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Opening Thoughts: Minor League Roundtable

on 04/23/2004 staff members Toby Harrmann, Michael Clifton, and Jim Goulart will be sharing home page minor league article duty this season, and hope to provide fresh content at least twice a month. Along with Patrick Ebert's continued draft coverage and staff Q&A player interviews from Beloit , Toby's Power 50, and Jim's daily Link Report updates, Brewerfan hopes to continue to provide you with all the minor league coverage you could hope for.

To kick things off, Toby, Michael and Jim share their thoughts in an early-season minor league roundtable discussion:

•  Indianapolis fans are clamoring for winning baseball.  While they'll finally be able to see a lineup and pitching staff filled with 22-23 year-old true prospects, do you think that the lack of AAA experience will stand in the way of on-field team success?

Toby : Even teams with the most talented young players in AAA still have veterans to fall back on, and the Brewers complemented Hardy, Hart, Krynzel, Hendrickson, and De La Rosa pretty well. The Brewers have brought in above average AAA vets at every position where a prospect is not on the field, and the pitching staff proved to be pretty decent in spring training, which bodes well for them.

Because of the nature of AAA teams and their high roster turnover, it's almost impossible to predict how well the Indians will do this season. A lot will depend on what happens with the Brewers at the Major League level. They'll need players eventually, and they'll also have to decide when to promote the prospects from AAA. On the flip side, there's a good chance the Indians will get some help from AA Huntsville in the form of Mike Jones and Rickie Weeks, among others. All in all, I'd say the Indians have a good chance to be a competitive team throughout the season, though they'll have to have a strong first half because they are bound to take some roster hits once June and July roll around.

Michael : Success at the AAA level is tough to gauge as there are few teams stacking up AAA completely with prospect talent as we saw with the past few Indians squads. AAAA vets brought in to put players on the field and have at least something there in case of an injury seems to be common. I think the 04 Indians will be successful, not from lack of experience but because of superior talent. The Indians and their fans are in for a treat with players such as Hardy, Hart and Krynzel coming in and pitchers like Hendrickson and De La Rosa taking the hill. Exciting baseball and winning baseball


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Opening Thoughts: Minor League Roundtable

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