5) Gilbert Lara – SS
Born: October 30, 1997 Height/Weight: 6’3″/205 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: International Free Agency in 2015
Lara has a lot of raw power for his age. This hasn’t translated in home runs quite yet, as he’s only gone as far as Rookie ball, but with some much needed adjustments to his swing, he’ll be driving the ball regularly in no time. His swing can run a little loose and he tends to pull the ball but these things can be over come.
An above average arm leads me to believe that Lara will find himself at third base at some point in the next few year or possibly left field. Shortstop doesn’t seem to fit where he needs be defensively. First base is always an option as well, especially if his power does pan out, and first seems to be a natural landing place for heavy hitters.
4) Jorge Lopez – RHP
Born: February 10, 1993 Height/Weight: 6’3″/190 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted second round in 2011
An above average pitcher with a good fastball and curve, Lopez should begin this season in Triple-A Memphis, if not earn a roster spot with the big club. He earned a well deserved call-up last season, but spring training will tell if he’s ready for the major-league team yet. He’s had some control issues although what he does get over the plate is often a well-placed strike. His changeup is still a work in progress and that may lead to a few more walks than he’d like to surrender. Lopez is right on the cusp of seeing regular, big-league duty, and 2016 looks like his opportunity.
3) Trent Clark – OF
Born: November 1, 1996 Height/Weight: 6’0″/205 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: Drafted first round (15th overall) in 2015
A two-tool hitter, Clark utilizes both his speed and natural ability when batting and rounding the bases. He’s a very patient hitter and squares the ball up well. Although he doesn’t always get a lot of pop, he allows the legs to earn their keep. He hit almost as many triples as he did doubles in Rookie ball this past season, and swiped two dozen bags as well.
He may have the speed to squeak out a try at center field a few levels up, but his low arm strength will relegate him to corner out field duty, most likely left. He’ll most likely begin this next season in Low-A Wisconsin with the Timber Rattlers.
2) Brett Phillips – OF
Born: May 30, 1994 Height/Weight: 6’0″/180 lbs. Bats/Throws: Left/Right Acquired: Trade with Houston Astros in 2015
A legit four-tool player (throw, run, field, hit) he’ll most likely make a name for himself with his legs. He can swipe a bag and snap a few extras as well, taking 35 triples in three seasons, compared to 33 home runs. His legs have gotten him in trouble early on in the minors, but patience is a virtue that he’s learning well, and still has some room to grow on too. His strikeouts are on the high side (20%) but his hitting has still improved over the past few years. He has the ability to hit away or drive it up the middle just as much as pulling the ball, but that comes with some more plate discipline.
Defensively he’s an above average center fielder with an average arm. He’s got good reaction time in the field and commits very few errors. There isn’t much reason for him to spend more time in Double-A unless the scouts think he needs to tweak a thing or two with his batting. As long as his doesn’t hit a slump in spring training, he should end up in Triple-A Memphis to start 2016, not that Double-A would hurt hit all. Playing time is playing time after all.
1) Orlando Arcia – SS
Born: August 4, 1994 Height/Weight: 6’0″/165 lbs. Bats/Throws: Right/Right Acquired: International Free Agency in 2010
Orlando Arcia is as solid a four-tool (throw, field, run, hit) prospect as you’ll find in the Brewers’ system. Mature for his age, he comes from a talented family as his brother Oswaldo is an outfielder for the Minnesota Twins. He’s got plus speed but hits the gaps well when at the plate. He’s got a good bit of power and will hit just as many triples as he does home runs. Swiping 20-30 bags per season isn’t out of the question either.
The Brewers believe that Arcia can get to the majors on his defense alone. And although you’d obviously like to see a starting middle infielder hit too, his defense is what’s clearing the checks. He’s got better range than current short stop Jean Segura and will most likely usurp him in the near future. The only comparison to his arm I can think of is Ken Caminiti. Yes he was a third baseman, but in the 90’s you’d be hard pressed to find someone who could throw that hard, that accurately, as many time across the diamond as Caminiti did. Arcia could very well find himself in the Brewers lineup sometime in 2016.