15) Michael Reed – OF
Born: November 18, 1992 Height/Weight: 6’0″/200 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted fifth round in 2011
Speedy but with minimal power, Reed is a prototypical center fielder. A progressively patient hitter, his on-base percentage often eclipses his slugging percentage. He could stand to lower his strikeouts a bit but he still hits the gaps well often utilizing his speed to leg out a double. Discipline is the key here, not to mention some added pop to his bat. If Reed watches those two things and makes some strides in doing so, he may well find himself in Milwaukee again this season, but sooner than August call-ups.
14) Yadiel Rivera – SS/2B/3B
Born: May 1, 1992 Height/Weight: 6’3″/180 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted ninth round in 2010
A dependable utility infielder, Rivera has made strides in improving his already fluid defense. Although he didn’t hit well during his August 2015 call-up, his defense is what has the big club drooling. His natural position is at shortstop, but with the loss of long time third baseman Aramis Ramirez, there’s room for competition at the hot corner when spring training rolls around.
Rivera doesn’t take a lot of strikeouts, but isn’t patient enough to take many walks either. If he can learn some much needed plate discipline to keep him in the lineup, starting with the big club after the spring isn’t much of a far fetched thought.
13) Tyler Wagner – RHP
Born: January 21, 1991 Height/Weight: 6’4″/195 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted fourth round in 2012
I had the privilege of sitting in the press box for one of Wagner’s three starts for the Brewers this past season, and he played much better than his 7.24 ERA leads you to believe. A power pitcher plain and simple, he brings four very good pitches with him to the mound. He throws a mid-90’s fastball but his slider really has a nice break to it. The sinker also has some nice movement and his changeup isn’t too shabby either, but that slider is where his bread is buttered, and he throws it well. He’ll most likely begin the season in Triple-A Nashville, but will certainly get more than one opportunity to toss in Milwaukee again, if not permanently in 2016 as long as he can keep his pitch count down and prove his ability to get in to the deeper innings.
12) Cody Ponce – RHP
Born: April 25, 1994 Height: 6’6″/240 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted second round in 2015
Ponce can bring the heat but his control issues are far from over. His ERA is a solid 2.29 for his first season in the minors but that was more the doing of the defense backing him up rather than pitching himself out of a jam. It’s still too early to tell if Ponce can be a big-league pitcher in the near future, but with his size and repertoire of pitches (curve, cutter, slider) to select from, he could find himself in the top 10 Brewers prospects before long. Expect to see Ponce begin the season with High-A Brevard County.
11) Tyrone Taylor – OF
Born: January 22, 1994 Height/Weight: 6’0″/185 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted second round in 2012
An average center fielder who was once the top prospect in the Brewers system, Taylor is now surrounded by much more competition. A natural gap hitter, he rarely uses his legs at all when hitting, relying solely on his upper body to provide the power in his swing. His batting average fell a few points as well when bumped up to Double-A Biloxi.
Taylor gets a lot of innings under his belt and is pleasantly aggressive in the field. He’s got good range but average instincts and less that impressive arm strength. He should start 2016 back in Biloxi.