The Milwaukee Brewers entered spring training with several top prospects competing for Opening Day roster spots. Garrett Mitchell, who made his MLB debut last year was among them, along with infielder Brice Turang and outfielder Sal Frelick, who tore up the minor leagues last season.
Another one of the top prospects was thought to be a longshot for Opening Day with most thinking he needed a little more seasoning in the minor leagues before he was ready. But according to Craig Counsell, he might be ready now.
Joey Wiemer has caught the attention of Brewers brass and with an opening in right field due to injuries, he could legitimately make the Opening Day roster.
Joey Wiemer is one of the most tantalizing Brewers prospects. He has a loud, unorthodox swing that generates light tower power. He's built like a house, and tooled up across the board. The 6'5" Wiemer has the most raw power in the Brewers system and he has turned that into results. Wiemer possesses incredible speed and stole 31 bases last season. He also has a cannon for a throwing arm, making him a perfect fit in right field.
The only question about him as a prospect is the strikeouts. He was able to cut down on the Ks after his promotion to Triple-A last season, which leads to some cautious optimism after whiffing at around a 30% clip in Double-A. While he may never be a .300 hitter, if Wiemer can hit around .250-260, he'll be a very productive power bat in the big leagues.
The Brewers also have an opening in right field. After the offseason trade of Hunter Renfroe, Tyrone Taylor was expected to take over in right field to begin the season until Wiemer was ready. Taylor is on the IL with an elbow injury to start the season. That leaves right field wide open for anyone to take, including Wiemer.
Brian Anderson figures to see some time there. There's also Tyler Naquin, a seven year MLB veteran in camp on a minors deal, and there's Joey Wiemer. Sal Frelick also figures to get a shot for the Opening Day roster, but he doesn't have a great throwing arm, it's solid, but it may not be strong enough for right field. Wiemer fits right field perfectly, so even though a little more development in Triple-A may be ideal, he could be too good of a fit in Milwaukee to open the season right now.
So far in spring, Wiemer is hitting .231 with two homers, two stolen bases, and a .732 OPS. He's struck out six times in 26 ABs.
While top prospects that get a non-roster invite to big league camp usually get sent back to the minor league side by now, Wiemer is still in big league camp and the Brewers legitimately believe he could make the roster. While there's still a strong chance he begins the year in Triple-A, don't rule out seeing Wiemer in Milwaukee to start the season.