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Milwaukee Brewers Top 20 Prospects in Review

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This list was originally posted December 30th, 2007. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!! THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND OLD GRADES!!!!!!

1) Matt LaPorta, OF, Grade B+
     .288/.402/.576 for Double-A Huntsville before being traded to Cleveland. Is hitting just .212/.250/.288 in 14 games for Double-A Akron after the trade, with much worse plate discipline.
2) Manny Parra, LHP, Grade B+
     4.25 ERA with 106/58 K/BB in 125 innings for the Brewers, 130 hits allowed. A nice solid rookie season.
3) Mat Gamel, 3B, Grade B
     .332/.400/.542 for Huntsville. Has been in a slump lately, but overall remains a very strong prospect.
4) Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Grade B
     4.08 ERA with 102/41 K/BB in 79 innings for Class A Brevard County, 65 hits allowed. Excellent K/IP and H/IP marks. Was hit hard in first Double-A start on August 13th, but very young for that level.
5) Jonathan Lucroy, C, Grade B-
     Combined .299/.372/.490 between Class A West Virginia and Class A Brevard County. A solid hitter.
6) Taylor Green, 3B, Grade B-
     Hitting .289/.382/.442 with good plate discipline for Brevard County, 61 walks and 59 strikeouts in 418 at-bats. Double-A transition next year will be crucial.
7) Cole Gillespie, OF, Grade C+
     .287/.390/.486 with 14 steals and 13 homers for Huntsville, also 37 doubles. Has some broad skills, worth tracking closely.
8) Alicides Escobar, SS, Grade C+
    .346/.381/.456 with 31 steals for Huntsville. Speed and high batting average are attractive, walk rate is low and OBP may not hold up if he can't maintain the high BA.
9) Caleb Gindl, OF, Grade C+
     .291/.376/.437 with 57 walks and 127 strikeouts in 446 at-bats for West Virginia. Just 19, needs to watch the Ks but has promise.
10) Angel Salome, C, Grade C+
      .356/.408/.542 for Huntsville. An extremely intriguing player, have to raise this grade for 2009.
11) Michael Brantley, OF, Grade C+
      .325/.403/.410 with 25 steals for Huntsville. Speed and OBP ability continue to stand out, power still hasn't developed.
12) Lorenzo Cain, OF, Grade C+
       .287/.358/.448 for Brevard County, .288/.377/.512 for Huntsville, 25 steals on the year. Has made some progress turning his tools into skills.
13) Zach Braddock, LHP, Grade C+
       5.56 ERA with 66/36 K/BB in 57 innings for Brevard County, 49 hits allowed. Strong K/IP, but control the big issue here.
14) Robert Bryson, RHP, Grade C+
      4.25 ERA with 73/20 K/BB in 55 innings for West Virginia. Traded to Indians, has 2.38 ERA with 9/6 K/BB in 11 innings for Lake County. Impressive K/IP ratios, has a chance to be very good.
15) Hernan Iribarren, 2B, Grade C+
      .278/.333/.332 with 18 steals for Triple-A Nashville. Not sure he's going to hit enough.
16) Brent Brewer, SS, Grade C
       Combined .235/.298/.338 with 26 steals for West Virginia and Brevard County. I am very skeptical at this point that he will live up to his physical potential.
17) R.J. Seidel, RHP, Grade C
      5.23 ERA with 66/41 K/BB in 103 innings, 121 hits allowed for West Virginia. Hard to find many positives here. Best attributes are command and youth.
18) Zack Jackson, LHP, Grade C
       Traded to Indians, had an ugly 7.85 ERA with 34/18 K/BB and 81 hits allowed in 57 innings for Nashville before the trade. Has been more effective for Cleveland, 4.05 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo with 20/5 K/BB in 27 innings. Perhaps change of scenery is what he needed.
19) Cody Scarpetta, RHP, Grade C
      0.57 ERA with 27/8 K/BB in 16 innings in the Arizona Rookie League, then 11/1 K/BB in six innings for Helena in the Pioneer League, though with five runs allowed. Gotta love the 38 strikeouts in 22 innings.
20) Dan Merklinger, LHP, Grade C 
      5.87 ERA with 76/38 K/BB in 80 innings for West Virginia, 79 hits allowed. Nice K/IP, control and other numbers not as impressive. 22 years old in the Sally League and a 5.87 ERA is not a good combo.

The trade with Cleveland reduces depth somewhat, but there are still things to like here. Parra has had a fine rookie season. Gamel's recent slump has cut into his dominant numbers but the overall line is still strong. Jeffress has immense potential, and there is some depth behind the top guys.