Looking at the Options for the Brewers CenterField

dconnor
Sep 8, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (9) hits a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (9) hits a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ever since Carlos Gomez (with Mike Fiers) was traded by former GM Doug Melvin last summer for a handful of prospects, it gives us the consensus that the future of CF  lies in Brett Phillips, the #2 ranked prospect in the Brewers system.  It also gives us a pretty big hole in centerfield until Phillips will be ready sometime in 2017 or 2018.

This leaves us wondering who is going to get the most starts in centerfield next season. Thanks to Rookie GM David Stearns and his process of stockpiling young talent, the Brewers will have six potential players in camp to compete for the centerfield and 4th outfielder spot.

1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, recently of the Defending N.L. East champion New York Mets.

Sep 8, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (9) hits a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets left fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis (9) hits a solo home run during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Rhymer Liriano, a former top 60 prospect acquired by trade from the San Diego Padres and currently #21 ranked prospect in the Brewers System.

3. Eric Young Jr., who signed a minor league contract with a big league camp invite.

4. Ramon Flores, former N.Y Yankees prospect acquired from the Mariners in the Luis Sardinas trade.

5. Michael Reed, homegrown talent, who can play all 3 outfield positions

6. Keon Broxton acquired in the Jason Rogers trade with the Pirates.

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Nieuwenhuis and Young Jr are the ones with the most major league playing time. Broxton, Liriano, Flores and Reed are younger. Therefore, they have more upside. Broxton has both power and speed, and he can also play all 3 outfield positions. However, he has some holes in his swing. Broxton has minor league options left which make him someone the Brewers can stash in AAA to see if the 3rd team is the charm.

Flores is out of options but has intrigued some and has some upside.  He could be a dark house for the 4h outfield spot with a strong spring.

I see a platoon where Nieuwenhuis (decent defense, not very good offense) gets the bulk of the playing time.  Meanwhile, Liriano can get plenty of at-bats in CF while also using his ability to play all 3 outfield positions to spell Braun and Santana in RF and LF. I doubt the Brewers carry 5 outfielders, but if they decide to do that I could see Young Jr. and Flores being considered for that.

Out of all six options, I prefer Liriano. Even though he has been less than impressive at the Major League level, he is still young enough to reclaim the high praise he had early in his career. His minor league stats show he has the tools and the talent. Therefore, I have hope that with a change of scenery and a chance for decent playing time, will allow his skills to develop and show his potential.

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