In such cases, all is not lost. Perhaps, all that is needed is to put these players at a new position. Let’s look over some Brewers prospects who probably could use a change of scenery–but not with another organization. Just a change in position.
Darrien Miller, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Current Position: Catcher
New Positions: First base, left field, designated hitter
Darrien Miller has proven he can hit. That hasn’t been in doubt in his professional career. His superb OBP skills and pop are clearly there. However, he’s stuck behind Jeferson Quero and Matthew Wood at the catcher spot, and he’s never thrown out more than 28% of baserunners trying to steal. The question is, how to get that bat in the lineup?
The answer: A move to first base, with time in left field and as DH. Miller’s bat would arguably play well at any of those positions, and even if he was playing at those spots, he could still serve as an emergency catcher.
Satchell Norman, ACL Brewers
Current Position: Catcher
New Position: Left field, designated hitter
Like Miller, Norman’s bat is not really in question--far from it, based on his totals as of July 21 (.998 OPS). The big problem with Norman, though, is the fact that he doesn’t deter baserunners from having larcenous thoughts. In fact, to date, he has caught 9% of baserunners trying to steal in his professional career. No, that’s not a typo. It's also not good for encouraging baserunners to be honest.
His stature (5'8") makes first base an iffy option, but he isn’t much shorter than Caleb Gindl was, and Gindl held down left field for part of a season. He also could be an excellent DH option, if the bat continues to produce at its current rate.
Ernesto Martinez, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Current Position: First Base
New Position: Outfield (all positions)
Martinez has rebounded from an early-season slump and missing time due to injury in 2022. He’s shown excellent defense at first base, but what is intriguing was a brief stint in center field in 2021. Think of the value Eric Thames provided during his three years in Milwaukee. That's what Martinez could be, plus the ability to steal bases and handle center field. Given the struggles of Hendry Mendez and Hedbert Perez, it could help Martinez get playing time should the Brewers move Darrien Miller.
Tyler Black, Biloxi Shuckers
Current Position: Third Base
New Positions: Left Field, First Base, Designated Hitter
Black has already benefited from one position shift, going to the hot corner from second base after missing a lot of time in 2022. Black’s bat is major-league ready, and it could be argued promoting him would constitute an instant upgrade over Jesse Winker at designated hitter. Pending free agency for Rowdy Tellez in the next year or two could make first base an option, as well. Should the Brewers deal one of their outfielders, Black could be an option to hold down left field.
Noah Campbell, Nashville Sounds
Current Positions: Left Field, Designated Hitter, First Base, Right Field
New Positions: Anywhere
Campbell has, over college and his professional career, played all nine defensive positions and handled DH duties. So, the Brewers need to make more use of this, and even work him up to being a two-way player. He was good enough to notch a save in 2021 with the Mudcats. The outfield is crowded for the foreseeable future with Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, Christian Yelich, and Tyrone Taylor, but Campbell’s proven versatility makes him an ideal bench asset–Hernan Perez with a better bat.
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