Now that the excitement of opening day has passed, lets take a look at the depth in the Milwaukee Brewers farm system.
Today we will focus on the Triple-A, the San Antonio Missions coaching staff, and the position players we believe will make impacts during the 2019 season.
Rick Sweet, Manager – “Sweetie” starts his sixth season as the Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A affiliate manager, starting in Nashville, then to Colorado Springs and now in San Antonio. Sweet is 361-345 in his tenure as the Triple-A manager and has helped groom many of the players that are now on the major league roster, including Orlando Arcia, Manny Pina, and Josh Hader.
Ned Yost IV, Coach – The son of former Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost, returns for his 11th season coaching in the Brewers farm system.
Al LeBoeuf, Hitting Coach – The former Phillies farm hand is in his ninth season with the Brewers, and has moved around the organization often. Last season he was in Biloxi working with the Double-A team and will spend more time with many of the same hitters in San Antonio.
Fred Dabney, Pitching Coach – The longest tenured coach on the staff, Dabney has been with the Brewers organization since 2004 and had a hand in grooming many of the young home-grown pitchers the Brewers have on the major league roster.
Corey Ray – The number two prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers system had a busy spring. In 24 games Corey Ray had a .255/.308/.532 slash line with 12 hits including two home runs, eight runs batted in, five doubles and triple. Just 24 years old, Ray will hopefully continue to build off a strong 2018 season in Biloxi and show why he was worth a first round pick in the 2016 draft.
Tyrone Taylor – After spending all of 2018 in Triple-A, Tyrone Taylor seems like the de facto first outfielder that could move to the major league roster in the event of an injury. His stats last season were stellar, hitting .278/.321/.504 with 20 home runs and 80 runs batted in through 119 games. He was good in 15 games during spring training, hitting .281/.303/.469 in 15 games with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Troy Stokes Jr. – Another prospect on the list, Troy Stokes was not as highly touted in spring training, hitting .200/.273/.367 in 16 games. He was fantastic in Biloxi last year, hitting .233/.343/.430 with 19 home runs and 58 runs batted in. He won a MiLB Gold Glove and was superb in the field for the Shuckers. After a good winter in Venezuela, Stokes cooled a little in spring, but will continue to move up the organization as he is now on the 40-man roster.
Trent Grisham – Trent Grisham will most likely be the fourth outfielder on the Missions roster but could find his way to the Shuckers for more playing time. The 30th best prospect in the organization, Grisham the 2015 first round pick for the Crew, seems as though he has been around forever, and at just 22 years old he is still very young. He hit .233/.356/.337 in 107 games with the Shuckers. His stats won’t jump off the page, but he is a tough out and draws a lot of walks, taking 63 last year compared to just 87 strike outs.
Infielders / Catchers
Keston Hiura – The top prospect in the organization seems like he will be ready for the major league roster this season. After hitting .250/.327/.523 in 22 games this spring Keston Hiura might be. A mid-May / June call up, depending on the Brewers’ needs could see the 22-year-old in the big leagues.
Mauricio Dubon – Another player that appears ready to make the leap to the major leagues and would have last season if not for an untimely knee injury that ended his 2018 season. Mauricio Dubon was swinging a hot bat last season, going .343/.348/.574 in games. As Arcia was struggling, Dubon looked ready to make the jump to the majors. Look for a bounce back season and potential move to the big-league roster.
Jacob Nottingham – So much has been made of Jacob Nottingham, who spent time in the major leagues last season. He was once a highly touted prospect at catcher and now is testing out first base. After struggling in spring, the Milwaukee Brewers hope that the move to San Antonio will cure the issues he is having at the plate.
Tyler Saladino – Tyler Saladino is another guy who is ready if needed in the major leagues, proving last year he could play multiple positions in a pinch and hit with power. After taking the shortstop reins from Orlando Arcia full-time, Saladino found his way to the injured list and never really got back to form during the 2018 season.
Tuffy Gosewisch – Brought in for catching depth in the minor leagues, Tuffy Gosewisch is the veteran voice in the locker room having played in 137 games in the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cory Spangenberg – Cory Spangenberg is another in-betweener, as he was a final cut from the 25-man roster and can play multiple positions. Coming from the San Diego Padres, Cory has spent the past five seasons coming up and down from the major leagues to the minors.
Jake Hager – Jake Hager spent 2018 in Biloxi and will continue to his path to the major leagues with the Missions this season. Hager has become a bit of a Triple-A veteran, spending 177 games at the highest minor league level with the Tampa Bay Rays and Brewers, making him the longest tenured player on the roster without major league experience, or the new Nate Orf.
Nate Orf – Speaking of Orf, he will do what is needed for the organization, including playing as a utility guy with the San Antonio Missions this season. Orf was up and down with the Brewers last season and collected his first hit, a big home run on July 4th last year, that resulted in him being carried off the field by Jesus Aguilar.
These are the position players that will most likely find their way on to the San Antonio Missions roster to start the 2019 season, we will look at the pitchers next week that will make the roster.