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4 BREWERS

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OVERALL RANK 13

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP MILWAUKEE

They're trying to rebuild, but it's gonna take some time.... They could eventually be as good as any club at short and second. Last year could prove to be Jonathan Villar's best, but he may still put up All-Star numbers. Terrance Gore and Billy Hamilton are probably the two fastest guys in baseball, but Villar could be third.... Orlando Arcia could break out at shortstop. He's got tools—could be a younger Alcides Escobar, maybe even a little better offensively.... Ryan Braun's the same: .300, 25 or 30 home runs. They'd love to trade him, just haven't been able to unload the contract.... They gave Eric Thames $16 million to come back from Korea, where he had some historic seasons. But Korea's not the big leagues. I see a guy who is fooled by off-speed stuff and gets beat inside by a plus fastball.... Up the middle they've got some athletes, no doubt, but this is one of the worst staffs in baseball. Junior Guerra, their No. 1, is probably a 5 on a lot of clubs. Is he built for long-term success, now that he's matching up against aces? ... Neftali Feliz is a shell of what he once was, before he hurt his elbow. His velocity jumped last year a bit, but you want him pitching more in the seventh and eighth.... The Brewers' system? They've stocked. It. Up. Corey Ray has a chance to be a Denard Span type. I like Lewis Brinson, who they got from the Rangers—a Lorenzo Cain type. Josh Hader's got power stuff, power breaking ball, a lefty. He could be the best pitcher on the big league team by the end of the season.... They're not gonna lose 110, but it's going to be a tough year. Lots of positives here for the future, though.

MANAGER CRAIG COUNSELL

3RD SEASON WITH MILWAUKEE

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

2B JONATHAN VILLAR [BARGAIN] [RISING]

S-R .285 .369 .457 3.9

CF KEON BROXTON [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .242 .354 .430 2.1

LF RYAN BRAUN [TEAM MVP] [INJURY RISK]

R-R .305 .365 .538 4.4

1B ERIC THAMES [NEW ACQUISITION]

L-R .317 .425 .676 - [S. KOREA STATS]

RF DOMINGO SANTANA

R-R .256 .345 .447 -0.2

3B TRAVIS SHAW [NEW ACQUISITION] [BARGAIN]

L-R .242 .306 .421 2.2

SS ORLANDO ARCIA [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .219 .273 .358 -0.2

C ANDREW SUSAC

R-R .218 .297 .368 0.1 2015 STATS

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

C JETT BANDY [NEW ACQUISITION]

R-R .234 .281 .392 1.0

2B SCOOTER GENNETT

L-R .263 .317 .412 0.9

OF HERNÁN PÉREZ

R--R .272 .302 .428 2.0

W ERA K/9 WAR

RH JUNIOR GUERRA [BARGAIN]

9--3 2.81 7.4 4.0

RH MATT GARZA [INJURY RISK]

6--8 4.51 6.2 -0.3

RH ZACH DAVIES

11--7 3.97 7.4 2.3

RH CHASE ANDERSON

9--11 4.39 7.1 1.0

RH WILY PERALTA [INJURY RISK] [DECLINING]

7--11 4.86 6.6 0.6

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH NEFTALI FELIZ [NEW ACQUISITION] [INJURY RISK]

2 3.52 10.2 1.0

RH CARLOS TORRES

2 2.73 8.5 2.2

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

*S. KOREA STATS

†2015 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

The quirkiest move of the off-season was the Brewers' decision to bring Eric Thames(page 68) in from South Korea, install him as their first baseman and give him a three-year contract—dumping NL home run leader Chris Carter in the process. Thames did hit 124 homers in three seasons in Korea, but that's a hitters' league with a level of play roughly comparable to A ball or Double A in the U.S. With a number of young hitters on their way to the majors, the Brewers should give Thames a short leash and move Ryan Braun to first base, creating space in left for top prospects Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips.

BOTTOM LINE

An undermanned rotation will lag behind a solid lineup for now, but something's brewing in Milwaukee.