Minor League Mailbag: 5/28/14

First baseman David Denson hit .341 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 13 games in the month of May.  (Photo: Brad Krause)

First baseman David Denson hit .341 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 13 games in the month of May. (Photo: Brad Krause)

We’re back with another edition of the Minor League Mailbag and this time around we’re taking questions on our recently released Top 25 Prospects list, the whereabouts of several current and former Brewers prospects and the upcoming 2014 draft.

David Denson is only hitting .245 and only has three home runs. Why are people so excited about him? (Jason)

There are several factors that make Denson an intriguing prospect, including the fact that he just turned 19 in January. He has big time power potential and has shown the ability to work counts and draw walks. He has an on base percentage that is 130 points higher than his batting average and was batting .341 in the month of May before suffering a broken hammate bone in his hand. The future is indeed still very bright for Denson who should recover from the injury in time to return to action later this season.

How is Orlando Arcia ranked ahead of Clint Coulter? Coulter is having a way better season. (Ryan)

Arcia is a year younger than Coulter, playing at a level higher and holding his own. The two were actually ranked very closely but Arcia has advanced further at a younger age. There also is little doubt that Arcia can handle the shortstop position – a premium defensive position – while there remain big questions as to Coulter’s ability to stick behind the plate. Both are among the top prospects for the Brewers and are players to keep an eye on going forward.

Surprised to see Jason Rogers not in your Top 25. How’s his move to third base going? (Darien)

Rogers has quietly had another solid season at the plate, and I, too, am surprised to see his name omitted. His average is up a little from last season, but the power numbers are down which may factor in to some of the votes (or lack of votes). The move to third base has gone about as expected. Rogers has committed nine errors in 45 games and has a fielding percentage of .934. He’s probably best suited to play first base, but for now the third base experiment continues in hopes that improvements will come as he gets more comfortable at the position.

What are your thought on Yadiel Rivera? Does he have a future role with the Brewers? (Michael)

Reports have been that Rivera’s glove is big league ready right now, but he has a long, long way to go with the bat. He’s repeating High-A this season and his offensive numbers are actually down from last year, so that’s not encouraging. He’s also had to share shortstop duties with Orlando Arcia so he has been getting more time at second base. That could ultimately be where he fits in the Brewers plans – as a utility guy – but he’ll need to show significant improvements at the plate to find his way to Milwaukee, regardless of how good his defense is.

Do you know what level Cody Hawn is playing at? I haven’t seen his name in any box scores. Is he injured? (Alex)

Hawn was released by the Brewers towards the end of Spring Training. The former 6th-round pick out of Tennessee spent four season in Milwaukee’s minor league system but never advanced past Single-A.

Is Max Walla still with the Brewers? I figured he would move up this year but haven’t heard anything about him. (Jamie)

Walla is indeed still with the Brewers and is in the process of being converted in to a pitcher. With a career average of .246 and just 15 home runs in five seasons, Milwaukee decided to see what Walla had to offer on the mound. He’s been in Maryvale at Extended Spring Training and will likely be assigned to one of the short-season teams when they begin play next month.

What do you see the Brewers doing in the upcoming draft? (Paul)

It’s hard to say what the team will do, but there should be plenty of talented players available when the Brewers pick at #12. I’ve heard all kinds of names tossed around. Max Pentecost, a catcher from Kennesaw State, Michael Conforto, an outfielder from Oregon State, and Tyler Beede, a pitcher from Vanderbilt are all names I’ve seen linked to the Brewers in recent mock draft. I don’t think it’s ever smart in baseball to draft for need, so whoever the top player on their board is at #12 I think they’ll grab regardless of position. We’ll have more on the draft coming up in the next week so be sure to keep checking the site for updates.

Thanks, as always, for all the great emails. If you have questions about any of the Brewers prospects, feel free to email us at millerparkprospects@gmail.com or tweet us @BrewersMPP and we will pick a few of your questions to use in next month’s edition.