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  • The Standouts For DSL Brewers 2 Were Second To None

    Harold Hutchison

    With a 22-31 record in the 2023 season, one might not think there was much to be excited about from the DSL Brewers 2 squad. But there were plenty of bright spots for this team, some of whom have some outstanding talent. Which players could emerge as key prospects in the future?

    Image courtesy of © Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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    The team packed plenty of offensive punch, with a .712 OPS and scoring 269 runs. The pitching was solid, posting a 4.29 ERA and allowing only 251 runs over the 2023 season. Let’s take a look at some of the players who stood out.

    Filippo Di Turi
    Di Turi was one of the top signees of the Brewers’ international free agent class, and split time between shortstop and second base. Di Turi posted a solid batting average over the season, and stole 12 bases in 20 attempts, but where he really stood out was in getting on base – posting a .414 OBP and 38 walks, while striking out only 32 times in 181 at-bats. Di Turi will likely be seeing time in Arizona next year.

    Pedro Ibarguen
    Ibarguen didn’t get a lot of talk when he signed, but the .884 OPS said a lot over the season. He hit for average (.311), displayed some power (11 extra-base hits out of 41 total hits) across 132 at-bats. He walked 25 times and struck out 32 times. Ibarguen spent time at second base, third base, and all three outfield positions and spent 16 games as DH. That’s bench player versatility.

    Eric Martinez
    Eric Martinez spent a third year in the DSL despite posting an OPS of .804 in 2022, and this year, there was some offensive regression, but also some improvement on defense. His bat flashed a ton of power (12 out of 27 hits went for extra bases), sharing the team lead in home runs with five. He should finally make it to Maryvale next year.

    Demetrio Nadal
    Yes, the Brewers have Tyler Black, Luke Adams. Brock Wilken, Mike Boeve, and Eric Bitonti at third base in the minors, but Nadal arguably is on par with these players. He posted a 1.003 OPS in 120 at-bats, delivered 13 extra-base hits including five triples, adding 33 stolen bases, and walked more than he struck out. Nadal played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and center field as well, offering a lot of versatility to the speed, power, and OBP skills.

    Christopher Vasquez
    Here’s a potential candidate for the 2024 “Overlooked Brewers Prospect” team. The numbers for Vasquez look eerily like some of the lines you’d see from Russell Branyan – who was Mr. 3TO in two stints with the Brewers. In 74 at-bats, Vasquez drew 11 walks and hit five home runs while seeing action in about half the team’s games. Like Branyan, he did rack up a ton of strikeouts – 38 of them. The power at such a young age is very intriguing, and it says a LOT about the depth in the farm system that he could be overlooked.

    Melvin Hernandez
    Hernandez was one of two pitching prospects focused on earlier this month. With the end of the DSL season, it is clear that he was undeniably the ace of the squad. He went 2-2 with a 2.06 ERA in 35 inning pitched across ten appearances (seven starts), and gave up just one home run all season. He allowed only nine walks all season and struck out 30 hitters despite not turning 17 until July 3. He could easily be in Maryvale come 2024.

    Bryan Rivera
    Hernandez’s breakout obscured fellow Brewers Dos starter Rivera’s development into a workhorse. Rivera posted a solid 2-2 record and 3.57 ERA in 53 innings pitched over a dozen starts. His 1.113 WHIP was lower than Hernandez’s, but he did allow five home runs over the season, and walked more than twice as many hitters. However, he flashed the ability to overpower hitters, striking out 63 of the 213 batters he faced.

    The DSL Brewers 2 squad’s record doesn’t show just how many players on this team stood out. Whether it was young phenoms like Hernandez and Di Turi, or solid workhorses like Rivera and Martinez, this squad has plenty of players who should make an impact in the Brewers farm system in the next few years.

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    Not sure Nadal is arguably on par with Adams, Bitonti...and certainly not Boeve, Wilken and Black, but he's another guy who seemingly fits the Brewers recent...course correction in targeting Hit/OBP over tools in their young prospects, and I love that the Brewers aren't deterred by a 5'7 tweeener at 3B, 2B and SS. 

    Not exactly the profile you're looking at, but great hitters can come in all shapes and sizes...from Altuve to Judge to Lincecum to the Big Unit.


    I appreciate the write-ups though. The only thing I'd like to know is if you've got an velocity reports that are updated on these young arms, but it seems like that information is both hard to come by, and with guys going from 16-19, I'd imagine constantly changing.

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    Nadal has shown great plate discipline & contact rate, wreaks havoc on the bases and has even displayed some pop to go with the terrific OBP. But given the other kids in the organization at the position & versatility he's shown I doubt if he sticks at 3B much longer.

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    Yeah there’s just zero reason to say Nadal is on the same level of prospect status as any of those guys. Nadal was an over age DSL repeater. He’s 3 months younger than Luke Adams who had many dominant stretches playing 2 levels above Nadal. Bitonti is actually 16 months younger than Nadal. Nadal had a great season no doubt but he needs to show quite a bit more before he’s on the same level as any of those guys you listed.

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