Milwaukee Brewers: AFL check in on Jake Gatewood

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MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 06: A general view of Miller Park on Opening Day before the St. Louis Cardinals play against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 06, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 06: A general view of Miller Park on Opening Day before the St. Louis Cardinals play against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 06, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /
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The final Milwaukee Brewers hitter in this series on Arizona Fall League updates is Jake Gatewood.

So far, this AFL appearance is something to forget for Gatewood. In a total of six games, he is hitting less than .100. That totals to two hits. But, he does add two walks to the mix. His Achilles Heel to this point, however, is his eight strikeouts. Something all to familiar from the Milwaukee Brewers prospect.

All in all for hitters, it is not an AFL season to write home about thus far. Despite the success of Lucas Erceg, the other hitters are struggling. Corey Ray is picking it up a little bit, and outside of one game Monte Harrison is not looking all that impressive. But, that is the point of this finishing league. It is great experience.

The one high point for Gatewood thus far is his zero errors. As much as defense is assumed, the errorless showing bodes well for the prospect. He has played position roulette in his time since being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014. Starting as a shortstop, then transitioning to third, then ultimately first base.

As with many prospects, it is his huge upside offensive potential that lands Gatewood as a top prospect. MLB Pipeline places him at 18 in the Brewers competitive system. And that offense comes a lot from his 6’5″ frame.

His power is what came around to propel him into prospect relevance for Milwaukee. Across Class A Carolina and Double A Biloxi, Gatewood blasted 15 homers in 2017. The hope is that he can avoid becoming a one trick pony, where he either nails the ball or strikes out. In total, he was fanned 161 times in 134 games. To put that in perspective he only had 135 total hits.

Still, he was named a Carolina League All-Star in 2017. That just means he needs to get the bat on the ball more, because when he does, good things happen. The ball flies off of the bat and lands in good places.

Next: Carolina Mudcats 2017 season in review

Gatewood could easily be the answer for the Milwaukee Brewers at first base in the near future. If his strikeout numbers come down, he poses a great full time option. He could take over for the platooning Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar. But, that is a fairly big “if” at this point in time.

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