When the Milwaukee Brewers were able to nab Jake Gatewood in last year’s draft, many viewed him as a steal. By getting Gatewood, they had a power hitting 18-year-old shortstop they had a player that projects into a future superstar as a premium position. Here is a look at his roller-coaster of a season in which he has played in Appleton, Helena and now back at Appleton.
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Much like Clint Coulter a few years before, Gatewood began his first professional season at Low A Wisconsin and struggled. After a trying start in which he not only saw two seven day DL stints, but also batted just .227 in 40 games, Gatewood was assigned to the Helena Brewers.
At Helena, Gatewood face much more equal competition and had much better success. Through 54 games in the Pioneer League, he put up a much stronger OPS of .807. He also homered six times and mashed a league leading 23 doubles. Through just over two month of play for the Brewers, he showed off the power that made him a top-pick.
The biggest struggle for Gatewood this year has been the strikeout. While he began to swing a hot bat in Helena, he still struck out 68 times in 54 games. Overall this year he has 117 strikeouts in 95 games. Though hurt him greatly in Wisconsin, he was still able to bat .274 while playing in Montana.
Returning to Appleton to finish the season, Gatewood build on the momentum of the past two months. While he struggled through much of his time playing with the Timber Rattlers, he finished his time there riding a seven game hitting streak, which helped him raise his average 29 points.
After the rush of prospects added before the trading deadline, Gatewood has slid down to the Brewers’ 13th best prospect according to MLB.com, but that isn’t because he doesn’t have big-time talent. Gatewood has tremendous potential to be a major middle of the order threat in the future in Milwaukee. While he is still years away, it will be exciting to see what he can do over the final weeks back in the Midwest League.