Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers Acquire Yeison Coca to complete Thornburg deal

Sep 15, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg (37) and catcher Martin Maldonado (12) celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg (37) and catcher Martin Maldonado (12) celebrate after defeating the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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Back in December at the Winter Meetings, Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns sent Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox for Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington, and a player to be named later. It’s almost six months to the day later, and the player has just been named.

Shortstop Yeison Coca will complete the deal that already seems lopsided in the Brewers favor. The 18-year old is a switch-hitter signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2015. He’s played in only one professional season down in the Dominican Summer League and hit .307/.370/.409 with nine triples and only one home run.

Coca will head to Brewers Extended Spring Training in Arizona for now. The scouting report on Coca is that all of his tools are average except for his lack of power. He’s a small guy with not much strength to drive the ball over the fence. However, his plus speed helps him stretch out extra-base hits.

Coca is currently listed just outside the Milwaukee Brewers top 30 prospects list. He has good enough defensive ability to stay at the shortstop position and could hit for an acceptable batting average when he matures. He’s still a ways away from the big leagues, but he could be become a valuable player down the road, if he continues to develop.

Coca seems rather similar to another shortstop in the Brewers system. We’ve said before the Milwaukee Brewers love shortstops and could add more in the draft, and adding a shortstop to finish this trade shouldn’t surprise anyone. What is a surprise is how similar Coca is to another Dominican Republic prospect signed a couple years ago, Gilbert Lara.

What Has Gilbert Lara Been Up To?

Lara is the Milwaukee Brewers’ #17 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com . He signed back in 2014, and the now 19-year old shortstop has not lived up to expectations. The Brewers’ $3.1 million man has hit just .146/.178/.236 at Low-A Wisconsin. He’s struck out 50 times against only four walks.

The hitting ability that attracted the Brewers to Lara no longer seems to be there. His defense is what stands out now. Although no matter how defensively talented a player is, they won’t get in the lineup much hitting under .150 at Low-A.

So out of the list of players the Milwaukee Brewers could have taken to complete this trade, they take the one in a similar scenario to their major international signing who has struggled in professional ball. Interesting. Could the Brewers be moving on from their $3.1 million investment? Perhaps, but not yet. This move isn’t moving on from Lara as much as it is adding a little competition. The Milwaukee Brewers won’t completely cut Lara loose, but adding Coca could send the message that he needs to start figuring things out.

Next: Which 2017 Brewers Prospect Was The First To Get Called Up?

The Milwaukee Brewers had until tomorrow to finalize the trade and got it done just in time. Coca adds even more depth to a position of strength throughout the system. He has also played some third base and second base in the Dominican Summer League last season and figures to do so again this year.

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