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Toby's Power 50
  Power 50 Notes
last updated: 06/30/2008

Welcome to the July 1st edition of the Power 50, a day early! This month it's me, Toby, representing the Power 50 staff and doing the comments. Lots of changes afoot throughout the list this month as a result of the June draft and the decision to drop a few guys in the middle/bottom of the list who were not performing well and/or not playing. The Power 50 could have been even different had two of the Brewers top picks - Brett Lawrie and Seth Lintz - been signed into the fold when we released this edition, but they are both still negotiating with the Brewers. Seven of the Brewers' 2008 picks did make it in, and besides Lawrie and Lintz there are likely to be several more who sneak onto the list in the coming months. Oh, and there's a new player in the #1 spot. Enjoy!    
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  Power 50
+/- Rank  Name  Level  Pos  Age 
1  01 Gamel, Mat   A   1B 34 L R
  Mat Gamel becomes king for at least a month atop the Power 50. It's still prospect 1A and 1B between Gamel and LaPorta, but Gamel's potential ability to play third base and his left-handed power stick puts him now just ahead of LaPorta. Plus, dude is hitting .379.
1  02 LaPorta, Matt   MLB   OF 34 R R
  A 1000 OPS in Huntsville and decent corner outfield defense just doesn't get you what it used to anymore. Dropping a spot is no slight to LaPorta, it's more of a recognition of Gamel's amazing season at the plate and Gamel's ability to play (maybe) one more position than LaPorta.
 03 Escobar, Alcides   MLB   SS 32 R R
  Hanging on to the #3 spot by the hair of his goatee thanks to a hard-charging Jeremy Jeffress. Alcides cooled off in June after a monstrous May but he's done more than enough to earn a promotion, whenever it is the Brewers decide to promote him.
 04 Jeffress, Jeremy   A   MR 32 R R
  In nine starts to begin his suspension-shortened 2008 season, Jeremy has allowed 1 or fewer runs six times and 5 or more runs the other three times. When Jeffress is on, there are few better in the minor leagues.
 05 Salome, Angel   A   OF 33 R R
  Angel has acquitted himself thoroughly at the plate in Huntsville, but the story still goes that it's defense that decides if he will and how long it'll take for him to get to Milwaukee. In all likelihood, Angel will stay in Huntsville for the remainder of the season.
 06 Green, Taylor   A   IF 32 L R
  Normally a season like the one Taylor has put up in Brevard would have all but stamped the ticket to Huntsville for him, but there's no room in the Stars' inn at third or second.
3  07 Braddock, Zach   A   MR 32 L L
  I'm curious to see how many innings the Brewers let Braddock pitch this year. Going by the rule that you add 25-30 innings per year, he'll have to be shut down after 77 innings this year, but he may have pitched other innings last year that were not "on the record."
1  08 Lucroy, Jonathan   MLB   C 33 R R
  Lucroy just keeps on hitting and his present overall defensive level is greater than Salome's, so Jonathan is certainly putting pressure on the Stars' backstop. Once Lawrie signs and Palmisano gets healthy, there could be a huge logjam of catching at the top of the system in a few years.
new  09 Odorizzi, Jake   MLB   SP 29 R R
  The first of 1.8 million pitchers selected by the Brewers in the 2008 June draft, Odorizzi brings a number of quality pitches and smooth mechanics to the mound but there's still no word on whether he's willing to accept "Eggs" as a nickname.
1  10 Brantley, Michael   MLB   OF 32 L L
  Starting to show a little bit of power and he really just needs enough power to keep opposing pitchers honest to succeed at the major league level. Hopefully a recent leg injury won't keep him out too long.
4  11 Gillespie, Cole   MLB   LF 35 R R
  It's beginning to look more and more like Cole is: a)going to get to the big leagues sometime in the not-too-distant future and b)not going to get to the big leagues with Milwaukee unless other people are traded. With Hart and Braun locked in the Brewers outfield, there appears to be only one spot opening up and despite his fantastic minor league career, Gillespie is not on the top of the list of guys penciled in to the third outfield spot.
4  12 Pena, Luis   A   CL 36 R R
  Still walking too many guys in AAA and had a few recent prime opportunities to work his way onto the Milwaukee roster pass him by in part because of that.
1  13 Cain, Lorenzo   MLB   CF 33 R R
  Cain is beginning to drive the ball with much more authority and even earned a brief cup of coffee with Nashville recently... if Lorenzo starts drawing some more walks again, watch out.
new  14 Frederickson, Evan   A   MR 33 L L
  Big lefty with a big fastball is already on his way to West Virginia and hasn't yet shown the control problems that plagued him in his college career.
1  15 Brewer, Brent   A   SS 31 R R
  While the lower minors aren't really about production, you kind of have to wonder how the significant offensive drop-off Brewer suffered this year while repeating in West Virginia earned him a promotion to Brevard.
1  16 Gindl, Caleb   A   OF 31 L L
  The trend of increased walks Brad noted last month continued in June, though the relatively high number of strike outs and relatively little amount of power continued. We like Caleb as a prospect, but he's going to have to keep proving people wrong given his small frame.
4  17 Periard, Alex   A   SP 32 L R
  After a rough May, Periard had an impressive June, logging 33 innings in 5 starts - an almost unheard of number nowadays for a young pitcher in A-ball... he's going to come close to running into his innings limit (140ish) by the middle/end of August, but that's a good thing.
5  18 Iribarren, Hernan   MLB   2B 35 L R
  Has the Hurricane finally met his match in AAA pitching? If he hasn't, he has definitely not fully adjusted to them yet. Given his defensive limitations at second base and center field, it is imperative that he hits.
2  19 Nelson, Brad   A   1B 36 L R
  As Nelson keeps hitting in AAA and reclaiming his prospect status, he's forcing the Brewers to make a decision on his future because he will be out of options next spring and you'd have to think that he would not clear waivers.
2  20 Dillard, Tim   A   MR 36 R R
  After sitting in the bullpen for nearly a week in Milwaukee, Dillard couldn't throw strikes when they finally used him and he got demoted to AAA. He still has work to do on his secondary pitches, but his future in the Brewers' bullpen sure looks bright.
5  21 Anundsen, Evan   A   SP 31 R R
  Anundsen had an off May and a dominant June, much like Periard. Also much like Periard, Evan is a ground ball machine when he's on and he'll be a top-end prospect someday if he stays healthy.
6  22 Errecart, Chris   A   1B 34 R L
  Putting up numbers eerily similar to Brendan Katin's 2007 Huntsville campaign (though Chris has a higher batting average). Katin has had trouble adjusting to AAA, especially in the plate discipline department - hopefully that won't be the case with Errecart next year.
4  23 Hammond, Steve   MLB   SP 37 L L
  After a well deserved promotion to AAA, Hammond has had one great start and one bad start. The rest of the season may go a ways towards determining whether Steve sticks in the rotation or if the Brewers transition him to the bullpen.
 24 Bryson, Rob   MLB   SP 31 R R
  Don't look at Bryson's ERA - his peripherals have been just fine, his stuff is still there, and he's healthy. The future is bright.
7  25 Aguilar, Omar   MLB   CL 34 L R
  Aguilar toyed with Florida State League batters before being promoted to AA, where he has found the sledding tougher. If and when he's able to make his slider a consistent pitch, he'll be on a beeline to Milwaukee.
3  26 Ford, Darren   MLB   CF 34 R R
  Just can't get untracked at the plate in Florida and he's been remarkably consistent in the OPS department: 627, 633 and 639 from April to June. Have to think that he might be back in Brevard next season unless things pick up.
new  27 Adams, Cody   A   SP 32 R R
  Any Saluki is alright in my book... Adams brings a lively fastball and breaking stuff in progress to his new Helena home.
3  28 Seidel, R.J.   A   MR 32 R R
  Nothing too exciting about Seidel's season but the most important thing for him is his health, and he's had that all year. If he stays healthy, the excitement will come.
2  29 Hand, Donovan   A   MR 33 R R
  In Huntsville, Donovan has hit his first long bit of trouble since being drafted. He's had a relatively quick ascension to AA, getting there as a 22 year old, so it is not unexpected that he would struggle.
new  30 Dykstra, Cutter   MLB   3B 30 R R
  A centerfielder and the scrappy, gritty son of a former major league All-Star outfielder... Tony Gwynn Jr., have you been replaced?
4  31 Bell, Michael   A   2B 34 R R
  A disappointing June but still a decent season overall. Mike has gobs of tools and will be given every chance to succeed as long as he's a Brewer.
7  32 Rivas, Amaury   A   SP 33 R R
  Rivas is certainly in contention for the Brewers' comeback player of the year in the minors, isn't he? And he's been successful despite never having been in full-season ball before.
5  33 Miller, Derek   A   SP 37 L L
  Having a decent AA campaign, but was just placed on the DL in Huntsville. Let's hope it isn't anything serious.
2  34 Palmisano, Lou   A   C 37 R R
  Haven't heard much about Captain Lou's impending return but it shouldn't be too long now according to the reports of his injury back in spring.
3  35 Haydel, Lee   A   OF 32 L R
  Haydel continues to do his best Dave Krynzel impression in West Virginia, though he needs to start walking a lot more to get the impersonation truly right.
16  36 Butler, Josh   A   SP 34 R R
  In truth, Butler's numbers aren't actually as bad as his ERA indicates and the talent is still there, but man alive, I feel almost lied to from what I read about Butler before we got him.
2  37 Katin, Brendan   A   OF 36 R R
  8 walks and 81 strike outs in his first taste of AAA. The K's aren't that surprising but the dearth of walks is, somewhat. He's never walked a ton but he's never walked this little before and you have to believe he'll walk some more as the season goes on.
7  38 Welch, David   A   SP 36 L L
  Throwing a no-hitter will get you some extra spots on the Power 50. This Aussie lefty actually been much more effective against righties so far this year.
new  39 Wright, Brae   A   SP 35 L L
  A remarkably solid, under the radar 2008 campaign from the big lefty who struggled a bit in West Virginia last season.
11  40 Chapman, Steve   A   1B 34 L L
  Strike out totals and a low batting average have been worrisome since April, though his power potential in undeniable. I'm still kind of confused as to why he's being Brantley'd (stuck at first base).
8  41 Ramlow, Mike   A   MR 33 L L
  Ramlow has seen a lot of time as a closer this season for the Power but that's not necessarily because the Brewers see his future as a reliever. He was likely working on things and trying to keep his yearly inning total down.
1  42 Wheeler, Zelous   MLB   IF 32 R R
  Zelous quietly had very good June and very unquietly has the sweetest name in the minor league system. If he makes it to the bigs some day, it's a marketing campaign that writes itself.
new  43 Romanski, Josh   A   SP 33 L L
  Romanski has been forced into duty as an extra position player for the injury-depleted Helena squad, but his future with the team is as a pitcher. He's not overwhelming on the mound like fellow lefty draftee Evan Frederickson, but he has some polish and could sneak right up the ladder.
10  44 Hinton, Robert   A   MR 35 R R
  More AA troubles for the slider specialist in June and has Power 50 momentum in the wrong direction. Hinton has a major league arm, it's just a matter of putting it all together.
new  45 Lasker, Maverick   A   SP 29 R R
  Maybe not quite the right handed pitching prospect that fellow 2008 draftees Odorizzi and Lintz are, but he intrigues me to no end as a result of his name.
4  46 Ryan, Patrick   A   MR 36 R R
  Ryan's 2008 ERA at the time of his Power 50 debut last month: 0.71. Ryan's ERA since his Power 50 debut: 6.92. Curse? What curse?
new  47 Dennis, Chris   A   OF 31 L R
  Raw left-handed power prospect with big time potential, drafted out of Canada two years ago by the Brewers... will be given plenty of time to incubate and hone his game in the lower minors.
8  48 Cody, Chris   A   SP 35 L L
  Finally back in Brevard after finishing last year there... Cody isn't overpowering or maybe even powering at all, but he's a crafty left-hander and you never know when those guys will turn into quality big league pitchers.
new  49 Komatsu, Erik   A   OF 32 L L
  Puts the "pro" in professional hitter, could be in West Virginia once the Brewers have more warm and healthy bodies to play the outfield in Helena.
new  50 Wilson, Steffan   A   IF 33 R R
  Wilson is overlooked no more on the Power 50 - in less than a year's worth of ABs between Helena and West Virginia, Steffan has 26 home runs and a an 892 OPS. And he's pretty smart... he was drafted from Harvard.

Players removed this week: Bobby Bramhall... Callix Crabbe... Eric Farris... Charlie Fermaint... Adam Heether... Zach Jackson... Chris Narveson... Mark Rogers... Cody Scarpetta... Nick Tyson...

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