Minor League Report: June 17th-June 23rd
When you think of players that have had longevity within the Brewers' organization, names like Mark Loretta and Geoff Jenkins come to mind. Valerio De Los Santos has been the club's property the longest of anyone, being signed being originally signed more than nine and a half years ago. The three players listed above have the three longest service times of anyone within the system, but the player who has been around fourth longest might be a bit of a surprise, and a nice bit of trivia.
Ladies and Gentlemen: meet Greg Schaub...
Schaub comes in a narrow fourth, being drafted only minutes after Jenkins. Back in the 1995 June Free Agent Draft, Jenkins went in the first round to the Brewers and Schaub went in the third. However, their paths have been strikingly different.
While Jenkins reached Milwaukee in 3 short years, Schaub has been toiling in obscurity. Originally drafted as a potential 5-tool right fielder from a Pennsylvania, Greg played for five seasons in right field, moving up as high as advanced-A ball in Stockton, in 1998 and 1999. While he was struggling at the plate, there was one thing about Schaub's game that still tickled scouts to death: he had one of the better arms the organization had ever seen in right field.
After the 1999 seasons, the Brewers decided that Schaub's future was probably not in right field, as his bat was not progressing as quickly as they would have liked. His arm was just so tantalizing, though, that instead of cutting him loose, the team decided to give him a new lease on baseball life, on the pitching mound.
Schaub missed the entire 2000 season trying to work on the transition from the batters box to the pitching rubber, as well as work through some injuries. In 2001, he was back, pitching glove in hand, in Beloit. As a 24 year old, he was one of the older guys on the Snappers' roster, but at the same time, he was one of the most inexperienced. This, however, did not show. In his first season on the mound, Schaub performed admirably, posting a 3.70 ERA in 41.1 innings pitched, including 47 strikeouts. Schaub showed that his arm was for real, pitching consistently in the low 90's, and as high as 95. He also showed a good feel for a sharp curveball and a changeup. After the season, he became a minor league free agent, as he had reached 6 years of minor league service time. He and the Brewers decided to keep their relationship intact, and he resigned with the team over the offseason.
This year has been a success so far, too. Though he started the season on the disabled list, he has come back and pitched 20 innings so far in High Desert, and owns a very respectable 4.05 ERA, with only 13 hits and 10 walks allowed, going along with 28 strikeouts. He has taken over the team's closer role and with a continued strong showing, will likely be in Huntsville by the end of the season. Once again, he will become a minor league free agent, but hopefully we'll see the organization's fourth longest relationship with a player continue into 2003.
Offensive Player Of The Week:
Short season baseball started up this past week, so there will be a bunch of new players competing for player of the week honors, and in his first week of the season, Ogden right fielder Mario Mendez is our offensive player of the week. Mario had the best season debut in recent memory, and one of the best single-week performances of the season by any Brewers farmhand this season. In only 31 at-bats, Super Mario hit safely an incredible 17 times, for a .548 batting average, and that's just the start. He crossed home plate for the Raptors 14 times, and drove in 16 runs. He had three doubles, three home runs and three stolen bases, as well as two walks and a hit-by-pitch, with only three strikeouts. All in all, he hit .548/.571/.935. Mendez turns 21 in about 2 months, is 6'0, 170, is a switch hitter and was signed as a free agent out of Venezuela on July 17, 1998.
Last Week: Ralph Santana, 2B, Beloit
June 10th: D.J. Clark, 3B, High Desert
June 3rd: Steve Scarborough, SS, Huntsville
May 27th: Corey Hart, 1B, High Desert
May 20th: Brad Nelson, 1B, Beloit:
May 13th: DJ Clark, 3B, High Desert
May 6th: Pete Zoccolillo, OF, High Desert
April 29th: Corey Hart, 1B, High Desert
April 22nd: Ryan Thompson, OF, Indianapolis
April 15th: Ryan Knox, OF, High Desert
Pitcher Of The Week:
We get our first two-time pitcher of the week this week, as Jimmy Osting wins the award for the second time in 5 weeks. Osting continued his mastery of AAA batters this past week, making 2 starts, throwing 14 innings and allowing only 2 runs, for a 1.29 ERA. One of his starts was a 7-inning complete game shut-out, where he allowed only 4 hits, and struck out 10. For the week, he allowed only 10 hits, 1 walk and 1 home run, while striking out 16. He took the winning decision in both game he pitched. Osting turned 25 in April, throws with his left hand, and was signed as a minor league free agent by the Brewers on November 19th, 2001.
Last Week: Dave Pember, SP, Huntsville
June 10th: Luis Martinez. RP, Huntsville
June 3rd: Ben Hendrickson, SP, High Desert
May 27th: Jimmy Osting, SP, Indianapolis
May 20th: Derek Lee, SP, Huntsville
May 13th: Ryan Miller, SP, High Desert
May 6th: Doug Dent, SP, High Desert
April 29th: Justin Gordon, SP, High Desert
April 22nd: Brian Nielsen, SP, Beloit
April 15th: Andrew Lorraine, SP, Indianapolis