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BA's Hot Prospect Sheet Thread


Mass Haas

This is actually the third Hot Prospect Sheet thread of the Baseball America season, but the first Brewer mention. And it's a biggie.

 

Remember as always, this is not a re-ranking of BA's Top 100 Prospects list. Instead, it's a snapshot of who are the hottest prospects in baseball right now. And the Why He's Here line in the writeups refers to each player's stats for the past week.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2008/265947.html

 

Matt LaPorta

Team: Double-A Huntsville (Southern)

Age: 23

Why he's here: .429/.469/1.036, 12-for-28, 2 2B, 5 HR, 13 RBIs, 7 R, 2 BB, 4 SO

The Scoop: The University of Florida, Helena, West Virginia, Huntsville . . . LaPorta has hit for power wherever he's been. His incredible raw power and strong plate coverage have enabled him to lead all Southern League batters in home runs (six) and RBIs (22). To some, it seemed like the Brewers reached last year to grab the first baseman-now left fielder-with the seventh overall pick. But with a home run every 10.4 at-bats as a pro, it's hard to argue now with Milwaukee's selection. The last college hitter to make such a strong first impression with wood bats was Evan Longoria, but he was a relative slacker when compared with LaPorta. Longoria went deep only once every 16.7 at-bats in the minors through the 2007 season.

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Gotta say i would love to see LaPorta play a full year at one level as of this moment we are in no need of him at AAA or on the MLB roster as both rosters are full right now of OFs.. IMO i wanna see him at AA this year 1/3 at AAA next year and then 2/3 Milwaukee...
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Gotta say i would love to see LaPorta play a full year at one level as of this moment we are in no need of him at AAA or on the MLB roster as both rosters are full right now of OFs.. IMO i wanna see him at AA this year 1/3 at AAA next year and then 2/3 Milwaukee...

To what end? If he's proven, and I'm not saying he has, but if he's proven that he can hammer AA pitching, why wouldn't you want to promote him? I don't know also why you'd want him up for only 2/3rd of the year next year? If the guys ready, he's ready. Why hold him back.

 

Again, I'm not saying he is. But if he continues at this point until the ASB(AA ASB) then there's no reason to keep him out of AAA.

 

And both rosters being full? Who's blocking LaPorta? Nix? Mel Stocker? Dillon? I don't see that any of those players should be blocking LaPorta.

 

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Let's hope he continues to hit like this. It will make it hard for the Brewers to leave him in the minors if he keeps this up for another month or two. I'd love to see him recalled for the interleague games and never go back. Mike Cameron would be a great 4th outfielder.

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Why keep moving him up and making a bigger log jam along the way right now their is no need for him to be in AAA or Milwaukee now or early next year... What i want to see him do is kill AA all year and be league MVP.. Why move him up and start his arby years when we have enough OFs right now??? Give him time to grow and continue to learn how to play OF his bat will bring him to Milwaukee soon enough but i still want him to work on learning to play above average OF... Why the push is my concern to move him?? Then if we have to move him now im all for rushing all our first round picks in the coming draft to the 25 man active roster right away!!!!
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I don't know also why you'd want him up for only 2/3rd of the year next year? If the guys ready, he's ready. Why hold him back.

 

It depends on what his role in Milwaukee would be. Like with the Corey Hart situation, I'd rather see him tear AAA apart than rot on the big league bench. Laporta has been great so far, but he's still young enough to have plenty to learn, and I'd rather he keeps learning through playing than only progressing through BP with the big boys.

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Gotta say i would love to see LaPorta play a full year at one level as of this moment we are in no need of him at AAA or on the MLB roster as both rosters are full right now of OFs.. IMO i wanna see him at AA this year 1/3 at AAA next year and then 2/3 Milwaukee...

I totally agree. I hope Laporta stays at Huntsville all year. I see him as a huge candidate to make the leap-over AAA ball straight to the bigs.

 

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I really dont understand the wanting him to stay in AA all year. He is already an older prospect so in mind as long as he is succeeding why not continue to move up the system. I would feel better about him contributing next year for the big league club if he had some time in AAA under his belt instead of just a full year at AA.
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Why keep moving him up and making a bigger log jam along the way right now their is no need for him to be in AAA or Milwaukee now or early next year... What i want to see him do is kill AA all year and be league MVP.. Why move him up and start his arby years when we have enough OFs right now??? Give him time to grow and continue to learn how to play OF his bat will bring him to Milwaukee soon enough but i still want him to work on learning to play above average OF... Why the push is my concern to move him?? Then if we have to move him now im all for rushing all our first round picks in the coming draft to the 25 man active roster right away!!!!

There's no "push". We're not saying you have to move up a guy who's hitting .220 with 0 HR's. He's killing the ball. Again, why WOULDN'T you move him up? What's the argument other than there are other OF'ers who will never have a prayer to make a tenth of the impact he will on the Nashville roster? And the argument that if you move him, you have to move every 1st rounder to the 25 man is an incredibly hollow one. Very, very few 1st round picks have the type of success that he's had as early as he's had it, and obviously the fact that Jeffress is still in Low A renders that point totally moot.

For the life of me I can't understand the argument to not moving someone up who's ready just so he can be league MVP. I mean, who cares if he's league MVP? Was Prince ever league MVP? I ask because I don't know. Moreover, when he hit 50 HR's last year, I didn't care.

 

I think it's a given that he's not going to make the big league team until next year at the earliest. The question continues to be why wouldn't you move him when his OPS is almost 200 points higher than Corey Hart's when he won league MVP? If he has nothing to gain from playing in AA and does have something to gain when he moves up a level, I simply don't understand the desire to provide the AAA OF'ers jobs this much to want to see a guy who has nothing left to prove in AA stay there.

 

Of course, this argument, like yours is dependent upon him continuing to wear our AA pitching like he has been.

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I think he needs to work on becoming a better D OF and being able to play at AA will give him that knowing hes gonna get plenty of coaching and get about 500-600 ABs.. Besides doesnt AA seem to have better pitching prospects in that league then AAA has??Why the push to move him from AA??? Do we have a starting spot for him right now in Milwaukee???? Do u know of a injury to one of our starting OFs that would justify calling him up now??? Why move him to AAA right now and let him play for a very bad AAA team besides i think AAA has some solid OFs already Nelson(1.028 OPS), Irabarren (.738 OPS), Nix (.853 OPS) and Katin (.783 OPS)?? Where would he find ABs with those guys?? What is needed is some help in the IF SS and 2nd look to be very week IMO and i dont think LaPorta is a middle IF

JJFanec why would u want him in Milwaukee next year?? U Dont think he could make the jump from AA to Milwaukee??

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Why move him to AAA right now and let him play for a very bad AAA team besides i think AAA has some solid OFs already Nelson(1.028 OPS), Irabarren (.738 OPS), Nix (.853 OPS) and Katin (.783 OPS)?? Where would he find ABs with those guys?? What is needed is some help in the IF SS and 2nd look to be very week IMO and i dont think LaPorta is a middle IF

JJFanec why would u want him in Milwaukee next year?? U Dont think he could make the jump from AA to Milwaukee??

The AAA team does have some nice outfielders but Nix is not going to help our major league team and LaPorta is a better prospect and player than the other guys you mentioned. I am glad to see Nelson swinging the bat well again and Irabarren has been solid, but should any of these guys block LaPorta from moving up to a better league. I would much rather have LaPorta jump from AAA to the big leagues than from AA to big leagues. There is a reason there are levels in the minors. The better players and competition are at the higher leagues. I don't care if Nashville is bad, LaPorta can still get a taste of the next level of pitching. He has a great shot to be on our major league roster next spring because his bat is that good. From all I have heard about his fielding he is doing well so there doesnt seem to be a need to hold him back for that.

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I suppose you could make an argument for keeping him in AA to allow him to work on his defense isolated from everything else, since he's obviously comfortable and is hitting well. You know, as opposed to having to make a hitting adjustment to AAA concomitant with continuing to work on his outfield ability.
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My impression has always been, and please feel free to correct me, that AA is where most of the top prospects are. That AAA is more of a holding tank for back ups and such. If that's true, might not the competition be better at AA, and therefore more valuable for his progress.

 

On the other hand, I really don't want to see him coming up until Fielder or Hart are gone as there's no where to play him. Hart is no kind of centerfielder in my book, although I realize there is debate on that matter.

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If LaPorta continues to hit like this I would consider bumping him up to AAA at this time next month, but I don't know if I would do so now since he only has a month at AA under his belt, and even then most of his impressive numbers have come over the past two weeks or so.

 

The comment about his defense is also a good one since we obviously can't tell how he's doing out there from the box score.

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A couple of people have made comments about AA being more talented than AAA and was wondering if that really was the case? I am not arguing since I am relatively new to following minor league ball. I just wanted to know if AA is really the more prospect-ladened spot.
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I always thought of AA as the top of the pyramid. Chances are if you have success in AA, at some point you'll get a chance at the bigs. I guess what I'm saying is that after AA it becomes more of a linear progression, where through rookie and A ball a couple of guys from every class get dropped along the way. Even the AAA vets (AAAA players) have all had a chance at some point with a MLB club.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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I'm starting to become a believer in Gamel. I was most skeptical of him through last season and the past offseason, but he's winning me over. Just please stick at 3B Mat! We could really use you there.

 

Also, maybe its just this picture, but Mat's look sure would fit in with the 1982 Brewers, with one minor tweak:

 

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d175/sbrylski06/Gamel-1.jpg

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