The Milwaukee Brewers reportedly sign Gabriel Noriega to a minor league deal,
This means Noriega is returning to the Milwaukee Brewers organization after spending all of 2017 with the Crew’s system. He hit .238 across both Double and Triple A. The 27 year old has been navigating the minors since 2008, but is only recently a farmhand for Milwaukee.
Noriega’s first organization was the Seattle Mariners. He remained with them until 2014, when he became a minor league free agent. After that he signed with the Kansas City Royals with an invite to Spring Training. After 2015 he became a free agent once more, signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a minor league contract.
To open the year in 2016, Noriega played for the Mobile Baybears. After 31 games, and a .211 batting average, he was released. That is when the Brewers added him to their organization. His introduction to the new team was a .267 batting average through 71 games.
The best tool for Noriega is his glove. Over the span of the 2017 season, Noriega played at every position on the infield. Though it was only eight games at first base. That being said, at three of the four positions, his range factor is above four. The position he sees the most is shortstop, with nearly 4000 innings in the six hole.
He is still waiting on his MLB debut. It could be on the way, or he could spend the rest of his career in the minors. Unless there are injuries on the infield in 2018, it does not appear that Noriega will be on the Milwaukee Brewers at any point in time.
Though he’s not too far away, there is just simply not room. In Triple A, Noriega is a .262 hitter through 169 games. He would , more than anything, turn out to be a utility man to back up every position on the field, a la Hernan Perez.
No matter what, the Milwaukee Brewers farm system has more depth now. Noriega is reportedly back, which could be great for the Crew. This seems to be one of the younger minor league signings to date this offseason, as there have been a ton of aging veteran relievers signed.