Results tagged ‘ Brewers Farm System ’

Draft report card – October 23, 2014

What do you think of my new office/summer home?

Not sure if it has cable yet.

Not sure if it has cable yet.

Earlier this week, Baseball America released their 2014 Draft Report Card for the Milwaukee Brewers.  The details are behind the paywall.  But, I wanted to share their rankings for some of these potential future Timber Rattlers.  For the full report on each player, subscribe to BA:

BEST PURE HITTER: OF Monte Harrison (1s)
BEST POWER HITTER: SS Jacob Gatewood (1s)
FASTEST RUNNER: OF Troy Stokes (4)
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Harrison needs reps but has a chance to be a young Torii Hunter caliber defender in center field.
BEST FASTBALL: RHP Brandon Woodruff (11)
BEST SECONDARY PITCH: The best-case comparison for Medeiros, a strong-bodied, athletic, low-slot lefthander, is Madison Bumgarner.

BEST PRO DEBUT: Harrison hit .261/.402/.339 and led the AZL with 32 stolen bases, being caught just twice. Stokes hit .262/.363/.331 there with 19 steals in 22 tries. C Greg McCall (9) hit .326/.375/465 in 86 at-bats at Rookie-level Helena.
BEST ATHLETE: Harrison
MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Medeiros and RHP Cy Sneed (3)
CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: The Brewers hope to develop the younger Sneed as a starter but were judicious with his innings after he was Dallas Baptist’s ace in the spring, tossing 104 innings.
BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Woodruff

The city of Appleton finished 5th in all of MiLB cities as one of America’s Best Minor League Baseball Towns.

GRAND CHUTE, WI – SmartAsset.com recently rated all of the cities that host a minor league baseball franchise and released their Top 25 Minor League Baseball Towns in America. Based on the criteria surveyed, Appleton – home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers – was rated as #5 out of all minor league baseball.

There were five factors SmartAsset.com used to rate quality of life in each minor league city: Violent Crime per 100,000 residents; Property Crime per 100,000 residents; Disposable income – difference between average income and average monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment; Unemployment rate; and Dining & Entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents.

Three factors were also taken in to account for the baseball experience in each city: Team winning percentage during 2014 season; Stadium Experience – the rating of the home ballpark on StadiumJourney.com; and Minor League Class – the level at which each team plays.

Appleton and the Timber Rattlers finished fifth in the rankings behind only Portland, Maine (Portland Sea Dogs); Alexandria, Virginia (Potomac Nationals); Pearl, Mississippi (Mississippi Braves); and Frisco, Texas (Frisco RoughRiders). 

You may have noticed I left the Brewers out of the MLB Alumni Reports that were done by division.  I wanted to save those for later in the offseason…Like right now.

Here are the pitching alumni who were on the mound for the Brewers in 2014.  Hitting alumni will be added in tomorrow.

Marco Estrada (Rehab, 2013): 7-6, 4.36ERA, 39 games, 18 starts, 150.2IP, 44BBs, 127K

Mike Fiers (2009): 6-2, 2.13ERA, 14 games, 10 starts, 71.2IP, 17BB, 76K

Jim Henderson (2009): 2-1, 7.15ERA, 14 games, 11.1IP, 4BB, 17K

Jeremy Jeffress (2010): 1-1, 1.88ERA, 29 games, 28.2IP, 7BB, 25K

Martin Maldonado (2009): 0-0, 0.00ERA, 1 game, 1IP, 0BB, 0K

Jimmy Nelson (2011): 2-9, 4.93ERA, 14 games, 12 games, 69.1IP, 19BB, 57K

Wily Peralta (2009): 17-11, 3.53ERA, 32 games, 32 starts, 198.2IP, 61BB, 154K

Tyler Thornburg (2011): 3-1, 4.25ERA, 27 games, 29.2IP, 21BB, 28K

Alumni Birthdays:
Cip Garcia (’02, ’03) – 36
Pat Bailey (’87) – 50

Changes – September 19, 2014

Interesting day in the Midwest League on Thursday:

Kane County Chronicle: Cubs cutting ties with Cougars

Chicago Sun-Times: Why the Cubs moved from Kane County to South Bend

Thursday morning, the Cubs and South Bend announced a new PDC that runs through 2018. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein realizes the decision might not be popular with area fans.

“I don’t think in this industry you can avoid looking like bad guys,” Epstein said. “So you just have to roll with it and make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons. In this case, we have to come back to what’s best for our prospects and move forward and try to handle the matters with as much professionalism as possible.”

South Bend already has started major renovations to their facility, including a new playing surface, and also has worked out a deal with the Cubs to change their name from the Silver Hawks and change their logos and colors. A news conference in South Bend is scheduled for next Thursday to announce the changes.

South Bend Tribune Column: Cubs fans in South Bend can cheer. Finally.

It’s not often that a Cubs fan gets good news in September.

Let’s face it, even when things seem promising — postseason success, one victory away from the World Series and a chance at the club’s first title since dinosaurs roamed the Earth — well …

But that fails to discourage me, a South Bend native and supporter since the late 1970s of the team that plays on Chicago’s North Side. Those weren’t exactly the team’s glory years — you’d have to go back a century or so for that — but  through the magic of WGN-TV, I was pretty much hooked after the first game. What was not to like about a lineup featuring Jerry Martin and Dave Kingman? (Yes, I thought they were impressive, but I was young).

South Bend Tribune News Story: South Bend: Cubs town

Andrew Berlin, owner of the South Bend franchise for the past three seasons, made good on a promise he made when he took over the club. He has given downtown a shot of energy and enthusiasm.

That mission was put into play when the Chicago Cubs signed a four-year deal with the South Bend franchise as their Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, ending the 17-year partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The new affiliation also ends the Cubs’ partnership with its now former Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Ill.

In the Brewers system, there’s a new Triple-A affiliate:

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Brewers settle for Colorado Springs as AAA Host

The game of minor-league musical chairs finally came to an end Thursday, with the Milwaukee Brewers agreeing to a two-year player development contract with Class AAA Colorado Springs.

It was the culmination of a crazy 24 hours that saw the Brewers’ former Class AAA team in Nashville dump them for the Oakland A’s, leaving Milwaukee with Colorado Springs and Fresno as alternatives. The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, left Colorado Springs for a new deal with Albuquerque.

When Fresno and the Houston Astros announced earlier Thursday they had agreed to a two-year deal, that left Colorado Springs as the only Class AAA team without a parent club and Milwaukee as the only major-league team without a top affiliate.

Colorado Springs Gazette News Story: Sky Sox sign two-year affiliation deal with Milwaukee Brewers

“That’s how it works sometimes in this process,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “Nashville decided to go in a different direction after we were there for a lot of years, like the Rockies did. We are confident we can make this a good fit.”

Any Brewers concerns were eased because they are familiar with the Sky Sox’s Elmore ownership group, which also owns the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, the organization’s rookie-level club. The Elmores will do what a MLB club needs for its players, Melvin said.

Colorado Springs Gazette Column: Sky Sox rescued from Rockies clueless tyranny

Over the past few days, I’ve heard Colorado Springs voices bemoan the dissolving of the Sky Sox’s 21-season association with the Rockies. These voices wonder what Colorado Springs could have done to keep the Rockies happy.

I have a different response to the departure.

Hallelujah. It’s time to celebrate.

The Sky Sox just concluded a catastrophe of a season. They collected a mere 53 wins to go with a staggering 91 losses. They were atrocious on the road (26-46) and befuddled at home (27-45.) That’s consistency. They lost nine of their last 10 games.

Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial: Conspiracy theorists thought Colorado Springs mayor was wrong about Rockies

Bach hoped a serious stadium plan would encourage the Rockies to stay while helping revitalize downtown. The stadium could also help with plans by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to add NCAA Division II baseball in several years.

The mere idea of a stadium became instant fodder for pseudo conservatives and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. The Rockies would never leave, they said. Bach merely wanted to line pockets of “crony capitalist” developer friends. Most notable among the instant opponents were a handful of freshman politicians who had just been sworn to the Colorado Springs City Council.

Alumni Report (International League Pitchers):
Phillippe Aumont (’08) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-3, 3.93ERA, 35 games, 55.0IP, 39BB, 65K

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
2-2, 3.89ERA, 17 games, 4 starts, 39.1IP, 11BB, 35K

Cesar Jimenez (’03) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-2, 3 Saves, 1.45ERA, 38 games, 2 starts, 49.2IP, 15BB, 46K

Mark Lowe (’05) Columbus/Indians:
4-3, 17 saves, 5.62ERA, 41 games, 41.2IP, 17BB, 47K

Shaun Marcum (’12) Columbus/Indians:
1-0, 2.35ERA, 8 games, 1 start, 15.1IP, 6BB, 10K
IMG_8576
JC Ramirez (’08) Columbus/Indians:
1-3, 2 saves, 3.45 ERA, 25 games, 31.1IP, 11BB, 15K

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
1-0, 5.14ERA, 12 games, 14.0IP, 3BB, 11K

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.20ERA, 12 games, 1 start, 15.0IP, 4BB, 9K

Juan Sandoval (’03) Durham/Rays:
0-1, 1 Save, 3.12ERA, 14 games, 1 start, 26.0IP, 14BB, 15K

Fabian Williamson (’07) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.50ERA, 1 game, 2.0IP, 2BB, 2K

Possible Rattlers listed as Prospects

Baseball America has started to list their Top 20 Prospects for each of the leagues in MiLB.

Michael Ratterree, the MVP of the Pioneer League, was listed as a Top 20 Prospect in the league by Baseball America. (Photo Credit: Helena Brewers)

Michael Ratterree, the MVP of the Pioneer League, was listed as a Top 20 Prospect in the league by Baseball America. (Photo Credit: Helena Brewers)

The Brewers prospects listed so far are:

Arizona League:
RHP Devin Williams

Pioneer League:
OF Michael Ratterree
RHP Barrett Astin
C Dustin Houle

Williams, Milwaukee’s 2nd round pick (54th overall) in the 2013 draft, was 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA for the AZL Brewers.  He appeared in 13 games and made six starts.  He was a high school selection out out of Hazelwood West in Missouri.  Williams struck out 39 and walked 22 over 34-2/3 innings.  Baseball America put him at #12 on their list of Arizona League prospects.

Ratterree, a 10th round pick in 2013, was the Pioneer League MVP this season.  The product of Rice had a slashline of .314/.391/.585, hit 12 home runs, and drove in 58 runs.  BA has him at #16 on their list of Pioneer League prospects.

Astin, a 3rd round pick out of Arkansas in 2013, was 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA.  He appeared in 12 games – eight starts.  Astin struck out 31 and walked 11 in 31-2/3 innings for Helena.  He is #17 on the Baseball America list of Pioneer League Prospects.

Houle, an 8th round pick in the 2011 draft, is the only Brewers prospect on these lists to play with the Timber Rattlers.  Houle, a high school pick out of Brookswood Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, joined Wisconsin very briefly – seven games – and was 6-for-23 with an RBI.  Most of his time was spent with Helena where he hit .250/.290/.311 with a home run and 19 RBI.  He was the #19 prospect in the Pioneer League.

Time will tell if all of these players will be with the Timber Rattlers in 2014.

Speaking of the Timber Rattlers…The Midwest League list will be released on Monday.  We will see how many Rattlers will make that Top 20 List.

Here’s Ratterree with Jason Rogers on the Brewers broadcast from last week at Miller Park.

This is a video report on Williams just after the draft.

Big home runs and other news over the weekend

Former Timber Rattlers outfielder Wladimir Balentien broke the old single-season home run record in Japan with his 56th homer. Then, he hit another home run later in the game to give him 57.

Balentien57

From the Japan Times:

As soon as Wladimir Balentien’s bat made contact with Daiki Enokida’s fastball there was no doubt: Japan had just crowned a new home run king.

And the new king’s first decree was that his record total wasn’t high enough yet.

Balentien set the NPB single-season record with his 56th home run of year in the first inning, then hit No. 57 in his next at-bat of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows’ 9-0 win over the Hanshin Tigers on Sunday night at Jingu Stadium.

“I feel so relieved right now,” Balentien said. “Lot of emotions. Just to get this is something unbelievable. This is (something) that nobody was able to do for 49 years. For me to do it, I can’t even explain what I’m feeling right now.”

The 29-year-old Curacao native broke a four-way tie with Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes, and Alex Cabrera, who all have 55, to stand alone as the new record holder.

“It’s amazing that he’s homered at a pace of about once every two games,” Oh said in a statement. “This is far beyond a new NPB record and an overwhelming number. I want to enjoy how far he can take it over the next 18 games with the fans.”

Meanwhile in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, former Timber Rattlers first baseman Sean Halton hits a game winning home run to beat the Cincinnati Reds!

With nothing left to play for themselves, the Milwaukee Brewers have fully embraced the role of spoiler over the last month.

That never-say-die attitude was on full display Sunday afternoon at Miller Park when they overcame a poor start by Yovani Gallardo to score five times in the final three innings.

The ninth was especially exciting, with Carlos Gomez robbing Jay Bruce of a go-ahead home run at the center-field wall in the top half and rookie Sean Halton belting a one-out, walk-off homer off Zach Duke in the bottom half to cap a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

“I’ve had a couple (walk-offs, in the minor leagues), but nothing comes close to this one,” said Halton. “Especially against a team that’s playing well and in the hunt. We’ve been playing that spoiler role lately, and hopefully we continue that the next couple weeks.”

Since, Todd Rosiak’s story mentioned the catch by Gomez….

The other news was from Adam McCalvy’s blog post that notes all of the players that will be taking part during instructional league in Arizona. Rattlers manager Matt Erickson will be in charge of a team down there.

Add the fall instructional league to Brewers prospect Jason Rogers’ busy schedule.

Rogers and top 2013 Draft picks Devin Williams and Tucker Neuhaus highlight the list of players reporting Sunday to Maryvale Baseball Park for an instructional program that gets underway Monday morning. Rogers, who manned first base at Double-A Huntsville this season, will work a bit at third base before primarily playing left field in the Arizona Fall League as the Brewers increase his versatility for 2014.

Fifty-three players in all are listed on the Brewers’ instructional league roster — 42 on the regular roster and 11 more on an advanced roster. They include 20 of the team’s 2013 First Year Player Draft picks, and eight players from MLB.com’s list of the top 20 Brewers prospects: outfielder Tyrone Taylor (No. 4), shortstop Orlando Arcia (No. 6), outfielder Victor Roache (No. 8), right-hander Williams (No. 9), catcher Clint Coulter (No. 11), infielder Neuhaus (No. 13), and right-handers Drew Gagnon (No. 15) and Damien Magnifico (No. 19).

Also participating are shortstop Franly Mallen and outfielder Nicolas Pierre, who received record-setting bonuses in the Dominican Republic in July.

The full list is available at that post. There are a lot of former (and future) Timber Rattlers on that list.

Some of those players are still playing with the Helena Brewers. Helena lost Game One of the best-of-three Pioneer League Championship Series at Idaho Falls on Saturday.

The first game of the Pioneer League Championship Series featured a championship caliber pitching performance from each side. Jonathan Dziedzic and a trio of Idaho Falls relievers out dueled Anthony Banda and Tristan Archer as the Chukars beat the Brewers 2-1 on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

Dzidezic picked up the win after limiting the Brewers to just two runs in six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

Josiel Martinez allowed an unearned run in the seventh and Glenn Sparkman relived him in the eighth and struck out three in 1.2 innings.

Kyle Bartsch faced just one batter, pinch hitter Jalen Harris, and struck him out to close out the game and earn the save.

Banda kept the Brewers in the game as he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. Archer allowed no runs in two frames.

Game Two is tonight in Helena. Go, Brewers!

Lastly, the Midwest League season came to an end on Saturday night in Davenport, Iowa. The Quad Cities River Bandits swept the South Bend Silver Hawks in the best-of-five Championship Series to win the MWL Pennant for the first time since….2011.

Josh Hader isn’t even old enough to legally drink the champagne that was being splashed around the Quad-Cities River Bandits dressing room Saturday night.

He was more than happy just to wear some of it.

A little more than six weeks after being traded from his hometown Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros organization, Hader helped put the finishing touches on the River Bandits’ second championship season in three years.

The slender 19-year-old left-hander shut out the South Bend Silver Hawks on three little singles through seven innings as the Bandits completed a sweep of the Midwest League championship series with a 4-2 victory in front of a lively crowd of 3,607 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Hader, who went 2-0 in just five appearances with the Bandits in the regular season, also went 2-0 in the postseason and he was never in any sort of serious trouble Saturday. He allowed only four baserunners, only one of whom got as far as second base. He also struck out eight Silver Hawks.

Ohio’s Most Wanted, Organizational All-Stars, & Roster Moves

Three items for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

This place is evil. But, you shouldn't steal from it
Ohio Stadium. aka ‘The Horseshoe’.

#1.  Do you know this person?

A fan of a Milwaukee Brewers minor-league affiliate and some pals walked out of Ohio Stadium last week with flat-screen televisions, signed memorabilia and other items.

All they left behind was a purple hat with the logo for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Ohio State University Deputy Police Chief Richard Morman said yesterday.

The theft took place after the Illinois game on Nov. 3 — between 11:20 p.m. on Nov. 4 and 8 the next morning, police said.

The thieves apparently scaled the fence that surrounds the stadium, then used a trash can to climb onto the suites’ patio, Morman said. The doors to the suites were unlocked.

Six suites were entered, he said, and four flat-screen TVs, valued at $2,000 total, were taken. Eleven autographed photographs valued at $200 were taken after the glass of the frames was smashed. The memorabilia was owned by the companies or families who lease the suites, Morman said. A kiosk on the Huntington level was broken into, and $1,800 worth of merchandise was taken.

Police are working on getting video to identify the thieves, but they’re also relying on the hat left behind. It’s a purple hat with the Timber Rattlers’ logo: a snake wrapped around a W.

“It’s not something that’s real common in central Ohio, to see someone wearing a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers hat,” Morman said. “If this person is a student, staff or faculty member, (someone) might recognize him.”

The Timber Rattlers — 2012 Midwest League Champions — play in Appleton, Wis.

Break-ins at the stadium are unusual, Morman said.

Story from The Columbus Dispatch. Bold for emphasis.

#2. MiLB.com names Brewers Organizational All-Stars for 2012

The following list has twelve spots.  Six belong to Timber Rattlers from 2012.  Five belong to Timber Rattlers of past seasons.  One spot on the list is a possible Rattler for the 2013 season.  I have pulled a few notes on each player, but make sure to click the link above for the complete notes on them. 

C   – Cameron Garfield: “He missed some time with injuries, but he jumped into the Midwest League and did a great job at the plate with his bat,” special assistant to the general manager and director of player development Reid Nichols said. “I think his offense was nice to see; he responded with the bat. He still has some work to do defensively, but he’s a more offensive type of guy at this point.”

1B – Hunter Morris: Led the Southern League in a number of categories, including homers, RBIs, hits (158), extra-base hits (74) and slugging percentage (.563). Defensively, his .995 fielding percentage was the most among all Southern League first basemen. Morris made six errors in 1,259 chances, had a league-best 1,198 putouts and teamed up on 112 double plays.

2B – Scooter Gennett: “I think that was a good choice. He’s a young guy that responded to being pushed to Double-A,” Nichols said. “He will be a good big league hitter. He improved defensively which was what we were pleased most with. The main issue used to be that if he made an error, he would let it get him down and he would maybe make another one. But he overcame that and became a good defensive second baseman this year. He expects so much of himself that when he doesn’t perform he gets down.”

SS – Yadiel Rivera: While Rivera has not displayed the ability to consistently hit for average in his brief Minor League career, his other stats are trending upward. His 12 homers and 49 RBIs ranked first among Milwaukee shortstops, and his .247 average, while not spectacular, was still a career best for the 20-year-old native of Puerto Rico who was selected in the ninth round of the 2010 Draft. Defensively, Rivera posted a .962 fielding percentage, having committed 22 errors in 586 chances.

3B – Brandon Macias: While his home runs tally fell behind the likes of Andy Gonzalez and T.J. Mittelstaedt (both 13) and Mike Walker (12), his 35 doubles meant he finished with more extra-base hits (45) and total bases (198) than any of them. Not afraid to crowd the inside half of the plate, Macias was hit by 21 pitches this season. No other player on the Milwaukee farm was hit more than 12 times, and only two other batters racked up double-digit HBPs.

OF – Ben McMahan

Despite playing as many as 28 games fewer than some of the other outfielders in the organization, McMahan led all Brewers outfielders in homers (15), triples (11), RBIs (68) and slugging percentage (.500).

The University of Florida alum, selected in the 23rd round of the 2011 Draft, made the jump from the short-season Pioneer League seamlessly. While he struggled with plate discipline at times (29 walks to 129 strikeouts in 414 at-bats), his raw power and plus speed impressed coaches who hope to see his growth continue in 2013.

OF – Josh Prince: What third-rounder Prince lacks in power, he makes up for in speed and aggressiveness, according to Nichols. The 24-year-old, a Louisville Slugger All-American in his freshman year at Tulane University, ranked second in the organization with 41 stolen bases this year.  His 74 walks and 28 doubles were the most of any outfielder in the system, while his 55 RBIs and 74 runs scored were both career highs.

OF – Chadwin Stang: “Chadwin is a little older player who is Canadian,” Nichols observed. “He has a lack of playing experience, but it’s always up to the individual. He accepted that he had to catch up with some of the other players. I saw him have a more consistent approach at the plate this year, and he stayed on the field even though he had minor injuries. He played a good, full season.”

UT – Jason Rogers: At his fourth level in three years, the 24-year-old adjusted well to the jump, posting a .300/.416/.412 slash line. With five more longballs and an additional 23 RBIs, Rogers set career highs in virtually every offensive category. His 35 doubles were tied for the second-most in the system, while his 83 runs were second only to Stang.

RHSP – Hiram Burgos: “He will start for a Major League club. He didn’t miss a beat going through the levels; he was right in sync. He stayed within himself. He’s a command pitcher, but because his command is so good, it makes his fastball look even faster when he throws it inside.”

LHSP – Taylor Wall: Selected in the 22nd round of the 2012 Draft out of Rice University, Wall went 3-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 14 games, including 10 starts, in his rookie year with Helena in the Pioneer League. He struck out twice as many batters (40) as he walked (20), and he allowed three homers over 54 1/3 innings.

RP – Jim Henderson: He held hitters to a .214 average, and he yielded two homers in 48 innings pitched. A Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star, Henderson struck out more than a batter an inning (56) and recorded a 1.21 WHIP before earning a promotion to Milwaukee.

#3. Brewers add five former Timber Rattlers to their 40-man roster.

This note arrived in an email from the Brewers so no link yet.

Milwaukee added the following former Timber Rattlers to their 40-man roster:

Nick Bucci (’10)
Hiram Burgos (’10)
Khris Davis (’10)
Scooter Gennett (’10)
Josh Prince (’09)

Congratulations to all five!

Brewers 2012 Draft report card

Mitch Haniger (L) and Lance Roenicke (R) were members of the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers draft class. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers


I almost didn’t post about this because:

  1. It’s Baseball America and you may remember my dissenting opinion on their Top 20 Midwest League Prospect list.
  2. It’s behind Baseball America’s subscriber wall.

But, a lot of the players mentioned are possible Timber Rattlers for 2013.  Due diligence, I guess.

Their Quick Take: The Brewers focused on bats at the top of the draft and swung for the fences with raw, high-ceiling players in rounds 5-10. Getting an unpolished power arm such as Magnifico to come through would be a boon.

I’ll leave the descriptions out of their different rankings.

POSITION PLAYERS:
Best Pure Hitter: OF Tyrone Taylor (2nd round)
Best Power Hitter: OF Victor Roache (1st)
Fastest Runner:  OF Edgardo Rivera (8th)
Best Defensive Player: SS Angel Ortega (6th), Taylor, & Mitch Haniger (1st-supplemental)

PITCHERS:
Best Fastball: RHP Damien Magnifico (5th) & Tyler Wagner (4th)
Best Secondary Pitch: Wagner – slider and RHP Zachary Quintana (5th) – curve

ODDS AND ENDS:
Best Pro Debut: Coulter
Best Athlete: Taylor
Most Intriguing Background: OF Lance Roenicke’s (25th) and  RHP Austin Blaski (21st)
Closest To The Majors: Haniger
Best Late-Round Pick: NAIA product 2B Jose Sermo (35th) and RHP Martin Viramontes (28)

Haniger and Roenicke are the only players mentioned by BA who played for the Timber Rattlers last season.  All – including Haniger and Roenicke – could be Rattlers in 2013.

Roache is an interesting name on the list.  Here is what BA had to say about Roache when the Brewers signed him after the draft:

Roache missed most of the season with a broken left wrist, a serious injury that kept him out of the season after March. Roache hit 30 home runs in 2011, the first college hitter at Division I to hit 30 since 2003. He did it in the first year of the weaker BBCOR bats. We had more on his injury here.

The Brewers drafted Roache out of Georgia Southern.  Former Rattlers from Georgia Southern include Julio Ayala and Andy Moye.

We have mentioned Magnifico and his 100mph fastball before.  But, not much about Wagner.

How about a little note about him here?

Wagner, who will forgo his senior season to play professionally, was a three-year pitcher for the Utes. He set a school record with 17 saves, including 12 saves in 2011. Wagner has a career 2.72 ERA with 90 strikeouts. He made 57 appearances and gave up just three home runs.

Past Utes with the Rattlers include Phil Cullen and Wick Udy.

News, Notes, & Interviews

There are a few things out there for which I’d like to provide links.  Click the link above each excerpt for the full story.

Kjeldgaard eyes big leagues from the London (ONT) Community News:

For the time being, London’s best kept secret is tucked away at the back of Centrefield Sports indoor complex. Come March 2012, however, Riley “Brock” Kjeldgaard will be down south, flirting with the feat of being the first Forest City resident since Adam Stern in 2005 to make a Major League Baseball (MLB) roster.

“Baseball is a game where you might not get an opportunity,” said Kjeldgaard, 25, the centre’s lead hitting instructor. “But, when you do you have to be ready. It’s all about timing and good fortune.”

5 Tweets with Maverick Lasker from Peace & Glove blog:

Me: Other than easy access to glorious cheese, did you like playing in Appleton? What was the best part?

Maverick: The curds were fantastic, but the best part was playin in front of a packed house. Being associated with the Brewers, our fans were very supportive.

Manzanillo involved in auto accident from Adam McCalvy’s Brew Beat blog:

According to information from Manzanillo’s Dominican Winter League team published on Licey.com, a truck struck Manzanillo’s Hummer on a highway in La Romana while Manzanillo was on his way to the Brewers’ new baseball academy. According to the website, Manzanillo, a right-handed power pitcher, suffered cuts and bruises on his right shoulder and was taken by plane to Cure International Hospital in Santo Domingo.

Adam’s update mentions:

Manzanillo, 22, suffered a separated right shoulder and is currently undergoing further tests.

Good news.

Jim from Bernie’s Crew takes a look at former Timber Rattler Matt Thornton (’99, ’00) as an option for the Brewers bullpen:

The White Sox are trying to move Thornton because he signed a two-year, $12M contract last season, and the back-end of their bullpen has gotten crowded with Sergio Santos and Chris Sale proving dominant. No need to pay a reliever $6M per year when he is not needed in the eighth or ninth inning. It’s just about finding a dance partner now on the open market.

….

The issue is the asking price. In Olney’s report, he says the White Sox have been trying to move Thornton since July and has found no takers. Either none of the other twenty-nine teams in the league have a use for a mid-90s throwing lefty with four consecutive seasons with a sub-3.00 FIP, or the asking price has universally been deemed too steep. Obviously, the latter is far more likely.

If that asking price comes down a bit, it will be interesting to hear if the Brewers want to get involved in the fray. It would certainly make sense for the organization in terms of what Milwaukee has done in the past and falls in line with their 2012 goals for roster construction.

Jim also includes a note that Johnny Narron, the new Brewers hitting coach, played for the Appleton Foxes in 1975.  He joins third base coach Ed Sedar, an Appleton Fox in ’82, ’83, & ’85, on the staff.

A few Timber Rattlers notes:

The tickets for the 2012 Donald Driver Charity Softball Game went on sale this morning. Here is a link to purchase your tickets for this annual event.

The 2012 Timber Rattlers Calendars arrived today. Somehow, a photo I took was included and is used for the picture in March. You will receive a 2012 calendar for free when you purchase a holiday ticket package.

Prospects, All-Stars, & Arizona Wrap

John Steinberg from the Brewers has this feature about Kentrail Davis, who wrapped up his Arizona Fall League season yesterday, on the John & Cait…Plus Nine blog.

 “For me, it is an honor to be here,” said the 23-year old. “Obviously, the Brewers believe in me and believe in what I can do. I am very happy to have this chance to show everyone a little more of what I can do. It is a good opportunity for me to show the organization that I can hit good pitching and play with the best.”

Davis is 5-9 and weighs 195 pounds; he uses his athleticism and speed at the plate, on the base paths and in the outfield.

“I just go out there and play,” said Davis. “If it is hitting, or stealing a bag, or running a ball down in the outfield, I use that athleticism and my ability to prove I can play.”

The final stats of the former Rattlers on the Peoria Javelinas:

Kentrail Davis (’10): 23 games; .325/.429/.519; HR, 12RBI
Scooter Gennett (’10): 22 games; .411/.470/.556; 2HR, 14RBI
Adam Moore (’06): 15 games; .259/.355/.315; 0HR, 8RBI

Jed Bradley (??): 5 games, 2 starts; 1-0, 6.48ERA; 8.1IP; 4BB, 8K
Santo Manzanillo (’10): 3 games; 0-1, 6.75ERA; 2.2IP; 2BB, K
Daniel Meadows (’09): 10 games; 0-0, 6.57ERA; 12.1IP, 7BB, 5K
Casey Medlen (’11): 8 games; 1-2, 5.84ERA; 12.1IP, 4BB, 12K
Cody Scarpetta (’09): 5 games, 4 starts; 0-3, 19.64ERA; 7.1IP, 13BB, 7K
Tyler Thornburg (’11): 3 games, 1-0, 3.38ERA; 5.1IP, 4BB, 3K

Former Rattlers Nathan Adcock (’09) and Jeremy Jeffress (’10) are with Surprise, one of the teams that will be in the AFL Championship Game on Saturday.

MiLB.com has a list of their top 15 prospects in the Arizona Fall League.  Two of them are Brewers prospects; One gets a writeup:

16. Jed Bradley, LHP, Brewers: The No. 15 overall pick in June’s Draft joined Hultzen in Peoria here and there was a little bit of a split about this southpaw. He might have slightly better pure stuff than Hultzen, but not as much polish. He didn’t pitch much — he had a groin issue early — but he did show hints of the repertoire that made him one of the better college arms in the Draft class.

Scooter comes in at #24, but does not get a writeup.

MiLB.com also put together Brewers Organizational All-Stars for the 2011 minor league season.

Here is the team.  Click through for the full article.  I’ll pull out the extended writeups on the players who spent part or all of 2011 with the Timber Rattlers.

C: Martin Maldonado (’09)
1B: Mat Gamel
2B: Scooter Gennett (’10)
3B: Taylor Green (’09)
SS: Yadiel Rivera (’11)

Shortstop — Yadiel Rivera, Helena (74 games), Wisconsin (32 games): Rivera celebrated his first full year in the Minors with a Pioneer League postseason All-Star selection. Selected in the ninth round of the 2010 Draft, the shortstop hit a combined .236 with nine homers and 43 RBIs over 106 games.

He also smacked 16 doubles, legged out eight triples and scored 53 runs. No shortstop in the system had more homers, triples or RBIs than Rivera, who struggled in his first look at the Midwest League but looked much more comfortable playing rookie ball in the second half.

“He’s got great potential, and he’s playing guys who are two, three and four years older than he is,” said [Reid] Nichols. “He’s still growing. He’s an inch or two taller than he was at the start of spring, and he’s going through some changes with his body that he’s adjusting to. He’s got some leverage in his swing, and he’s at the right place at the right time defensively. The game slows down for him. I think he’ll be average across the board with the bat and above-average defensively.”

Added [Darnell] Coles: “He’s something special — 6-foot-3, maybe 6-foot-4. He may outgrow shortstop. He’s got some kind of easy power. If you watch him take batting practice, he almost swings like [16-year Major League veteran] Wally Joiner. He doesn’t swing very hard, but the ball jumps off his bat. He’s a special talent.”

OF: Brock Kjeldgaard (’09)
OF: Khris Davis (’10)
OF: TJ Mittelstaedt (’11)

T.J. Mittelstaedt, Wisconsin (113 games): After appearing in just 45 games in his rookie season in the Arizona League last year, Mittelstaedt spent all of 2011 in the Class A Midwest League. He hit .293 and drew 76 walks, giving him a .410 on-base percentage that ranked second in the league.

The 23-year-old, who hit in every spot in the lineup, smacked a dozen homers, swiped 28 bases and scored 72 runs. He predominantly manned left field, but he also saw time in right, at second base and as the team’s designated hitter. Completing his utility makeup, Mittelstaedt also pitched in two games, tossing a scoreless inning on each occasion.

“T.J. has done a great job coming in as a guy battling for a position, but he’s shown our organization that he can take pitches, take close pitches, work the count, see a lot of pitches per at-bat and help the guys behind him and the guys in front of him,” Nichols said.

“He’s a fantastic utility guy who swings the bat well,” said Coles. “He puts the ball in play. He’s a headsy player like Willie Bloomquist. He plays every place well, he understands when to bunt and he reads the game well.”

Utility: Hunter Morris (’10)
Utility: Mike Walker (’11)
Utility: Kentrail Davis (’10)

RH Starting Pitcher: Mike Fiers (’09)
LH Starting Pitcher: Dan Merklinger (’09)
Relief Pitcher: Santo Manzanillo (’10)

Baseball America has their list of the top 10 prospects in the Brewers System.  From Tom Haudricourt’s introduction:

Milwaukee didn’t need much help from the minor leagues [in 2011], though third baseman Taylor Green parlayed a big season at Triple-A into a late-August callup and a spot on the postseason roster. After dropping to 30th in Baseball America’s rankings following the Greinke and Marcum deals, the farm system rallied in 2011 and showed some promise for the future.

The Brewers won’t necessarily have openings for them, but Green, outfielders Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl and righthander Michael Fiers have proven themselves in Triple-A and could help at the major league level in 2012. Righthander Wily Peralta, the orgnization’s No. 1 prospect, allowed just seven runs in five Triple-A starts at the end of the season and isn’t far behind.

The list (with Rattlers alumni in bold):
1.  Wily Peralta, rhp
2.  Taylor Jungmann, rhp
3.  Jed Bradley, lhp
4.  Tyler Thornburg, rhp
5.  Scooter Gennett, 2b
6.  Logan Schafer, of
7.  Cody Scarpetta, rhp
8.  Taylor Green, 3b/2b
9.  Jorge Lopez, rhp
10. Jimmy Nelson, rhp

One other news item to pass along in this post.  Baseball America’s Prospect Blog has the players release by Milwaukee in the last week.  There were a few Rattlers on that list.

RHP Dan Britt
RHP Skyler Crawford
RHP Greg Davis
RHP Alex Jones
RHP Jose Oviedo
LHP Charly Bashara
C Doug Elliot
C Steve Felix
OF Robbie Garvey

Scooter Day

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up its regular season today.

The Peoria Javelinas ended their season with a 2-2 tie against the Phoenix Desert Dogs.

Scooter Gennett (’10) went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI for Peoria to finish the season at .411/.470/.556 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI.  I’ll touch on how other ex-Rattlers performed in the down in Arizona with a post tomorrow, but today is mostly about Scooter.

Mainly because this post from the Brewers website has about two minutes of a video interview with Scooter.

Then, there is the extended video of the interview on Jonathan Mayo’s blog.  But first, Mayo’s lead-in:

I’ll admit, I tend to like scrappy players who go all out. Guys named Scooter are automatically going to become guys I root for unless something happens to make me feel otherwise.

Then I met Scooter Gennett and the conversation merely confirmed my earlier thought. It’s hard not to like the guy.

Last note today: Adam McCalvy notes (on his twitter account) that Baseball America has released their list of the Top 10 Brewers Prospects for 2012.  Former Timber Rattlers in bold.

1. Wily Peralta
2. Taylor Jungmann
3. Jed Bradley
4. Tyler Thornburg
5. Scooter Gennett
6. Logan Schafer
7. Cody Scarpetta
8. Taylor Green
9. Jorge Lopez
10. Jimmy Nelson

Bucci on Canada; McCalvy on the Dominican

A couple of links on a Thursday morning.

The first is from the Sarnia Observer up in Ontario.

Bucci recalls Canada’s incredible Pan Am gold

Canada came from behind to beat the U.S., 2-1, in the Pan Am final, scoring two late after trailing 1-0 for much of the game.

“It was tense,” said Bucci. “Every out, every strike our pitchers threw was so big.”

He adds the 5,000, or so, Mexican fans were cheering loudly for Canada — even though the Canadians had eliminated Mexico in the semis.

After throwing five shutout innings vs. Taipei in the World Cup, Bucci came up with a forearm strain and the Brewers instructed him not to pitch in the Pan Am Games.

He says his arm feels better now and he’s looking forward to pitching at the ‘AA’ level in 2012.

The second is Adam McCalvy’s blog post about the new Brewers Academy in the Dominican Republic.

 Sneak peek at the Brewers’ new Dominican academy

This new academy will provide the Brewers with all the necessary ingredients to allow their Latin players to take their baseball skills to a new level, putting them in a position to become a big league player some day,” Torres said in a statement provided by the Brewers. “From the meals to the fields, we take care of everything in between so the Brewers scouts and personnel can concentrate on their most important task, which is the development of these players.”

The move represents another step for the Brewers in re-establishing a base in Latin America. For more on that, and some additional photos, check Brewers.com later this morning.

Click that second headline for some pictures of the Academy.

Click this link for what I think of whenever I hear academy.

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