Baseball America released their version of the Milwaukee Brewers top 10 prospects list for the current off season. While most of the names were about where they should be expected, there was one surprise.
The big surprise wasn’t at the top of the latest Milwaukee Brewers top 10 prospects list. Baseball America selected Keston Hiura as the Brewers best prospect. Also water is wet, and the sky is often blue.
Corbin Burnes came in second overall. It’s a surprise that Burnes still counts as a prospect in the eyes of Baseball America, but it makes sense to have him in the second slot if he is.
What’s the big surprise?
Baseball America had catcher Jacob Nottingham as the Milwaukee Brewers 10th best prospect. The surprise was that they were that bullish on Nottingham, and ranked him ahead of names like Troy Stokes, Payton Henry, and Trey Supak.
Where do the other sites rank Nottingham?
FanGraphs has Nottingham outside the Milwaukee Brewers top 32 prospects on their recent update. Names like Mario Feliciano, Eduardo Garcia, and Aaron Ashby were included in top 10 of the FanGraphs version of the Brewers list.
MLB Pipeline has Nottingham at ninth overall, but they’ve yet to update their list. Their rankings are from the recent July update.
What does this mean for Nottingham’s 2019 campaign?
It means that someone is awfully high on Nottingham, and if they’re right, the Milwaukee Brewers might have an internal answer to their catcher problem. Also, keep in mind that Nottingham has played professionally since 2013, but he won’t turn 24 years old until just after Opening Day. He’s not a 30-year old journeyman, he’s still very much in the early stages of his career.
As currently constructed, Nottingham is in for a roster battle with Manny Pina, Erik Kratz, and Tuffy Gosewisch. A big Spring could push Nottingham to the top of the depth chart, and earn him a majority of the available playing time.
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Nottingham enjoyed a mini-breakout at Triple-A in Colorado Springs, and earned a September call up. He’ll never be a great defender, but he flashed improved blocking skills and still has an absolute cannon for an arm. If his power and strike zone judgment carry over from Triple-A to the Majors, the Milwaukee Brewers may not need to acquire another catcher.