Results tagged ‘ Minor Leagues ’

Blog compiles composite Top 10 prospects

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It’s Top 10 prospect time, and Jim Breen of the Bernie’s Crew blog was smart enough to compile four of the most prominent lists into one composite, giving us a better look at how the top players in Milwaukee’s Minor League chain stack up. 
You can click through to Jim’s analysis for the details and his own thoughts about the depth of Brewers prospects, but for those interested in the bottom line, here are his results:
1 RHP Mark Rogers
2 RHP Cody Scarpetta
3 RHP Wily Peralta
4 RHP Kyle Heckathorn
4 OF Kentrail Davis
6 RHP Amaury Rivas
7 2B Scooter Gennett
8 OF Caleb Gindl
9 RHP Jimmy Nelson
10 RHP Tyler Thornburg
One side note: Jim isn’t convinced that there are any “premium” players there, but I’m not so sure. I’ve talked to baseball people who view Rogers as a frontline starter, though I understand Jim’s reservations about that injury history. Peralta could be that type of pitcher, too — there are Brewers officials who consider Peralta their top pitching prospect. 
Another aside: Outfielder Logan Schafer didn’t make the composite Top 10, and he appeared on only one of the four lists that Bernie’s Crew used to compile that list. Here’s betting that he shoots up those lists this year.
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List of Minor League free agents

Baseball America today posted a list of every Minor League free agent, including 17 in the Brewers organization. The list doesn’t include a couple of players who could have been free agents had they not already re-signed for 2011, including right-handers Mark DiFelice, Tim Dillard, Robert Hinton and infielder Chris Nowak. The team also re-acquired catcher Mike Rivera, who bounced around with three teams in 2010. 
Here’s the list from BA. As usual, there’s a lot of room for movement at the Triple-A level: 
RHP: Jeff Bennett (AAA), Ruben Flores (Hi A), Nick Green (AA), Jim Henderson (AA), David Johnson (AAA), Marty McLeary (AAA), Eddie Morlan (AA)
LHP: Chuck Lofgren (AAA), Sam Narron (AAA), Chris Waters (AAA)
C: Ben Johnson (AAA), Angel Salome (Hi A)
1B: Joe Koshansky (AAA)
2B: Johnny Raburn (AAA)
SS: Ray Olmedo (AAA)
OF: Drew T. Anderson (AA), Norris Hopper (AAA)

Salome is a notable name. He probably should have played in the Major Leagues this season, but instead he dealt with personal issues early in the year that prompted him to leave the Triple-A club and then request a position change to the outfield. I would be absolutely shocked if he’s back with the Brewers in 2011. 
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Two Minor League affiliations left to settle

The Brewers signed a player development contract extension with rookie-level Helena on Tuesday that runs through 2012. In May, they signed a similar deal with advanced Class A Brevard County that covers the same years. The Brewers are already under contract with “low” Class A Wisconsin through 2012.

But the team’s deals with its top two affiliates expire after this season, and both Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville were in the news today. 
— In this piece from the Huntsville Times’ Mark McCarter, he reports “indications are that the parent club is interested in exploring options elsewhere because of dissatisfaction with Joe W. Davis Stadium.” If Milwaukee doesn’t return, McCarter speculated, the most likely potential major league affiliates for Huntsville are the Angels, Reds, Tigers, Padres, Giants or Mariners.
More from McCarter:
Currently 22 of the 30 Class AA working agreements have been renewed or are in the process of renewal. (They are done so on even-numbered years, for either two- or four-year terms.) Four Southern League teams have announced renewals in the past two weeks, leaving Huntsville, Carolina (Cincinnati Reds) and West Tenn (Seattle Mariners) unsigned. Major league teams can shift their affiliations among the three Double-A leagues.
Teams must notify their respective league offices by Sept. 11 if they do not plan to renew their player development contracts, then there is a period from Sept. 16-30 where potential new deals may be negotiated; there are stiff fines for negotiating with new teams outside that two-week window.
It is clearly a situation where Huntsville’s ownership will be wooing the Brewers once Prentice can begin discussions with Milwaukee Executive Vice President/General Manager Doug Melvin and his chief aide, Gord Ash.
“We’d certainly love to have the Brewers back,” Rogers said. “They’re one of the classiest organizations around.”
Brewers’ officials have grown weary of the lack of response by Huntsville and Stars ownership for improvements to the 26-year-old stadium since the Brewers began their relationship with the Stars in 1999.
“Obviously there are certain areas that need to be addressed with the facility at Joe Davis,” said Scott Martins, business manager for the Brewers’ minor league operation. “It’s a stadium that has had relatively little maintenance. There are few stadiums that old that haven’t undergone some major renovation. I think anybody who has been to any other park and then to Joe Davis knows there are issues that need to be addressed.”
— I’ve heard that the Brewers are pretty happy with some of the improvements made at Triple-A Nashville, though “historic” Greer Stadium is also in need of more work. This story from The Oklahoman newspaper says the Brewers could leave Nashville and move to Oklahoma City, which expects to lose the Rangers. 
(Editorial comment: The key word in that story is, “could.” The way I read it is this: City losing its affiliate, needs another, reporter looks around for outdated stadiums, connects dots. Perhaps I am reading that wrong, but it looks like speculation to me. Doesn’t mean there’s not fire behind the smoke, but I’d hold off on fitting Brett Lawrie for an Oklahoma City jersey for now.)
Anyway, both situations are worth watching after the season comes to a close. 
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Brewers extend PDC with rookie-level Helena

The Brewers just announced a new, two-year player development contract extension with the Helena Brewers of the Rookie Pioneer League that runs through the 2012 season.
“We are very pleased to extend our player development contract with the Helena Brewers,” general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement.  “The Pioneer League provides a competitive experience for our younger players.  Many of the players in our organization began their professional careers at Helena including Ryan Braun, Alcides Escobar and Jonathan Lucroy.”
The Helena Brewers are owned and operated by the Helena Baseball Club, LLC.  DG Elmore serves as the principal owner.
“We are excited to renew our affiliation with the Milwaukee Brewers,” Elmore said.  “The Brewers are a first class operation and they have consistently provided Helena with exciting competitive teams.”  
Helena has been home to the Brewers’ rookie affiliate since the 2003 season.  The baby Brewers play their home games at Kindrick Legion Field.
“The Helena Brewers look forward to continuing its working relationship with our parent club in Milwaukee. We have had a great history with the affiliation between our two organizations and look forward to welcoming more Milwaukee farmhands and staff members into our wonderful community,” Helena Brewers General Manager Paul Fetz said.

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Three Dominican Leaguers suspended

Three players with the Brewers’ Dominican Summer League team were suspended 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 
The players are third baseman Allixon Cequea and outfielder Erickson Salaya, both of whom tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, and pitcher Leonard Lorenzo, who tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone.  All three suspensions are effective immediately.
The suspensions are a first for Brewers’ new facility in the Dominican Republic, where players undergo extensive education about the league’s drug policy and the dangers of using non-approved supplements. 
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The Brewers' Latin American strategy

When the Brewers signed him to a club-record bonus in 2005, right-hander Rolando Pascual was supposed to stand as a symbol of an innovative new approach to international scouting and player development. Nearly five years later, Pascual’s career is stalled, and he instead has become a symbol of why the system didn’t work.
It’s Rolando Valles’ mission to make sure the next generation of Brewers prospects from Latin America follow a smoother path. Valles’ official job title is Latin Liaison, but his daily duties run the gamut from baseball coach to English teacher to father figure.
As the Brewers once again shift their strategy in Latin America, Valles might just be the most important club official whose name you’ve never heard.
“More and more organizations are coming to the realization that it’s important to create a position like Rolando’s,” said Brewers’ special assistant Dan O’Brien. “There are 1,001 reasons why a Latin player may not succeed, and it may have nothing to do with ability. So his role is very significant.”
Valles is in overdrive this week. The Brewers’ Minor League camp officially opened for business on Wednesday, when pitchers and catchers, including a handful from the team’s new academy in the Dominican Republic, reported to Maryvale Baseball Park. Position players will follow on Friday.
You can read much more about Valles’ role in the organization and the Brewers’ new academy in the Dominican Republic in my story on There are some photos over there, but some others did not make the cut so I thought I would post them here. Thanks to Reid Nichols, Zack Minasian and Doug Melvin for the shots.
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In the Minors: Parra, Seidl, Helena, etc…

Bunch of happenings down on the farm tonight:

– Manny Parra took a tough loss in his second Triple-A start. He didn’t allow a run until the seventh inning in Albuquerque, and retired Manny Ramirez in both of the slugger’s plate appearances, but was on the wrong end of the decision in the Sounds’ 1-0 loss to the Isotopes. Parra threw 59 of his 93 pitches for strikes and allowed a run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The lone run scored on a two-out single off Parra. 

– Rookie-level Helena played their season-opener tonight behind Nick Bucci, who allowed only one run on three hits in five good innings with four strikeouts and — follow his lead, kids — no walks.

– A couple of 2009 Draft picks were enjoying big professional debuts as of this writing. Second-rounder Cameron Garfield started his career with hits in his first five at-bats, and three RBIs. Nineteenth rounder Scott Krieger hit a three-run homer. Thirty-second rounder Chris Ellington was a double shy of the cycle, scored three runs and drove in a pair.

– Eric Arnett, Milwaukee’s first-round Draft pick earlier this month, will make his pro debut on Wednesday night. He’s wearing uniform No. 95, according to his Twitter feed. “Dont think ill be keeping that one forever,” Arnett wrote.

– Right-hander R.J. Seidel is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Arizona Brewers on Wednesday. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told us in April that Seidel was out for the year after “tearing up” his knee when he slipped on some ice over the winter, but perhaps that assessment has changed. Seidel is a Wisconsin native drafted in the 16th round by the Brewers in 2006.

Rosters for Huntsville, Brevard County

[Jeez, did I botch these before… Hopefully, it’s cleaned up now. Thanks for the messages.]

I know some of you have been asking about it, so here are the Opening Day rosters for Double-A Huntsville and advanced Class A Brevard County.  (The Triple-A Nashville and Class A Wisconsin rosters are already available online: here and here.)

Huntsville Stars (open Thursday vs. Mobile)

Pitchers: Left-handers Casey Baron, Chris Cody, Bobby Bramhall, David Welch and Derrick Ellison and right-handers Jeremy Jeffress, Mark Holliman, Donovan Hand, Robert Hinton, Michael McClendon, Juan Sandoval and Josh Wahpepah.

Catchers: JR Hopf and Jonathan Lucroy.

Infielders: Chris Errecart, Shane Justis, Yohannis Perez, John Raburn and Vinny Rottino.

Outfielders Chuckie Caufield, Charlie Fermaint, Freddy Parejo and Adam Stern.

Disabled list: Pitchers Omar Aguilar, Alex Periard and Brae Wright, infielder Michael Garciaparra and outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

[To answer battlekow’s question, I don’t know exactly what the timetable is for Cain, but he did remain in extended Spring Training in Phoenix to rehab. That seems to me like a sign it could be a few weeks.]

Brevard County Manatees (open Thursday vs. Daytona)

Pitchers: Left-handers Lucas Luetge, Rafael Lluberes and Michael Ramlow and right-handers Rigoberto Almonte, Evan Anundsen, John Axford, Josh Butler, Mike Jones, Brandon Rapoza, Amaury Rivas, Mark Rogers, Roque Mercedes, Mark Willinsky and Robert Wooten.

Catchers: Anderson De La Rosa, Martin Maldonado and Brett Whiteside.

Infielders: Brent Brewer, Eric Farris, Sergio Miranda, Steffan Wilson and Zelous Wheeler.

Outfielders: Cole Gillespie, Caleb Gindl, Lee Haydel and Logan Schafer.

Disabled list: Left-hander Zach Braddock.  

Former No. 1 pick Jones was offered release

A couple of Minor League notes, courtesy of Brewers GM Doug Melvin:

–The team gave oft-injured former No. 1 pick Mike Jones the option of
starting another year at Class A Brevard County or taking his release,
and he wanted to keep pitching. Jones, the 12th overall pick in the 2001 Draft, will turn 26 on April 23 and has been dogged throughout his pro career by shoulder and elbow injuries. Fellow star-crossed former first-round
pick Mark Rogers should also begin the year at Brevard County.

 — Club officials had considered assigning Wisconsin native Vinny Rottino to Double-A Huntsville so he could play third base every day, but they thought it might upset him. They were happy when Rottino brought up the idea himself.

— Playing time at Huntsville opened up for Rottino because prospect Taylor Green is “taking longer than we thought” to return from offseason wrist surgery, Melvin said. The Brewers don’t expect him back until June, and Green may be asked to return to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the season.

— Another Wisconsin native, right-handed pitcher R.J. Seidel, is out for the year with a knee injury. He slipped on some ice during the winter and “tore up” his knee, Melvin said, and underwent surgery. Fellow pitching prospects Zach Braddock and Alex Periard will also miss the start of the season with injuries. Periard was sidelined all spring by a sore right shoulder, but Melvin was not sure of the nature of the left-hander Braddock’s injury, but he did have offseason surgery. Both Braddock and Periard should be able to pitch in 2009.

— The Triple-A Nashville Sounds roster is available here. The Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers roster is available here. I have not seen rosters for Huntsville or Brevard County just yet.