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  • Revisiting the State of the Farm – Designated Hitter

    Harold Hutchison

    When discussing the designated hitter in the Brewers farm system, one needs to have the dreaded asterisk alongside. In many cases, it is used to rotate among various position players to give them additional playing time, and allowing prospects to develop.

    Image courtesy of © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

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    That said, it never hurts to see who is manning this position. In some ways, it will account for up to one-ninth of a team’s production, and if you can find a great DH – or even good players who can rotate – it helps the team win games.

    Nashville Sounds
    In Nashville, the DH has become a revolving door as of July 16, with players having at most ten games. For the Sounds, the three players who reached that level are catchers Payton Henry, Alex Jackson, and Brian Navarreto. Keston Hiura and Abraham Toro have each seen eight games at the position.

    Biloxi Shuckers
    Tristen Lutz has played 22 games at DH as of July 16, while Noah Campbell and Wes Clark have 14 and 13 games at that position, respectively. Lutz has shown on-base skills and power, while Clarke has split time at first and catcher. Campbell has played all over the diamond and has hit well enough to get DH at-bats, too.

    Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
    Like Biloxi, three players are seeing a lot of time at DH: Catchers Matthew Wood and Darrien Miller, along with third baseman Ben Metzinger. Miller’s time at DH could be necessary as he has had some defensive struggles behind the plate, as his bat has always been superb. Wood has also seen time at DH with the Mudcats.

    Carolina Mudcats
    As of July 16, four Mudcats lead the team in games at DH with nine: Luke Adams, Jesus Parra, Hedbert Perez, and Jheremy Vargas, with Quinton Low just one game behind those four while also seeing action on the mound. Adams has posted the best numbers of all these players, but the shuffle may have hurt Low the most, as his offense seems to have taken a step back from last year.

    ACL Brewers
    Juan Baez and Yeison Perez tied for the most games at designated hitter with five apiece. Baez has posted some dominating numbers, while Perez has been solid. Right behind Baez and Perez is Satchell Norman, whose bat has been outstanding but has also allowed 23 stolen bases.

    DSL Brewers 1
    Argenis Aparicio and Luis Garcia have played six games at DH for the first Brewers DSL affiliate. Both come to that position from different routes. Garcia is a catcher posting a .354 OBP as of July 16. On the other hand, Aparicio has seen time in both corner outfield positions and has already made four appearances on the mound. Outfielder Pedro Tovar and shortstop Kevin Ereu have tied for second with three games at DH apiece as of July 16.

    DSL Brewers 2
    Pedro Ibarguen leads the second Brewers DSL affiliate with nine games at DH. Shortstops Roderick Flores and Filippo Di Turi are the second and third DHs for the second Brewers DSL affiliate, with six and five games, respectively. All have been on-base machines as of July 16.

    For the most part, designated hitter has been a revolving door in the Brewers system. That said, the Brewers may want to look at locking a couple of players into that role on a more permanent basis to move them up the ladder faster.

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