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2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors

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Offline  2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#1

Posted: January 12, 2019, 2:50 PM Post
Posts: 4209
Since people are talking about starts out of nowhere in the Major League forums, let's look to the farm.

Which players do you think are slated for a breakout or a comeback?

Here are some I have my eye on:
Breakouts
* LHP Scott Sunitsch - Overshadowed by Andy Ashby, but his 1.71 ERA in Wisconsin is quite interesting. Will be worth seeing what he does in his first full pro season.
* OF/1B Ryan Aguilar - Showed OBP skills, speed, and some power. The real question will be to see whether he can hit for average.
* C/1B Jesus Chirinos - Great bat and OBP skills. Could he be the future at catcher?
* 2B Victor Vargas - Hit over .300, good OBP skills, and speed.

Comebacks
* RHP Jorge Ortega - Missed time after Tommy John surgery, but his control is still there. Was on track to contribute to the rotation eventually when he got hurt.
* 3B Lucas Erceg - Has struggled a but with the bat. Could he put it together ala Corey Ray this year?
* RHP Cody Ponce - If he rebounds, it's more starting pitching depth.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#2

Posted: January 12, 2019, 3:39 PM Post
Posts: 765
I'm going to go for Trent Grisham.He's moved up a level every year, and every year he has been young for his level; 2½-3 years young. And will be again, whether at AA or AAA. The batting average is disappointing, as is the lack of power. But at the same time he has still been an above-average hitter overall, and has done that while young for his level and while being capable of playing CF (More likely to end up in LF, but that he can play CF is still a plus). MLB pitchers won't give him the chance to walk as much as he is if he doesn't develop any power, and he is perhaps too selective and passive so some things need to change. So this one is more like I was saying in a similar thread last year about Nottingham; he's been better than people think, and is still young and there's a real chance things improve. I don't see him as the kind of player you'd hope to see as a #15 overall pick, but it seems many people have given up on him completely, and I think he'll show them otherwise.

I expect Mario Feliciano to have a bounceback year after an injury-plagued 2018.

I also expect Payton Henry and Aaron Ashby to be very rapid risers in the system, but neither one doing so would really be a breakout as they kind of had those years already. So classify them more as meeting and even outperforming already high expectations.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#3

Posted: January 12, 2019, 4:16 PM Post
Posts: 450
Location: Washburn, WI
Clayton Andrews is my breakout candidate. He pitched great in Appleton last season and I think that will continue this year. I could see him pitching in AA by the end of the season if all goes well. He could be a fast riser, but I think people might overlook him based on his small 5’6” frame. His plus changeup and plus curveball to go along with his fastball helps him keep hitters off balance. He’s a 3 pitch relief pitcher that can throw all 3 pitches at any time.

Plus... He was great in centerfield in college... Who’s to say that he couldn’t be a guy who faces a lefty, goes in the outfield for a hitter or two, and then comes back in to face another lefty? Stearns is always looking for unconventional ways to gain an advantage. Andrews could be one of those guys to give the Brewers a different look (half blue).


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#4

Posted: January 12, 2019, 4:31 PM Post
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His chances are starting to grow dim, but I'd love to see Phil Bickford fulfill some of that promise that made him a 1st round pick and the Giants' top prospect at one time.

I also want to see Nathan Kirby make a full comeback and see what he can do. Getting another high-upside lefty in the system would be huge. I am also interested in seeing if Drew Rasmussen can get back on the mound and start making some noise. Not sure if he is going to pitch at all this year though.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#5

Posted: January 12, 2019, 7:01 PM Post
Posts: 508
Location: Milwaukee
My vote is for Devin Williams. Maybe its time to put him in the bullpen full time and see if he can make the majors that way. Hate to miss on a 2nd round pick.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#6

Posted: January 12, 2019, 11:17 PM Post
Posts: 364
Breakouts:

Pablo Abreu: I think he or Ward has a breakout season at Wisconsin this season
Max Lazar: I think he follows up his strong relative showing last year with a strong actual one now that he'll be out of Helena
Longshot -- Bowden Francis: The promotion last season makes me think the Brewers see something here

Bouncebacks or Comebacks:
Lucas Erceg: I think he could be a Mitch Haniger-type college late bloomer
Mario Feliciano: Will have to share time, but should be better after a lost season
Longshot -- Preston Gainey: After the two obvious ones above, go for a real longshot. I was higher than most on him before the injuries, and for some bizarre reason I'm sticking with it.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#7

Posted: January 13, 2019, 3:07 PM Post
Posts: 3
Location: Dubuque, IA
Extreme longshot -- LHP Blake Fox (10th round pick out of Rice University in 2016) For some reason I was always high on Fox and he is probably the longest shot at a comeback I have come across. He missed the past two seasons due to injury and will already be 25 years old entering the 2019 season having only pitched in six games professionally (Helena, 2016).


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#8

Posted: January 14, 2019, 10:46 AM Post
Posts: 4188
Location: New Berlin, WI
Breakouts:
Braden Webb - He kinda broke out last year, so he doesn't completely fit. I think this guy is going to be a force this year. I anticipate him being part of the MLB bullpen picture down the stretch kinda like Burnes last year.
Nottingham - I love a guy with excellent work ethic. I think he crushes AAA and gives the Brewers a lot to think about in June/July.
Caden Lemons - This is more wishful thinking than anything. Would love to see things start to align for this guy. He was a big time project when drafted, but very high ceiling.

Comeback/bounceback:
Lucas Erceg - I think he was better than his numbers last year, and the defense is pretty much ready.
Micah Bello - He started off really well for a few games, then tailed off. I think he'll be a good player and will have a solid 1st full year.
Tyrone Taylor - Might fit better as a breakout as last season he was ok. The Brewers dumping Broxton/Santana and adding Taylor to the 40 man says alot about what they think of him. Also scouting reports have been very positive about his new mechanics at the plate, much more likely to tap into his power.

I'll also add that I'm expecting Hiura to destroy AAA pitching and have much better numbers than his measly 821 ops in 2018 before getting the call in June.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#9

Posted: January 15, 2019, 8:53 AM Post
Posts: 136
Breakout-- Miguel Sanchez rhp reliever that no one ever talks about but struck out more than 13/9 with a WHIP of 1.073 at A, AA, AAA...I think he can do more at 24+


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#10

Posted: January 15, 2019, 9:55 PM Post
Posts: 508
Location: Milwaukee
ebmackenzie said:
Breakout-- Miguel Sanchez rhp reliever that no one ever talks about but struck out more than 13/9 with a WHIP of 1.073 at A, AA, AAA...I think he can do more at 24+


I think this is a great choice. I've was watching him closely last year when he was putting up these terrific numbers but as you state, very few talk about him. He could very easily be a darkhorse candidate to get some innings with the Brewers in 2019. He should be in AAA to start the year.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#11

Posted: January 16, 2019, 9:22 AM Post
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Clearly all of my gushing about Miguel Sanchez for the past few years has not been enough.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#12

Posted: January 18, 2019, 3:11 AM Post
Posts: 136
And That said:
Clearly all of my gushing about Miguel Sanchez for the past few years has not been enough.


Not when he does this on the Top 25

Victor Vargas - 4
Zach Clark - 4
Daniel Brown - 4
Eduarqui Fernandez - 4
Miguel Sanchez - 4
Michele Vassalotti - 3
Jorge Ortega - 3
Henry Medina - 2


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Online  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#13

Posted: January 18, 2019, 7:57 AM Post
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ebmackenzie said:
And That said:
Clearly all of my gushing about Miguel Sanchez for the past few years has not been enough.


Not when he does this on the Top 25

Victor Vargas - 4
Zach Clark - 4
Daniel Brown - 4
Eduarqui Fernandez - 4
Miguel Sanchez - 4
Michele Vassalotti - 3
Jorge Ortega - 3
Henry Medina - 2

You should have voted then! [wink]


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Online  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#14

Posted: January 18, 2019, 8:06 AM Post
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I don’t know if this fits as a breakout, but I am curious to see if Corey Ray, Jake Gatewood, and Troy Stokes, Jr. continue their power surges or adjust their approaches. Among all qualified hitters in Double-A last year they all ranked among the top 20 in ISO. Ray led this trio with a .239 ISO (3rd in AA), Gatewood registered a .222 ISO (7th in AA), and Stokes, Jr. had a .197 ISO (18th in AA). In theory playing in the PCL should help boost those power numbers even greater, but I’m also curious to see if any of them will trade some of that power for contact.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#15

Posted: January 18, 2019, 8:20 AM Post
Posts: 493
Breakouts:
Joey Matulovich – Strong Cape League performance, and solid pro debut. A steal to get in the 20th round and signed.
Justin Bullock- Back to back seasons of K-BB% of 16% in rookie ball. The rest of his line is just product of pitching in a hitters league
Braden Webb - Already had some eye-popping starts down the stretch. Puts it together and helps the big league club.
Comebacks:
Trent Grisham - I refuse to believe a guy who can post a K:BB of 4:3 at age 21 against AA pitching isn’t going to figure out a way to be productive big leaguer whether its more power or better contact on balls in play


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#16

Posted: January 18, 2019, 11:23 AM Post
Posts: 4188
Location: New Berlin, WI
Eye Black said:
I don’t know if this fits as a breakout, but I am curious to see if Corey Ray, Jake Gatewood, and Troy Stokes, Jr. continue their power surges or adjust their approaches. Among all qualified hitters in Double-A last year they all ranked among the top 20 in ISO. Ray led this trio with a .239 ISO (3rd in AA), Gatewood registered a .222 ISO (7th in AA), and Stokes, Jr. had a .197 ISO (18th in AA). In theory playing in the PCL should help boost those power numbers even greater, but I’m also curious to see if any of them will trade some of that power for contact.


We should add Hiura to that group considering what his fall numbers look like. I got the impression he clearly sacrificed contact for power in Arizona, as his power numbers surged but so did his K numbers. His 2018 numbers between high A and AA were 464 slugging with 19% k rate, that bumped to 563 slugging with 26% k rate in the fall league. I hope it was part of working on things and he'll come in to 2019 closer to complete.

Regarding your 3 examples, I want to add a note about how impressive Ray's HR totals were. 20 of his HR came at home, and I've been to Biloxi park...the wind is almost always blowing in off the ocean from RF. He must have caught some calm days or have really been hammering baseballs to hit that many out, I suppose he could have been going oppo as well but that would be equally as impressive as pulling balls out into the wind.


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Online  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#17

Posted: January 20, 2019, 1:52 AM Post
Posts: 2051
How about a major sleeper in a hopefully healthy Drew Rasmussen? Loads of talent. Could be a guy who makes huge jump in rankings if healthy


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Online  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#18

Posted: January 20, 2019, 7:44 AM Post
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YoungGeezy1 said:
How about a major sleeper in a hopefully healthy Drew Rasmussen? Loads of talent. Could be a guy who makes huge jump in rankings if healthy

Great example, Rasmussen could be both the biggest breakout and comeback (as in from injury/surgery) player. He is one of the biggest wild cards currently in the system. His Tommy John surgeries were in March of 2016 and September of 2017. If he is able to successfully regain his previous stuff he could be one of this year’s biggest stories. I am curious to see if the Brewers try to develop him as a starter or fast track him as a potential high-end reliever.


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#19

Posted: March 13, 2019, 3:59 AM Post
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Tyrone Taylor is OPS’ing .851, including a home run off Mad Bum last night, in 29 at bats. Any word on “how he looks” at the plate and in the field?


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Offline  Re: 2019 Breakouts and Comebacks in the Minors
#20

Posted: March 13, 2019, 7:12 AM Post
Posts: 738
Eye Black said:
YoungGeezy1 said:
How about a major sleeper in a hopefully healthy Drew Rasmussen? Loads of talent. Could be a guy who makes huge jump in rankings if healthy

Great example, Rasmussen could be both the biggest breakout and comeback (as in from injury/surgery) player. He is one of the biggest wild cards currently in the system. His Tommy John surgeries were in March of 2016 and September of 2017. If he is able to successfully regain his previous stuff he could be one of this year’s biggest stories. I am curious to see if the Brewers try to develop him as a starter or fast track him as a potential high-end reliever.


Good pick, Brewers mentioned Rasmussen as being very very impressive in minor-league camp. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on.


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