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Brewers Prospect Primer: Arcia gains steam
Speedster ready for big year, while Nelson eyes return to Milwaukee
03/28/2014 10:00 AM ET
Coming off an ankle injury in 2012, Orlando Arcia stole 20 bases for Wisconsin last season. (Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

Some players are on the verge of stardom, others are entering a crucial phase of their development and still others are getting their first tastes of full-season ball. With the 2014 season approaching, MiLB.com takes a look at the most intriguing prospects from each MLB organization.

Major League-ready: Jimmy Nelson, RHP

A self-proclaimed competitor, Jimmy Nelson is ready to get back on the mound in the Senior Circuit. The 24-year-old right-hander got a taste of the Majors last year when he pitched in four September games. The final appearance marked his first big league start, and he allowed one run on two hits with four strikeouts over five innings.

With the offseason signing of Matt Garza, the Brewers' top prospect will fall short of the Opening Day roster, but with Nelson's brief experience in the bullpen as well as in the rotation, the 6-foot-5 Alabama product could find himself on the mound at Miller Park sooner rather than later.

"For him, it's just about getting polished and getting experience at Triple-A," said former Nashville manager and current Rockies coach Mike Guerrero. "It might take him half a year, it might take him less or a little more, but I think he's one of those guys that gets things real quick, and you never know how quickly he's going to get to the big leagues."

Before his September callup, MLB.com's No. 83 overall prospect split time between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville, combining for a 10-10 record, 3.25 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 27 starts.

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Shining star: Tyrone Taylor, OF

Just three years ago, Tyrone Taylor was leading his high school football team in receiving yards and touchdowns. Now the Brewers' No. 2 prospect, Taylor is using his skills from the gridiron to track down fly balls in the outfield.

"Tyrone Taylor in my view will be a starting center fielder in the big leagues some day," said Reid Nichols, the Brewers' director of player development. "He's got good speed, good breaks on defense, good eye at the plate. He just needs some seasoning."

In his first full season, the six-foot California native made just four errors in 108 games at Class A Wisconsin. He uses his above-average speed to get to the ball quickly but could improve his base stealing. The Brewers' second-round pick in the 2012 Draft stole 19 bags last season but was caught eight times. The speedster also made a name for himself at the plate, leading all Milwaukee Minor Leaguers in hits (133) and doubles (33).

Breakout prospect: Orlando Arcia, SS

After spending 2012 on the bench with an ankle injury, Arcia made his full-season debut with Wisconsin last season and quickly showed off his speed on the bases and his range at short. The Brewer's No. 4 prospect also showed discipline at the plate, striking out just 40 times in 120 games and ranking among the top Timber Rattlers in several offensive categories.

Prospect Primer

The 19-year-old has an above-average arm and good range -- it will just be a matter of seasoning and getting comfortable at the position after leading Wisconsin with 23 errors. Nichols said the Venezuela native reminds him of former Milwaukee shortstop J.J. Hardy, always "being in the right position at the right time."

More to keep an eye on: With plenty of roster battles this spring, Triple-A Nashville's pitching could be the big winner -- at least for the first couple months. The Sounds will likely have a rotation headed by Nelson and Johnny Hellweg, while Rob Wooten and newly acquired Michael Blazek should lead the bullpen. … Southpaw Will West won't play until the end of 2014 as he is serving a 100-game suspension after his third positive test for a drug of abuse. The 21-year-old hurler will serve the ban after the completion of his current 50-game suspension, which began Aug. 5 of last season.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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