Results tagged ‘ Milwaukee Brewers ’
Thinking back on the mid-December trade that brought baseball’s No. 6 prospect (catcher Travis d’Arnaud) to a pairing with baseball’s No. 8 prospect (right-hander Zack Wheeler) got me writing. Below I project the 10 best sets of batterymates throughout the Minors this coming season. You’ll see that the hurler-catcher duos cover nine different leagues.
An advisory: Each player’s name, once clicked, will take you to his bio/statistics page. His organizational ranking as a prospect is the “No.” in parentheses. If you have questions about a particular player, ask away in the comment section and I promise to answer. Also let me know if you agree/disagree with the rankings and present your arguments.
- Mets — Triple-A Buffalo (INT): Travis d’Arnaud (No. 1 in system) and RHP Zack Wheeler (No. 2)
- Braves – Triple-A Gwinnett (INT): Chrisitan Bethancourt (No. 2) and RHP Julio Teheran (No. 1)
- Mariners — Triple-A Tacoma (PCL): Mike Zunino (No. 3) and RHP Taijuan Walker (No. 1)
- Phillies: Triple-A Lehigh Valley (INT): Tommy Joseph (No. 3) and RHPs Ethan Martin (No. 2)
- Red Sox: Class A Advanced Salem (CAR) Blake Swihart (No. 9) and LHP Henry Owens (No. 5)
- Padres: Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore (CAL): Austin Hedges (No. 5) and RHP Matt Wisler (No. 8)
- Rockies: Class A Advanced Modesto (CAL): Will Swanner (No. 8) and LHP Tyler Anderson (No. 6)
- Rangers: Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach (CAR): Jorge Alfaro (No. 5) and RHP Luke Jackson (No. 13)
- Pirates: Triple-A Indianapolis (INT): Tony Sanchez (No. 16) and RHP Gerrit Cole (No. 1). This omission was pointed out by a thoughtful reader on Twitter.
- Yankees — Double-A Trenton (EAS): Gary Sanchez (No. 1) and RHP Jose A. Ramirez (No. 13)
- Phillies (2): Triple-A Lehigh Valley (INT): Sebastian Valle (No. 8) and RHP Jonathan Pettibone (No. 4)
- Mets (2) Class A Savannah (SAL): Kevin Plawecki (No. 17) and RHP Luis Mateo (No. 9)
- D-backs: Class A Short-Season Missoula (PIO): Stryker Trahan (No. 11) and RHP Ben Eckels (UR)
- Pirates (2): Class A Short-Season Jamestown (NYP): Wyatt Mathisen (No. 10) and RHP Tyler Glasnow (No. 19)
- Brewers: Class A Short-Season Helena (PIO): Clint Coulter (No. 10) and RHP Damien Magnifico (No. 20)
Prospect Flashback: Picturing Brewers’ Slugger Ryan Braun at Class A Advanced Brevard County before He Became Milwaukee’s Best
Ryan Braun has been in the news lately, and the stories have been about Biogenesis, not baseball (see below).
Now 29, the slugger has been under suspicion for a lot of things. What we know for sure is that he can hit. He’s been doing that most of the last decade.
Here is Braun as a as a Florida State League farmhand in 2006. He is 22 here, beginning his final full season in the Minors, which he split between Class A Advanced Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville. Click on any photo to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Flashback, click here.
PHOENIX — Hours after reporting to Spring Training and declining to answer questions about Biogenesis, Ryan Braun faced a new round of questions about his link to the South Florida clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball.
ESPN.com on Friday afternoon published what it said is an additional excerpt from the logbooks of Tony Bosch, who headed the now-defunct anti-aging clinic, which includes Braun’s name on what a source told ESPN was a list of Biogenesis clients. The firm is being investigated by MLB for allegedly supplying some players with banned substances.
The latest story was published hours after Braun had met reporters and made it clear he was not willing to field questions about Biogenesis.
“I am excited to be back out here for Spring Training, certainly looking forward to the World Baseball Classic and obviously excited and focused on our upcoming Brewers season,” Braun said. “I understand why a lot of you guys are probably here, but I made a statement last week and I stand behind that statement. I’m not going to address that issue any further. As I stated, I’m happy to cooperate fully with any investigation into this matter.”
To continue reading MLB.com’s story, click here.
Twenty Top 100 Prospects and Their Chances of Making Opening Day Rosters at The Start of SpringTraining
Today is Friday, Feb. 15. In baseball terms, it is the “voluntary date on which all non-World Baseball Classic position players may be invited to Spring Training.” But most Major Leaguers, from the veterans to rookies, are already in camp. It is the rooks, or would-be rooks, that we focus on here and now. Turns out that 20 members of MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects have at least a reasonable shot of cracking their first Opening Day roster. They are below. Let me know in the comment section what you think of my assessment regarding which ballplayers might/might not make their respective clubs.
A links advisory: Click on the bolded team name for the MLB depth chart; click on the player name for his bio and MiLB stats; and the number in parentheses listed after the player name is his overall ranking in our Top 100 list.
- Questions worth asking: Can Profar unseat veteran Elvis Andrus at shortstop, or do the Rangers shift him to another position (2B, CF) in order to get his dynamic talents into the Majors immediately? Still 19, doesn’t he need a full season at Triple-A to polish his tools? Speaking of positional changes, where does Olt play? He’s a very good third baseman, but isn’t Adrian Beltre, who is signed for three more years, outstanding on the hot corner? Can Olt slug his way into the starting right field spot, or should he join Profar at Triple-A Round Rock? Does Perez finally put it together in Texas’ fifth rotation slot? Can he hold off vet righty Colby Lewis to make his first April rotation?
- Chances worth guessing: Profar (50%), Olt (50%) and Perez (75%)
- Questions: At 20 and with just 23 Minor League starts under his belt, is Bundy ready? He could probably hold his own right now, sure, but would getting beat up early on hurt him down the road? How much better does he have to be than the Matusz-Arrieta-Britton types to convince Baltimore to hand him the No. 5 starter role?
- Chances: 25%
- Questions: With Matt Joyce stationed in left field and Desmond Jennings in center, why not start out with Myers in right? Does Tampa Bay want to delay initializing his arbitration clock, or would Andrew Friedman and Co. rather go with the proven Ben Zobrist out there? With perhaps the deepest starting rotation in baseball, do Odorizzi and Archer have much of a shot? Would a trade of ace David Price make sense, given the unbelievable depth in able arms? Will Odorizzi and Archer foster the Minors’ best 1-2 punch at Triple-A Durham?
- Chances: Myers (50%), Odorizzi (25%) and Archer (25%)
Earlier this week, I detailed the lofty expectations of a tall lefty in the Red Sox system. Expect high praise of this right-hander, too: John Hellweg — the Brewers’ No. 4 prospect — stands 6-foot-9 and is seen as a potential impact starter. Potential being the operative word. Hellweg, now 24 and on his second organization following last July’s Greinke-to-the-Halos trade, has stuff to be a No. 2 starter but has yet to command much of it on a consistent basis. He finished 2012 in the Double-A Huntsville bullpen (bio, stats here) and, while that was simply to keep his innings in check down the stretch, don’t be surprised to see him end up in the ‘pen sometime in the future.
Here is a gallery of Hellweg in every uni he’s donned to date. Click on any picture to begin the slideshow. For all past editions of Prospect Uniformed, head here.
You probably don’t know who Cameron Garfield is. And it would be hard to blame you. Garfield, the Milwaukee Brewers’ second round draftee in 2009 has seen his star as a prospect dim thanks to 2011 and ’12 campaigns interrupted by injury. He is not among the Crew’s Top 20 prospects presently, and he was surpassed in status by the club’s June drafting of Clint Coulter — like Garfield was four years ago, a high school catcher with a potential impact bat.
“For me, it’s not really where I am ranked or anything like that. I want to be a prospect in the organization’s eyes,” Garfield told me over the phone this afternoon from his training hub in California. “I want to impose the decision on them, you know, ‘We have to move this kid up, he’s playing really well.’”
So here is why you should start to get to know Garfield (@CAMgGARFIELD): In 66 games at Class A Wisconsin last year, the now-21-year-old posted a .298/.385/.524 slash line (or in OPS-speak, .910). I thought he might be worth chatting with in advance of 2013, or potentially his first healthy season in three years.
Me: How has the offseason been?
Garfield: Good, really good. My main focus was getting my leg back into shape from my surgery [in 2011]. Taking time to cover and rehab. I’m now at the point where everything is healed up and just getting the strength back to get it equal to my right leg.
Me: Take us through if you would how it happened…
Garfield: The injury happened early in the 2011 season. I originally dislocate the kneecap and it didn’t require surgery. Went through the whole rehab process and at six months — with catchers, it takes a little longer — and the rehab went good. One of my last rehab games, it was just a freak accident where I walked on a ball and re-injured it. It took me halfway into the 2012 season and recovered fine. Now I’m still building that strength.
Me: What’s your workout routine like now?
Garfield: In years past, I was more worried about getting stronger, building more muscle mass. Even though that plan went great, I don’t think my body was used to carrying the extra muscle mass. This offseason, I am trying to stay leaner a little more quality, a little lighter so it’s not as taxing on my knees. I’m doing agilities, sprints and a lot of plyometrics.
Me: With some time to reflect now, how do you evaluate your 2012 campaign?
Garfield: I’m really happy about how the 2012 season went. I think it was just a couple more years of maturity. I approached the game a little different. I wasn’t trying to do too much at the plate and really just taking each game by game and giving full effort. It paid in my favor.
Answering Three Reader Questions on Comps: Springer V. Marte, Archer V. Odorizzi, The Brewers’ Jungmann V. The Field
1) — Richie (asked via blog post comment): “Can you do a George Springer / Starling Marte comp? Both are players with very similar plate approaches that I feel will either hinder or advance their progress in the future. Love the blog, thanks.”
This is an interesting question. Let’s break it down. Both Springer and Marte are rangy outfielders with great baserunning ability. And both are right-handed batters with pop but questions remain about their ability to make contact. I think that’s what you’re getting at regarding plate approaches — both strike out too much right now. This much is obvious. What’s less clear is whether they can cut down on the Ks without losing their power. Springer isn’t as far along in his development — he finished 2012 at Double while Marte was in the bigs — and that helps his case. Despite that, I favor Marte. From what I have seen on video, his is smoother swing and isn’t as long. I also think he’s the more complete player. But the floor comp for Springer is D-backs-turned-A’s outfielder Chris Young, so he’s going to be a Major League regular before too long, too.
2) — Pierre (asked via email): “C.Archer or J.Odorizzi for the Rays in the near future???”
Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are both right-handers with No. 2/3 potential and both are Major League-ready or close to it. In the near future, you ask? It’s got to be Archer, who has a little but more MLB experience and a lot more time in Tampa Bay’s system. (Both were traded there, but Odorizzi has been with the club less than a month.) He will probably get the first chance of the pair to join the Rays’ rotation, which is still packed despite losing veterans James Shields and Wade Davis in the Odorizzi deal. Long-term, the educated guess here is that both will be good MLB hurlers but that Odorizzi winds up more as a solid innings-eater type while Archer fulfills his greater potential. Having studied the pitches of each (details on Odorizzi’s repertoire here, and Archer’s here), I’m convinced Archer is better equipped to do just that. Odorrizi has the deeper repertoire, but Archer has two very, very good offerings in his fastball and breaking ball. (It should be said that mine is not the popular opinion, as Odorizzi is ranked 30th overall by MLB.com, and Archer is ranked 81st.)
3) — @Andy_Birling (asked via Twitter): “What are your thoughts of Taylor Jungmann? what potential does he have? thanks”
As I alluded to on Twitter, this is a comp query. Or, I am going to make it one. As deep as the Brewers are in pitching prospects –like Taylor Jungmann, Tyler Thornburg, Wily Peralta, Jed Bradley, Johnny Hellweg and Jimmy Nelson are all ranked among Milwaukee’s nine best farmhands — Jungmann is the one that looks most like a No. 2 starter in a MLB rotation. That’s not to demean the others, particularly Nelson (in whom I am a believer), but they more likely top out as No. 3s. Jungmann needs at least two more seasons of seasoning in the Minors, but he has the stuff to keep progressing at his current pace. Jed Bradley is also a challenger for this spot (this spot being Brewers pitching prospect with the highest ceiling), as he is also well-armed repertoire-wise and is left-handed, which is always a plus. He just needs to stay healthy to catch up with Jungmann.