In an effort to bolster their outfield depth, the Milwaukee Brewers have dipped into their weak farm system, sending outfield prospect Mitch Haniger and left hander Anthony Banda to the diamondbacks for the slick-fielding Gerardo Parra.
Parra, 27, may be struggling this season, but he is an exceptional gloves man in both center at the corners. Last year, he led all major league outfielders with 26.6 runs saved, according to Ultimate Zone Rating, and he took home gold glove awards in 2011 and 2013. He will certainly serve as an upgrade over the current Brewers fourth outfielder, Logan Schafer, and his .556 OPS.
Haniger, 23, was the 38th overall pick in the 2012 draft and came into the season as Milwaukee’s third overall prospect, according to Baseball America. The scouting website called him the organization’s most advanced hitter, and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, who ranked him as the team’s eighth best prospect this month, wrote that he was a polished hitter with above-average raw power whom the Brewers’ hoped would move quickly.
But the former Cal Tech standout has had middling results with Double-A Huntsville this year. He’s displayed some long ball ability, with ten home runs and a .416 slugging percentage through 243 at bats, but its not as much as the Brewers may have hoped. And his .316 on base percentage and 7% walk rate are a little lacking. That being said, the player Mayo wrote had a propensity to “swing and miss” has struck out in just 15% of his plate appearances – better than the Major League average of 19.5%.
In the field, Haniger’s best asset is his plus arm and while he can play center in spurts, he can be an above average defender in right.
Banda, 20, did not rank among MLB.com’s top 20 Brewers prospects. He was also drafted in 2012, out of high school in the tenth round. He struggled through his first couple minor league seasons, with a 5.83 ERA in rookie ball in 2012, and a 4.45 ERA at the same level in 2013. This year, though, he has a 3.60 ERA and a 8.9 SO/9 through 83.2 innings with Full-A Wisconsin.