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Toby's Power 50
 
 
  Power 50 Notes
 
last updated: 07/18/2010

It's Jim with your July Power 50 update. July has brought some renewed optimism in prospect-land, as several farmhands have stepped up their games in recent weeks. We're sometimes (OK, often) quick to point out what we may perceive as player development and coaching mis-steps in the system, but too many players have made big strides as of late, and several have cited mechanical and/or mental adjustments for which the Brewers' staffs should be commended. The 2010 draft picks listed seemed to slot in comfortably for your four Power 50 editors, and we should note that this was indeed the closest battle for the top spot in the history of the P50. We went to our super-secret tiebreaker system. I'd tell you what that is, but then your Power 50 screen would self-destruct in 15 seconds.    
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  Power 50
+/- Rank  Name  Level  Pos  Age 
1  01 Lawrie, Brett   A   2B 29 R R
  There's been quite a bit of chatter recently about how Lawrie compares favorably to Ryan Braun as a supremely confident "hitting savant". We ourselves are suprememly confident that the term "hitting savant" is a very apt term, indeed.
1  02 Lucroy, Jonathan   MLB   C 33 R R
  There's no shame in dropping to #2 for Jonathan here, as he continues to garner praise for his play and work ethic with the big league club. Former A's and Twins catcher Terry Steinbach, a comsummate stabilizing pro, was mentioned early on as a potential comp for Lucroy. That seems like a distinct posibility now -- we can hope.
 03 Braddock, Zach   A   MR 32 L L
  Still just 22 years old for another month, Braddock has already won the confidence of Ken Macha. Were we expecting the fastball to come in a tick or two higher? Perhaps, but the stuff, composure and future potential of this "Jersey Boy" looks like box office gold. Dare we dream of a return to starting some day? A conversation for another time...
 04 Odorizzi, Jake   MLB   SP 29 R R
  The Brewers look wise for resisting the temptation of placing Jake above the rookie ball level during his first two teenage seasons in the system. You'd think that Odorizzi will continue to fill in his listed 6'2", 175 lb. frame. Let it be known that among the four Brewerfan Power 50 editors, the list's namesake, Toby, places Odorizzi at the top of his own compilation.
 05 Gamel, Mat   A   1B 34 L R
  You could argue that quite a bit of the lustre is gone from the soon-to-be 25 year-old Gamel's shine. The Brewers appear to have a third baseman in place for the next few seasons, and his name isn't Mat Gamel. Yet Mat continues to hone his craft at third, and he certainly isn't raking at previous Gamel levels. The Brewers, and to an extent Mat, have managed to make the whole situation awkward -- not necessarily bad, just awkward.
1  06 Cain, Lorenzo   MLB   CF 33 R R
  Congratulations to the newest big league Brewer! It's difficult to foresee immediate regular plate opportunities for Lo, and we would never wish an injury on any player, but it would be convenient if Carlos Gomez was suddenly inconvenienced for a couple of weeks.
3  07 Axford, John   A   CL 36 R R
  Ride the Ax-man wave, Brewers! Technically, if you were to say that Milwaukee had their closer in place for the next six years minimum, with the first several of those years at super cost-friendly levels, then Axford probably deserves an even higher placement on this list. We're just glad that scout Jay Lapp was the lone big league rep to brave an Ontario blizzard for an Axford workout in the winter of early 2008. Thanks, Jay!
2  08 Peralta, Wily   A   SP 30 R R
  There's no denying the numbers -- Peralta simply has not approached the 118-to-46 K-to-BB ratio he put up in 103.2 innings at Wisconsin last season. His ground ball ratio is up about 30% from last year, so perhaps it's just a matter of what the coaches have asked him to focus on. With his next start, Wily will have surpassed his inning total from 2009, so at the very least he continues to show improved health and arm buildup after his 2007 Tommy John surgery.
1  09 Rivas, Amaury   A   SP 33 R R
  Rivas has averaged over six innings per start over his first 16, has allowed only three home runs in 98 innings, has held left-handed bats to only a .213 average -- hey, there's a lot to like here, and Rivas continues to project as a possibly very solid 3-4 big league starter. Despite a recent elbow twinge, we wouldn't mind seeing Amaury in AAA soon in a "thank you anyway, but goodbye Marty McLeary" kind of way...
11  10 Jeffress, Jeremy   A   MR 32 R R
  The filthy sick stuff is still right there. This was never a "safe" draft pick to begin with, so while there's been plenty of drama along the way, there's at least a light now at the end of what could be a blindingly bright tunnel. The potential payoff is so high here, it's ridiculous, really.
 11 Heckathorn, Kyle   A   MR 31 R R
  Profiled as more of a potential reliever coming out of the 2009 draft, Heckathorn has been fantastically impressive, consistently so, as a rotation horse with the Rattlers. We're all anxious to see what he'll do at higher levels, but Kyle just turned 22 last month, so he's not ancient for the league. A bump to the FSL in the 2nd half would position himself nicely for a full AA run in 2011, though.
3  12 Davis, Kentrail   A   OF 31 L R
  We now know that it's been nagging hamstring issues, and not anything related to his propensity to be a human baseball magnet at the plate, that has knocked Kentrail back to Wisconsin from Brevard for cooler weather and hopes for a full recovery. His 1.037 OPS in 19 games with the Rattlers is an indication the left-handed batting stroke is going to be just fine.
5  13 Rogers, Mark   A   SP 33 R R
  Absolutely unhittable at times, but unhittable doesn't mean untouchable, as 52 walks in 80.1 innings will lead to earned runs. Mark hasn't been able to extend himself deep into a single game in 2010, and walks don't translate well at the big league level -- not as a starter, not as a closer, barely as a middle man. Please fix it, Mark -- with your stuff, let the ball cross over a portion of the plate, it'll be OK.
 14 Gindl, Caleb   A   OF 31 L L
  Not sure how many other 21-year-olds are having as thoroughly solid a AA season as Gindl, but you could probably count them all on one hand. Small sample for 2010 (91 AB's), but he's also raking LHP's to the tune of an .878 OPS.
1  15 Scarpetta, Cody   A   SP 31 R R
  Suddenly the Power 50 leans a little heavy towards the mound men, doesn't it? If Scarpetta continues to build upon his recent 21-inning scoreless dominance, it will be one of the more significant and exciting developments of the summer on the farm.
4  16 Green, Taylor   A   IF 32 L R
  Green has stolen four bases in 11 attmpts -- in his career. Taylor is stagnating a bit, he's got his OPS up to .748, up from .687 in 2009, also at Huntsville. He needs to avoid injury the rest of the way and remind us he can be special.
2  17 Gennett, Scooter   MLB   2B 29 L R
  OK, so we won't reserve an NL MVP Award in Scooter's trophy case quite yet, but he's putting up Dustin Pedroia-type numbers in his first pro season. In fact, amazingly, he'd have to fill out a bit more just to match the similarly 5'9" Pedroia's build.
5  18 Arnett, Eric   A   MR 31 R R
  When we asked the Baseball America staff to identify a major league starter who posted similar numbers at the start of a pro career to Arnett's, they came up empty. That's how historic Eric's climb would be from his efforts thus far. It'll be interesting to follow him the remainder of this summer, now that he's returned to Appleton from Maryvale.
2  19 Schafer, Logan   A   OF 33 L L
  Severe groin injury this spring, broken right foot in June, hernia surgery related to the groin tear this summer -- Logan's season will consist of 23 at-bats. Lorenzo Cain just showed Schafer how to overome a lost season. Hang in there, kid...
 20 Bucci, Nick   A   SP 29 R R
  There might be more appropriate comps out there, but it's not bizarre to profile Bucci to former Brewer Allen Levrault, given their bulldog attributes and overall stuff. Don't snicker -- not every farmhand starter can profile to Ben Sheets.
3  21 Lasker, Maverick   A   SP 29 R R
  Lasker isn't among the Brewer kids inducing ground balls, yet he's only allowed one home run in his 75 innings. His nine-inning effort on June 29th (one earned run, one walk, eight K's) is one of the best pitched games in the system in 2010.
new  22 Nelson, Jimmy   MLB   SP 30 R R
  The first 2010 draft pick to grace the P50, the 2nd round Nelson brings his OK fastball but plus slider to Helena from SEC Alabama to get his feet wet. Undoubtedly he'll be introduced to the Brewer insistance on changeup development. Very early results won't be an especially telling predictor of future success.
 23 Butler, Josh   A   SP 34 R R
  Butler is among the pleasantly high number of Brewer farmhands who is enjoying his best stretch of the season within the past few weeks. Like Amaury Rivas, you have to wonder how much longer this fellow 40-man roster member will be calling Huntsville home.
13  24 Davis, Khris   MLB   OF 31 R R
  There's nothing Davis can't mash right now, including home run derby pitches. His .559 SLG % is generated from only a 6'0", 195 lb. frame. Strong dude, with more to his game than just extra-base hits. A fantastic 7th round find from the '09 draft.
11  25 Komatsu, Erik   A   OF 32 L L
  Perhaps the most impressive prospect campaign that few are talking about -- as many walks as K's, 19 stolen bases in 23 attempts, an .808 OPS in the FSL. Not sure if Komo still has "thunder in the bat", a shout out to his Cal-State Fullerton days, but there have been enough extra-base hits to keep us intrigued.
 26 Garfield, Cameron   A   C 28 R R
  The bat is showing signs of life after a miserable start to July, but let's give Cameron some credit for guiding the talented Wisconsin rotation as well, and at a young 19 years old (May 23rd birthday).
2  27 Farris, Eric   A   2B 33 R R
  Working to get his injured knee ligament strain healthy down in Maryvale, while also knocking off the rust (1-for-13). Upon Farris' return to Nashville, will his main positive attribute be compromised on the basepaths? With the system's depth at second base, if healthy, Eric could be a candidate to even out a major deadline deal.
6  28 Dennis, Chris   A   OF 31 L R
  The man without a position has cranked out 46 extra base knocks, walked 40 times, driven in 55, and should be on the radar of every American League scout.
2  29 Hall, Brooks   A   MR 29 R R
  The tall righty finally made his pro debut in Maryvale on June 22nd and will probably land in a Wisconsin uniform next April whether he sees Helena this season or not.
new  30 Thornburg, Tyler   MLB   CL 31 R R
  The Brewers' 3rd round pick this spring is off to a fine start in Helena, and whenever you see the word "Lincecum-esque" in a scouting report, you know you're in for some fun as you follow a prospect. One advantage Thornburg has relative to many other Brewer pitchers is an already above-average changeup.
8  31 Kintzler, Brandon   A   MR 35 R R
  We love a good story, and toiling for more than three seasons in independent ball, including the hinterlands of Winnipeg, makes for a tale with a potentially big payoff. After years of over-allocating financial resources to the big league bullpen, the Brewers seem poised to go young and powerful there for some time to come. Currently on the DL rehabbing an oblique strain...
new  32 Morris, Hunter   MLB   1B 31 L R
  No pressure, Mr. 4th Round Pick -- so what if you hear words like "Prince Fielder's long-term replacement" on draft day? 12 of Morris' first 26 hits have been for extra-bases with Wisconsin.
3  33 Howell, Del   A   SP 32 L L
  Del dug himself quite the statistical hole in April, and his peripherals are still less than impressive, but we think Thurston Howell will be just Lovey (um, lovely) down the road. And yes, Mary Ann over Ginger -- easily.
7  34 Richardson, D'Vontrey   A   OF 31 R R
  D'Vontrey is still D'very epitome of a player with many skills to refine, but the clay is there to be molded. We'll end up keeping track of how often the word "raw" is used in his Power 50 entries the next few years.
26  35 Salome, Angel   A   OF 33 R R
  It's just a damn shame, really. Angel just can't find it within himself to remain at the one position where he could carve out a prolonged career, be it with the Brewers or elsewhere. We hope he's not second-guessing his decision five, ten, twenty, heck, even one year from now, but he probably will be.
5  36 Fiers, Mike   MLB   SP 34 R R
  The answer to the question "Why would the Brewers waste a draft pick on a 24-year-old?" Remarkable peripheral numbers have landed Fiers in the Huntsville rotation, but he'll most likely be a valuable big league bullpen member in 2012 and beyond if things continue to break right for him.
9  37 Periard, Alex   A   SP 32 L R
  We haven't read about an injury update on Periard from Gord Ash in forever, and to be honest, in a bit of out-of-sight, out-of-mind, we have no confirmation as to exactly what has sidelined Alex since June 5th. We used to have Derek Lowe visions in our head about Periard, but now he has only one option year remaining. Do you see him in Milwaukee to stay as of April 2012? Not too many hands being raised...
5  38 Lofgren, Chuck   A   SP 33 L L
  It's quite amazing to compare Lofgren's numbers after 19 Nashville starts to those of his 17 AAA starts in the Cleveland organization last year. Eerily similar. And while Chuck is surviving his 2010 season, often acquitting himself pretty well, there simply hasn't been much to get excited about.
10  39 Dykstra, Cutter   MLB   3B 30 R R
  Well, if you're looking for a candidate to simply blow up the next Power 50 some time in August, look no further. My goodness, what a resurrection of prospect status -- young man, you should be proud. And for those like me, who had completely written Cutter off last year as a 20-year-old bust, not so proud.
new  40 Miller, Matt   A   SP 30 R R
  See, Big 10 pitchers can impress! The 6'6" Michigan 5th round pick with a quality slider is "projectable". Scouts must love players like that -- "here you go, player development staff, we found him, he's projectable".
7  41 Anundsen, Evan   A   SP 31 R R
  After missing nary a start in four perfectly-regimented post-high school seasons in the Brewer chain, Anundsen attempted a comeback from a spring shoulder strain on June 14th, only to immediately return to the DL. The silence from the Brewers is worrisome on this one. Shoulders and labrums are eminently more scary than elbows in this day and age.
new  42 Lamontagne, Andre   A   MR 33 R R
  Like Michael Fiers, an older 2009 draft pick, Lamontagne (11th round), is, dare we say, making an Axford-like tour of the Brewer affiliates in 2010, now closing for Huntsville. Have we mentioned we love the way the Brewers are home-growing quality relief prospects? See the next player listed to continue the theme...
new  43 McClendon, Mike   A   MR 34 R R
  Just one home run allowed from McClendon in 58 2010 innings, with a sweet GB ratio approaching 2.00. Mike's ability to cover multiple innings will serve him well. Milwaukee's developing these relievers who have a bit of an edge -- it'll be fun for the fans in the long run, too.
new  44 Hawn, Cody   A   1B 31 L R
  Dominating Pioneer League pitching, as he should be. The University of Tennessee product would be more intresting if he were still playing the hot corner, but he seems enthused about his new home.
3  45 Wheeler, Zelous   MLB   IF 32 R R
  Wheeler is hopefully enjoying his 2010 season in his home state of Alabama. Just seems to be one of those guys who is beloved by the front office for all he can provide, and there's a decent chance Zelous can contribute at the big league level as well eventually.
8  46 Prince, Josh   A   OF 31 R R
  31 steals in 37 attempts is fine, but little patience and little pop translates into a little bit of disappointment in Prince thus far.
22  47 Estrada, Marco   MLB   SP 36 R R
  Management just loves it when you don't tell them about arm pain until it's too late, and then apparently stall things out during the healing process. No post-game buffets for you, Marco!
new  49 Roberts, Tyler   A   C 29 L R
  We know the Brewers like having a 24-year-old "experienced" catcher like Brent Dean in Helena, but forcing Roberts to return to the Maryvale heat for 2010 seemed almost criminal last month, and Tyler's 1.194 OPS makes it almost comical now. How much fun is it having Roberts and Cameron Garfield to watch the next several years? Yay, catcher pipeline!
new  50 Seidel, R.J.   A   MR 32 R R
  LaCrosse's own makes a pleasant P50 return, and seems to have found a defined role in Brevard's rotation.

Players removed this week: Michael Bowman... Chris Cody... Lee Haydel... Adam Heether... Damon Krestalude... Dan Merklinger... Max Walla... Trey Watten... Rob Wooten...
 

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