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Toby's Power 50
  Power 50 Notes
last updated: 04/15/2009

Welcome to the 2009 season opening edition of the Power 50. Your editor today is Power 50 creator Toby Harrmann. As we head in to the 8th full season of the Power 50 here on Brewerfan, I'm reminded how much fun it is to look at all these prospects anew after taking a mental respite over the winter. This is especially true after the Brewers' playoff excursion last fall. The Brewers made the playoffs due largely to the talent developed on the farm. 13 of the 26 guys that were active on the playoff roster last season were on the Power 50 at some point, including starters like Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy. This reiterates that the Brewers present successes and future aspirations are based on their development of young players. While most of the guys on this edition of the Power 50 will never play for the Brewers, some will, and a few will make significant contributions to the team. And it's not just the top prospects - Mitch Stetter never got higher than #30 on the list, yet he's an important part of the Brewers' bullpen. So as you remind yourself of the names of all the guys on the list (as well as those who didn't quite make the cut this time), remember: these are the players who are the key to keeping the Brewers successful in the future. Get to know them now, and keep cheering them all the way to Milwaukee. Any comments or questions? Visit the message board or email me at - thanks!    
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  Power 50
+/- Rank  Name  Level  Pos  Age 
 01 Gamel, Mat   A   1B 34 L R
  Any chance Mat had for making the opening day roster went out the window when he showed up to camp with an injured shoulder. He's still working on defense, but it looks like the Brewers are going to have to seriously think about bringing him up in the next few months if he keeps laying waste to AAA pitching.
 02 Escobar, Alcides   MLB   SS 33 R R
  Manager Ken Macha said Escobar still has some growing up to do before earning the right to don a big league uniform... let's hope Alcides takes that motivation and turns it into production and maturity in AAA.
3  03 Lawrie, Brett   A   2B 29 R R
  A switch to second base makes for a much easier ascension to the big leagues for Lawrie. He's no longer subject to the rigors of learning how to play behind the dish, or to the rigors of being behind Salome and Lucroy on the depth chart. Only Rickie Weeks stands in his way.
1  04 Jeffress, Jeremy   A   MR 32 R R
  A healthy, suspension-free season will go a long way to legitimizing Jeffress' top prospect status. Cutting down on the walks would be nice, too.
1  05 Salome, Angel   A   OF 33 R R
  It has to be personally disappointing for Angel that his back was acting up during major league camp. He missed a golden opportunity to impress the coaching staff. On the other hand, he's still the best catching prospect in the system, and one of the best in baseball.
1  06 Lucroy, Jonathan   MLB   C 33 R R
  With Lawrie moving out from behind the dish, it's essentially a two horse race between Lucroy and Salome for the rights to be called the Brewers' catcher of the future. Lucroy is ahead of Salome defensively - can Jon keep hitting and pass Angel? A lot of questions about the future of catching in Milwaukee will be answered this year. Stay tuned.
1  07 Cain, Lorenzo   MLB   CF 33 R R
  A bad hamstring has Cain hamstrung on the sidelines to open the season. No worries, though. The injury isn't considered serious and Lo should be pushing for a promotion to AAA by June.
3  08 Green, Taylor   A   IF 33 L R
  The words "wrist surgery" don't sit too well with me and the words "wrist surgery right before spring training" really don't sit well with me. We wish Taylor a speedy recovery and a plane ticket to Huntsville, who desperately need his bat in their lineup.
1  09 Gindl, Caleb   A   OF 31 L L
  The diminutive jackhammer pounded the bejesus out of the ball in spring training and is on fire early in 2009. Will Gindl move into the elite prospect ranks in 2009?
1  10 Gillespie, Cole   MLB   LF 35 R R
  A bum shoulder is keeping Gillespie from making his AAA debut. Until he can throw from left field, he'll be DHing in Florida. It must be frustrating, but we're all pulling for you to get better, Cole.
 11 Odorizzi, Jake   MLB   SP 29 R R
  Whether it is due to the chilly weather in Wisconsin or it is due to just workin' on stuff in Arizona, Odorizzi did not break camp with a full season club. We'll just have to wait on his 2009 debut.
2  12 Brewer, Brent   A   SS 32 R R
  The uber-athletic Brewer went 3-3 in major league spring training games, and is off to a 2-16 start at the plate in Brevard. What a strange game, eh?
6  13 Scarpetta, Cody   A   SP 31 R R
  It became a necessity to add Scarpetta to the 40-man roster due to a rule technicality... the Brewers have 5 years until he has to make the major league roster, but it'll be interesting to see if they handle him differently than other pitchers who are not on the 40-man.
1  14 Braddock, Zach   A   MR 32 L L
  Braddock should be back in the box scores shortly after getting his elbow problems straightened out this offseason (knock on wood).
15  15 Peralta, Wily   A   SP 30 R R
  Talk about a head of steam: Peralta wasn't on anyone's radar at this time last year, and didn't even pitch until Helena's season opened. Now that he's healthy, Wily is beginning to make his signing bonus pay dividends for the Brewers and he could make a run at Jeffress' top pitching prospect perch with a strong summer.
1  16 Aguilar, Omar   MLB   CL 34 L R
  Aguilar caught the oblique injury bug that circulated around Brewers camp this spring. It's not a long term injury and once he gets it sorted out, Omar should be ready to go in Huntsville.
5  17 Periard, Alex   A   SP 32 L R
  Eeek... Periard is out of action with the dreaded nondescript shoulder impingement injury. Here's to a speedy recovery for the young French Canadian, but shoulder injuries make you cross your fingers.
1  18 Dillard, Tim   A   MR 36 R R
  Remember last year when the Brewers decided Tim Dillard's career would best be served by going to the pen? Scratch that, he's back in the rotation in 2009. While it may just be a move to help him work on pitches, flip-flopping prospects between the pen and rotation in AAA reeks of a lack of planning on the Brewers' part.
3  19 Nelson, Brad   A   1B 37 L R
  Big Brad made the Brewers on his last chance. With no options left, Milwaukee almost surely would have lost Nelson on waivers had he not made the team. Now that he's here in Milwaukee, will he provide a viable option to Prince Fielder if the Brewers are looking to trade Prince while his value is high?
2  20 Nieves, Efrain   A   SP 30 L L
  The lanky lefty from Puerto Rico continued to impress this spring, and in to his first few appearances of the season. He's still under the radar a little but, but trust me, he won't be for long.
1  21 Dykstra, Cutter   MLB   3B 30 R R
  Baseball America was effusive in it's praise of Dykstra, naming him the 7th best prospect in the Brewers' system. The Power 50 staff feels that ranking may be a bit generous, though Cutter sure has the physical tools to be a top flight prospect.
4  22 Anundsen, Evan   A   SP 31 R R
  The big sinkerballer continues to be underrated in the humble opinion of this Power 50 editor, but I'll shut up and let Evan's 2009 season speak for itself.
9  23 Schafer, Logan   A   OF 33 L L
  While he's not as physically gifted as Lorenzo Cain, Schafer is more advanced defensively in center field and figures to push himself into the Brewers' plans pretty shortly down the road.
10  24 Frederickson, Evan   A   MR 33 L L
  After experiencing a huge drop in velocity at the end of the 2008 season, the big lefty has recovered and is ready to blaze some lightning at Midwest League hitters. Question is, will most of that lightning come relatively close to the plate? Frederickson's control issues must be addressed before he moves up the prospect ladder.
2  25 Komatsu, Erik   A   OF 32 L L
  This has nothing to do with anything, but every time I drive by a construction site with a big excavator made by Komatsu, I think to myself, "Self, 'The Excavator' would be a really terrible nickname for Erik Komatsu."
2  26 Lintz, Seth   A   SP 29 R R
  There was some thought that Odorizzi might break with the Wisconsin squad, but that wasn't really the case with Lintz. While Seth is just about as talented as Odorizzi, he's not as polished and almost surely won't see any game time until Helena opens its season in June.
new  27 McGehee, Casey   MLB   3B 37 R R
  I'm not sure how much of an impact McGehee (pronounced not whatsoever like it reads - it's like "McGee") will have on the Brewers over the long term, but it is nice to steal a player from the Cubs.
3  28 Iribarren, Hernan   MLB   2B 35 L R
  The Hurricane has not spent much time in the outfield recently, which is strange. I would think they'd want to keep playing him in center field a few times a week to maximize the value he could have on the roster. I hope he's not relegated primarily to second base.
4  29 Haydel, Lee   A   OF 32 L R
  In a bit of unfortunate news for Lee, he's no longer playing center field for the time being. With Logan Schafer on the same roster, Haydel has been pushed to left field. That's not really ideal for his development, though I guess it gives him experience at a new position.
new  30 Green, Nick   A   MR 35 R R
  A change-up specialist plucked off waivers from the Angels in the offseason, Nick has to prove he can get advanced hitters out. His fastball and curve are average pitches, so he has some work to do before he gets a long look for the Brewers' rotation.
2  31 Adams, Cody   A   SP 33 R R
  Last year's 3rd second round draft pick will be brought along a little slowly to start out the new season. He pitched a lot in college, and the Brewers are probably a little leery of giving him a lot of innings in his first full season.
1  32 Rivas, Amaury   A   SP 34 R R
  Came out of nowhere and tossed 120 innings last year after a quick return from Tommy John surgery. This year, he needs to maintain that health and keep working on his offspeed stuff. A solid start to the season might earn Amaury a promotion to Huntsville by June.
5  33 Zarraga, Shawn   MLB   C 30 S R
  It was a nice surprise to see Zarraga break camp with the Timber Rattlers, and we're all looking forward to seeing how he does this year. With Lawrie moving out from behind the plate, the Brewers could use another young catcher to step up and Shawn might be that guy.
new  34 Swindle, R.J.   MLB   MR 36 L L
  Will more than likely see significant time with the Brewers this season, and he should. Swindle will provide an excellent, Shouse-like compliment to Mitch Stetter.
9  35 Errecart, Chris   A   1B 34 R L
  Still working to pick up where he left off before last season's wrist injury. The power isn't back yet, but Milwaukee isn't exactly flush with first base prospects, so Errecart will be given plenty of time to get back in the swing of things.
3  36 Cody, Chris   A   SP 35 L L
  Commander Cody has finally made the trip to AA. His finesse stuff will continue to be tested for sure, but we think he's up to the challenge.
new  37 Wright, Chase   A   SP 36 L L
  Most widely known as that Yankee guy who gave up back-to back-to back-to back home runs to Boston in 2007, Chase gets a fresh start in Milwaukee. He'll provide insurance in AAA and would likely be a serviceable #5 starter should he need to fill in.
new  38 Trejo, Edgar   MLB   3B 30 R R
  Trejo tore his ACL a few games into his Helena season last year, but he's back already, and promoted to full season ball in Appleton. Quite a turnaround. If the Brewers are pushing him this hard, he must have some promise.
new  39 Koshansky, Joe   A   1B 37 L L
  Has proven he can hit the ball a long way in offensive-friendly parks. I have to admit, I'm not on board with my fellow Power 50 editors on Koshansky's inclusion. But as long as he's a Brewer, I will hope for the best.
1  40 Bramhall, Bobby   A   MR 34 L L
  I like to see that the Brewers have moved Bramhall into the AA rotation. He's probably a bullpen guy down the road, but it will give him a chance to work on his pitches.
4  41 Farris, Eric   A   2B 33 R R
  Farris probably needs to prove he can play shortstop if he wants to make himself into a more viable prospect in this system, especially with Lawrie's switch to second base.
6  42 Hand, Donovan   A   MR 33 R R
  Hand begins the 2009 season in the Stars' bullpen. Did his lackluster performance in the Huntsville rotation prompt this, or are the Brewers switching him to relief? Donovan doesn't have overwhelming stuff, so relief might be the answer in either case.
4  43 Katin, Brendan   A   OF 36 R R
  Through 7 games, Katin has already walked 2 times. That puts him well ahead of his walk rate last year, when he walked only 13 times in 321 at-bats.
16  44 Seidel, R.J.   A   MR 32 R R
  Be careful out there: Seidel is out for the year after "tearing up" his knee slipping on ice over the winter. Hey, at least it isn't his arm. Get better, R.J..
3  45 Wooten, Rob   A   MR 34 R R
  The Brewers aggressively promoted Wooten right past Wisconsin to Brevard for his first full season in the system. Without a big fastball, Wooten has to keep working on his offspeed stuff and that's better done against more advanced competition. It wouldn't be surprising to see him in AA before too long.
new  46 Rogers, Mark   A   SP 33 R R
  Welcome back to the mound and to the Power 50, Mark!
2  47 Ramlow, Mike   A   MR 33 L L
  It's back up to Brevard for Ramlow, who got a taste of advanced-A last year. While he won't begin the season in the rotation, he's sure to get his turn there eventually.
4  48 Wilson, Steffan   A   IF 33 R R
  It seems the Brewers have moved Wilson to first base, which negates a lot of his value. He was working on becoming a solid third baseman... it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense to me. Hopefully the switch from third to first isn't permanent.
new  49 Billings, Blake   A   SP 29 R R
  A little under the radar here... Billings is a big, sturdy pitcher with good, emerging stuff and good control. We'll have to wait to see the 19th round draft pick pitch, but his future is bright.
10  50 Welch, David   A   SP 36 L L
  The Aussie got the short end of the pitching stick when he inexplicably wasn't promoted to AAA this spring. He can't let it get him down, though... he has to be at or near the top of the list of guys next in line for Nashville.

Players removed this week: Michael Bell... Chris Dennis... Eric Fryer... Brock Kjeldgaard... Derek Miller... Luis Pena... Nick Tyson... Brae Wright...

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