One measure of the depth of shortstop talent in the farm system is this: Two of the top three potential shortstops for the Sounds when we previewed the position in March, Brice Turang and Andruw Monasterio, are with the MLB club as of July 15. The third guy, Cam Devanney, is posting an OPS of .804 after an early-season slump. That’s just one of the teams--and all three of those guys could be credible MLB shortstops.
Freddy Zamora was already considered a solid prospect, and in Biloxi, he’s rebounded from an injury-plagued 2022 with a .784 OPS in a year where pitchers dominated the Southern League early on. The surprise is Ethan Murray, who is posting a .367 OBP and who has drawn more walks than Zamora in 29 fewer at-bats as of July 15.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Eric Brown has had some trips to the injured list this season, leading Robert Moore and Eduardo Garcia to fill in from playing second base and third base, respectively. Brown has shown OBP skills and speed, while Moore’s proven to be a potentially dominating switch-hitter offensively. The development of the 20-year-old Garcia’s OBP skills (his walk total already exceeds the full-season total from 2022) is a great sign.
While Gregory Barrios has seen the most action at shortstop in Zebulon, the best shortstop for the Mudcats has been Daniel Guilarte–-when he is on the field. Guilarte’s flashed a solid glove, the ability to hit for average, speed, and some serious OBP skills. The real question could be whether third-round pick Eric Bitonti goes to the Mudcats, or if Juan Baez is promoted from the ACL.
The 18-year-old Baez has been the primary shortstop for the ACL Brewers, and his monster season so far (his only weakness is drawing walks – but hitting .420 makes up for a lot of that) is very exciting to see. But the real questions surround sixth-round pick Cooper Pratt and 15th-round pick Josh Adamczewski. If they are signed, things get very interesting… in a good way.
DSL Brewers 1
Joan Gutierrez and Kevin Ereu have both flashed some serious OBP skills in the DSL for the first of the Crew’s two DSL squads, Ereu’s walks have overcome a batting average below the Uecker line, while Gutierrez is flashing a more well-rounded offense. Switch-hitter Luivin Alastre has primarily played third, but has seen action at short as well.
DSL Brewers 2
The other Brewers squad in the DSL also has a pair of OBP machines at short in Filippo Di Turi and Roderick Flores. The switch-hitting Di Turi is posting very well-rounded offensive numbers, while the 16-year-old Flores is showing a two-true-outcome bat with speed. Demetrio Nadal saw one game so far at short, but also has put up some monster numbers offensively.
The Brewers have a lot of good prospects at shortstop, which leads to some very interesting questions, like: Which players could be dealt to get the Brewers rentals for the upcoming push to the playoffs? Which players will stick around? The biggest ones for the long term center around late draftees Pratt and Adamczewski, who could be huge stars for the Crew, or what-ifs on the order of Nomar Garciaparra.