Taylor indeed is in the second
10. He already is considered one of the best athletes in the system. If
he stays healthy, he could have a very high ceiling. Lots of talent
Frank (Chicago): Even though you don't contribute to BA's top 100 list, about how many of these guys do you believe are worthy?
Hard to say without knowing all of the
other candidates from the other organizations. I wouldn't want to put
together those top 100 lists. It's daunting enough to keep up with all
of the prospects from the team you cover.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Last week, in Keith Law's
ESPN chat, he predicted a 20% chance Clint Coulter would stick behind
the plate. I assume you don't agree with this assessment, but should it
be prove to be true, what other position would he be suited for?
Lots of folks think Coulter is too
crude behind the plate to stick there long-term. Having said that, the
Brewers thought he made good strides in his first pro year. Obviously,
his bat is going to carry him but the Brewers have a very good catching
instructor in Charlie Green and they're going to give Coulter every
chance to stay behind the plate. Remember, he's only 19.
Ben (Leland Grove): What's the skinny on Drew
Gagnon? Do you see him continuing to start in the future? Besides
control, what other facets stick out to scouts, if any?
The Brewers love Gagnon's aggressive
and the way he pounds the strike zone. His stuff might not be
eye-popping but he knows what he's doing on the mound and has enough to
get by as a starter. He had a very strong 2012 season.
Grant (NYC): Kentrail Davis - prospect or suspect at this point?
At this point, suspect. At some point,
you have to take all of those great tools and put them together to
reach your potential. The Brewers still believe in Davis but he has
slipped down the prospect list.
Jordan (Milwaukee, Wi): Your opinions of
reliever Damien Magnifico? If he can harness his command, could we be
seeing another Bruce Rondon, from Detroit's system?
When you can throw 100 miles per hour,
you get people's attention. But Magnifico must do more than that to be
an effective pitcher in the pros. He has to get other pitches over the
plate. Otherwise, hitters will sit on your fastball, no matter how hard
you throw it. I'll be interested to see how he progresses with more
Mark (Chicago IL): Does 1B Nick Ramirez have any standout tools besides power? Top 30 guy to you?
Ramirez was under consideration for the Top 30 but did not make the list this year. That tells you he has work to do.
Kelly (St Cloud MN): If your opinion, who are the top pitching and hitting sleeper prospects in this system?
Top sleeper pitcher prospect is Hiram
Burgos. You break down his stuff and it doesn't wow you but he knows how
to pitch, hit his spots and get people out. Kind of like Mike Fiers did
last year. As far as a sleeper hitter, the Brewers think Khris Davis
can make an impact in the majors, especially with budding power.
Kevin (Boston): Hey Tom,I read Wiley Peralta
Scouting report.Both Wiley Peralta and Alex Meyer are fireballer,both
have slider and changeup.Who has the higher ceiling?Which stuff is
better?Is Wiley Peralta a top 50 prospect overall for you? Top 40?
I don't know that much about Alex
Meyer. I focus on the players in the Brewers' system, so I really can't
compare them to players in other systems. I do believe when he's
throwing strikes he should be a highly ranked prospect, especially after
what I saw last September with the Brewers.
Ken (Lakewood CA): Hi Tom. Not sure they both
qualify as prospects, but where do you see Gamel and Fiers in 2013 and
what roles do you see them playing? Gamel seemed to have some success in
2012 before getting hurt. Fiers came up and pitched well, but I see you
don't have him in the future projected rotation. Thanks.
It's hard to say with either player
but for different reasons. Gamel just hasn't stayed healthy enough to
show what he can do in the majors. Until he makes it through a full
season, we won't know. He doesn't have anything left to prove in the
minors. And Fiers definitely ran out of gas down the stretch last year.
Did opponents catch up with him or was he just tired? He relies so much
on deception, he doesn't have room for error. But you have to like the
way he goes after hitters. He's certainly not afraid.
stevev (chicago): Would SS Arcia land in the top 15? What is his upside? Do you see him being a potential top 10 guy down the road?
Arcia was close to Top 15. By all
accounts, he has a high ceiling. It was very unfortunate he missed the
entire 2012 season. Definite Top 10 potential because he's still a
teenager and plays a premium position.
Grant (NYC): Between this year's top 10 and last year's, which one do you prefer in terms of ceiling and why?
A lot of the players are the same but
Cody Scarpetta dropped far out of the Top 10 after Tommy John surgery,
Jorge Lopez didn't do much (still has good potential) and Taylor Green's
offense dropped off considerably. Three of the top 2012 draft picks are
in the new Top 10 so you'd probably say they have a higher ceiling.
Patrick (Sandpoint, Idaho): Is Jimmy Nelson a
tad old for the success he had at HighA ball.....is he a slow developer
but steady to win this race? He's not in the projected 5 SPs, your
Don't focus entirely on the projected
2016 lineups because we're not always allowed to drop people out who are
back from last year. Nelson could easily end up in the Brewers'
rotation in years to come. He's only 23. I don't consider that old. If
he does well in AAA this year, he'll be knocking on the door.
Pat Murphy (Spokane, Wash): Is Hellweg a legit
closing probability down line in your eyes? Was he the throw in with
Segura or a choice from MIL to hopefully close at one point?
Hellweg has a big arm. Pitchers with
big arms always have a chance to close. The key for him will be how much
and how quickly he can harness his command. It wouldn't be a total
shock if he made the Brewers' bullpen in the spring, depending on what
happens with other pitchers. They're going to take a good look at him.
A.J. (Mobile, AL): Does David Goforth profile
more as a starter or a back-end of the bullpen kind of guy? I heard he
hit 99 in the last inning of his last start of the year in the playoffs.
If he profiles as a short inning reliever, shouldn't the Brewers move
him there now and get him up to the ML quickly?
Goforth probably profiles as a power
reliever in the majors but you want to keep a pitching prospect in the
starting rotation as long as you can because it lets him work on all of
his pitches. You don't move him to relief until you have to. You want
these guys to get work and continue to develop.
Tim (Chicago): Do you think Jungmann will
increase his K/9IP mark as he further develops his secondary pitches or
will he be more of a pitch to contact groundball pitcher?
I see him more as a pitch to contact
pitcher but that doesn't mean his strikeouts won't increase with
experience and maturity on the mound. You don't worry about strikeouts.
You worry about getting hitters out. The earlier in the count that
happens, the deeper into games you will go.
Bob (WI): I was surprised to still see Jungmann
getting tagged as a possible #2/3. His performance last year makes it
seem like an innings eater #4 is a more realistic scenerio. What did
scouts say to convince you that he still has #2 starter upside?
My report on Jungmann said "the club
envisions him as a future No. 2 or 3 starter." That doesn't mean other
scouts view it the same way. But if you make it as a No. 3 starter in
the majors, what's wrong with that? Let's see how Jungmann looks this
year. He has one year of pro ball under his belt. I hope to see more of
him in spring camp. Then I'll be able to tell you what I think.
John (Georgia): How is Victor Roache's rehab coming along and what can be expected of him when he becomes a big leaguer?
Last I heard, Roache's rehab was
coming along nicely. The Brewers think he could be the steal of the 2012
draft because of his power potential. After he missed his first pro
season, we'll know a lot more when he starts playing this year.
Ryan (Baltimore): The Brewers have some
interesting positional logjams to navigate. Carlos Gomez is a free
agent after this season. Do you see the Brewers trying to resign him,
or letting him walk? If he walks, do they give Schafer a shot, or do
they slide Aoki over to CF? And how do you think 1B shakes out with
Hart, Gamel & Morris?
The way Gomez plays this season will
dictate any future plans the Brewers have for him. They do like Schafer
and Aoki played center in Japan. The first base situation will be
fascinating to watch because Hart has only one year left on his contract
and Morris is coming off a big year in Double-A. If Morris follows that
up with a big year in Triple-A, he'll be hard to hold back.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): It is 2016 and you are at the Home Run Derby. Who is more likely to be be a participant: Roache or Haniger?
Roache certainly has Home Run Derby power potential. Probably more so than Haniger.
Michael Stern (Rochester NY): What can you tell
me about Tyrone Taylor, Brewers 2nd round pick from this year? How far
was he from the top 10? He seems like a very exciting player, with big
time speed, and he hit extremely well his first year - batting .389 and
.385 in his 2 stops
in rookie ball. How much of a prospect is he? Thanks for the chat as
As mentioned earlier, Taylor is an
exciting athlete with a high ceiling. He easily could jump into next
year's Top 10 with a strong 2013.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delware): In you opinion who is more likely to be the Brewers second baseman in a year or two? Gennett or Weeks?
Our projected 2016 lineup has Gennett at second base and Weeks at third.
Dan (NYC): Tom — when Fangraphs wrote its
evaluation of Taylor Jungmann, it quoted a source who stated that
Jungmann focused on developing pitches in 2012, and didn't worry about
stats, hence his low strikeout numbers. Can you verify that? Do you
expect a bump in counting stats for Jungmann this year?
I couldn't tell you who that source
was. Wasn't my story. Having said that, the Brewers always encourage
their pitching prospects to focus on development and using all of their
pitches. It's the smart way to go about. But, as noted earlier, Jungmann
is a pitch-to-contact type. I don't think the Brewers are too worried
about his strikeout numbers. I'm guessing he's not, either.
Not Jaypers (Wisconsin): Tom, will Yadiel Rivera ever have enough bat to be a Major league regular?
That's a very good question. He
certainly has the defensive skills to make it. Probably a better
question is: Will he ever have enough plate discipline (26 walks in 508
PAs last year)? That must improve.
Joe (Clintonville): Big Brewer fan here—-With
the problems near the end of bullpen last year, who do you see taking
over the closer role in the next 3-5 years?? I really liked what I saw
from Thornberg with the TimberRattlers, but I assume they might want him
starting because there seems to be a lack of depth there, also. Thanks
for the chat
Well, we've talked about Hellweg.
Santo Manzanillo was on a good track until last year, when he missed
most of the season with shoulder issues. Let's see how he bounces back.
Late-inning relief is volatile. You never know who will pop up. Did
anybody see Jim Henderson coming last year?
Al (Wi): Tom, did Cameron Garfields season put him back on the prospect map for the Brewers?
It certainly was an improvement. Let's see how he follows it up in 2013. That will be more telling.
Al (Wisconsin): Tom, how will the rotation fill
out with all the inexperienced options and the potential for those kids
to be shut down to protect them in September.
That will be the answer to the
Brewers' 2013 season. Going to be fascinating to see how that works out.
Filling innings could be a real challenge in the second half.
Greg (Ohio): What made you rank Roache ahead of
Coulter? scouting reports read like Coulter has better approach, better
projection, and at least a chance to stay at catcher.
More power and more advanced as a
player (though Roache missed 2012). Coulter is more of a raw player with
all kinds of potential. But, hey, they're two spots apart. All of these
lists are subjective. If you're in the top 10, you're all pretty close
Allan (Wi): Tom does Mark Rogers start the year in the starting rotation or in Nashville?
He won't be starting the year in
Nashville, I wouldn't think. He's out of minor-league options and I
don't see that kind of arm clearing waivers.
Not Jaypers (Wi): Are Chris Narveson and Marco
Estrada really the Brewers #2 and 3 starters behind Gallardo? How is
that going to compete with the Reds and Cardinals in the division.
We won't know how the rotation shakes
out until we see everybody in action in spring camp, including Wily
Peralta, Mark Rogers and Mike Fiers (and possibly Hiram Burgos and Tyler
Not Jaypers (Wi): What have you heard was the biggest problem ith Jed Bradleys season. Injuries or lost velocity? Thanks
As noted earlier, groin issues,
messed-up mechanics, fatigue from not knowing how to pace himself. All
added up to a miserable year, and the Brewers hope a learning
Mick (Chicago): If Jean Segura ends up needing
to move to 2B, is Yadiel Rivera the next choice within the org. or could
Josh Prince move back there considering he may have figured it out
Though he has a long ways to go,
Orlando Arcia probably has more offensive/defensive upside than Rivera.
But Arcia missed 2012 with a broken ankle and has made it to rookie ball
yet, so we're talking down the road. Not sure what would happen at
short in the interim. Which is why Brewers plan to give Segura every
shot at shortstop.
Allan D (Wi): Tom, any chance Brewers can trade
extra offensive depth like Gamel or Taylor Green and get some pitching
depth with guys like Gennett, Khris Davis, Hunter Morris being close to
being ML ready.
Not sure what you're expecting back
for unproven players at the big-league level. Always depends on the
needs of other teams. The Brewers think they have pretty good pitching
depth in their system and are determined to give those arms a chance.
Amy (Boston): Time Travel: What current MLB pitcher can you see Wily Peralta resembling in 2018?
Just throwing a name out there — Johnny Cueto. Big, bullish hard throwers with similar stuff.
G4 (Milwaukee): Thanks for the chat Tom, you do
excellent work. I recall reading the Brewers restructured their
international scouting system a while back? What is your opinion of its
current state? When should fans expect to see any dividends? Will Melvin
ever offer a multimillion dollar bonus for a high-ceiling/high-risk
16-year-old the way some other midmarkets have?
There's no way to answer those
questions until we see what starts coming out of those countries. The
fact that the Brewers are trying to improve their status there is a good
Steve (San Francisco): With five of the top six
prospects pitchers plus guys like Fiers, Estrada and Rogers, how do the
Brewers feel about the young pitching depth they appear to have at the
The best they've ever felt about it.
Now, they need some of those guys to come through. You know some guys
will be busts — that's the way baseball is — so the more you have, the
more chances to break through.
Jack Ellis (Newton, WV): Is Hiram Burgos doing it with mirrors? Nobody seems to like his stuff, but his accomplishments are significant.
Mike Fiers heard the same talk and it didn't stop him from advancing to the majors.
Eric (Norfolk, VA): Wily Peralta struggled at
Nashville but was solid when called up to Milwaukee. Will he be able to
solidify a spot in the rotation?
The Brewers certainly are counting on
it. If you saw him last September, you know he has the ability to do it.
Now, it comes down to consistency.
ttnrom (Connecticut): Tom, Thanks for the chat. Who is a good comp inside or outside the Brewers organization for Thornburg?
You know what? I don't like doing
comparisons. They are so arbitrary. There has been comparison in size
and style to Lincecum but you never do a prospect any favors by
comparing him to a Cy Young Award winner. But Thornburg certainly is
atypical in certain ways. It's all how you make it work.
Well, folks, I think we'll call this a chat. Thanks so much for
participating and keep an eye out for the Baseball America 2013 Prospect
Handbook to see how we filled out the rest of the Brewers' Top 30.