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First Rounder Jed Bradley leads AFL picks

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:

Brett Lawrie (replaced by Hunter Morris)
Jeremy Jeffress
Logan Schafer (replaced by Caleb Gindl)
Eric Farris
Michael Fiers
Brandon Kintzler
Mike McClendon
Lucas Luetge
Dan Merklinger

Mark Rogers
Omar Aguilar
Zach Braddock
Josh Butler
Rob Wooten
Jonathan Lucroy
Taylor Green
Lorenzo Cain

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:

Jed Bradley
Brandon Kintzler
Santo Manzanillo
Daniel Meadows
Cody Scarpetta
Scooter Gennett
Zelous Wheeler
Kentrail Davis
Logan Schafer

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.