Milwaukee Brewers: Looking at the next Jonathan Lucroy
The talent at every position in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system is very obvious.
Catcher is a hard position to consider a team to be confident in their future of the position. But the Milwaukee Brewers are fortunate to be able to confidently say they are in the midst of grooming theirs. The powerful backstop made it as high as Colorado Springs for the playoffs in 2017.
Jacob Nottingham joined the Crew via trade. The Oakland Athletic sent the backstop along with pitcher Bubba Derby to Milwaukee. Their return was powerful bat Khris Davis. At the time, the move did not make huge waves, but it will.
Just look at the startling size Nottingham. Standing at 6’2″ and 230 pounds, he is a force with a bat in his hand. Naturally the biggest tool brought to the table is his power, which grades out at 50 according to MLB Pipeline. He sits as the teams 19th ranked prospect.
The ETA measurement says that we could see Nottingham in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform as early as next season. But that seems a little early. Yes, he played in a Colorado Sky Sox uniform, but it was one at bat during the playoffs. While did secure a hit and an RBI, that is not enough platform of work to suggest he is ready to try the next level.
There have been Spring Training at bats. But those still show a need for development. While he played well in his 2016, hitting .364, he was not ready for the real deal. In 2017 did not get a hit in four at bats.
That trend continued through his 2017 campaign with Biloxi. Nottingham hit .209 with nine homers. But his strikeout numbers were down significantly from the year before. He is fairly young for the Double A level at 22 years old, but the hope is that he will make the permanent jump to Triple A in 2018.
With less strikeouts, the ball will bounce Nottingham’s way a little more and the average will go up. But for a power hitter to lack homers is an issue as well. There was a good amount of gap power on display, however. 21 of his 68 hits were doubles. In addition, he added a couple triples for good measure.
Next: Building a Bridge to Corey Knebel
The hope is that in the next few years Nottingham will develop into the everyday answer at the catcher position for the Milwaukee Brewers. Many reports compare him to Jonathan Lucroy. That would be great for the team. And that type of player is on his way, hopefully sooner than later.