Top 20 PRE-SEASON Brewers Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a J.M. Gold autographed baseball.
1) Prince Fielder, 1B, Grade A-
Hitting .290/.343/.504 with 18 homers for the Brewers. And I think he will get better than this in time.
2) Ryan Braun, 3B, B+
Hot lately, up to .283/.330/.505 in 26 games for Double-A Huntsville. A decent full-season debut although perhaps not quite as good as people expected.
3) Jose Capellan, RHP, B+
4.29 ERA in 40 games for the Brewers, 38/19 K/BB in 50 innings. He will do better than this eventually.
4) Corey Hart, OF, B
Hitting .357/.410/.446 in 40 games for the Brewers, just 56 at-bats. Not really a .357 hitter but he is a solid guy who just needs playing time.
5) Zach Jackson, LHP, B
2-2, 5.40 in 38 innings for the Brewers, 22/14 K/BB. Not great by any means, but most rookie pitchers struggle initially.
6) Yovani Gallardo, RHP, B
Combined 7-5, 1.66 in 18 starts between Class A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville. Emerging as one of the top RHP prospects in the game.
7) Dana Eveland, LHP, B
8.13 ERA in 28 innings for the Brewers. Like Jackson, he's struggled, but has little left to prove in the minors and still has considerable upside.
8) Mark Rogers, RHP, B-
5.07 ERA in 16 starts for Brevard County, 96/53 K/BB in 71 innings. Blistering stuff shows up in his K/IP ratio, but his command is terrible. At this point he could develop into anything....Nolan Ryan, Colt Griffin are the possible extremes.
9) Nelson Cruz, OF, B-
Hitting .302/.380/.525 for Triple-A Nashville, with 17 steals and 19 homers. Impressive power/speed combination. Contact is an issue and his batting average may not hold up in the majors, but he should at least be a decent player.
10) Will Inman, RHP, B-
1.33 ERA in 61 innings for Class A West Virginia, 74/13 K/BB with zero homers allowed. Big-time sleeper that you should watch closely.
11) Tim Dillard, RHP, B-
3.33 ERA in 111 innings for Huntsville, 70/31 K/BB. Competent strike-thrower who can start or relieve. Doesn't dominate but gets the job done, at least in the minors.
12) Ben Hendrickson, RHP, C+
2.12 ERA in 15 starts for Nasvhille, but a 12.00 ERA in 12 innings, 21 hits allowed, 8/9 K/BB for the Brewers. Needs a change of scenery. Has nothing left to prove in the minors but hasn't been able to hold a rotation spot in the majors.
13) Dennis Sarfate, RHP, C+
3.81 ERA in 21 starts for Nashville, 93/69 K/BB in 106 innings. Must improve his control in order to post decent numbers in the majors. Should get a shot next year.
14) Manny Parra, LHP, C+
2.84 ERA with 57/31 K/BB in 51 innings for Brevard County. Good ERA and K/IP rate but too many walks.
15) Alcides Escobar, SS, C+
Hitting .249/.290/.315 in 59 games for Brevard County, with 17 steals. Good speed but his power is non-existent and his walk rate is also weak. Athletic and will have a good glove with more experience, but hitting is a problem.
16) Hernan Iribarren, 2B, C+
Hitting .329/.371/.408 with 17 steals for Brevard County. Proven high-batting-average hitter, but power remains mediocre and he needs to improve his baserunning.
17) Angel Salome, C, C+
Hitting .300/.357/.454 for West Virginia, with 29 doubles. A fine prospect with a strong bat.
18) Michael Brantley, OF, C+
Hitting .286/.390/.329 with 14 steals for West Virginia. Patience and speed make him a good leadoff guy, but power is very, very weak right now.
19) Lorenzo Cain, OF, C+
Hitting .299/.374/.408 for West Virginia, with 24 steals and 21 doubles. Toolsy, fast, with some power potential.
20) Kevin Roberts, RHP, C+
5.04 ERA in 80 innings for West Virginia, 81/41 K/BB. Good strikeout rate but control troubles have inflated his ERA.
While most people are aware that the Brewers have a good farm system, I think they are still underrated to some extent. Fielder is obviously successful, but Hart, Braun, and Cruz also have potential to be solid regular players, if not better than solid. There are some interesting players on the West Virginia roster, and the team has shown that it can find players in Latin America as well as in the draft. They're not the Dodgers or the Indians, but this is a good farm organization.