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Should Tommy John be in the Hall of Fame?
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Toby's Power 50
  Power 50 Notes
last updated: 04/23/2010

Welcome to the first Power 50 of 2010! Toby here, and I will be responsible for the comments this time around. We removed one of the rules for this season: there will be no more upper age limit for inclusion on the list. Previously, on his 27th birthday a player became ineligible. That rule originally existed because when I started the Power 50 back in the ESPN message board and early Brewerfan days, our farm system was so crappy that I needed some way to weed out the older non-prospects from the younger non-prospects and avoid arguments like "Keith Luuloa is too a prospect, idiot!" Anyway, we didn't find the rule necessary anymore due to the strength of the farm system. If an older guy still might make an impact in Milwaukee down the road, he's a prospect. Welcome back, Mr. Heether. We also discussed including a service time cutoff for Power 50 inclusion, similar to what MLB uses to determine rookie status. In the end we decided not to do that and just keep Baseball America's standard of 130 ABs/50 IP as the threshold for graduation. Basically we looked at Mat Gamel sitting on the bench for days and days and decided we shouldn't hold management ineptitude (or time spent on the major league DL at the beginning of the season prior to being optioned) against a player. Finally, Brad (pogokat) has stepped down from Power 50 duties and we have enlisted Eric (battlekow) to join our cult. Thanks Brad, and welcome Eric!    
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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 
3  01 Lucroy, Jonathan   MLB   C 33 R R
  Lucroy leapfrogs Brett Lawrie and Mat Gamel to claim the #1 spot in the first Power 50 of 2010. A little over a year ago he was in a three way race with Lawrie and Angel Salome to become the Brewers' catcher of the future. First Lawrie switched positions and now over the past year Lucroy really seems to have separated himself from Salome in the eyes of Brewers officials. It won't be too long before we see Jon in Milwaukee.
1  02 Lawrie, Brett   A   2B 29 R R
  Lawrie is off to a good start at the plate besides a low batting average. He'll hit. But will he continue to put in the work to stick at second base? My guess is Lawrie ultimately ends up at first base or in left field. And that's OK - his bat plays anywhere on the field.
3  03 Braddock, Zach   A   MR 32 L L
  While it doesn't look like Braddock is going to switch back to the rotation anytime soon or at all, it'll still be a treat to see him mow down hitters at the end of the game. Zach is making AAA batters look silly right now, so it won't be that much longer before Trevor Hoffman's heir apparent officially debuts for Milwaukee.
2  04 Gamel, Mat   A   1B 34 L R
  After a difficult end to last season, spring training took things from bad to worse as Gamel was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury. That eliminated any chance he had of making the team in spring, it will keep him out until about the end of May and with Casey McGehee's strong sophomore year, Gamel's path to Milwaukee via third base is essentially blocked. When he comes back, will the Brewers move him off third to try to get him to Milwaukee, or let him stay to see how he continues progressing defensively?
2  05 Salome, Angel   A   OF 33 R R
  Here we have a top 10 prospect without a clear path to the big leagues in Milwaukee. He's temporarily blocked right now by Zaun and Kottaras and from all appearances, Jon Lucroy has moved ahead of him on the depth chart, too. Salome's diminutive really doesn't play anywhere else on the field, Lucroy is not going to be moved off catcher and Salome is behind Lucroy defensively anyway. The Brewers should hold on to Salome as long as they can, but he doesn't have a place with the team right now.
7  06 Odorizzi, Jake   MLB   SP 29 R R
  The Brewers have an impressive young pitcher in Odorizzi. Good fastball and curveball and a few other secondary pitches that should work in the majors eventually. He's been lights out in three appearances for Wisconsin and has a chance to be promoted by mid-summer.
7  07 Peralta, Wily   A   SP 30 R R
  Glowing scouting reports keep streaming in on Peralta as an improved changeup has raised his stock a ton since the beginning of last year. There has been talk that his future lies in the pen, but as long as he stays healthy he'll stay in the rotation because he is built like a workhorse. Been around for a long time but doesn't turn 21 for another few weeks.
7  08 Gindl, Caleb   A   OF 31 L L
  Gindl's plate discipline keeps improving and he just keeps producing at the plate. Caleb is the least heralded prospect in the top 10, though he shouldn't be.
1  09 Cain, Lorenzo   MLB   CF 33 R R
  Finally healthy, Cain is producing at the plate and showing that he can stick in center field. Next spring training could prove to be interesting if he's pushing Carlos Gomez for a starting job.
1  10 Green, Taylor   A   IF 32 L R
  Speaking of health, Green says his wrist feels good. This is backed up with the fact that he's on pace to hit 90 doubles this year. Really. Despite some claims from the blogging community to the contrary, the jury is still out on whether Cleveland made the right choice in taking Brantley over Green.
6  11 Arnett, Eric   A   MR 31 R R
  Tough start to the season for Arnett. Fastball control in the zone appears to be a problem. Of course there's a lot of season left to get things straightened out.
 12 Rivas, Amaury   A   SP 33 R R
  If Gindl is the most overlooked position prospect, the most overlooked pitching prospect continues to be Amaury Rivas. While none of his pitches are dominant, his changeup is very good and he throws plenty hard enough. We might see him in Milwaukee by the end of the year.
5  13 Davis, Kentrail   A   OF 31 L R
  An ankle sprain has forced Davis to the sidelines for the time being. For all the hype Davis gets and for all we discuss him, he's made under 30 plate appearances since signing. Can't wait to see him back on the field.
3  14 Schafer, Logan   A   OF 33 L L
  Yet another center field prospect, and the fourth outfield prospect in the last seven Power 50 slots. I make this point because Schafer has not yet seen the field since injuring his groin early on in spring. With the other top outfielders playing so well, Logan needs to get back on the field as soon as he can.
3  15 Scarpetta, Cody   A   SP 31 R R
  Much like Arnett, Scarpetta is off to a slow start on the mound. Unlike Arnett, Scarpetta has been wild in and out of the zone, issuing 10 walks and allowing 13 hits in 12 innings pitched so far.
 16 Heckathorn, Kyle   A   MR 31 R R
  Hasn't started a game yet in the tandem system. I wonder if they want him working toward the end of games to see what it's like to work there as a starter, or if they have an eye on him as a reliever down the road.
 17 Rogers, Mark   A   SP 33 R R
  It's great that Mark is healthy and close to his old velocity. Now it is time to refine command of his pitches and make the next step towards becoming a major league starter.
13  18 Dennis, Chris   A   OF 31 L R
  Dennis is putting up Pujolsian numbers in his return trip with the T-Rats. If he keeps this up, or even close to this up, a promotion to Brevard should be forthcoming. It's too bad they've stuck him at first base, though.
3  19 Jeffress, Jeremy   A   MR 32 R R
  No news is good news for Jeffress. I'm curious as to when he gets back, if he starts back with Huntsville or not. He struggled there last year prior to being demoted to Brevard.
 20 Axford, John   A   CL 36 R R
  Brewers brass raved about Axford all spring. He should get prime consideration if the Brewers need help in the pen.
2  21 Butler, Josh   A   SP 34 R R
  No news on the Butler injury front, so all we know is he's still not pitching for Nashville. Get better, Josh.
1  22 Bucci, Nick   A   SP 29 R R
  A shocking number of walks early on from the baby-faced assassin, who has showed good control to this point of his minor league career. Hopefully it's just an aberration.
new  23 Lofgren, Chuck   A   SP 33 L L
  Glad to see the Brewers were able to hang on to Lofgren after not having room for him on the big league roster. He will be well worth the price tag of Omar Aguilar.
16  24 Garfield, Cameron   A   C 28 R R
  Quite an honor and a rarity for a 19 year old to catch full time for an A-ball team, which goes to show you how much the Brewers think about Garfield.
1  25 Richardson, D'Vontrey   A   OF 31 R R
  Richardson's many tools are still raw and he's off to a bit of a slow start with Wisconsin, but there's a lot to like here.
8  26 Lasker, Maverick   A   SP 29 R R
  The owner of the coolest name in all of baseball has been solid early on for the Timber Rattlers.
new  27 Gennett, Scooter   MLB   2B 29 L R
  I was more than a little disappointed to find out that "Scooter" was not actually Gennett's first name. It's Ryan. Ryan is playing very well.
1  28 Farris, Eric   A   2B 33 R R
  Big bump from Brevard to Nashville for Farris, where his small ball skills will be tested. He needs to keep working on that walk rate.
8  29 Anundsen, Evan   A   SP 31 R R
  Tweaked his shoulder right at the end of spring training, but it's not supposed to be anything serious.
5  30 Howell, Del   A   SP 32 L L
  Tough start to the year for Howell (3.32 WHIP), but things will only get better.
5  31 Periard, Alex   A   SP 32 L R
  It would be nice to get a velocity report on Periard, whose fastball was down into the 80s last year. He's still inducing groundball after groundball and not striking people out.
new  32 Heether, Adam   MLB   IF 37 R R
  The prime beneficiary of our new policy of no age restriction on the Power 50 is Heether, who turned 28 this past January. The Brewers liked Heether enough to add him to the 40-man roster at the last moment and he should provide a solid bat for the club when they decide that they could use him.
11  33 Bowman, Michael   A   SP 32 R R
  I guess that since Rivas is sitting at #12, he can't be toooo overlooked. Maybe the most overlooked pitcher is this guy, Michael Bowman. Since being drafted in the 9th round a few years ago, Bowman has been consistently productive, if not overwhelming.
4  34 Prince, Josh   A   OF 31 R R
  Prince missed the first few weeks of the season with an undisclosed injury, so my only comment is that so far, he's had about 20 ABs.
3  35 Hall, Brooks   A   MR 29 R R
  There was some speculation in a hometown paper that Hall would be joining the Wisconsin rotation sometime this year, but I find that pretty unlikely. Look for him to debut with Arizona or Helena sometime this summer.
new  36 Estrada, Marco   MLB   SP 36 R R
  Yes, his stuff is not dominating and yes, he was let go by Washington. However, the results have always been there and Estrada is off to a very good start in the Nashville rotation. The Brewers have had worse AAA options.
 37 Walla, Max   A   MR 28 L L
  Walla was truly terrible in his pro debut last summer, but from everything I've read about him, his debut is not something to get worked up about. I'm excited to see his name pop up in box scores once the Helena season ramps up.
5  38 Merklinger, Dan   A   SP 33 L L
  As one of only four lefty starters below AAA (Efrain Nieves, Chris Cody and Del Howell are the others), Merklinger has an opportunity to provide the Brewers with another southpaw option in the next few years. He should move to AA before too long.
7  39 Krestalude, Damon   A   SP 30 R R
  Krestalude has been impressive enough early on that he will no longer have a tandem starting partner.
new  40 Fiers, Mike   MLB   SP 34 R R
  Fiers was dominant out of the pen last year after being drafted and seemed to be on the fast track (like Rob Wooten) to being groomed as a bullpen option. The Brewers had other plans for him this spring, and Fiers is now starting for the Manatees. He has a very good curveball, but we'll see if the velocity is there to turn him into a starter prospect.
6  41 Komatsu, Erik   A   OF 32 L L
  After missing most of last year, Komatsu is healthy again and raking again. Maybe he's the most underrated hitting. Move out of the way, Gindl.
new  42 Davis, Khris   MLB   OF 31 R R
  Off to a hot start with the Rattlers, and hitting lots of balls in the gaps. Davis doesn't have the range to play center, so hopefully some of those doubles turn into home runs over the course of time.
14  43 Wooten, Rob   A   MR 34 R R
  We were sorry to hear that Wooten will miss this year with Tommy John surgery. Get better!
2  44 Baron, Casey   A   MR 34 L L
  Ever since Mitch Stetter's breakout, we've been careful not to undervalue LOOGY relievers, and I think we might have a good one in Baron.
new  46 Watten, Trey   A   SP 32 R R
  If Bowman is the most underrated pitching prospect, Watten is off the radar. When he's on, he's the best groundball inducer in the system. The results have not been pretty for the most part, but keep in mind that Watten is relatively new to pitching. Keep an eye on this guy.
new  47 Kintzler, Brandon   A   MR 35 R R
  The Brewers might have found something in Kintzler when they purchased him from the St. Paul Saints last July. He has good velocity and has taken to his role as closer on the Stars.
12  48 Cody, Chris   A   SP 35 L L
  Your reward for finally making it to AAA: back to AA! Hopefully Cody will get a chance to redeem himself in AAA later on this year.
4  49 Frederickson, Evan   A   MR 33 L L
  A move to the bullpen, and a move a bit further down the Power 50. I hope things turn around for the big lefty, but this is not where you want a former #1 pick to be in his third season.
11  50 Seidel, R.J.   A   MR 32 R R
  Mysteriously left off full season rosters to begin the year. Perhaps Seidel is nursing an injury down in Arizona.

Players removed this week: Omar Aguilar... Tim Dillard... Cutter Dykstra... Alcides Escobar... Lee Haydel... Hernan Iribarren... Seth Lintz... Efrain Nieves... Zelous Wheeler...

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