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Misc. Spring Notes on Farmhands


Mass Haas

This thread will be used to post miscellaneous updates on spring camp updates on projected minor leaguers, until we get to the more formal team feature threads in April.

 

Via Adam McCalvy --

 

Last year, Roenicke was prescient when he offered early praise of left-hander Zach Duke, a non-roster invitee who went on to have a sensational season. On Wednesday, Roenicke said he liked what he's seen so far from another non-roster lefty, Brent Leach.

 

"I didn't know that he had that good of a fastball," Roenicke said.

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Farm Director Reid Nichols (full title: Special Assistant to the G.M./Director of Player Development/Training Center) was a guest today on MLB Network Radio's "Power Alley" with Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin.

 

The audio is only available to those Sirius/XM customers with an "On Demand" subscription.

 

Thankfully, this appearance by Nichols was actually informative in spots, unlike this forgettable call-in appearance a couple of weeks ago on MLB Network.

 

Here are some notes I jotted down as listening - Ferrin in particular is a knowledgeable and impressive interviewer, and was able to guide Nichols through a variety of player topics very quickly.

 

In the order in which they were discussed, my interpretations italicized:

 

First name that came up was Jake Gatewood, quickly described as "a man" by Nichols despite being just 19 (well, we did just learn he bulked up 30 pounds this winter - now 6'5", 220)

 

Gilbert Lara, the $3M+ bonus baby signing, passes the eye test, and is one of those players where the ball makes that "different sound" off the bat. Nichols now believes Lara may be rangy enough to stick at shortstop (didn't initially), no rush to move him off that spot.

 

During this early discussion of shortstops, Nichols was sure to add in the name of 2014 Timber Rattler Angel Ortega (6th round, 2012 out of Puerto Rico, his age 21 season coming up).

 

Interesting comments on Orlando Arcia - his hand/eye coordination is so good that he can hit the ball pretty much any time he wants. So the focus will be on Arcia getting a "smaller swing zone", a reference to laying off more pitches outside the zone. Nichols did accentuate the first syllable of Arcia's last name, which we've heard others do as well.

 

Next up was Kodi Medeiros, Brewer catchers finding him tough to catch with all the movement, but Nichols insisted that Medeiros' changeup made significant strides and will continue to improve.

 

Monte Harrison's name came up quickly, but nothing special noted as the conversation quickly turned to...

 

...Tyrone Taylor - Nichols was gushing here, biggest improvement has come defensively on getting better breaks on balls as a CF. Otherwise, described as a "total package".

 

(By the way, remember I had summarized a recent Monte Harrison MLB Network Radio interview here.)

 

Clint Coulter will be working on adjusting his swing to make it "flatter". (Coming off his monster season, I imagine this work will only help line drive rates and such, and his power will still carry balls into the gaps and over the fences.)

 

There was a Jorge Lopez segment, and Nichols was exceedingly enthusiastic about the right-hander. He indicated Lopez is definitely a future big league starter with advanced pitchability and command of four pitches. So the focus will be more on getting Lopez to sequence his pitches correctly in 2015, and Nichols even said they may push the 2011 2nd rounder harder than one might think this season.

 

(Hopefully folks are realizing how insanely exciting this AA Biloxi team is going to be -- too bad the travel schedule will be so disjointed with the delayed stadium opening, but my goodness...)

 

Just before Nichols discussed Lopez, Ferrin brought up Bruce Seid's name and Nichols immediately had to compose himself - there was an awkward 15-second silence, actually a weep, and it was a compelling listen because it showed that even months after his passing, just the mention of Seid's name stirred such an immediate reaction in his former colleague and friend in the organization.

 

Of course we'd all like to have a full hour roundtable with folks like Nichols, but as far as a quick eight-to-ten minute national interview, this was worthwhile.

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Those are some great notes. That Shuckers team is pretty exciting. I wonder if Seid's legacy will be much better than a lot of the heat he's taken along the way. He's certainly had some notable failures, but this last draft has the chance to be pretty monumental.
Formerly AKA Pete
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Looked up to see how Haniger went last year with Arizona. Not enough at bats to say much. But I do find he is listed as 6ft 2in.

 

re Taylor Williams is the new MoneyBall, market inefficiency, undersized players.

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Good timing considering all the buzz about him currently --

 

Via Miller Park Prospects -- Prospect Profile/Interview: Taylor Williams

 

***

 

By the way, just received my copy of "Minor League Preview", and can't wait to dig in. This is a book, media guide style, put together by Brad Krause and the guys under the Miller Park Prospects umbrella.

 

It looks absolutely glorious at first glance, completely professional in every way. I'll provide a more thorough review soon enough, but I can't imagine Brewer minor league diehards not being all over this offering.

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VIDEO 3/10: Via the Journal-Sentinel -- "After spending the first three years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, Connor Narron was picked up by the Brewers in 2014. He joins his father Jerry, who has been the Brewers bench coach since 2010."

 

***

 

VIDEO 3/10: Via the Journal-Sentinel -- "Pitcher Kodi Medeiros trying to beat the odds coming from a state where baseball isn't the most popular sport, while former catcher Clint Coulter makes a big change on the field. Video by Jordan Young.

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I see that Wei-Chung Wang was optioned to Brevard County. That was the logical choice, but after a nice off season, I was wondering if the club would be aggressive and put him at AA.

 

Do we usually put together a thread listing where players get assigned? Just curious.

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Do we usually put together a thread listing where players get assigned? Just curious.

 

The various "Your 2015 _________" (insert team name) threads are still a few weeks away.

 

The Brewers should be giving the go-aheads to the affiliates to release roster info around Easter Sunday this year (April 5th). Seasons open on the 9th. Some players will tweet their destinations prior to official releases.

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