Tagged: brevard county

Burgos endures long road back to Milwaukee

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report

Hiram Burgos was once a budding pitching prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

The Brewers sixth round selection in 2009 made waves in the organization for his breaking pitches and rapid progression through multiple levels of the Brewers organization which led to a 2013 appearance at Miller Park.

But, after a series of injuries, the 27-year-old has found his way back to Advanced A Brevard County.

The same team he made 24 appearances for in 2011, seven in 2012 and one in 2013 before solidifying his role with the Nashville Sounds in 2013 and 2014.

Burgos’ most prolific season came in 2012 when he accumulated a 10-4 record in three stops through the minor league system, Brevard County, Double A Huntsville and Triple A Nashville.

In his 27 combined games in the three levels, he struck out 153 hitters and walked 49 in 171 innings, and allowed 37 earned runs for a meager 1.95 ERA en route to a Brewers’ 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year honor.

However, after enduring an injury while a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013, and rehabilitation stops with Single A Wisconsin, Brevard County and Nashville, he was limited to nine total games.

In his nine games, he compiled a 1-5 record with a 3.93 ERA in 36.2 innings.

Seeking rejuvenation, Burgos returned to his native Puerto Rico, where he played for Indios de Mayaquez for the fourth straight offseason.

The right-hander bounced back in 38.2 innings for Mayaquez, where he allowed just six earned runs on 25 hits. He struck out 35 hitters compared to 12 walks.

Upon his return to the Brewers in 2014, injuries hampered him again, making just four appearances for AAA Nashville last season.

Now, after Burgos was declared a free agent following the season, the Brewers opted to retain him on a minor league contract without an invitation to Spring Training this season.

Burgos has demonstrated some promising signs at the early portion of the Manatees season, picking up two victories, including an April 14 1-0 pitchers duel against the St. Lucie Mets.

He held the Mets to one hit in seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking one to pick up his first win almost a year to the day of previous win.

Prior to his initial win of 2015, he picked up an April 17, 2014 win while a member of AAA Nashville against Memphis. He struck out 10 Redbirds, allowed three earned runs on five hits and walked two through five innings of work.

He did not have to wait as long for his next win, notching a six-inning quality start May 7 against the Tampa Yankees, where he struck out seven and held the Yankees to two earned runs on six hits.

REMEMBER ME?

Also on the Manatees is last season’s Rule V grab Wei-Chung Wang.

The 23-year-old left-hander was picked from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but league rules indicated he needed to spend a season on the Major League squad, or be given back to Pittsburgh.

Stashed at the bottom of the Brewers’ relief corps last year, he was limited to 17.1 innings due to inexperience beyond the Rookie League.

The Brewers hope was to assign him to the minor league system for further development following the 2014 campaign, where he allowed 21 earned runs, 30 hits, six home runs and eight walks.

After an injury led him to a minor league rehabilitation the remaining four months of the season, he strung together seven solid performances with the Arizona Brewers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Manatees.

Despite favorable rehabilitation appearances, Wang has struggled to find his rhythm with the Manatees this season.

In six starts, spanning 27.1 innings, he has allowed 18 earned runs and 36 hits, and walked 14.

Wang’s sole win came on his initial appearance April 10 against Daytona, where he held the Tortugas scoreless through six innings, allowing five hits and walking two. He also struck out six.

He was pulled in the second inning of his next start at St. Lucie April, allowing eight earned on six hits, and walked five and departed with no strikeouts.

The 23-year-old starter will likely need an additional year of development within the Brewers organization after his season with the Brewers.

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Roache showing signs of early resurgence

Time, plate discipline not on his sidemanatees

By Jason Arndt
Brewers Farm Report

After a dismal 2014 season with High A Brevard County, Victor Roache has shown a resurgence in the first 18 games of the 2015 season, but has plenty of room for improvement.

Hopes were high for the 23-year-old Roache when he belted a team record 22 home runs for Single A Wisconsin in 2013, a year after being drafted in the first-round by the Milwaukee Brewers.

But plate discipline has plagued him since arriving from Georgia Southern University, striking out 137 times in his first professional season, and subsequently fanned 138 times last year.

While he supplanted Hunter Morris as Brevard County’s single season home run record holder with 18 home runs last year, his batting average plummeted from .248 in 2013 to .226 in 2014, and On Base Percentage took a harder nosedive from .322 to .298.

Roache

Roache

He walked 46 times in 2013, but experienced a decline of 9 walks last season.

However, he has substantially improved this season, accumulating a 9-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 11 of the last 12 games.

In the span of 12 games, he is batting .388 with a line of .464 OBP and 1.179 OPS. He has accumulated 19 hits, collected two doubles, a triple and four home runs with 13 RBI.

In the first 18 games of his 2015 campaign, he has pounded out 23 hits, collected two doubles and has five home runs with 18 RBI in 70 at bats for a .329 batting average and 1.005 OPS.

At this time last year, he hit .188 with no home runs and drove in eight runs and plating six.

Despite showing glimmers of hope, Roache continues to be hindered by plate discipline, striking out 23 times in 18 games, compared to 15 at this time last year.

Additionally, the clock could be ticking for him, he will turn 24 at the end of the season and compared to another 2012 draftee, 21-year-old Tyrone Taylor, he is lagging behind schedule.

Roache, who shared the outfield with Taylor and Michael Reed at Single A Wisconsin, is the sole player remaining in Brevard County when Taylor was given the promotion to AA Huntsville (Biloxi) during the 2014 post season, and assignment of Reed to Biloxi prior to opening day.

Home Brews: Uhen, Markson, Pierce come together

By Jason Arndtbrewers
Brewers Farm Report

Throughout the cold winter months at Miller Park, three Brewers’ minor leaguers with Wisconsin roots come together and work out together and have formed a bond much larger than calling the Dairy State home.

Brevard County right-hander Chad Pierce, 26, of Fond du Lac serves as the elder statesman of the three.

Oshkosh native Josh Uhen, 21, and Whitefish Bay High School graduate Charlie Markson, 22, played their first seasons of professional baseball with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the game.

While all three crossed paths prior to playing for their home state team, all of them had different journeys to make it to professional ranks.

Josh Uhen, Arizona Brewers

Uhen

Uhen

It was a “dream come true” for Uhen when Milwaukee selected him with the fifth round pick in the 2013 Draft.

Based on where he was two years prior, it was more of a miracle after he underwent Ulner Collateral Ligament reconstruction surgery in 2011 and missed 12 months of action with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“It’s great. I grew up a Brewers fan, I grew up a Packers fan, I grew up a Bucks fan,” Uhen said. “Playing for one of my home state teams means a lot. When I got the call from them it did not seem real. It took awhile for it to set in.”

Uhen crossed paths with Markson in 2012 when both were members of the Northwoods League team Lakeshore Chinooks in Mequon, Wis.

“It was my first real taste of some really solid college ball because I didn’t really get a chance” Uhen said. “Before that I had the elbow surgery.”

The 6’4” right-handed pitcher rebounded during the later portion of his first professional season with the Arizona Brewers where he lost six of his ten initial appearances.

“It had a lot to do with getting some repetitions. I had a hard time getting some innings in and repetitions throughout my college career,” Uhen said. “Once I got out there and had the coaches helped.”

Uhen found his groove during his final four appearances where he allowed just two earned runs through a stretch of 13.2 innings and walked just four batters. He also notched 12 strikeouts during the home stretch of the season.

Markson remains optimistic about his fellow Chinooks’ teammate as he climbs through the Brewers’ organization.

“I have known Josh for a few years and he is a good friend of mine and he is a good guy and great baseball player,” Markson said. “He has a pretty high ceiling and the Brewers think very highly of him.”

“I am excited to get into a full season here of professional baseball,” Uhen stated as he looks into 2014.

Year Tm Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP WHIP SO/BB
2013 Brewers Rk 2 6 4.54 14 6 37.2 35 31 19 2 23 31 2 5 1.540 1.35
1 Season 2 6 4.54 14 6 37.2 35 31 19 2 23 31 2 5 1.540 1.35
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/25/2014.

Charlie Markson, Helena Brewers

Markson

Markson

Markson experienced a new sense of faith and love of baseball with the Helena Brewers in 2013 after a high pressure senior season at the University of Notre Dame.

The Whitefish Bay native stated he was relieved when Milwaukee announced him as the team’s 38th round selection in 2013.

“After my senior year I would have been excited to be given a chance by anybody and it was the Brewers and it made it much more cool,” Markson said. “I was just happy to play somewhere at the professional level.”

Markson’s batted a career low .209 with three doubles and 21 RBI his final season with the Irish after a successful junior season where he produced a .303 batting average and .390 On Base Percentage.

“I cannot really put my finger on anything that went wrong but I just know that I put too much pressure on myself to succeed and to get drafted,” Markson said. “It just kind of spiraled out of control. It was a mentally frustrating season for me.”

The outfielder credited Helena’s hitting coach Chuckie Caufield for putting him back on the right track.

“I contribute my success this year to Chuckie,” Markson said. “He makes it simple and makes it easy to understand and relatable because he just got out of playing baseball so he understands the coaching aspect, he understands the playing aspect.”

Markson responded considerably to Caufield’s guidance with a .288 batting average and .377 OBP in his initial season. He also scored 35 runs and collected 12 doubles in 46 games in the Pioneer League.

“He is a great medium between players and coaches,” Markson said. “He just made it fun again. I was looking at baseball as more of a job and with Helena I got a fresh start.”

It also gave him a new geographical experience playing in the Rocky Mountains for the first time in his life.

“I thought it was a great experience because I have played all across the country but that was one area where I never been to,” Markson said.

Year Tm Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2013 Helena Rk 46 209 177 35 51 12 1 21 8 4 22 35 .288 .377 .367
1 Season 46 209 177 35 51 12 1 21 8 4 22 35 .288 .377 .367
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/25/2014.

Chad Pierce, Brevard County Manatees

Pierce

Pierce

Pierce was drafted with the 38th round selection in the 2011 draft from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he first met Uhen as a freshman of a developing Panthers’ program.

The 26-year-old shouldered significant responsibility for an injury-riddled Manatees’ rotation where first-round selection Jed Bradley was lost for the season and other pitchers missed starts.

“When players get hurt, you got to step up and help out and get out there and get in as many innings as possible so your bullpen doesn’t get worn out,” Pierce said.

Pierce responded by accruing second-most innings on the Manatees with 108.2 and allowed just 52 walks and struck out 106 Florida State League hitters in 2013.

“I felt that it was a very positive season, aside from a couple of bad outings I continued pitching throughout the rest of the year,” Pierce said.

Pierce produced his best outing of the year in his final appearance of the season August 31 where he struck out eight batters and allowed one earned run in six innings.

However, Pierce endured a tough initial season with Pioneer League Helena in 2011 where he allowed 50 hits and 29 earned runs through 39.1 innings.

He was able to bounce back with a better sophomore season within the organization as a member of the Single A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers notching 115 strikeouts and allowing 41 walks through 124.2 innings.

The right-hander told Brewers Farm Report he has been impressed by Uhen’s progression since he saw him as a freshman and is just getting to know Markson during his workout experience at Miller Park.

When Pierce was asked about how he reacted to being drafted by his home state team, he stated he never could believe he’d be “part of an organization” he grew up watching.

Fellow Wisconsinite Charlie Markson sees Pierce as a player to look up to as the person with the most experience.

“When I first met Chad I knew he’d fit in great with us,” Markson said. “He knew (Uhen) from college. It’s kind of nice to have someone there that has been with the organization for a few years.”

“When (Uhen) and I have questions, (Pierce) is always willing to answer them. He is really helpful during those workouts and he kind of shows us how to function in the off season,” Markson added.

Year Tm Lg Lev W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2011 Helena PION Rk 2 4 6.64 15 5 0 39.1 50 36 29 4 19 33 1.754
2012 Wisconsin MIDW A 7 5 3.47 27 12 2 124.2 112 51 48 10 41 115 1.227
2013 Brevard County FLOR A+ 6 6 3.40 30 11 0 108.2 93 44 41 6 52 106 1.334
3 Seasons 15 15 3.89 72 28 2 272.2 255 131 118 20 112 254 1.346
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/25/2014.

High stakes for Brewers’ AFL reps

By Jason Arndt afllogo.preview
Brewers Farm Report
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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

Rogers

Rogers

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

Jungmann

Jungmann

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

Goforth

Goforth

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

Weisenburger

Weisenburger

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

Shackelford

Shackelford

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

Haniger

Haniger

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.

AFL ’12 – What happened to…

By Jason Arndtarizona_fall_league_logo
Brewers Farm Report
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Players headed to the Arizona Fall League are given a golden opportunity to improve their chances of remaining with a Major League organization or highlighting strengths and improving weaknesses.

Milwaukee sent eight Minor League players to the off-season league in 2012 in an effort to afford them a chance of showcasing their skills.

Brewers Farm Report examines the eight players and where they are presently within the Brewers’ organization.

The players listed are ranked according to who made the most of the opportunity and what team they are presently with:

Khris Davis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Davis

Davis

Despite an underwhelming Fall League stint, the 25-year-old outfielder progressed through the organization faster than a speeding bullet in 2012.

Davis started his 2012 campaign with the Arizona Rookie League Brewers to rehabilitate an injury and was assigned to Double A Huntsville after playing six games posting a .368 batting average (7-for-19) with three home runs and five runs batted in.

The seventh round selection in 2009 blasted eight home runs with 23 RBI in 44 games with the Stars before earning a promotion to Nashville.

He posted similar numbers with the Sounds and was given a ticket to the Arizona Fall League.

Davis was given “medium priority” in the AFL playing in 15 of 25 games and connected on 12 hits in 53 at bats (.226).

Little did Milwaukee know he would use the AFL as motivation to put on a show in Spring Training and eventually earned a spot on the Opening Day Roster.

Johnny Hellweg, RHP, Nashville Sounds

Hellweg

Hellweg

Hellweg’s performance in the AFL allowed Milwaukee the chance to take a longer look at him following a mid-season trade involving All-Star Zach Greinke.

The 6’9” hard thrower known as “Gas” by former Angels’ teammate Vernon Wells made nine appearances in the Fall League posting a 2.08 earned run average.

His limited performance in the Fall League affirmed the Brewers’ opinion on him after posting a 2.70 earned run average in 20 innings with Double A Huntsville.

The following year, he was rated in the Top Five among all Brewers’ prospects in the system and made the jump to third best.

Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Nashville Sounds

Nelson

Nelson

The 24-year-old was sent to the AFL in order to straighten out following a tough transition from High A Brevard County to Double A Huntsville in 2012.

Nelson posted a 2-3 record in seven starts but had an earned run average of 4.91 spanning 22 innings. His 23 strikeouts in 22 innings was a Phoenix Desert Dogs’ best.

With Brevard County he posted a 4-4 record but had a phenomenal 2.21 earned run average in 81.1 innings and walked just 25 batters in the Florida State League.

Nelson hit a minor roadblock when he moved up to Huntsville allowing 34 hits and 37 walks in 46 innings for the Stars.

Aside from a tough couple outings with the Desert Dogs, he demonstrated flashes of brilliance and eventually earned a spot as Milwaukee’s top prospect.

Hunter Morris, 1B, Nashville Sounds

Morris

Morris

All eyes were on Morris following a season where he earned Southern League Most Valuable Player honors and crowned the Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year.

His 2012 campaign with Huntsville gave him a league leading 28 home runs and 113 RBI, but fell just short of receiving the Triple Crown.

The left-handed batter was the Stars’ most durable player starting in 136 games and accumulating 571 plate appearances.

Morris’ AFL stint may have hindered his growth due to the extensive amount of at bats he tacked on from the beginning of the season through November.

The power numbers are still with him in Triple A Nashville but has been unable to maintain consistency through the duration of the 2013.

Josh Prince, Utility, Nashville Sounds

Prince

Prince

Nobody took advantage of the Fall League more than Prince after the highly regarded display.

The speedy utility player spent the majority of his minor league career playing below expectations of a former third round selection.

While Prince’s base stealing abilities have always been the highlight of his playing career demonstrated by back-to-back seasons with at least 40 stolen bases.

He seized the opportunity by leading the Desert Dogs in nearly every offensive category including a .404 batting average in 25 games.

In addition, he maintained a phenomenal .491 On Base Percentage and collected eight doubles and ten stolen bases.

Milwaukee made the decision to add him to the 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule V draft.

Prince’s power numbers increased for Triple A Nashville posting a career high 11 round-trippers and nearly matching his season best in runs batted in.

He received a couple recalls to the parent club, including a time where he took the spot of an injured Aramis Ramirez.

The 25-year-old Tulane University alum was involved in a walk-off win with Milwaukee but has been unable to improve upon his averages in the Minor League system.

Brock Kjeldgaard, OF, Huntsville Stars

Kjeldgaard

Kjeldgaard

Milwaukee gave the member of the Canadian National team an opportunity for more at bats and games following two consecutive short seasons.

The 27-year-old outfielder is one of the elder statesmen of the Brewers’ organization after his selection seven years ago.

Following two years off in order to focus playing for his home country, he has bounced around the system due to injuries.

Kjeldgaard played just 81 total games between three levels of the organization in 2012 and was in need of more work.

He played in just seven AFL games and could not advance himself to Triple A Nashville through the duration of 2013 season.

The 34th round selection is notorious for striking out (839 in 709 career games) and was unable to rid himself of the stigma in the Fall League with ten in 26 at bats.

His power numbers are the most prolific demonstrated by a see-saw battle with Huntsville teammate Jason Rogers for the Southern League home run lead.

Kyle Heckathorn, RHP, Nashville Sounds
HeckathornHeckathorn was selected with Milwaukee’s supplemental first round pick in 2009 and has struggled with the organization after a stellar initial two seasons.

The 6’6” right-hander was projected as a starter early in his career and earned himself a spot in the organization’s Top 20 throughout his career.

Heckathorn’s walk totals have been low in his professional career and is known as a fly ball pitcher, but has been unable to keep his hit totals down.

Milwaukee sent the pitcher to the Fall League as a way for him to redeem himself, but displayed similar numbers with the Desert Dogs.

Despite his struggles, he has since calmed down after being moved to the bullpen and used as a long-reliever.

Brewers’ officials will be faced with a tough decision in the winter when they decide whether to protect him from the Rule V draft and add him to the 40-man roster or expose him to other teams.

Santo Manzanillo, RHP, Brevard County Manatees
ManzanilloIn the early portion of his career the Dominican Republic native was known as a fireballer with fastballs nearing 100 mph.

But following an off-season car accident in 2011, the right-hander has not been the same with reduced zip on his fastball.

Rated among the organization’s Top 20 in the early portions of his career, Milwaukee stamped his ticket to the AFL with hopes of reviving his career.

His stint with the Desert Dogs was unsuccessful allowing seven earned runs in two innings of work.

Manazanillo opened the season with Huntsville but struggled in 26 games before his reassignment to High A Brevard County.

Brewers’ officials made adjustments to his development relegating him to short relief to make the most out of his arm.

Nick Bucci, RHP, Arizona League Brewers
N_BucciBucci has been hampered with injuries through his entire short career but has been brilliant in his most recent years on the mound.

Following the 2012 season, the 23-year-old Canadian allowed nine earned runs in 42.2 innings between the Arizona Rookie League and High A Brevard County.

Bucci struck out 44 batters and walked just 15 during the 2012 season and was sent to the AFL to log more innings and prepare for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Milwaukee added him to the team’s 40-man roster in order to protect him from the minor league portion of the Rule V draft when teams began to raise eyebrows at his successful appearances.

However, the right-hander pulled himself out of the Classic to rest his ailing throwing arm and sent to the Rookie League to rehabilitate it.

After less than an inning pitched, he was shut down for the season.

Haniger fortunate for rapid recovery

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report
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Haniger

Haniger

It took just 55 games with Single A Wisconsin for 2012 first round selection Mitch Haniger to convince Milwaukee to move him up the organizational ladder to Brevard County.

The decision to promote him to the Florida State League team even caught Haniger off guard as he was in the middle of an Iowa road trip with the Timber Rattlers.

“I was in Quad Cities when I got the call to Brevard, and the next day I traveled to Wisconsin and packed up and got down to Florida,” Haniger said.

Haniger’s promotion was near improbable given his season-ending injury just 12 games into the 2012 season after sustaining a partial tear to a knee ligament at play at the plate.

However, the 22-year-old California-born outfielder made a rapid recovery and considers himself grateful the injury was not as terrible as originally believed.

“I found out pretty quickly that I did not need surgery,” Haniger said. “Luckily things went very well and came back very quickly.”

Haniger with California Polytechnic Institute prior to being drafted in the first round

Haniger with California Polytechnic Institute prior to being drafted in the first round

Haniger made a statement early in the season for the Brewers’ Single A affiliate.

He gathered 43 hits in 145 at bats (.297 batting average) and knocked in 25 runs prior to the promotion.

Of his 43 hits, 19 were extra base hits (12 doubles, two triples, five home runs) and scored 24 times.

In addition, the speedy outfielder stole seven bases in seven attempts and walked 25 times for an On Base Percentage of .399.

Following an adjustment to the pitching-rich Florida State League his first 20 games, Haniger is catching on rapidly.

In the last 26 games, he produced 29 hits in 100 at bats for an average of .290 and tabulated 13 walks to give him an On Base Percentage of .368.

Haniger collected three of his seven doubles in the span in the August 17 blowout victory over the Daytona Cubs. In addition to the three doubles, he drove in three of the ten runs and batted 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

“I just went with whatever they gave me and not try to do too much,” Haniger said. “And not start something up every time you come to the plate.”

The outfielder is looking to make a strong statement as the season draws to a close in Brevard County – after a struggling start with the team.

“I am not pressing at all. I am just trying to finish out the season,” Haniger said. “I am just taking it one at bat at a time, one game at a time. I am not trying to worry about the future.”

Brevard County one of two winning teams

The Manatees are one of two teams within the Brewer organization with winning records and Haniger does not seem surprised given the history and chemistry between teammates.

“We won the Midwest League last year and all of us in the clubhouse knew how to win,” Haniger said. “That is why we have been able to compete.”

In addition, he notes all of the players within the clubhouse knows the role they serve on the team.

“There is not one particular guy in the clubhouse that leads the team in the vocal standpoint,” Haniger said.

He also spoke highly when asked about the impression infielder Nick Delmonico is making on the team after being acquired from Baltimore for veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

“He has a great approach at the plate and very disciplined,” Haniger said. “He is battling some injuries right now,” Haniger said.

The Haniger File

11th Rated Prospect in Brewers system

Position: Outfielder
Born: December 23, 1990
Birthplace: Santa Clara, CA
Height: 6’2”           Weight: 180

Bats: Right           Throws: Right

College: California Polytechnic State University

Drafted: First round (38th) overall by Milwaukee in 2012

Drafted alongside 10th rated prospect Clint Coulter and 8th rated prospect Victor Roache in the first round

Cravy rises to the occasion

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report
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Cravy

Cravy

Manatees’ pitcher Tyler Cravy is craving more starts after producing multiple stellar outings after coming out of the bullpen.

With the loss of left-hander Jed Bradley for the season and struggles of other top rated pitchers to start the season, Manatees’ Manager Joe Ayrault turned to Cravy.

“I made a couple spot starts in his place,” Cravy said. “It gave me the chance to be in the starting rotation and I was not sure how long I would be there but things have worked out great.”

The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher has allowed just six earned runs in his last eight outings spanning 42.1 innings.

He has started seven of the the eight outings compiling just a 2-1 record and a few no decisions for the Florida State League team.

Cravy struck out a season-high eight batters in his last two appearances totaling 12.1 innings combined.

Cravy making a relief appearance July 9 against Clearwater.

Cravy in a spot start July 9 against Clearwater.

Brevard County saw Cravy as a late-inning setup man to closer Tommy Toledo at the start of the season.

Cravy believes the transition to starter has allowed him better preparation and ability to sharpen up his pitches.

“As a starter it is just an opportunity for more time in between starts,” Cravy said. “And working on mixing up my pitches.”

The 17th round selection in 2009 believes the slider is giving him the best route of success in his most recent starts.

“I am pretty confident with my slider lately,” Cravy said. “I sometimes pitch it a little slower to get guys out and faster to jam it in.”

Cravy believes there are telltale signs he will have a good game during pre-game warmups including the ability to mix up his pitches.

“Definitely the fastball, if it leaves my hand well,” Cravy said. “If I can throw sliders for strikes. Its good indication of how I will do.”

Brevard County’s catching core of Cameron Garfield and Rafael Neda are credited with keeping him level throughout games.

“They both do a great job calling games and tell on me to stay on top of my pitches,” Cravy said. “They helped me out a lot.”

Cravy spent all of 2012 with both catchers with the Single A Midwest League Champion Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and learned quickly the difference between both leagues.

“They (hitters) are definitely more disciplined and you do not get away with bad pitches,” Cravy said. “If you get a bad pitch in, chances are you are going to pay for it.”

And as Cravy progresses slowly up the organization’s minor league ladder, he has shown signs of improvement on an annual basis.

Regards to Jacob Barnes, Brent Suter

Cravy noted fellow starter Jacob Barnes as another reason for the Manatees’ high points throughout the season.

Barnes came on in a rare relief appearance following an early departure by Milwaukee’s number 19 rated prospect Damien Magnifico August 23 to pick up his ninth victory of the season.

In the game, he struck out six batters in six innings and allowed just one walk and no earned runs to help the Manatees to a 3-1 win.

Barnes has boasts a 9-3 record with an earned run average of 3.02 in 101.1 innings pitched for the 2013. Milwaukee selected Barnes in the 14th round of the 2011 draft.

In addition, team-leader Brent Suter in Innings Pitched was noted for the ability to keep his walks down and Cravy mentioned his tall and lanky body type as the reason for taking on an extensive amount of innings.