Results tagged ‘ Prospects ’

Top 20 in the MWL – October 1, 2014

Keep your eyes on this link to Baseball America.  They should be announcing the Top 20 Prospects in the Midwest League soon.  Since the team has a subscription to the print magazine, I can see the list before it’s on the web…which is so….odd.

Only one Timber Rattler made the list:

Clint Coulter #7 on BA list. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

Clint Coulter #7 on BA list. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

#7 Clint Coulter.  The partial scouting report from the magazine.

While Coulter does have a great batting-eye, his swing isn’t picture-perfect, as it involves a large load and a powerful cut that makes it hard to always control the barrel.  That leads to swings and misses on pitches in the zone, but when he does connect, Coulter drives the ball.

Peoria pitcher Alex Reyes was #1 in the MWL.  The full list and capsules on each of the players on the list should be at the link later.

I would have thought that Taylor Williams might have made the list, but it’s tough in a 16-team league.

In last night’s AL Wild Card game, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in 12 innings.  Former Timber Rattler Lorenzo Cain drove in a pair of runs last night, including the first run of Kansas City’s comeback in the eighth inning:

Today is the first day of the season review of Timber Rattlers in MLB during the 2014 season. Here’s a quick look at the former Rattlers….and one former Fox who spent time in the AL West this year:

Angels:
Raul Ibanez (’94): 57 games, .157/.258/.265, 3HR, 21RBI

That was hit number 2,000 for Ibanez in his MLB career.

Mariners:
Michael Saunders (’06): 78 games, .273/.341/.450, 8HR, 34RBI

Rangers:
Shin-Soo Choo (’01, ’02):
123 games, .242/.340/.374, 13HR, 40RBI
One of his hits this season was #1,000 in his career:


Rangers:
Nate Adcock (’07, ’08):
7 games, 0-0, 4.50ERA, 10.0IP, 5BB, 9K

Rangers:
Ryan Feierabend (’02):
6 games, 0-0, 6.14ERA, 7.1IP, 2BB, 4K

Athletics:
Eric O’Flaherty (’04, ’05): 21 games, 1-0, 1 save, 2.25ERA, 20IP, 4BB, 15K
The save was the first of his MLB career.

Mariners:
Felix Hernandez (’03): 34 games, 34 starts, 15-6, 2.14ERA, 236IP, 46BB, 248K.

Take a bow, King Felix!

Alumni Birthdays:
Erik Komatsu (’09) – 27
Tom Johnson (’87) – 49

Komatsu2_2009wag

Erik Komatsu as a Timber Rattler in 2009. Photo Credit: Wm. Glasheen

Friday Prospect Information

For the past few Fridays, I have had some photos of the field to give you a view of how the melt is going.

This Friday, that is impossible.  I am in Arizona…where the only snow is in the mountains…probably…

I will be reporting from Minor League Camp on past and future Timber Rattlers.  I will also reporting from four Timber Rattlers Spring Training Games.  There should be reports on the Timber Rattlers website, here on the blog, and @CMehring throughout the weekend and into Tuesday morning when the eventual tweet: “Missed my plane…damn.” will be seen.

By the way, yesterday’s post on the 2014 Specialty Jerseys got a lot of traffic – more traffic than the traditional Walkup Music post, but not as much traffic as a Snow in April post.  Since WTMJ’s WI-Sports & Uni Watch have both posted links…traffic is heading that way again today.  Thank you for the clicks!

The Timber Rattlers front office was busy with field stuff while I was on the plane out of the Fox Cities yesterday. Just call them “Two Tarps”:

Making progress with 13 days to go.

There were a few Brewers Prospect stories that were published this week and – in case you missed them – I thought this would be a good place to share:

MLBPipeline rates their top 20 Brewers Prospects

Plenty of former Timber Rattlers on this list.  Jimmy Nelson and Tyrone Taylor are 1-2.  Click that link for the full list AND scouting reports on all 20.

Bernie Pleskoff asks How do Brewers’ prospects fit Milwaukee’s needs?

Jim Callis notes Brewers banking on wealth of prospects at lower levels.  In which he has three questions with Victor Roache, notes that his camp standout this season is Mitch Haniger, and his breakout candidate is Orlando Arcia.

Jim also has more Brewers coverage on his blog with notes on possible future Rattlers Tucker Neuhaus and David Denson.

The Brewers also announced releases yesterday and – unfortunately – there were a lot of former Rattlers on this list.

Friday News & Notes

Baseball America released their list of the Top 20 Prospects in the Midwest League earlier this week.  That list contained no Timber Rattlers.

There are 16 teams in the MWL and there is no guarantee that every team is going to have at least one player in that Top 20 list…Especially in a year where some teams are loaded – from a prospect standpoint.  For example:  Cedar Rapids (4), Quad Cities (3), and Kane County (3) took up half of the 20 spots on the 2013 MWL list.

JJ Cooper handled the “Why no Rattlers?” question in his chat (No link. Subscribers only) content:

Mike (Milwaukee, WI): I’m a bit surprised not to see a single TimberRattler make your list, specifically Tyrone Taylor, Orlando Arcia or Victor Roache. Was it simply a matter of not having room for them, or are their ceilings just not as high as those who did make it?

J.J. Cooper: Promised on Twitter that I would answer this one. All three were among prospects considered for the list. Taylor came the closest to making it. I’d say he was in the 21-30 range. Pretty universally scouts liked Taylor more than Roache because of a better hitting approach, better defense, plays a premium position and is more athletic. In Taylor you have a solid center fielder while Roache was considered adequate in LF. Taylor was probably the third best CF prospect in the league behind Toles but ahead of Mallex Smith. Arcia often looked overmatched this year at the plate, but scouts think he’ll improve as he matures. He has a solid swing but he’s just not strong enough to do anything with that swing yet.

Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

Tyrone Taylor just missed Baseball America’s Top 20 list.

The Toles that Cooper mentions is Bowling Green’s Andrew Toles, who won the MWL batting title at .326.  Toles was placed at #19 on BA’s list.

Also from earlier this week, Adam McCalvy had this surprise in his twitter timeline:

  The surprise part is that last note about 2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Pitcher Austin Blaski retiring.

2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Austin Blaski has retired.

2013 Timber Rattlers All-Star Austin Blaski has retired.

Blaski’s last game with the Timber Rattlers was on June 13 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field. Blaski allowed one run on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts to pick up the win in a 2-1 defeat of the Snappers. He was a late addition to the 2013 MWL All-Star squad and was scheduled to pitch in the game at Dayton. But, he was scratched from making an appearance. That game was on June 18. Blaski had surgery one month later – July 18.

Now, he’s retired.

Good luck, Austin.

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.

Decorations around the ballpark

When you come out to a game at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium this season – and there will be games at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium this season — you will see some new things.

I am not talking about the club level and the suites and the other renovations around the stadium.  I’m talking about the decorations.  The Wall of Fame came down because of the renovations, but that is just temporary.  To make sure there wasn’t just a blank concrete block wall when you walk into the ballpark, we hung the most recent championship banners of Appleton Professional Baseball:

The Foxes Banners from 1982-1984 and the 2012 Timber Ratters Pennant.

The Foxes Pennants from 1982-1984 and the 2012 Timber Ratters Pennant.

There are some banners on the outside of the stadium.  We selected a group of former Timber Rattlers players who are either Brewers prospects or are currently with the Brewers.

Khris Davis

Khris Davis

April 11 2013 004

Wily Peralta

April 11 2013 007

Jim Henderson

Hiram Burgos

Hiram Burgos

Hunter Morris

Hunter Morris

Tyler Thornburg

Tyler Thornburg

Scooter Gennett

Scooter Gennett

April 11 2013 010

Yadiel Rivera

Mitch Haniger

Mitch Haniger

There are a few others, but you’ll just have to come out to the stadium to see who they are.

This is the part I really like.  This old photograph of Goodland Field from the days of the Appleton Papermakers is on the wall behind the registers in the new Snake Pit Team Store.  It is awesome.  Sadly, the location is not lit properly for a good photo to be taken.  Also – if you’ll remember – I am a bad photographer.

The light pole in foul territory cracks me up every time.

The light pole in foul territory cracks me up every time.

A closer look at the left side of the photo.

A closer look at the left side of the photo.

A closer look at the right side of the photo.

A closer look at the right side of the photo.

Look at the bat rack outside the dugout in the last picture.  Heck, look at the dugout in that last picture.  There are plenty of details in this photo on the wall.  When you come out to the team store, look at it and sees what grabs your attention. 

In case you missed it, the Rattlers were rained out again.  Thursday is the third straight game at home that has been rained out.  This weather….ugh.  I had to give the penguin the day off.  He was out enjoying this weather and wouldn’t check in with me.  Jerk.

However, Fang & Whiffer both got out in the elements to sing and dance and emote their fuzzy hearts out.  Enjoy:

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.

Meanwhile, in the 2012 Arizona Fall League…

Brewers prospects – with several former Timber Rattlers – are playing for the Peoria Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.  Action started on Tuesday with the Dogs beating the Phoenix Scorpions 4-3.

Ex-Rattlers in that game:
Khris Davis (’10): 0-for-2, 2 walks
Hunter Morris (’10): 0-for-3, 1 walk
Josh Prince (’09): 0-for-1
Kyle Heckathorn (’10): 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, Winning Pitcher

Other former Rattlers to watch for in these games include:
RHP Nick Bucci (’10)
RHP Santo Manzanillo (’10, ’12)
RHP Jimmy Nelson (’11)
OF Brock Kjeldgaard (’09)

The Arizona Fall League schedule runs through November 15.

Baseball America’s Top 20 Midwest League Prospects

Drew Gagnon. Not considered? Really?

This post is to provide reasons why the MWL list turned out the way that it did.  Not to howl at the moon and go, “WE WUZ ROBBED!”  I plan to provide a little context and make at least one argument in favor of the inclusion of at least ONE Rattler.

What list?  Oh, read on!

The last paragraph of the article by Jim Callis that accompanies Baseball America’s Top 20 list of Midwest League Prospects that had no Timber Rattlers:

Wisconsin captured the championship with the oldest roster in the league and nary a prospect who received strong consideration for this list. The Timber Rattlers won the finals in four games over Fort Wayne, which led all clubs with five prospects among the Top 20.

I’m going to do some math….back in a second…an hour…head over to this page at Baseball Reference and let’s do math together! Add a the average age of the hitters for a team to the average age of the pitchers for a team and divide by two.  Right?

Okay. Back.
The average age of the 2012 Timber Rattlers was 22.4.  Take out the Major League rehabs to appear with the Rattlers this past season – Shaun Marcum (30), Jonathan Lucroy (26), and Carlos Gomez (26) – and the average drops to 22.3.  They are still the oldest team in the league…BUT by just over a month.

Five oldest teams in the Midwest League (2012):

  1. Wisconsin – 22.4 (adjusted at 22.3)
  2. Burlington – 22.2
  3. Beloit – 22.1
  4. Quad Cities – 22.0
  5. South Bend 21.9

Average age of a player in the Midwest League in 2012: 21.8 years.

Five Youngest teams in the Midwest League (2012):

  1. Lake County – 20.8
  2. Bowling Green – 21.3
  3. Peoria – 21.3
  4. Dayton – 21.5
  5. Fort Wayne – 21.6

It should be noted that I am not getting Dayton’s average age to figure correctly.  Their hitters have an average age of 21.3 even with rehab appearances by Drew Stubbs (27), Joey Votto (28), and Miguel Cairo (38).  Take those players out of the equation and … I get an average age for the hitters of 21.6.  That can’t be right.  So….number with a grain of salt please.

I am not going to argue that a Timber Rattlers player should have been included in the Top 5 prospects on the list.

  1. Javier Baez – ss, Peoria
  2. Miguel Sano – 3b, Beloit
  3. Francisco Lindor – ss, Lake County
  4. Archie Bradley – rhp, South Bend
  5. Noah Syndergaard – rhp, Lansing

The only thing to quibble with the Top 5 ton hat list is the order.  Instead, let’s take a look at the 16-20:

16. Kyle Smith – rhp, Kane County
17.  Travis Jankowski – of, Fort Wayne
18. Adys Portillo – rhp, Fort Wayne
19. Jace Peterson – ss, Fort Wayne
20. Stephen Piscotty – 3b, Quad Cities

Here are five 2012 Timber Rattlers who were placed on Baseball America’s Top 30 list of Brewers Prospects in the 2012 Prospect Handbook: RHP Santo Manzanillo, RHP David Goforth, RHP Drew Gagnon, SS Yadiel Rivera, and 1B Nick Ramirez.

Manzanillo wasn’t going to make the MWL List. He’s been in the league before, was still working his way back from his car accident, and didn’t have enough games with the Rattlers in 2012 to be eligible.

Rankings are not entirely based on stats in a particular year.  How a particular observer projects that player will do in the future is a big part of it

The point that Yadiel Rivera hit .247 with 12 homers, seven stolen bases and 22 errors while Peterson hit .286 and stole 51 bases with 28 errors may mean less than the data points that Rivera is 20 and was a 9th round pick in 2010 while Peterson is 22 and a 1st round pick in 2011.

Also, where a player was drafted – if he was drafted at all may have a lot to do with it.  Brandon Macias had an incredible 2012.  He was at or near the top of the list in a lot of offensive categories – OBP, runs, average, doubles, hits, hit by pitch. By any standard an outstanding season.  Except with the list makers.  Macias an non-drafted free agent in 2011 is not going to get consideration for a list like this while Stephen Piscotty, a supplemental first round pick in 2012, makes the list. Piscotty played well in 55 games for Quad Cities in 2012.  Project his numbers out over a full season and the numbers may be a bit similar with maybe a slight edge to Macias.

But the list makers will  give the edge to Piscotty every time.  It’s just the way the lists work.  After watching and getting to know Macias all of the 2012 season, he doesn’t care about lists and whether he makes them or not.  He’s just going to go out there are play hard and to the best of his ability every day.

Player vs. player comparisons may not be as big of a factor as some of the other criteria used to slot players on the list.  BUT, here is a player-to-player comparison:
Drew Gagnon was 6-1 in 14 starts with a 2.83ERA and 65 strikeouts in 82-2/3 innings with the Rattlers before being promoted to Brevard County in the Florida State League.  Gagnon is 22 and was a 3rd round pick in 2011.

Adys Portillo was 6-6 in 18 starts with a 1.87ERA and 81 strikeouts in 91-2/3 innings with Fort Wayne before being promoted to San Antonio in the Texas League.  Portillo is 20 and was signed out of Venezuela on July 2, 2008 when he was 16.

I’m not saying that Portillo should be taken off the list and Gagnon belongs in his spot.  But, to say that Gagnon – or any of the Rattlers who were eligible for the list that Baseball America considers prospects – didn’t receive strong consideration for the list is a little ridiculous.

Just for fun, Baseball America’s Top 20 list of Midwest League Prospects after the 2009 season.

 1. Aaron Hicks, of, Beloit (Twins)
2. Dee Gordon, ss, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
3. Josh Vitters, 3b, Peoria (Cubs)
4. Brett Lawrie, 2b, Wisconsin (Brewers)
5. Mike Montgomery, lhp, Burlington (Royals)
6. Casey Crosby, lhp, West Michigan (Tigers)
7. Simon Castro, rhp, Fort Wayne (Padres)
8. Jaff Decker, of, Fort Wayne (Padres)
9. Cody Scarpetta, rhp, Wisconsin (Brewers)
10. Ethan Martin, rhp, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
11. Tim Melville, rhp, Burlington (Royals)
12. Eric Hosmer, 1b, Burlington (Royals)
13. A.J. Pollock, of, South Bend (Diamondbacks)
14. Wily Peralta, rhp, Wisconsin (Brewers)
15. James Darnell, 3b, Fort Wayne (Padres)
16. Chris Archer, rhp, Peoria (Cubs)
17. Kyle Russell, of, Great Lakes (Dodgers)
18. Grant Desme, of, Kane County (Athletics)
19. Pedro Figueroa, lhp, Kane County (Athletics)
20. Chris Carpenter, rhp, Peoria (Cubs)

Also for fun, here is what Jim wrote about the MWL Champions that year:

Decker and third baseman James Darnell, a 2008 second-rounder, were part of a TinCaps team that won a minor league-high 94 games and both half-season titles in the MWL East, then swept Burlington in the playoff finals.

And the Champions in 2010:

Great Lakes led all minor league teams with 90 regular-season victories, but the Loons came up short of a championship. They dropped the last two games of their semifinal series to Lake County, which didn’t place a single player on this Top 20 Prospects list.

And the Champions in 2011:

Another righthander, Carlos Martinez, drew comparisons to Pedro Martinez (no relation) and would have given Walker a run for the top spot had he not been promoted after just eight starts for eventual champion Quad Cities.

At the end of the day, the 2012 list has done its job.  It gave us a starting point for the 2013 season and got us talking about Baseball America – and baseball – two weeks after our season ended.

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