Baseball plays more games than any other sport with 140 in the minor leagues and 162 in Major League Baseball.
Despite the end of the season for all minor league teams in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, except the Helena Brewers whom will compete for the Pioneer League title, there will be developments along the way in the winter.
Six players will make an appearance in the Arizona Fall League and their performance will make-or-break standing within the Milwaukee organization and eventually lead to new assignments on the 40-man roster.
Three of the six participants are Top 20 prospects in the farm system and depending on how they perform in the AFL, it will either reinforce their standing within the organization or cause a drop.
Rogers has most to lose, and gain, in the AFL after accumulating career highs in multiple offensive categories.
Teams likely have an eye on Rogers and will make note of him when the Rule V draft is conducted in December’s MLB winter meetings. The first baseman has reached the point where he could go unprotected if not added to the 40-man roster and might be snagged by another team.
After Milwaukee spent the majority of last off-season looking for new affiliates after both teams struggled in making progress toward new stadiums – the Brewers were left with them when other clubs found or re-established PDCs with the remaining affiliates.
Brewers Farm Report will follow developments of a proposed new stadium for the Triple A Nashville Sounds after the Mayor of Nashville proposed a new $80 million stadium at the old Sulphur Dell sight.
Although Nashville will not build it in time for the 2014 season, the Brewers will deeply consider extending with the Sounds if a stadium plan is in place by the end of 2014.
Huntsville faces a similar fate with Joe Davis Stadium and for years the Brewers pushed the Stars to come forward with a plan to build or renovate the 29-year-old facility.
Milwaukee made it clear during last off-season of its disappointment in Joe Davis Stadium.
There has been swift community opposition in Huntsville for the potential of a new stadium due to involving taxpayer contributions.
If history is any indication of the severity of the issue, look at how the 23-year relationship between Single A Beloit and Milwaukee ended in 2004.
Following decades of Beloit struggling to upgrade Pohlman Field, Milwaukee severed ties with the Snappers and entered into a working agreement with the Appalachian League West Virginia Power before agreeing with the Timber Rattlers.
While Nashville’s future is promising with proposals, the Stars will have an entire year to come forward with a plan of action.
Huntsville and Milwaukee have been together since 1999 and the Brewers have been with the Stars longer than any of the other four affiliates in the organization.
Given the long-term outlook of the Milwaukee Brewers, there will likely be a trade or two involving Major Leaguers and lead to a return of prospects from other organizations.
Brewers Farm Report will provide information and summaries of the players involved in the off-season deals.
Of the six player representatives from the Brewers’ organization in the 2013 Arizona Fall League – one could be seeing big changes.
Huntsville’s Jason Rogers will be making a switch to the outfield after playing his entire season manning first base for the Stars.
In addition, there is plenty more at stake – and room for some improvement – for the other five players as they play through November.
Here are the following players headed to the Fall League following their team’s seasons and what they need to do:
Jason Rogers, 1B, Huntsville Stars
Given the circumstances involving teams above the organization, the potential look at Rogers in the outfield should not be considered a surprise.
After a powerful 2012 season where he is waging in a see-saw battle with Stars’ teammate Brock Kjeldgaard and Chattanooga’s Joc Pederson for the Southern League lead in home runs – Milwaukee could be attempting to keep him every way possible.
Rogers, 25, is subjected to the minor league portion of the Rule V draft held in December and faces an uncertain future given Milwaukee’s commitment to Hunter Morris at first base in Nashville for 2014.
However, Rogers told Brewers Farm Report earlier in August he has experience playing the corner outfield positions and is open to the opportunity of switching positions.
The 32nd round selection from the same draft as Morris in 2010 already notched career highs in home runs with 22 and with 85 runs batted in for Huntsville.
In 374 career games spanning four seasons he appeared in left field for 66 games and right field in one game.
Additionally, he made a sole appearance at third base his first season.
Rogers has demonstrated the ability to hit for a high average through the progression of his career and his power numbers have improved considerably since the 2012 season.
He will need to show he is capable of playing the outfield when he is given the opportunity in the Arizona Fall League.
Additionally, his odds will be better at staying with the organization given the outfield depth in Nashville.
Taylor Jungmann, RHP, Huntsville Stars
One of two first round picks by Milwaukee in 2011, the tall right-hander will need to redeem himself in the AFL after hitting a roadblock with Huntsville in 2013.
Milwaukee’s number two ranked prospect has shown the capability of producing impressive outings and physical endurance of taking on a tremendous amount of innings.
Jungmann produced a near unbeatable string of games May 9 until June 9 where he compiled a 6-1 record in seven starts.
The Southern League mid-season All-Star held opponents to nine earned runs in 45.1 innings during the hot streak. His 113.2 innings is second on the team to Ariel Pena’s 137.2.
However, his ability to get out of long-term slumps is seemingly difficult given his recent rough stretch games where has not captured a victory since July 6.
When the 6’9” pitcher is not showing impeccable location on his pitches, Huntsville Manager Darnell Coles has not hesitated to remove him from games early.
Jungmann will need to use the AFL to get out of the slump and set the tone for Spring Training in 2014.
David Goforth, RHP, Huntsville Stars
Milwaukee’s 16th rated prospect is undergoing a pitching adjustment after starting nearly every game during his minor league career.
Many national scouts project him to be a highly regarded reliever in the Major Leagues and in a purely player development move, the Stars moved him to the bullpen.
After compiling a 10-8 record with a 4.66 earned run average with Single A Wisconsin in 2012 the 2011 seventh round selection is making a statement in 2013.
Goforth produced a 7-5 record with Brevard County and allowed 27 earned runs in 78.1 innings before his promotion to Huntsville.
His control in his pitches has been remarkable allowing 44 walks in 123 innings combined between both levels.
Since the move the bullpen, he has notched four saves and just one earned run in 13 innings.
If Goforth maintains his successful stretch with the AFL, it will re-affirm Milwaukee’s confidence in him.
Adam Weisenburger, C, Huntsville Stars
The Southern League mid-season All-Star will need to stand out in the AFL and prove he should be promoted to Nashville in 2014.
In addition, the catcher is in need of more work behind the plate after accumulating 60 of Huntsville’s 133 games.
Weisenburger, 25, has not accumulated any more than 100 games in any of his three seasons with the Brewers’ organization.
With the emergence of Robinzon Diaz with Nashville and potential advancement of Brevard County’s Cameron Garfield, Weisenburger could be sandwiched in the organization.
Milwaukee could stick with Diaz, 29, heading into the 2014 season given his success at the plate.
Kevin Shackelford, RHP, Huntsville Stars
After three below average seasons, Shackelford has finally caught on with Double A Huntsville. Milwaukee likely sent the reliever to the AFL to get a longer look at his development.
Shackelford posted a 7-10 record in 55 games between Helena in 2010 and Single A Wisconsin with an earned run average above 4.00.
The right-hander from North Carolina snapped out of it following a promotion to Double A Huntsville 24 games into the 2013 season with High A Brevard County.
In 18 games for the Stars he has allowed three earned runs in 26.1 innings pitch for a meager 1.03 earned run average.
Additionally, the 24-year-old saved five games to match his season best in an entire 2012 season with Single A Wisconsin.
Mitch Haniger, OF, Brevard County Manatees
The 2012 first round selection has been on a hot streak with Brevard County after making adjustments to a tougher pitching environment compared to the Midwest League.
Haniger was promoted instantly from Single A Wisconsin after belting five home runs and collecting 12 doubles in just 41 games for the Rattlers.
Milwaukee is likely taking a look and see how he fares against other team’s pitching prospects and how he will stick with his inevitable move to Double A Huntsville.