Minor League Mailbag: 1/19/16

We’re well into the new year and plenty has happened since our last mailbag in November so it’s time once again to clean out the inbox and answer some questions. In this edition we’ll discuss some of the Brewers offseason moves, the risks involved with winter ball and the prospect status of Johnny Davis .

Do you think a (Jonathan) Lucroy deal still gets done before the start of the season and are there any other players you think will be dealt? – Tom

Not sure if it will happen before the season starts, but it seems all but certain that Lucroy will be moved at some point. The Brewers are rebuilding and Lucroy wants to play for a winner. It’s pretty easy to see where both sides are coming from and you can’t fault either for their thinking, but the Brewers will not sell low on their All-Star catcher. If they aren’t getting acceptable offers now, they’ll take their time and let things play out until they get a fair deal. As for any other moving players, that’s always an option for a rebuilding club. Again, not sure what else happens in the next month or so, but at some point you would have to think Jean Segura is moved to make way for Orlando Arcia. The Brewers also still have three corner outfielders for two spots so something could materialize there but Milwaukee is working from a position of strength in both cases so if/when they do make a deal is really up to the other teams and what they decide to offer.

Is the (Chris) Carter signing a one year thing or is he the long-term answer in Milwaukee? – Kelby

I think 2016 will tell us a lot and we will have to wait and see how Carter performs before answering that. If he rakes at Miller Park and looks like the answer at first base, the Brewers can retain his services for three more seasons through his arbitration eligible years. If he struggles, they can cut ties with the slugger and look elsewhere for their answer. Milwaukee doesn’t have much presently at first base down on the farm, with the possible exception of Nick Ramirez, so it appears for the time being it’s Carter’s job to lose.

Of the new players the Brewers acquired this offseason, who do you see being able to step in and help right away? – Kevin

Assuming Carter is the everyday first baseman, some other players I’m hopeful to see contribute on the big league side are third baseman Garin Cecchini, infielder Jonathan Villar and outfielders Ramon Flores and Keon Broxton. Villar, Flores and Broxton are all more likely bench players, but Cecchini was a top prospect in Boston’s organization not too long ago and could provide the Brewers an answer at third base.

I don’t like the idea of our guys playing in other leagues during the offseason. The thought of someone getting hurt while playing in Mexico or Venezuela and not on the clock for the Brewers bothers me. Do you worry at all about guys playing winter ball?- Ash

That’s an interesting question, but I don’t worry too much about the injury risk. Injuries happen everywhere. Guys have been injured shoveling their driveways, or sleepwalking, or having luggage dropped on them. There are certain players who feel they need the extra work to stay sharp and as long as they are looking to improve themselves as baseball players, I’m all for it. Teams are usually pretty good about monitoring their players and making sure they don’t over-do it so for me, there’s no real concern there. Plus the Caribbean League games are very entertaining and give us something to follow during the long Midwest winters here at home.

What’s the prognosis for Johnny Davis? Will he be back? Still consider him a prospect? – Mike

Davis will turn 26 in April and only saw action in ten games with Single-A Brevard County before he tore his ACL early last season. That’s never an easy injury to come back from, especially for someone who relies so much on their speed, but that being said, a full recovery is far more likely in 2016 than it was a decade or more ago. Davis has been rehabbing and hopefully will be back on the diamond this spring. The thing that works against him is his age and relative inexperience. He got a late start to his baseball career and while coaches have commented on how quickly he’s picked things up in the past, a full season of missed development time in game situations is tough.

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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.

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