Sep 18, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman
(15) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
It was interesting to hear that the Brewers were considering signing Pedro Alvarez after trading Adam Lind away. From my perspective (firmly entrenched in the Jason Rogers Fan Club), it seemed unnecessary. I don’t feel that over the course of a year, Alvarez would be significantly more valuable than Rogers.
Evidently the Pirates agreed, as they replaced Alvarez with Rogers at first, sending OF Keon Broxton and RHP Trey Supak to the Brewers. There are a few reasons that Alvarez could have been on the Brewers radar. One, Stearns and Co. weren’t big believers in Rogers. Two, they had already planned to trade Rogers. Three, an improved Alvarez could be flipped for prospects at the deadline.
In the final respect, grabbing cheap free agents is always good for a rebuilding team, but it was my opinion that Rogers would show some real value in a full season of work as well. I wish him the best with the Pirates.
Still, the Brewers brought in some really nice prospects in exchange for a former fringe prospect with less than 200 Big League plate appearances. The Brewers rebuild has been showing in a revamped farm system on mlb.com:
Broxton was an underwhelming third round pick until he flipped the script in 2014 as a 24 year old in AA. He ended the year with a .275/.369/.484 slash with 15 homers and 25 steals. He’s capable of playing all three outfield spots, and might best profile as a fourth outfielder.
Broxton has worrying strike out rates (28.6% in AAA in ’15), but he has a solid combination of tools. He could end up as a leadoff hitter, but at the very least, if he has a good spring, he’ll go into 2016 as the Brewers’ best option at fourth outfielder over Ramon Flores and Shane Peterson. Broxton is both the best defender and the best power hitter of the bunch.
In fact, if Khris Davis/Domingo Santana gets traded, Broxton could see himself thrown into the starting center field spot. Again, this relies on the newfound prospects ability to handle his strikeouts, but he’s a great addition to the outfield.
Supak is a 19 year old righty who pitched well in the Appalachian Rookie League in 2015. Yes, his ERA was 6.67. But his K:BB was an outstanding 23:5 in 28 1/3 innings, and he had a 3.55 FIP. His bad luck was actually pretty absurd (.359 BABIP, 51% LOB), but that happens in such small sample sizes.
Supak’s walk rate was a good sign, as his control was considered his poorest tool at the start of the year. The 6’5″ teen has a 60 grade fastball that touches 94, and many believe his velocity will move up a tick more as he adds weight. His curveball is an average to above average offering, and his changeup rates as high as average.
Supak’s three average or better pitches could make him a back of the rotation starter. Otherwise, his pure stuff profiles well out of the bullpen. Overall, this was a very impressive return for Rogers. David Stearns is off to an excellent start, and I’m excited to see where the remainder of the offseason takes us.
Scouting reports courtesy of FanGraphs, mlb.com, and Baseball America.