Milwaukee Brewers: Colorado Springs Sky Sox 2018 Season Preview

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 09: Brett Phillips
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 09: Brett Phillips /

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs recently announced their roster to begin the season. Before the first pitch of the season is thrown, it’s time to take a look at how the Sky Sox stack up heading into 2018.

Opening Day has come and gone for the Milwaukee Brewers, but Opening Day for Minor League teams is just around the corner. As such, the rosters of the Brewers’ affiliates are solidified. Hopes are high for the team’s top prospects as well as for lesser-known players vying for a spot in the Majors. To prepare for the upcoming season, let’s examine the Colorado Springs Sky Sox roster as it stands now.

Sky Sox Starting Pitchers

The Sky Sox have a pair of top pitching prospects beginning the season in the thin Colorado air. As we outlined in a previous post, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta are in the Triple-A rotation. Both of these hurlers broke out last season, impressing at both High-A and Double-A.

The rest of the rotation isn’t too shabby, either. Junior Guerra and Aaron Wilkerson both have Major League experience to their name. Bubba Derby held his own in 12 Triple-A starts, finishing the season with a 3.55 ERA with the team. Even though his results weren’t great, Aaron Brooks led the team in innings pitched last season. All in all, the Sky Sox’s rotation is a good mix of experience and upside.

Sky Sox Relief Pitchers

The team isn’t lacking in firepower in the relief corps, either. After nearly cracking the major-league roster, Taylor Williams headlines the group of relievers. J.J. Hoover and Radhames Liz also possess a lot of major-league experience.

One under-the-radar reliever to keep an eye on is Tyler Webb. The southpaw struggled in a few major-league innings last season. However, he projects as the top lefty in Colorado Springs’ bullpen. He’ll get plenty of chances to develop further in an effort to earn a promotion to Milwaukee.

Another player to keep an eye on is Jorge Lopez. The former top pitching prospect is converting to being a full-time reliever. If his arsenal works in the shorter role, he may not spend much time in Colorado Springs.

Sky Sox Catchers

Both of the team’s catching options offer a lot of intrigue, even if it is for very different reasons. Jacob Nottingham figures to get the bulk of the playing time given his prospect pedigree. He spent all of last season at Double-A Biloxi and poses as the catcher of the future for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The other catcher on the roster is Christian Bethancourt. He logged some Big League playing time during his tenure in the San Diego Padres’ organization. However, he also spent a season experimenting as a relief pitcher. Needless to say, his arm is impressive and at least makes for a good story line this season.

Sky Sox Infielders

Similar to the pitchers, the team’s infielders are a good mix of youth and experience. Infield prospect Mauricio Dubon is the headliner of the group given his proximity to regular playing time in Milwaukee. Ji-Man Choi and Andres Blanco also have some notoriety given their extensive time in the big leagues.

One additional player worth talking about is Nate Orf. He was never a top prospect. He never even cracked the 40-man roster. However, the initially undrafted infielder actually produced a .904 OPS with the Sky Sox last season. It’s unlikely that he’ll get called up to the Milwaukee Brewers, but that kind of hitting performance is hard to ignore.

Sky Sox Outfielders

The outfield is where much of the team’s Major League talent lies. Keon Broxton spent the bulk of last season as the Milwaukee Brewers’ starting center fielder. Brett Phillips appears primed for big league playing time this year after a strong September showing. Unfortunately for them, they are now relegated to the minors after Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain entered the organization.

They aren’t the only exciting options for the Sky Sox, though. Kyle Wren and Quentin Berry both have excellent speed to change games on both offense and defense. Tyrone Taylor, a former top prospect, is also looking to make a mark in his first taste of Triple-A. All in all, the Sky Sox have an impressive crop of outfielders.

Next: Why is Keston Hiura DHing?

After examining the Sky Sox’s Opening Day roster, there is a lot to be excited about. There are top prospects that represent the Milwaukee Brewers’ bright future. There are veterans with valuable MLB experience. Let’s not forget baseball’s most entertaining player, Tim Dillard. No matter what record the team winds up producing, the Sky Sox will be fun to watch this season.