2014 Milwaukee Brewers MiLB All-Stars
The Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system made their forgettable 2013 a distant memory. They improved greatly from their 28th ranking in 2013 jumping all the way to the 15th ranked system in 2014. They posted an overall .497 winning percentage, 55 points better that ’13. Three of their affiliates – Double-A Huntsville, Class A Advanced Brevard County, and Class A Wisconsin – reached the playoffs with a fourth finishing over .500 and barely missing the cut. The Brewers two best players on the farm, and possibly the Pacific Coast League’s best two starters, Mike Fiers (2.55 ERA) and Jimmy Nelson (1.46 ERA) went on to make a combined 22 starts for the Brewers a the big league level.
In honor of the organization’s climb up the ranks, MiLB.com has named the Milwaukee Brewers Organizational All-Stars (and although the aforementioned players were outstanding in the minors this past year they didn’t make the list). Here are a few of the notable performances in 2014.
The Top Prospects
The Brewers #7 prospect showed why he was 2012’s first round pick this past season by smacking 22 home runs (which led the entire organization), driving in 89 runs, and batting .287 at Class A Wisconsin. However, Coulter’s work behind the plate has not developed to the organization’s liking. He was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he played, and excelled, in right field for the Glendale Desert Dogs.
2014 saw the now 20-year old Arcia’s first stint above Low-A. Playing in 127 games for High-A Brevard County, Arcia set career highs racking up 144 hits, 29 doubles, 50 RBIs, 42 walks, and 30 stolen bases. Milwaukee’s number two prospect in the entire system continued to show his solid defense at shortstop while adding second base to his forte. In 36 games at second base, Arcia actually recorded a .988 fielding percentage, which was higher than his career mark at short stop.
The 25-year old Ramirez began 2014 with a promotion to Double-A. He didn’t miss a beat, tying last season’s home run output with 19. It wasn’t smooth sailing all season as he fell off quite a bit in the second half where he stumbled to a .633 OPS over 65 games. Despite the slump, he still drove in a Southern League-high 82 runs. Ramirez isn’t all offense though – he flashed leather all the way to a .995 fielding percentage.
Taylor displayed the tools that made him the Milwaukee Brewers’ top prospect in 2014. The 20-year old former 2nd-round pick split his season between A and AA. He hit .273 with 36 doubles while stealing 23 bases in 135 combined games between the two levels. Taylor’s defense was strong as well as he played 133 games in centerfield and only committed 2 errors while adding 8 outfield assists.
“He’s gonna hit wherever he plays,” said Nichols to MiLB.com. “His range is OK at third and his arm is playable, but he makes the everyday play, which is what you want, and the kid’s gonna hit. He’s just a good hitter and he had time to work on third base in the instructional league last year. He’s a good athlete and he can probably play anywhere in the field. I think his best position is first base and next is third and then the outfield. He can do with all three.”
There was a point where Jeremy Hermida was all the rage in MLB. The once elite FLORIDA Marlins prospect (yes, he’s that old) has racked up a combined 1456 professional games between the majors and minors. The 2002 first round draft pick, now 30-years old, was the veteran presence needed in the clubhouse, but performed well posting an .826 OPS, to go along with 16 home runs and 67 RBI. He tallied his highest batting average in three years behind 36 extra base hits.