Brewers: Orlando Arcia tops updated prospects list

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Jun 19, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Virginia Cavaliers pitcher Nathan Kirby (19) throws against the Florida Gators in the first inning in the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

11. Nathan Kirby, LHP

Nathan Kirby was the 40th pick overall last month, a sandwich pick who missed significant time this spring while at the University of Virginia because of a lat strain.

He has yet to make his pro debut. The 6-foot-3, 177-pound lefty has had his fastball up to 94, but was in the high 80s and low 90s this spring. He has a plus slider and some speculated he was throwing it too much, taking life off his fastball.

Kirby took a step back in 2015 after entering the season as the top college left-hander in the draft class. He was Virginia’s ace when they finished second in the College World Series in 2014 and did pitch in relief in Omaha last month as the Cavaliers won the national title.

The 21-year-old projects as a 2019 arrival.

May 31, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Tyler Wagner (59) pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

12. Tyler Wagner, RHP

Tyler Wagner, a fourth-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Utah, is the first player on the list who has already made his major-league debut.

He came up May 31 to make a start for the Brewers against the Arizona Diamondbacks and was knocked around for five runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings, walking one and striking out two.

But the 24-year-old has been very good at Biloxi this season, going 7-5 with a 2.53 ERA and 1.153 WHIP in 17 starts, with 86 strikeouts in 106.2 innings.

He worked as a reliever in the Arizona Fall League last year, with a 7.42 ERA and 1.500 WHIP in nine appearances and 13.1 innings, striking out seven and recording one save.

Wagner was 13-6 at Brevard County last season, with an outstanding a.86 ERA and 1.107 WHIP in 25 starts and 150 innings, fanning 118.

A closer at in college, he has made the transition to starter as a professional and found a great deal of success, working off a low-90s sinking fastball and a solid slider.

Feb 27, 2015; Maryvale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Taylor Williams (73) poses during photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park . Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

13. Taylor Williams, RHP

A fourth-round pick in 2013 out of Kent State University, Taylor Williams is a short (5-foot-11) right-hander, something of a rarity.

Williams hasn’t pitched in 2015 because of a strained flexor tendon, but had a very solid 2014 campaign.

He was 8-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 0.944 WHIP in 22 appearances, 12 of them starts, for Wisconsin, earning four saves in relief and striking out 112 in just 107 innings.

That earned him a late promotion to Brevard County, where he was 1-2 in five starts with a 4.26 ERA and 1.342 WHIP in 25.1 innings, fanning 25.

But Williams, 24, can hit the upper 90s when healthy, even at his size, and projects as a reliever, possibly a closer, at the big-league level.

14. Michael Reed, OF

Michael Reed was a fifth-round pick in 2011 out of Leander (Texas) High School and has been on a steady climb through the organization.

This season, he is hitting .279/.378/.425 in 91 games at Biloxi, with 42 runs, 20 doubles, five triples, five home runs and 49 RBI while stealing 24 bases in 31 attempts.

That comes after he hit .255/.396/.378 in 110 games at Brevard County in 2014, with 50 runs, 20 doubles, five triples, five homers and 47 RBI to go with a 33-for-46 performance on the basepaths.

He’s had some injury problems throughout his early career, but projects as a productive fourth outfielder—with the speed to play center and an arm that fits in right field, but without corner-outfielder power.

Feb 27, 2015; Maryvale, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Yadiel Rivera (65) poses during photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park . Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

15. Yadiel Rivera, SS

It’s been a slow climb for 23-year-old infielder Yadiel Rivera, a ninth-round pick out of Manuela Toro High School in Caguas, Puerto Rico, in 2010.

He began this season at Biloxi, hitting .322/.366/.452 in 32 games and earning a call-up to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he has hit .246/.275/.325 in 63 games, with 25 runs, seven doubles, four triples and 23 RBI.

He has steadily cut down on his strikeout rates, from 72 in 218 plate appearances in the Arizona Rookie League in 2010 to 63 in 369 plate appearances this season across the two upper levels of the minors.

It will be Rivera’s glove that gets him to the big leagues and his bat will be the determining factor whether or not he’s an everyday shortstop or a utility man.

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