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Milwaukee Brewers Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects, mid-season review

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Zach Davies
Zach Davies
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing with our prospect list review series, we turn to the Milwaukee Brewers.

REMEMBER, THIS IS THE PRE-SEASON LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST

THESE ARE PRE-SEASON GRADES

We'll discuss current system events in the comments thread.

This list was originally published December 2nd, 2015

1) Orlando Arcia, SS, Grade A-: Hitting .267/.321/.399 with seven homers, 14 steals, 29 walks, 75 strikeouts in 386 at-bats in Triple-A; not hitting as well as 2015 but defense remains excellent and he's still only 21. Remains an elite prospect.

2) Jorge Lopez, RHP, Grade B+:
Very difficult season in Triple-A; 6.81 ERA in 79 innings with 66/55 K/BB and 101 hits allowed; demoted to Double-A this past Monday; command has slipped this year and that's deadly in the unforgiving Pacific Coast League; I thought 2015 was a real breakout for him so this is quite disappointing but long-term projection remains intriguing.

3) Brett Phillips, OF, Grade B+:
Hitting .225/.320/.410 in Double-A with 12 homers, 43 walks, 119 strikeouts in 324 at-bats; has been in a deep slump since late June, dragging his numbers down; contact is the obvious issue but (as with Lopez) his long-term projection is still positive, if more clouded than six months ago.

4) Jacob Nottingham, C, Grade B+/B: Hitting .236/.301/.334 with seven homers, 24 walks, 97 whiffs in 314 at-bats in Double-A; like Phillips his contact issues have swamped him in Double-A but in his case the power has evaporated as well; still needs a lot of work with the glove; has time at age 21.

5) Josh Hader, LHP, Grade B+/B:
Unhittable in Double-A (0.95, 73/19 K/BB in 57 innings, 38 hits) but more human after moving up to Triple-A (6.42, 40/20 K/BB in 34 innings, 36 hits); whiff rate remains enamoring but needs tighter control; many people still see a reliever here but I still think he should remain a starter until he proves he can't handle it.

6) Isan Diaz, SS-2B, Grade B/B+:  Hitting .268/.350/.477 with 15 homers, 46 walks, 106 strikeouts in 377 at-bats in Low-A at age 20; glove stretched at shortstop but has looked good when used at second base; lots of sock in the bat, very promising prospect who deserves more attention.

7) Trent Clark, OF, Grade B:
Age 19, 2015 first round pick, hitting .219/.354/.400 in Low-A but limited to 29 games, 105 at-bats by injuries; drawing walks and showing some pop but just one steal after swiping 25 in his debut last summer. Stock steady.

8) Gilbert Lara, SS, Grade B-:
. Brewers spent entire international bonus budget on him in 2014, hitting .198/.266/.259 in 116 at-bats in the Pioneer League at age 18; fielding pretty well but hitting has been a significant disappointment so far; all the physical tools are here and he's still young but not breaking out yet.

9) Clint Coulter, OF, Grade B-:
Hitting .227/.289/.337 with six homer, 17 walks, 61 strikeouts in 300 at-bats in High-A; he hit .246/.329/.397 with 30 doubles and 13 homers at the same level last year so stagnation and slippage are disappointing; distressing to see loss of both isolated power and patience simultaneously.

10) Devin Williams, RHP, Grade B-:
57 innings in Low-A, 3.63 ERA with 58/28 K/BB, 48 hits; continues to show loose arm and easy heat but inconsistent secondary pitches and frequent command slippage.

11) Monte Harrison, OF, Grade B-:
Hit .216/.287/.361 in 208 at-bats in Low-A before going on DL; still shows excellent physical potential/upside/athleticism but unrefined hitting approach holds him back; still has time at age 20.

12) Cody Ponce, RHP, Grade B-: Age 21, second round pick in 2015 from Cal Poly Pomona, opened season on DL but came back in June and has shown sharp command in High-A, 3.60 ERA in 40 innings, 44/8 K/BB; throws quite hard and throws strikes but has history of shoulder issues, reliever long-term?

13) Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Grade B-
: Age 20, 5.25 ERA in 70 innings in High-A with 84 hits, 56/46 K/BB; generally ineffective at this level due to weaker than expected command but still young. "Still young" seems to crop up frequently in this Brewers review, doesn't it?

14) Zach Davies, RHP, Grade B-:
A Brewers prospect who has actually exceeded expectations: 3.64 ERA in 99 major league innings, 80/26 K/BB, 91 hits; masterful at times and out-pitches a lot of guys who throw harder.

15) Adrian Houser, RHP, Grade B-: 5.25 ERA in 70 innings with 56/22 K/BB, 76 hits in Double-A; went on disabled list three weeks ago; blew out elbow and had to have Tommy John surgery.

16) Marcos Diplan, RHP, Grade B-:
Impressive year in Low-A/High-A; combined 2.35 ERA in 80 innings with 97/37 K/BB, 64 hits; command needs work but stuff indicators very strong and he's just 19. Stock rising.

17) Demi Orimoloye, OF, Grade B-/Grade C+:
Age 19, born in Nigeria, schooled in Canada, fourth round pick in 2015 draft. Hitting .230/.315/.354 with two homers, 13 steals, 14 walks, 22 strikeouts in 113 at-bats in Pioneer League; strength/speed stand out and he'll take a walk but remains raw as a hitter, understandably.

18) Michael Reed, OF, Grade C+:
Hitting .245/.363/.338 with 18 steals, 55 walks, 97 strikeouts in 314 at-bats in Triple-A; continues to draw good reviews for athleticism/speed/patience but lack of distance power limits projection.

19) Tyrone Taylor, OF, Grade C+:
Hitting .234/.302/.325 with 25 walks, 56 strikeouts in 338 at-bats in Double-A; another disappointing guy not turning his physical tools into game production.

20) Jake Gatewood, SS, Grade C+:
Hitting .241/.271/.399 with 11 homers, 12 walks, 106 strikeouts in 378 at-bats in Low-A; learning third base this year but struggling with the glove; excellent power upside but hyper-aggressive approach has been exploited by A-ball pitching.  

21) Nathan Kirby, LHP, Grade C+:
Age 22, compensation pick in 2015, University of Virginia, Tommy John.

OTHER GRADE C+:
Javier Betancourt, 2B; Ariel Pena, RHP; Wei-Chung Wang, LHP; Taylor Williams, RHP

OTHERS OF NOTE:
Jacob Barnes, RHP; Yhonathan Barrios, RHP: Miguel Diaz, RHP; Ramon Flores, OF; Damien Magnifico, RHP; Yadiel Rivera, SS; Victor Roache, OF; Troy Stokes, OF; Angel Ventura, RHP; Kyle Wren, OF

Let's discuss the Brewers system in the comments thread.