Mandatory Credit: Jason Wise/MLB.com
In December, the staff of Reviewing the Brew will be looking at the Top 10 Milwaukee Brewers’ prospects as ranked by Baseball America. When the Brewers look toward the future, they’ll do so with these top 10 players in mind.
Mitch Haniger may be making waves someday with the Brewers, but for now, he’ll be improving his game slowly, but surely. The soon to be 23-year-old Haniger has done well in his two minor league seasons and will look to come back strong again in 2014. To improve his game, Haniger played in this year’s Arizona Fall League and was a big part of helping the Surprise Saguaros get to and win the championship.
In 2013, Haniger had a somewhat decent season with the Advanced-A Brevard County Manatees after being promoted from the Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Haniger played in 88 games with the Manatees and hit .250/.323/.396 with six homers and 43 RBIs. He’ll more than likely improve his contact at the plate, so Haniger should see a jump to Double-A Huntsville soon.
With the Saguaros in the Fall League, Haniger was a big part of their offense. He hit .280/.354/.480 with four homers (one grand slam) and 24 RBIs, which led the league. Oddly enough, Haniger was not named to the Fall Star Roster, but was named Player of the Week during the beginning of the league.
Defensively, there’s not much that you can really say about him. He’s an average defender and plays a variety of the outfield positions, which automatically puts him in a long waiting list of players ready to come up with the Brewers. Now in Haniger’s case, he probably has a couple more years before he’s truly ready, but even then, he could see a taste of the majors sometime in late 2015.
As an outfielder, Haniger will be competing with many prospects inside the organization for a spot with the Brew Crew. For now, the Brewers have a pretty set outfield and they aren’t exactly hurting for more back-ups. Who knows exactly where that will put Haniger someday, but he still was ranked third out of the Brewers’ prospects, just behind Tyrone Taylor and Jimmy Nelson.
For now, Haniger will probably stay in Advanced-A before making the switch to Double-A sometime in 2014, maybe towards the middle part of the season. He has a solid bat with some pop (an ISO of .146 in 2013), but did strike out a bit (18.3 percent in 2013). If he works on that, he’ll be moving on up within no time.