The last Brewers pitching prospect drafted in the first round that developed into an impact major-league starter was Ben Sheets in 1999. Since then, the organization has struck out repeatedly when drafting a pitcher in the first round.
Milwaukee drafted college right-hander Eric Arnett in 2009, who’s now a 25-year-old reliever that has yet to graduate from A-ball. They targeted upside the following year and drafted prep right-hander Dylan Covey in the first round. However, Covey decided not to sign and ultimately honored his commitment to the University of San Diego.
And while many pitchers from the 2011 draft—Jose Fernandez, Gerrit Cole and Sonny Gray, for example—have each made an impact in the major leagues, Milwaukee’s pair of first-round picks from that year, college pitchers Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, have struggled to climb the minor-league ladder and lack favorable long-term projections.
The Brewers finally landed a much-needed power arm this past June, drafting prep right-hander Devin Williams with its first pick (coming in the second round). The 19-year-old is a project and will need time to develop in the minor leagues, but the finished product has the potential to be a solid No. 2 or 3 starter.
The organization houses several under-the-radar position prospects that seem poised for breakout campaigns in 2014. Shortstop Orlando Arcia and outfielders Tyrone Taylor and Mitch Haniger are likely to open the season at High-A and, if everything goes smoothly in their respective developments, they could conceivably reach Double-A by season’s end.
Here’s a look at the Milwaukee Brewers’ top-10 prospects for the 2014 season.