The Milwaukee Brewers affiliate in the Arizona League is one of the more intriguing teams to watch in the league, and mainly due to their impressive 2014 draft.
I somehow managed to miss each of Kodi Medeiros’ starts, but there was some buzz that he looked good. He has only started three games, and made it through the third inning just once, but put in five solid innings in that outing. He has stuck out 22 batters in 15 innings, but he has an advanced slider the likes of which many in the AZL haven’t seen much of. He has walked 11 batters and I heard he left the ball up in the zone a bit too much, so he definitely is still raw, but looks like he could be a solid third starter in time.
Jake Gatewood may have been a big name coming into the draft, but he has been largely unimpressive at the plate thus far. All three lines of his triple slash are under .300 and he does not look like much of a shortstop. I have heard good things about his arm, but I did not see it. The way his arm played, I don’t see him being able to hold down third base, and he doesn’t have the speed for the outfield. He is the first player I have watched play short and thought a realistic future position form him may be first base. His power is real, but his bat is incredibly raw and a strikeout is the norm when he is at the plate with 65 in just 44 games.
If the Brewers were able to combine Gatewood’s offensive profile with fellow 2014 draft pick Monte Harrison’s defensive profile, they would have a sure fire All-Star. Harrison is an absolute joy to watch in center, showing great reads and possessing the speed to track down the tough ball. Harrison is currently leading the AZL in stolen bases, and could become an average hitter with some pop up in time.
Sitting third in the AZL in steals is yet another 2014 draft pick Troy Stokes. Stokes is incredibly unassuming, standing just 5’8”, but he carries his 182 lbs. much like Jose Altuve as he is short but not small. He has gap power but looks more to punch the ball through a hole than really drive it. That said, he is leading the Brewers in doubles and is just four off the league lead.
In all, the Brewers farm system is greatly improved thanks to this year’s draft, and the squad in Arizona shows some real promise. Unfortunately, they are all still incredibly raw as you would expect from a complex league team, so they won’t be starring in Milwaukee any time soon.