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Toby's Power 50
  Power 50 Notes
last updated: 08/18/2009

Patrick Ebert here offering my thoughts for the most recent version of the Power 50. You'll see some new names thanks to the draft's signing deadline, and congratulations are due to the team's scouting department for signing their top 23 picks (all within the top 20 rounds), and 31 in total. We may have witnessed a change of draft philosophy, as new scouting boss Bruce Seid took 18 college and junior college players among those top 23 picks. You may notice a lot of movement up and down, from the emergence of Nick Bucci, the return of Mark Rogers and the continued struggles for Brent Brewer. Cole Gillespie and Roque Mercedes were removed from consideration since they were dealt to Arizona for Felipe Lopez, Brett Lawrie received a surprise promotion to AA Huntsville, and Alcides Escobar replaced J.J. Hardy in Milwaukee. Casey McGehee officially graduated off of the list, and Mat Gamel returned to Nashville, although this will probably be his last appearance on this list. Arizona Fall League assignments have also started to be handed out, as all of the affiliates wind down their regular seasons.    
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  Power 50
+/- Rank  Name  Level  Pos  Age 
1  01 Escobar, Alcides   MLB   SS 32 R R
  Congrats are in order to Escobar for claiming the top spot with a much deserved promotion to Milwaukee, where his speed in particular has been a welcome addition. Congrats are also in order to Link Reporter MassHaas, who has been clamoring for this P50 placement since Escobar was 10 years old.
1  02 Gamel, Mat   A   1B 34 L R
  Mat held his own in Milwaukee before being sent back down to receive more regular playing time, but only recently has he started to re-discover his stroke. This is Gamel's last stay on the P50, who hopes to stay locked in when he returns to Milwaukee when the rosters expand and offer a much needed run-producing bat in the lower half of the order.
 03 Lawrie, Brett   A   2B 29 R R
  Lawrie, like Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder, gets an aggressive bump to AA Huntsville from the Midwest League. At 19 years old, if Lawrie wasn't already on the fast track, making his pro debut for a full-season afiiliate, he is now, and instantly becomes a distinct possibility to play for the big-league Brewers at some point in 2010.
 04 Lucroy, Jonathan   MLB   C 33 R R
  Lucroy's hot streak got even hotter as soon as he stepped into the month of August, and has firmly put himself as the organization's top catching prospect. With more walks than strikeouts and improving power numbers, it would seem as though his bat is legit, and he may not be far away from becoming the team's first homegrown, everyday catcher since Mike Matheny.
 05 Salome, Angel   A   OF 33 R R
  Salome already was leap-frogged by Lucroy last month, and unfortunately a bum finger has gotten in the way of an impressive late season surge of his own. Don't worry Coach, we haven't lost faith, as we all look forward to his probable September call-up.
 06 Arnett, Eric   A   MR 31 R R
  Expectations are always high for first-round picks, and despite numbers that may suggest otherwise, word out of Helena says Arnett's fastball velocity is fine, but he's laying off of his nasty slider after a long college season. Be patient box score followers, next year should paint a better picture of Arnett's abilities.
 07 Braddock, Zach   A   MR 32 L L
  It's nice to see a Braddock box score sighting, as he arguably is the top pitching prospect in the Brewers' system based on his size and stuff. Obviously his inability to stay healthy, and possibly his inability to start games, creates the need to temper one's enthusiasm. Despite his set-backs, he continues his ascent towards Milwaukee.
 08 Green, Taylor   A   IF 33 L R
  Despite a tough overall season for Green, we haven't lost faith in him, who remains one of the better all-around players in the system, and a relatively safer bet to eventually make some kind of contribution at the big league level. He'll get a chance to reclaim some fan-man love in the AFL.
 09 Cain, Lorenzo   MLB   CF 33 R R
  I could copy and paste Taylor Green's comments here for Cain, who too has dealt with a tough season amidst injuries, and looks to re-assert himself in the AFL. Cain's season was tougher to follow, since many of us felt he had a chance to replace Cameron in CF to open 2010.
 10 Peralta, Wily   A   SP 30 R R
  Peralta entered the season as the organization's darkhorse to emerge as one of the team's top pitching prospects, and he didn't disappoint. Now he joins names like Arnett and Braddock in the conversation for such an honor, and the club has wisely cut back on his innings as the season winds down.
1  11 Gindl, Caleb   A   OF 31 L L
  Gindl has gotten on base consistently during an up and down year, while cutting down on his strikeouts and showing good pop in a league that significantly suppresses power numbers. Gindl remains one of the three Gs with Green and Gamel among the more promising bats (all left-handed to boot) to look forward to.
new  12 Davis, Kentrail   A   OF 31 L R
  Davis is an impact offensive performer, thus the aggressive P50 debut, and is somewhat of a weird science experiment combining Caleb Gindl's size and stroke with Michael Brantley's speed and approach. He likely will debut next year for the T-Rats for locals excited to get a closer look at him.
5  13 Schafer, Logan   A   OF 33 L L
  The 2010 AA Huntsville lineup is looking pretty exciting, and Schafer's hot streak and improved plate discipline is a big reason for that. SemiBold prediction: By this time next year Schafer will leap-frog Cain as the team's top CF prospect much like Lucroy did so to Salome this year.
new  14 Heckathorn, Kyle   A   MR 31 R R
  Nice to see Heckathorn make his pro debut the other night, and nice to see another big-bodied righty with a power arsenal added to a system in dire need of pitching. As a college draftee, Heckathorn needs to add polish and likely will be brought along patiently.
2  15 Scarpetta, Cody   A   SP 31 R R
  Scarpetta and Peralta have formed quite the combo with Wisconsin. Scarpetta's fastball may not be as electric as Peralta's, but his curve was recently rated the Midwest League's best breaking pitch according to league managers.
9  16 Rogers, Mark   A   SP 33 R R
  We can worry about the continued lofty walk totals next year. For now it is so encouraging to see Rogers enjoying success while also hearing how his stuff has returned to where it was before his career was side-tracked due to injuries.
2  17 Anundsen, Evan   A   SP 31 R R
  Anundsen hasn't been as sharp during the second half of the year, but he's still missing bats, showing good control and limiting base hits against him. The most impressive is that he's only given up 2 HR in 114 innings of work thanks to his power sinker.
5  18 Butler, Josh   A   SP 35 R R
  The excitement for Butler had to be put on hold after he was shut down for a few weeks, but he's back pitching for the baby Brewers in Arizona, and may be a candidate to stay in AZ to get some work in the AFL this fall.
3  19 Odorizzi, Jake   MLB   SP 29 R R
  Odorizzi's innings have been limited this year, missing nearly a month after being shut down for precautionary measures. He projects to be a big part of a very talented pitching staff in Wisconsin next year.
1  20 Cody, Chris   A   SP 35 L L
  Commander Cody hasn't been fooling AAA batters as much since his promotion to Nashville, but his body of work is still impressive enough to hope that he may very well be the second coming of Jamie Moyer.
 21 Jeffress, Jeremy   A   MR 32 R R
  Please open your eyes and realize how much you could be giving up if you don't get your act together. Like Rogers, for different reasons obviously, Jeffress could easily vault right back up this list and find himself back among the top three to five prospects a year from now.
2  22 Iribarren, Hernan   MLB   2B 35 L R
  The Hurricane is getting a small taste of the big-leagues once again providing another left-handed bat off of the big-league Brewers bench. It seems as though his future, at least in Milwaukee, is as a utility player.
10  23 Rivas, Amaury   A   SP 33 R R
  Rivas now has over 150 innings pitched at the high-A level, and he's been lights out during the second half of the season. Huntsville should have some promising arms to look forward to next year, and Rivas has the best repertoire of that group, highlighted by his change, recently voted the best in the FSL.
2  24 Periard, Alex   A   SP 32 L R
  Periard is yet another pitcher that was shut down for nearly a month due to some arm problems, and the Brewers have been taking it slow with him since his return. He throws a little harder than fellow sinker-baller Evan Anundsen, who will likely continue to be rotation-mates in Huntsville next year.
new  25 Bucci, Nick   A   SP 29 R R
  Welcome to the Power 50 young man. Link Report followers aren't the only ones impressed with his efforts, as word has it the Brewers brass can't get enough of his approach to the game. He has an average fastball and solid three-pitch mix, and has firmly put himself in the Brewers long-range plans.
1  26 Prince, Josh   A   OF 31 R R
  Prince hasn't stopped running all spring, now 80 for 96 in stolen base attempts between his spring with Tulane and across two levels this summer.
10  27 Walla, Max   A   MR 28 L L
  Maybe we got a little too excited a little quickly by the pre-draft workout reports of Walla's power potential, who has only 2 dingers in over 160 ABs in the Arizona Rookie League.
1  28 Aguilar, Omar   MLB   CL 34 L R
  Aguilar is taking a mulligan on his early season struggles at AA, now back to his dominating ways in a second tour with Brevard County.
3  29 Dennis, Chris   A   OF 31 L R
  We have been hearing about Dennis' prodigious power for a couple of years now, and finally got to get a real taste for it during his stint with Wisconsin before he too was shut down due to injuries. His season just resumed, now with the Arizona rookie club.
8  30 Axford, John   A   CL 36 R R
  Axford's ascent this season has been encouraging amidst a variety of difficulties for so many of the team's young arms and players overall. He's one step away from making his mark in Milwaukee.
7  31 Frederickson, Evan   A   MR 33 L L
  Opposing batters seem to have a hard time making solid contact off of Frederickson, although part of that is the fact that he has so much trouble finding the strike zone. We've yet to hear reports of his fastball coming close to his pre-draft upper-90s.
3  32 Wooten, Rob   A   MR 34 R R
  August hasn't been as kind to Wooten, however he continues to not hurt himself with good control of a solid repertoire. Slowly but surely, the Brewers are developing some intriguing bullpen arms including Wooten, Axford and Aguilar, who could be spread between Milwaukee and Huntsville next summer.
2  33 Dillard, Tim   A   MR 36 R R
  I'm still a little confused by how Dillard has been handled by the Brewers, once a starter, then reliever, then a starter again, and then a reliever once more during a brief and forgettable callup.
new  34 Merklinger, Dan   A   SP 34 L L
  The stuff has always been there, and it appears as though Merklinger may have finally figured out how to consistently throw strikes. The team rewarded him with a well-deserved promotion to Brevard County since the last P50 update.
7  35 Garfield, Cameron   A   C 28 R R
  I know I wasn't the only one that got excited by Garfield's incredibly hot start to begin his pro career, but unfortunately the more the season has progressed the more he has struggled. Don't lose hope: Pre-draft reports indicated that he would be a work in progress, but he has plenty of tools to build off of.
new  36 Hall, Brooks   A   MR 29 R R
  Welcome to professional baseball young man, and welcome to the Power 50! Can you believe the Brewers took a pair of college pitchers before they nabbed Hall in the 4th round?
new  37 Howell, Del   A   SP 32 L L
  It was nice to see the Brewers get Howell in the system as a 15th rounder that could have been taken much higher based on his potential alone. He epitomizes any high-risk, high-reward prospect, minus the high draft slot and equally lofty expectations.
1  38 Komatsu, Erik   A   OF 32 L L
  Lefty sluggers Komatsu and Chris Dennis were supposed to provide some much needed pop in the T-Rats lineup this year while manning the outfield corners. As many outfield prospects as the organization has, it never seems as though they can have enough.
3  39 Dykstra, Cutter   MLB   3B 30 R R
  Like Komatsu and Dennis, Dykstra was expected to be roaming the outfield for Wisconsin, but problems on and off the field led to a demotion and a switch back to the infield, of which he hasn't taken to yet. Hopefully lil' Nails' family issues can subside so he can move forward with his own baseball career.
1  40 Seidel, R.J.   A   MR 32 R R
  It was nice to see Seidel return from a broken leg sooner than expected, even if the results on the mound have been inconsistent at best. We'll give him another year to show what he can do when fully healthy, and focused.
15  41 Brewer, Brent   A   SS 31 R R
  Apparently there's just too much pressure having the same last name as his parent team's moniker. I'm not sure how much longer we can talk about his immense potential...
8  42 Haydel, Lee   A   OF 32 L R
  We all know Haydel has serious wheels, and he has hit fairly well as a pro. However, he really needs to walk more and strikeout less to even become the second coming of Jason Tyner.
2  43 Farris, Eric   A   2B 33 R R
  Farris is on a nice second-half tear posting solid numbers overall despite not having much pop. His speed (60 SB in 65 attempts) is exciting, and he recently was named the best baserunner and the best defensive second baseman in the FSL.
new  44 Lasker, Maverick   A   SP 29 R R
  Maverick has given up only three ER over his last 8 appearances (32 innings). Fully healthy and throwing darts all season long, it would seem as though he's positioned himself for a long (well, hopefully not too long) and productive run on the Power 50.
5  45 Lintz, Seth   A   SP 29 R R
  Lintz has fallen behind the other two members of the trio of premium prep '08 draft picks that includes Odorizzi and Lasker. His stuff has always been legit, as he doesn't appear to have problems missing bats, but he really needs to hone his control to keep pace.
new  46 Gennett, Scooter   MLB   2B 29 L R
  Adding Gennett, a pure hitter that could have gone in the top 2-3 rounds based on talent, to the system as a 16th rounder was a great move for the organization. Scooter has already become one of my favorite prospects, and profiles in a similar fashion to Taylor Green.
4  47 Katin, Brendan   A   OF 36 R R
  Katin is a proven run producer at the minor league level, to be sure, but he really needs to tone down his swing to even become a poor man's version of Rob Deer. When his BBs and Ks start to move closer together, we'll all have more reason to believe he could be a RH hitting platoon option in RF.
new  48 Krestalude, Damon   A   SP 30 R R
  Krestalude, like Bucci, has become a bright spot on the Helena team, seemingly in the mold of an Evan Anundsen/Alex Periard sinkerballer. He should be part of the talented Wisconsin staff I've mentioned before where we will get a better idea of what he's all about.
new  49 Garcia, Jose R.   A   C 28 R R
  There's a reason the Brewers signed this young man to the money they did, even if his numbers have been slow to develop. Still only 18 years old, let's hope that one of the organization's prominent Dominican signees out of Garcia, Hitaniel Arias and recently signed Jose Pena comes closer to reaching their potential than Cristian Guerrero did.
new  50 Wheeler, Zelous   MLB   IF 32 R R
  Wheeler has put together a solid, not spectacular season and overall professional career, and has been especially good at the plate over the last two months. There's some Adam Heether (who like last month deserves mention on this list despite not being eligible) to him for his steady production and versatility.

Players removed this week: Casey Baron... Michael Bowman... Cole Gillespie... Nick Green... Donovan Hand... Casey McGehee... Roque Mercedes... Efrain Nieves... R.J. Swindle... Steffan Wilson... Shawn Zarraga...

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