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  • Brewer Fanatic 2023 Top 20 Prospects: #3 - Joey Wiemer

    Spencer Michaelis

    As we round into the top three Brewers prospects, we see a trio of promising outfielders. Let's take a look at the first of those, Joey Wiemer.

    Image courtesy of © Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

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    As mentioned in yesterday's write-up for the #4 top prospect Brice Turang, the top of the Brewers prospect list features several players that may see time in Milwaukee in 2023. Joey Wiemer is one of those possibilities, having spent substantial time at AAA Nashville in 2022. Let's look at his scouting report and what to expect from him this season.

    We continue the 2023 Brewer Fanatic top prospects list, as ranked by our community.

    What To Like
    The Brewers' fourth-round pick in the COVID-shortened five-round draft of 2020, Wiemer is already on the verge of cracking the MLB roster after an incredible debut season in 2021 and a solid, if slightly less spectacular, 2022. If you were to see Wiemer out in the wild, you might think he was a tight end or a small forward. In reality, he’s a 6'5", 215 lbs outfielder with so much athleticism that he can hold his own in center field and excel out there. The Brewers' surplus of center field prospects will likely relegate Wiemer to right field, making him one of the better defensive right fielders in baseball. Wiemer’s arm will also fit in just fine in right field, as it is universally regarded as one of the best arms in all of baseball. Wiemer gets great carry on his throws, can throw on the move and from uncomfortable angles, and has an impressive amount of accuracy to go with it. It’s hard to grade the arm as anything other than a 70 or possibly even an 80. 

    On the offensive side of the ball, Wiemer shows raw power that very few have, and he can also get to it in games. To illustrate the type of power he has, FanGraphs lists him as having hit a ball with a 122 MPH exit velocity last season, which has only happened three times in the Statcast era. The validity of that number is a little up in the air, but it wasn’t high enough that FanGraphs considered it a complete outlier that Wiemer could not reach. Along with his power, Wiemer shows an ability and a willingness to take walks, with a career walk rate of over 11% thus far. 

    Wiemer’s athleticism has been mentioned several times already, but another place it shines is on the basepaths. Wiemer is a combined 61/70 on stolen base attempts in his two minor league seasons. With the new pitch clock rules, this should continue to be a weapon for Wiemer at the MLB level.

    What to Work On
    The main focus for Wiemer moving forward will likely be on his bat-to-ball skills. Wiemer takes explosive, exciting swings every time the bat leaves his shoulder. When he’s making contact, it’s very fun to watch. However, that swing has also left him susceptible to swing and miss. In his time at Double-A this past season, Wiemer struck out at a 30.2% rate which normally would not bode well, as those rates tend to go up as players continue up the organizational ladder. The good news is that Wiemer slashed that rate down to 19.5% at Triple-A, though in a smaller sample size. He also lowered his swinging strike rate while walking more, making that lower percentage more believable. If he can settle into a 25-28% K rate at the major league level, he will likely be a good major leaguer.

    What’s Next
    Wiemer is a non-roster invitee for Spring Training this year. It would seem a long shot for him to make the Opening Day roster, meaning he will likely begin the season in Nashville, where he will look to prove the lower strikeout rate wasn’t a fluke. If he can show that he can make consistent contact, he will find himself in the Brewers lineup sooner rather than later.

    What do you think, Brewer Fanatics? What will we see from Wiemer in 2023? Leave a comment and let us know!

    Previous Installments
    Brewers Top 16-20 Prospects
    Brewers Top 11-15 Prospects
    Brewers Top 6-10 Prospects
    Brewers #5 Prospect: Jeferson Quero
    Brewers #4 Prospect: Brice Turang
    Brewers #3 Prospect: Joey Wiemer

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    I ask the following rhetorical question during the Brewerfan era. What years would Weimer have not been the top prospect in the system?

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    For the sake of discussion Weimer is a more athletic Corey Hart with way better plate discipline. The defense alone means he likely performs Hart by quite a bit. The overall contact is the key question mark, but the bat has done very well without being inflated by league or ballpark like we had in the past. I think historically I'd have rater Braun higher, Prince lower, Weeks probably higher (there was plenty of performance and the bat speed should have made him an all timer). I'll say Burnes but he benefits now from no longer suffering skepticism over Brewers being able to develop pitchers.

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    2 hours ago, igor67 said:

    I ask the following rhetorical question during the Brewerfan era. What years would Weimer have not been the top prospect in the system?

    That's a great question. Probably fewer than it feels like, since Arcia was so highly regarded, then Brinson was waiting in the wings as a very highly ranked guy. Followed by Burnes/Hiura. Prior to Arcia though, there was a pretty long stretch where someone like Wiemer would have definitely taken the top spot in the org. 

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    Spot on analysis.

    I would add, aside from 'proving' the swing and plate improvements in Nashville have true staying power (baseball gods, may it be so...he was phenomenal for Nashville late last year), I do think there is a very real set of questions for the organization and Wiems:

    Is the thumb/right hand injury chronic or something he is now healed from?

    Was last year's injury a re-injury to the 2021 AFL injury? OR was it freakishly different injury?

    Is there anything to worry about there?

    Last year, he injured himself on a tailing inside heater foul ball. That injury was problematic for over a month - IL stint and the offensive struggles when he returned where I would argue it was clear he wasn't comfortable holding and swinging a bat. It was also  quite obvious he was becoming a wee dejected in the field and wasn't his normal hyperactive (for lack of a more friendly term 😝) self. That all changed instantly in Nashville.

    I'll be cautiously optimistic he's moved on but I'd be lying if it isn't something I consider.


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    That makes me think of Eric Davis, awesome looking package but enough nagging injuries adding up to a just good career instead of a great one. 

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