More On The Brewers: Tucker Neuhaus, David Denson
It’s Brewers day at MLBPipeline.com. We have a new Top 20 Prospects list, my Cactus League camp report from Maryvale and Bernie Pleskoff’s look at how prospects could fit into Milwaukee’s 2016 lineup.
Whenever I visit a team’s complex, I wind up with more information than I can use in the camp reports. Some of that overflow will spill over to my blog, where today I’ll write about two more intriguing young Brewers from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft . . .
Another breakout candidate: Tucker Neuhaus, 3b/ss
Neuhaus had a rough senior season at Wharton High in Tampa, dealing with a pulled quadriceps and a burst eardrum while also coping with the death of his older brother in an offseason car accident. Though he wasn’t at his best, the Brewers still thought enough of his potential to draft him in the supplemental second round last June and sign him for $771,000.
Neuhaus didn’t tear the cover off the ball in his pro debut, hitting .231/.311/.303 while splitting time between shortstop and third base in the Rookie-level Arizona League. His tools are impressive, though, as he’s a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder with lefthanded power and the hands and arm strength to stay on the left side of the infield.
“Neuhaus is going to be a guy you hear about in the future,” Milwaukee farm director Reid Nichols said. “He looks like what a big leaguer looks like at this age. He can play shortstop and he’s a solid third baseman.
“I’m not saying that he’s going to be Chipper Jones, but he reminds me of Chipper Jones with his actions and the way he handles himself. I like his actions at the plate. He realizes he’s at his best when he goes up the middle or the other way.”
Another breakout candidate: David Denson, 1b
Denson is all about power. A massive 6-foot-4, 245-pounder, he won the 2013 Power Showcase, an annual home run derby for high school players. He blasted a ball 515 feet off a video board in right-center at Marlins Park in Miami, setting an event record.
The California high school product signed for $100,000 as a 15th-round pick last June, then hit six homers while batting .244/.385/.449 in the Arizona League. He’ll need to prove he can make consistent contact and he may never be more than an adequate defender at first base, but his power can carry him.
Nichols looks at him and can’t help but think of another slugging prep first baseman whom the Brewers drafted 11 years earlier.
“He reminds me a lot of Prince Fielder when Fielder was that age,” Nichols said. “He has big-time power and a very good eye at the plate.”
Milwaukee would like to get both Neuhaus and Denson to low Class A Wisconsin this year, though it’s possible they could spend time in extended spring training or at Rookie-level Helena.