Right now the Brewers are in rebuilding mode. With that rebuilding comes lots of playing time for prospects. Towards the end of 2013, Milwaukee played many younger players to see what they have. I expect this trend to continue into 2014. Who are the Brewers best prospects? I hope you will agree with my list.
Towards the end of 2013 we saw a pair of promising starting pitchers, Johnny Hellwig and Jimmy Nelson. Hellwig was one of the pitchers who came to Milwaukee in the Zach Greinke trade to Los Angeles. Hellwig got an extended look towards the end of the season. He made seven starts, pitched over 30 innings, and struggled at times like many prospects do, finishing with an ERA of 6.75. His performance towards the end of the season changes nothing about his future; Hellwig isstill a promising young talent who will help a battered and broken Milwaukee rotation going forward. Jimmy Nelson got an even briefer look, pitching in four games, making one start, and compiling an ERA of 0.90. I would expect Nelson to possibly open 2014 in Nashville, but he WILL get to pitch for Milwaukee at some point in early 2014.
Two other pitchers to keep an eye on late in 2014 are right-handers Taylor Jungmann and Ariel Pena. If you remember, Jungmann was one of the two collegiate starting pitchers Milwaukee drafted in the first round of 2011, hoping to fast track them to the major leagues. Well, that didn’t happen. The other one, Jed Bradley, is still trying to find his way, but it looks like Jungmann has found it. Jungmann pitched pretty good overall in a full season of double A this season, and I expect him to maybe get a look later on in 2014. Ariel Pena is probably the hardest throwing pitching prospect in the Brewers farm system. Right now Pena is tracking as a starter, but he could end up being the next closer of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Hunter Morris Comes Up Short in 2013
Next we have the much publicized Hunter Morris, who was supposed to make his major league debut earlier this season, and this debut was much anticipated. However Morris, well, to put it lightly, stunk up the joint in Nashville early on in the season, and didn’t recover enough to get a September look. Morris will probably begin 2014 in Nashville, and if he gets it right, will get a look at some point next season, especially with Milwaukee’s first base situation as wide open as it is.
There were other names who played late in the season such as Khris Davis and Shawn Halton. However, I don’t expect these guys to make as much of an impact as the players I listed will.