Today was a big day for prospect geeks like myself, as the rosters for the Arizona Fall League were released today. Typically, teams send a mix of top prospects on the cusp of contributing at the big league level and filler, but people who follow the minors love the AFL because it’s a chance to see some of the game’s best prospects tested against tougher competition.
In recent years, the Brewers’ selections haven’t been all that exciting, with the upper levels of the farm system thinning out. Brett Lawrie and Jeremy Jeffress were the two biggest names selected last year, and while Jeffress had a good showing, Lawrie asked out of the league and didn’t appear. Other players that were selected for the league the past couple years:
This year, there looks to be a bit more star power, or at least interesting names that we could see contribute in Milwaukee in the next year or two:
Every year, it seems like a couple players have a surprise showing that gives them momentum heading into the next season. Two years ago, it was Lucroy, who was among the AFL’s hottest hitters before making a quick jump to the majors. Last year, Michael Fiers had a strong enough showing that many started considering him a fringe prospect instead of just organizational filler.
My personal favorite for that breakout performance this fall would probably be Manzanillo, who has the big stuff to thrive in the back end of the bullpen in the future. The Brewers will need to fill some bullpen holes this winter — if Manzanillo performs well enough, he could find himself in the discussion for a big league role heading into next year.