The Milwaukee Brewers are not one of those teams where fantasy owners will look at the roster and see a ton of players worth drafting. However, there are certainly some players that owners should not look past, and others who likely should not be rated as highly as others seem to be doing. Here is a look at the fantasy prospects of Milwaukee hitters going into the 2014 season.
Milwaukee Brewers – Hitters Preview
Lucroy had a career year in 2013 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI; by the second half of the season, he had been moved mostly into the cleanup spot for the Brewers. He will have Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez in front of him in the lineup this season, and could easily find himself close to 100 RBI by year’s end. Lucroy is a solid catcher pick; look for him around the fifth or sixth round.
1B- Juan Francisco
Francisco hit 18 home runs between the Braves and Brewers last season, and while he is a player who could easily find a way to hit that many again this coming year, he is likely not going to find himself at first base every night. Francisco is a solid late-round pick as a flyer or someone that can be used on Mondays and Thursdays when starters have off days. He must remain in the lineup, though, to be effective.
2B- Rickie Weeks
Weeks has been struggling in a big way over the past number of years, and hit a career-low .209 in 2013 with only ten home runs and 24 RBI. Owners are curious if they should even draft him. He could be a bounce-back candidate, but he could also be a player on whom owners waste a pick. Weeks is a classic high-risk/high-reward player.
SS- Jean Segura
Segura is proving to be one of the best shortstops in the game today, but he needs to remain consistent for an entire season. He hit over .300 in the first half of 2013, but tailed off in the second half. Segura did steal 44 bases, however, and finished with a .294 batting average. He will likely steal 40-45 bases again this season and hit around .300 at the top of the Milwaukee order, making him a solid third-round selection. The key to Segura's season comes from the players around him. If players like Braun, Ramirez, and Gomez can hit at the same levels they have in the past, it could be a special season for him. There are a lot of variables though that need to be looked at to determine if he can be drafted earlier than expected.
3B- Aramis Ramirez
Ramirez battled injuries and played in just 95 games last season, notching 12 home runs and 49 RBI. He will get Braun back in the lineup in front of him, so his numbers should improve again if he can stay healthy. That’s far from a given, though. If he can stay on the field, he should be able to hit 20-25 home runs and knock in 90-95 runs. He is a player worth taking, but it would be wise to wait until at least the tenth round.
LF- Khris Davis
A major 2014 breakout candidate, Davis hit 11 home runs in just 136 at-bats after taking over full-time for Braun at the end of 2013. He has the ability to hit 25-30 homers this season, given the opportunity and the at-bats. Davis also had 27 RBI in his 56-games stretch. The numbers are there, and he is someone that owners may be able to get in the mid-teen rounds as a nice sleeper candidate even as his draft position has been in the low 200s.
CF- Carlos Gomez
It was a very good year in 2013 for Gomez with 24 home runs and 73 RBIs. He has emerged as a player to trust in fantasy baseball now. His home run totals are rising and he is still stealing bases, swiping 40 in 2013. He won’t get past the third round in many leagues because of the tools he is now bringing to the tables. Fantasy owners shouldn’t let a talent like Gomez get away if possible. His third round draft position is warranted as many mock drafts being done are putting him there. He is a candidate to be taken with one of owners' top outfield picks. He may be getting drafted as a top-ten outfielder but could find himself being a top-five outfielder by the end of the season if things fall the right way for him.
RF- Ryan Braun
The story of Braun is simple for 2014. Can he get back to his MVP levels from years past? If that happens, he is someone that will be a top-20 player this season. Many people believe that Braun is a first round draft pick this season. He will likely hit 25-30 home runs and knock in around 90 runs but is a player that is best taken in the second round and not in the first because of the unknown. Braun is being taken in the first two rounds by many players. I'm not of that opinion and feel he shouldn't be taken in the top 30. He is going to be good no doubt about that but owners need to be watching very carefully to see what happens this season with him. He could shock many people and finish as a top-five player or his value could sink very easily into the mid-30s or even worse.
Bench- Scooter Gennett
Gennett could end up being the starting second basemen for the Brewers before all is said and done. He hit .324 last season with six home runs in 213 at-bats. He is someone that should be drafted if he does become the full-time second baseman. He is on track for a 10-15 homer year with 50-55 RBIs given the chance to play every day.
Bench- Martin Maldonado
Maldonado is a player that isn’t going to have much value this season unless either Francisco or Lucroy get hurt. He will play his share at catcher and first base and will likely get around 200 at-bats but isn’t someone that is worth drafting to begin the season.
Bench- Jeff Bianchi
Bianchi fits the role as ultra-utility player after playing four different positions last season in Milwaukee. He hit just .237 however in the 236 at-bats he got. He will likely get the same amount of at-bats this coming year and won’t make an impact in fantasy baseball.
Bench- Logan Schafer
Schafer falls into the category of ‘solid player, not enough at-bats’. He hit just .211 last season in his first full season at the major league level. He did play all three outfield positions but will need to improve on his batting average if he is ever going to be worth a spot on fantasy teams.
Bench- Caleb Gindl
Gindl is another decent outfield prospect in Milwaukee who didn’t get a lot of chances in 2013. He did hit five home runs in 132 at-bats but isn’t going to get the plate appearances to warrant being on fantasy teams. Gindl will need a lot of help to get into the lineup on a full-time basis.