The Biloxi Shuckers have finished their inaugural season and with 78 wins, the Milwaukee Brewers farmhands have finished as the Southern League’s winningst team. After a year to remember, here is a look at some of the shining stars that made this roster so special.
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Arica is above and beyond the player of the year for the Shuckers. He finished fifth in the league in batting average, second in hits and third in doubles. As one of the best defenders in all of the minor leagues, Arica looks to be the next Brewers’ superstar.
Rivera bounced around from AA and AAA this season and put together a quality year. In 52 games in Biloxi, he batted .277 with a homer and eight steals. When he is paired with Arica, they have the one of the best middle infields in all of the minor leagues. It will be interesting to see what happens as Rivera continues to develop.
With all of the superstars on the Shuckers, Orf is often overlooked, but as the team’s utility man Orf has been strong all year. In 127 games Orf batted .277 and was able to consistently find a way to get on base. Though he isn’t projected as a star, he still has potential to be a quality player off the bench.
Ramirez bat cooled after the all-star break, but he was the source of a lot of offense as the season began. He finished the year with a team leading 14 home runs while batting .243. With all of his long drives he was a key reason the Shuckers got off to such a hot start.
At the start of the year, Taylor was one of the youngest players in the league and he struggled, but he finished the year with solid offensive numbers. In all, Taylor batted .260 while hitting all around the Shuckers’ lineup. With a strong glove, he looks to have a big major league future.
Phillips was the biggest piece of the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade and he showed why in his time in Biloxi. In 23 games before the injury, Phillips batted .250 atop the order and shined in the field. He has superstar talent and all the makings of a future all-star with Milwaukee.
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Roache capped off a strong start in Brevard County with a powerful finish in Biloxi. After being added to the Shuckers’ roster, he homered eight times and became the team’s scariest bat. He still strikes out a lot, but if he can continue to show power, his bat will look really nice in the Brewers’ everyday lineup.
Cooper only played nine games in Biloxi, but if they make a long playoff run he will be a big reason for it. Currently he is batting .552 as a Shucker with three extra base hits. He, like Roache was great in Brevard County and he is continuing to swing a hot bat as the Shuckers head into the post season.
Lopez has developed into a top prospect in the system after a fine year in Biloxi. He finished second in the league (behind teammate Tyler Wagner in ERA) and he was unhittable for much of the season. As the Southern League Pitcher of the Year, he has given the Shuckers a chance to win almost each time out.
May 31, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Tyler Wagner (59) pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Just like Lopez, Wagner was dominant all year. He pitched so well that he was even able to earn a call-up to Milwaukee in June. Finishing the year with a 2.25 ERA he has lead of of the Southern League in ERA. Though he doesn’t rack up the strike outs, he continues to prove that he can be a strong option in future Brewers’ rotations.
Hall’s end of the year wasn’t as strong as his start, but he still put up steady numbers. After starting the year in the rotation, he finished the year in the bullpen. In all he went 8-8 with a 4.42 ERA.
In 25 starts this year, Johnson finished the year with a 3.84 ERA and a 7-8 record. While he battled control issues at times and I don’t see his future as a starter, his left handed arm could be a big piece in the future.
Don’t let Hader’s win-loss record fool you, he was outstanding since becoming a member of the Brewers’ organization. Though he went 1-4 (his losses often coming in games that he Shuckers were shut out) he put together a 2.79 ERA and struck out 50 batters while walking just three. The Brewers haven’t had a lefty in the rotation for years, but Hader could change things soon.
As another former member of the Astros organization, Houser was also excellent. He went 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA and continually pounded the zone. As a fourth quality player in the trade with Houston, the Brewers are already winners in the deal.
There was some disappointment about the return for Aramis Ramirez, but Barrios proved that he has plenty of talent on the mound. He saved six games and struck out 16 as a Shucker. With a blazing fastball that he can touch 100, he should continue to climb the ladder.
Magnifico was magnificent this season coming out of the bullpen. He went 4-1 with a minuscule 1.17 ERA and 20 saves. With an excellent season, the 24-year-old right hander is looking to continue to work his way into the Brewers’ bullpen.