Milwaukee Brewers Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

Milwaukee Brewers 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

This list was originally published December 10, 2008.  This is a review of the PRE-SEASON list for 2009, not a revision of that list. This is a REVIEW of the old list. I'm not doing new grades or lists until I start working on the 2010 book.

1) Mat Gamel, 3B, Grade B+: Hitting .277/.396/.482 for Triple-A Nashville, hit .239/.336/.407 in 48 games for the Brewers. Sharp season split, hit .336/.428/.647 in the first half, .224/.314/.336 in the second. This fast start/cold finish pattern is normal for him, though more extreme this year.

2) Alcides Escobar, SS, Grade B: Hit .298/.353/.409 with 42 steals in 52 attempts for Nashville, hitting .286/.327/.367 in 17 games for the Brewers. Progressing as expected.

3) Brett Lawrie, C, Grade B: Converted to second base. Hit .274/.348/.454 with 13 homers and 19 steals for Class A Wisconsin, promoted to Double-A where he's .269/.283/.308 in 13 games. Very young for Double-A.

4) Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Grade B: Can't stay off the weed.

5) Jon Lucroy, C, Grade B: Hitting .273/.385/.428 for Double-A Huntsville, with 76 walks and 65 strikeouts in 407 at-bats. Love the plate discipline. Sharp home/road split. .912 OPS on the road, .694 at home.

6) Angel Salome, C, Grade B: Hitting .286/.334/.413 for Nashville, not duplicating stunning '08 numbers.

7) Lorenzo Cain, OF, Grade B-: Had injury problems, hitting .221/.280/.359 in 37 games for Huntsville, weak plate discipline an issue.

8) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Grade B-: 3.57 ERA with 33/6 K/BB in 40 innings for rookie-level Helena in the Pioneer League. Sample is small but has performed OK.

9) Cutter Dykstra, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .240/.332/.331 with 11 steals in 13 attempts for Helena. Drawing walks, but not much pop.

10) Caleb Gindl, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .274/.363/.446 with 15 homers, 18 steals in 22 attempts for Class A Brevard County. Hampered by home park, and a breakthrough candidate for '10.

11) Cole Gillespie, OF, Grade C+: Traded to Arizona, hitting a combined .277/.373/.474 with 12 homers, 61 walks, 18 steals in 23 attempts between Brevard County, Nashville, and Triple-A Reno.

12) Wily Peralta, RHP, Grade C+: 3.38 ERA with 113/44 K/BB in 99 innings for Wisconsin, 84 hits allowed. Command needs work, but I love the strikeouts and the low hit rate.

13) Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Grade C+: 3.43 ERA with 116/55 K/BB in 105 innings for Wisconsin, 83 hits. Like Peralta, I like the Ks and the low hits, but needs sharper control as he moves forward.

14) Taylor Green, 3B, Grade C+: Hitting .261/.332/.361 for Huntsville. Contact hitter with good zone judgment, lacks power.

15) Omar Aguilar, RHP, Grade C+: Failed at Huntsville (7.71 ERA, 33/18 K/BB in 26 innings, 36 hits) but more effective back at Brevard County (2.28 ERA, 34/8 K/BB in 28 innings, 14 hits).

16) Alexandre Periard, RHP, Grade C+: Limited to just 37 innings between Wisconsin and Brevard County, 4.34 ERA with 23/16 K/BB, 41 hits combined. Not very exciting.

17) Josh Romanski, LHP, Grade C+: Hasn't played this year.

18) Evan Frederickson, LHP, Grade C: 5.30 ERA with 87/77 K/BB in 93 innings for Wisconsin. Very good stuff, but very poor control.

19) Erik Komatsu, OF, Grade C: Limited to just 79 at-bats, 66 at Wisconsin, by injury, hitting .253/.344/.316.

20) Efrain Nieves, LHP, Grade C: 5.70 ERA with 86/35 K/BB in 95 innings for Wisconsin, 116 hits. Not very attractive but he's just 19.

Gamel and Escobar can help in 2010 if they can find room for them. I don't buy Lawrie as a second baseman long term and I think they should just move him to the outfield and let him concentrate on his hitting. Jeffress drug problems are a sad case, but Peralta and Scarpetta look very interesting and 2008 supplemental pick Odorizzi has a ton of potential still. The 2009 draft looks intriguing on paper and will boost depth at the lower levels next year.

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