In our 2nd part of our look "Down on the Farm" we preview one of the most intriguing rosters in the Brewers system, that of the Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League. They kick off their season away to the Daytona Cubs tonight at 6:35pm Eastern time. Big time prospect Taylor Jungmann will get the start for the Manatees. It'll also be game number one under the leadership of Joey Ayrault, who moves up from rookie Helena to skipper the Manatees in 2012.
Nothing like starting off with the rival organization, huh? Although realistically these rosters aren't exactly full of hate for each other because of the fluctuating nature of the minor leagues, but you get the point.
The Manatees are chalk full of some of the biggest pitching prospects in the Brewers farm system so you know I'll be keeping an eye one that and much more. Let's take a look at the full roster (which is click-able should you want to check any of the players out for yourself) and my list of "players to watch."
|22||Eric Arnett||P||R||R||6' 5"||230||01-25-1988||Active||No|
|37||Jed Bradley||P||L||L||6' 4"||225||06-12-1990||Active||No|
|34||Hiram Burgos||P||R||R||6' 1"||210||08-04-1987||Active||No|
|23||Brian Garman||P||L||L||5' 10"||180||07-19-1988||Active||No|
|20||Brooks Hall||P||R||R||6' 5"||200||06-26-1990||Active||No|
|44||Greg Holle||P||R||R||6' 8"||240||11-16-1988||Active||No|
|36||Taylor Jungmann||P||R||R||6' 6"||210||12-18-1989||Active||No|
|18||Thomas Keeling||P||L||L||6' 3"||185||03-30-1988||Active||No|
|33||Eric Marzec||P||R||R||6' 0"||190||01-13-1988||Active||No|
|13||Casey Medlen||P||R||R||6' 0"||155||08-04-1989||Active||No|
|40||Jimmy Nelson||P||R||R||6' 6"||245||06-05-1989||Active||No|
|12||Austin Ross||P||R||R||6' 2"||200||08-12-1988||Active||No|
|41||Connor Whalen||P||L||L||6' 3"||195||04-19-1988||Active||No|
|26||Alan Williams||P||L||L||6' 3"||195||03-05-1990||Active||No|
|10||Brent Dean||C||R||R||6' 1"||210||07-26-1986||Active||No|
|7||Adam Weisenburger||C||R||R||5' 10"||185||12-13-1988||Active||No|
|24||Shawn Zarraga||C||S||R||6' 0"||260||01-21-1989||Active||No|
|17||Cody Hawn||1B||L||R||6' 1"||195||08-11-1988||Active||No|
|30||Juan Sanchez||SS||R||R||5' 11"||170||01-16-1987||Active||No|
|3||Nick Shaw||2B||L||R||5' 11"||160||08-25-1988||Active||No|
|2||Shea Vucinich||3B||R||R||6' 1"||185||12-01-1988||Active||No|
|8||Michael Walker||3B||L||R||6' 3"||215||06-12-1988||Active||No|
|1||Reggie Keen||CF||R||R||5' 10"||180||12-02-1987||Active||No|
|35||Scott Krieger||OF||R||R||6' 0"||215||01-30-1987||Active||No|
|6||T.J. Mittelstaedt||LF||L||R||5' 10"||185||02-13-1988||Active||No|
|27||Franklin Romero||RF||R||R||5' 11"||180||06-24-1988||Active||No|
|11||Miguel Velazquez||OF||R||R||6' 2"||205||05-15-1988||Active||No|
Players I'm Watching:
P - Eric Arnett
He was the Brewers 1st round pick in 2009 and it hasn't exactly been all roses and sunshine for this prospect. He was awful in his first year and suffered a shoulder injury at the beginning of last season. It resulted in him playing in just 5 games for Wisconsin (0-4, 5.00ERA). It's really a make or break season for him and with the step up to high-A ball he'll really need to prove he's got the mental and physical side of things under control. One thing that may be of help is having a relationship with new manager Joey Ayrault who coached him over parts of the past two years at Helena.
P - Jed Bradley
The 2011 1st round pick has yet to even throw a ball in an official minor league game and he's already one of the top prospects in the Brewers organization. He's the 97th ranked prospect in all of baseball according to MLB.com and all the organizational rankings have him either 2nd (twice), 3rd (twice), or 4th (once). So of course I'll be watching him closely.
P - Tyler Jungmann
He's the other 2011 1st round pick (actually the 1st with Bradley coming 2nd) and will start out at high-A ball as well. He's also an extremely highly touted prospect that ranks 2nd or 3rd in every organizational prospect ranking out there. In college the guy was just flat out dominate as he never recorded an ERA higher than 2.03 in a single season and his career ERA was an unreal 1.85. He also went 32-9 over his Longhorns career. Pretty sure I'll be watching and hoping he makes a fast run up this system as he'll be needed in the coming years.
P - Jimmy Nelson
I've seen this guy in person a few times and was impressed with what he brought to the mound. He was the Brewers 2nd round selection in 2010 and became their de facto highest signed player after their 1st rounder opted for college after finding out about a diabetes diagnosis. Nelson went 8-9 with a decent 4.38 ERA in 25 starts at low-A Wisconsin last year. He's also listed in the top 10 Brewers prospects by three different rankings, good enough to really keep an eye on.
Again, if there's a player I don't have on this list or someone you're intrested in hearing more about please leave a comment below and I'll be sure to put them in my radar sights!