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Toby's Power 50
  Power 50 Notes
last updated: 05/01/2008

Brad here with the comments this month, which is nice for me because there is some incredible stuff going on in Huntsville right now. Just in case you don't check out the Link Report, you should know that Matt LaPorta and Mat Gamel are the two hottest hitters in the minors. Both guys have exceeded expectations so far that most of us minor league guys are in shock. There's a real chance LaPorta will get called up this season, putting him a full year ahead of Braun's super-quick ascension rate. We've also gotten a lot of excitement from Michael Brantley and his remarkable ability to always be on base. Also, don't overlook that Angel Salome is back from his suspension or that Brad Nelson wants to be the left-handed power bat off the bench for the Crew. Finally, if Power arms is your thing, the Brewers currently have about 10 performing well in the low minors, so go ahead and try to figure out how Rob Bryson is different from Nick Tyson.    
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Nice batch of minor leaguers here - surely a few will make their mark in baseball history. Use the Internet to learn about the history of baseball, from baseball drafts to baseball drills.
  Power 50
+/- Rank  Name  Level  Pos  Age 
1  01 LaPorta, Matt   MLB   OF 34 R R
  Laporta's got the second most homers in the minors, giving him 21 homers in 206 professional at bats. The Brewers took a huge risk by drafting a college senior, but he's on pace to hit the bigs before the end of his first full season, so it's worked out just fine.
2  02 Gamel, Mat   A   1B 34 L R
  Gamel's not really the second best prospect, at the moment he's like 1-B. There are plenty who are still fretting about the eight errors, but at this point his bat makes him an elite prospect at any position. If Gamel isn't our 3B in the fairly near future, it means someone got traded for some awesomeness.
 03 Escobar, Alcides   MLB   SS 32 R R
  Alcides is the only guy in Huntsville's lineup not off to a strong start, but his actions in spring training, and the fact that the front office loves him so much, helps him maintain a super high ranking.
1  04 Jeffress, Jeremy   A   MR 32 R R
  While we are waiting, just remember that Jeremy K'ed 95 guys in 86 innings and held opposing batters to a .201 average. When I saw him last year, he regularly hit 98---as a starter that's exceptional.
1  05 Salome, Angel   A   OF 33 R R
  Unlike Jeffress, Angel is back and hitting a bunch. He's lost some luster since the suspension, but he's progressed very quickly for a catcher...Angel's 4 years younger than Palmisano, so he's still on a very fast track for a backstop.
1  06 Gillespie, Cole   MLB   LF 35 R R
  While his batting average is low, Cole has shown his great peripherals. When his batting average moves back up to his former levels (he hit .267 in BC last year), his OPS will likely be over .900. He's a premium prospect and very professional hitter.
10  07 Braddock, Zach   A   MR 32 L L
  Zach Braddock owns you. Honestly, his stats in the hitter friendly Sally league have been so exceptional that I'm afraid to share my expectations for Zach in Florida. He could strike 20 guys out in a game...
 08 Pena, Luis   A   CL 36 R R
  An inauspicious beginning for Luis at AAA, but he's got major league stuff and it's likely that he'll be called up at some point this season.
6  09 Brantley, Michael   MLB   OF 32 L L
  Michael's off to an unreal start for a 20 year old in AA. Even without power, his numbers project him to be a major league regular at the moment. However, he's going to have to start getting some extra base knocks to shift his projections from Luis Castillo to Kosuke Fukudome.
 10 Lucroy, Jonathan   MLB   C 33 R R
  Lucroy's such a professional hitter that no one expects him to fail. Because he's a little older than a few of the guys in WV, a strong first half could lead him to AA. At this point, there aren't really any questions about his game, so he projects to continue hitting about the same as he moves up the chain.
2  11 Green, Taylor   A   IF 33 L R
  Even though Taylor hasn't shown much power so far this year, he has a quick bat and 14 homers in WV last year. Taylor's definitely more in the Jeff Cirillo mold of 3B's than a power hitter, and he's proving that he can hit .300 wherever by cracking out a .326 line right now in BC.
2  12 Iribarren, Hernan   MLB   2B 35 L R
  While Hernan impressed the heck out of everyone in the cup of coffee, he really isn't off to a great start in AAA. That said, he is carrying a 7/10 K/BB rate, so he's got that going for him. Hernan's going to have a real role on the big league team soon.
4  13 Brewer, Brent   A   SS 31 R R
  Brent's having a rough start, which is a little disappointing, because when a guy repeats, you want to see drastic improvement right away. Nonetheless, Brent's got five tool potential, so he'll be a mainstay of the P50 regardless of current results.
new  14 Butler, Josh   A   SP 35 R R
  Recently acquired in a trade for Gabe Gross, Butler is a former 2nd Round pick with a high ceiling.
3  15 Ford, Darren   MLB   CF 34 R R
  Darren has stagnated at High A and it may be time that he really digs in and tries to correct the strikeout issue. On the plus side, he has maintained the slight improvement in walk rate he experienced.
5  16 Cain, Lorenzo   MLB   CF 33 R R
  Much like Brent Brewer and Darren Ford, Lorenzo Cain is infinitely projectable and having a disappointing start to the year. His stats basically mirror his 2007 season in BC. Lo's not young for the league anymore, so he needs to flash some of his 2006 success again before he falls any further down the food chain.
1  17 Gindl, Caleb   A   OF 31 L L
  Caleb is certainly heating up at the moment, but his 27/6 K/BB ratio leaves a lot to be desired. The good news is that Caleb is just 19, so he can play a full season at each level and still hit the majors at 23.
3  18 Chapman, Steve   A   1B 34 L L
  3TO! 3TO! 49% of his AB's end in a K, a HR, or a walk. At the moment, the 40 K's are baring the bulk of that percentage, but Steve is a legit power prospect who should hit 30 homers somewhere someday.
6  19 Periard, Alex   A   SP 32 L R
  The one big thing Alex needed to improve this year was his strikeout rate and so far he's struck out 22 guys in 26 innings. For all useful purposes, that doubles his K rate.
2  20 Rogers, Mark   A   SP 33 R R
  Mark's just he's not young anymore. BUT! he's on a similar long winded track to Manny Parra. If Mark can stay healthy, he can dominate---and there's still plenty of time.
1  21 Seidel, R.J.   A   MR 32 R R
  RJ's had two very good outings against three bad ones, putting his stats where they currently stand. He's got as much potential as anyone in WV, so if he continues to improve he'll become a top notch prospect.
3  22 Bryson, Rob   MLB   SP 32 R R
  Bryson's astronomical K rate has certainly carried over from Helena. He's sporting a 26/7 K/BB rate, so his ERA should fall pretty quickly. Bryson can hit 95, so he's probably the closest thing to Gallardo currently in the minors.
5  23 Miller, Derek   A   SP 38 L L
  Ignore his age: Derek Miller is dominating AA. He's now had 17 starts in AA with an ERA under 3, so he's probably the next to rise.
20  24 Aguilar, Omar   MLB   CL 34 L R
  Aguilar's stock has risen very quickly, but a power reliever can do that easily. Now that he's harnessed the power, he will rise very quickly. He could be in AAA by the playoffs.
7  25 Hammond, Steve   MLB   SP 37 L L
  Hammond takes a pretty big jump in his second go round in AA because his strikeout rate has gone up about 40%. Before last year, Steve hadn't struggled at all, so it's possible that it was just a blip on the way up.
3  26 Palmisano, Lou   A   C 37 R R
  While we're waiting for Lou to come back from his injury, let's reminisce on his 2003 year in Helena when he had a 1.050 OPS. Unfortunately, that was the only time Lou has had an OPS over .800.
10  27 Anundsen, Evan   A   SP 31 R R
  Evan's a big time groundball pitcher who strikes a lot of guys out. He won't be 20 for a few more weeks, so expect a slower climb out of him. Still, you can imagine that his numbers will get better when he has some better defenders backing him up.
17  28 Nelson, Brad   A   1B 36 L R
  Brad's got an OPS over 1.000 against righties this year and he's flat raking. I suspect he'll get an extended look during the year and that the Brewers may very well call him up to DH during the interleague series in a few weeks.
9  29 Hinton, Robert   A   MR 35 R R
  Unlike some of the other relief prospects mentioned here, Hinton's not that young -- he'll be 24 in August. Robert's stalled out in AA, but he could catch on fire and move up at any time.
6  30 Errecart, Chris   A   1B 34 R L
  Chris is flying a bit under the radar with everything else in Huntsville, but he's off to a very good start. He's never displayed the kind of power you want from a 1B, but his OBP is .406 right now and he's hitting more XBH's than he did last year.
2  31 Farris, Eric   A   2B 33 R R
  Still waiting on Eric to get a start on the season, but he's rising based on the anticipation of things to come. He's a polished hitter, so he could get some BC and maybe even Huntsville this year.
1  32 Tyson, Nick   A   MR 31 R R
  Unlike some of the other guys in WV, Nick's off to a good start. With a low 90's fastball and a distaste for walking people, Tyson should continue to impress.
7  33 Katin, Brendan   A   OF 36 R R
  It seems Brendan's all or nothing approach and advanced age have caused his star to fade a bit. Where most of the better prospects improve as they rise, Brendan has fallen off. So far the best OPS he has posted above Helena was in Brevard, so things aren't looking too great at the moment.
4  34 Narveson, Chris   A   MR 37 L L
  Narveson went from almost being a major leaguer at the start of the season, to the 3rd or 4th best starter in AAA. He's 26, so if he doesn't go back to his spring training ways, this will be his only season in the system.
3  35 Haydel, Lee   A   OF 32 L R
  Lee's been compared to David Krynzel because it seems like he attempts a steal every single time he's on base (he's 14 for 21). The good news for those of you who cringed at the Krynzel comp is that Lee should walk more and hit for a better average than Dave did. His game is all about speed though, so the better that stolen base percentage gets, the better chance he succeeds at a higher level.
9  36 Jackson, Zach   MLB   MR 36 L L
  He'll be 25 in a few weeks and he's left handed. That's a good sign that no one's going to give up on him for a least a few more years (and likely teams).
4  37 Scarpetta, Cody   A   SP 31 R R
  Hasn't thrown a pitch yet, but he comes highly regarded because of a mid 90's fastball and the sizable signing bonus he received
2  38 Dillard, Tim   A   MR 36 R R
  Round 2 in Nashville seems to be going better for Tim than round 1 did. Tim's behind a few guys in line for the majors, but he'll get a shot in Milwaukee or somewhere else in the next two years.
4  39 Heether, Adam   MLB   IF 37 R R
  Heether had a nice year in AA last year and has flashed crazy potential at times in the past. The hope is that he can turn into a utility guy in Nashville, a role he can probably stick in the majors with.
2  40 Welch, David   A   SP 36 L L
  David gives up a lot of hits, and doesn't K many guys, but he's done a good job in the past of keeping the runs from scoring.
7  41 Fermaint, Charlie   A   CF 34 R R
  Every time I see a picture of Charlie Fermaint I look for a mustache or goatee or something that can signify that this is the evil twin of the "real" Charlie Fermaint. The real one could mash a baseball...this one is having a Groundhog Day type experience in A+.
3  42 Bell, Michael   A   2B 34 R R
  Michael Bell is what he is: a 2B that can hit a bunch of homers. Considering he hit 13 in BC last year, expecting him to hit 20 or so in Huntsville isn't unreasonable. Keep an eye on him...he's a favorite sleeper of the whole staff.
new  43 Wheeler, Zelous   MLB   IF 32 R R
  Wheeler's season has started like we all wish Rickie Weeks' would---.326/.426/.477 in 100 PA in WV. He just turned 21, and based on his stocky build we can probably expect some more power in the future. He should rise quickly on the P50 if he keeps this up.
new  44 Hand, Donovan   A   MR 33 R R
  Donovan's only walked nine guys in 89 professional innings against 65 K's. Perhaps the Big Righty can continue his Brad Radke impression as he rises.
2  45 Johnson, David   A   MR 37 R R
  Who cares how old he is, he's got 16 K's in nine innings in AA. Stuff is cool, but for relievers, results matter the most. Unless you are Derrick Turnbow...then it doesn't matter how many homers you allow or walks you let in...
new  46 Bramhall, Bobby   A   MR 34 L L
  Bramhall's from a major college program (Rice), so don't confuse him for a BC mirage. He's a legit pitcher who's just finding his footing as a prospect.
new  47 Parejo, Freddy   A   OF 35 R R
  Freddy hit .219 last year, but he's hitting .421 right now so he gets to chill at the bottom of the P50. If his name seems vaguely familiar to you, that's because he was on the list frequently about five years ago...amazingly, he's only 23, so there's still time for him to develop into something.
new  48 Rivas, Amaury   A   SP 33 R R
  A Dominican signing with huge far so good in WV this year, where he's striking out about one an inning.
13  49 Perez, Yohannis   A   SS 37 R R
  Keep your fingers crossed that Yohannis figures out something fast. Undoubtedly, there's ability there, but he's not even playing every day, he's 25, and he's at BC, so things aren't looking good.
new  50 Robinson, Chad   A   MR 32 R R
  Ignore his stats in Helena last year: Chad can hit 95 on the gun, so he'll have lots of opportunities.

Players removed this week: Hitaniel Arias... Chris Cody... Mike McClendon... Roque Mercedes... Manny Parra... Steve Sollmann... Brae Wright...

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