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Brad Nelson's Major League Ability


Just wondering here. Three years ago, the Power 50 had him rated as our top prospect, even ahead of Fielder. Then he took a dive in the rankings of sorts. Now, he seems back on to being a legit candidate to be a starting first baseman in the major leagues. Two things first:

 

1) What type of numbers would he project at for 500 AB's in the majors, say, next season?

2) What positions do you feel the Brewers would be willing to let him play in a utility role in the majors (just 1B or 1B, 3B and Corner OF, etc.)

 

I guess I am of the thinking that, if this season doesn't go as we want (and it's certainly looking better the last few days), that I'd at least put Fielder out there to see what he'd fetch us. Many think he's gone once free agency hits him a few years ago anyway. If he could haul us 2-3 Lincecum type starters (just using his name because it is mentioned frequently in the trade rumors thread) it's something I'd have to consider.

 

However,

 

1) I think the above scenario would only interest me if Nelson could be pretty darn good at the major league level (say at least Overbay type effectiveness possibly with different strengths at the plate), This is where you guys come in to help me determine what he could do at the plate in the majors.

 

2) Realistically, Doug won't trade Fielder until at least the year prior to his free agency due to the reaction the "casual" fan would have.

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Nelson can play 1b, 3b, LF, and RF, though probably only play everyday 1b. I think he could have a gabe gross kind of impact at least, as a hitter, but he'd play some 1b and 3b rather than cf. I don't think he'll ever be the brewers starting 1b, barring injury.

 

your hypothetical 500 major league AB next season:

.250/.320/.470, 18 HR, 4 SB

though he has typically needed a second season at a level to do well.

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Nelson can play the corner outfield spots passably (as end mentioned, who *can't* play left field?), and he actually has a pretty good arm. I wouldn't want him to play third base any more than I'd want Jeff Cirillo to step in right now and be the Brewers' starting shortstop. If he has a major league career of any length he might see a little sporadic time there however.
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I was actually thinking about Nelson being a callup for the Boston series. He has a left-handed bat with some OBP/SLG potential, and is on the 40 man roster. Branyan makes sense, but likely can't be sent down, whereas Nelson can be.
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Stephen Hawking might be better in the outfield than Brad Nelson.

 

Manny Ramirez will win a Gold Glove before Brad Nelson is even considered mediocre.

 

I disagree with that. Nelson is a little bit more athletic than he's given credit for and he's worked a lot on his defense during his current stint in Nashville. I think he could play the corner OF spots and 1B. He could play 3B in the bigs, but it would only be in a situation where he's an emergency replacement because the other 3b/IF are hurt. He does an ok job in AAA there, but his range is quite limited.

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I watched him the entire game on Saturday when he was playing right field. On EVERY fly ball, he broke the wrong direction. There were at least two hits that should have been caught, but fell in when he didn't get there in time. If you take three steps back, then have to run in and the ball bounces five feet in front of you, that's a ball that should have been caught. He has no instincts for the outfield.
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He has no instincts for the outfield.

 

Not from what I've seen at some games. I'll give you that he's not great or will ever be anything than a below average to average outfielder, but come on -- the statements you're making are way off base and not realistic in terms of the comparisons.

 

I do believe Nelson will improve in the outfield once that position is deemed his future (if that happens).

 

I think you really need to take into context the fact that Nelson has played 338 games out of 715 games in the outfield. That's less than half of his games in the outfield. I find your comparisons far from reality and I expect Nelson to improve in what you call "instincts" and I believe he has the physical tools to play OF in the bigs at an acceptable level.

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I'll give you that he's not great or will ever be anything than a below average to average outfielder, but come on -- the statements you're making are way off base and not realistic in terms of the comparisons.
And I think you need to be realistic. Yes, he has the ability to improve. But we're talking a couple hundred fly balls a day for at least a couple of years for him to get to the point of being regarded as below average. If he was 19, then I would be much more optimistic. But he's 25. The time to improve at a position to the point where he can play it in the majors is just about over.
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Wherever he plays in the field is not as intriguing as the uniform he has on when he does it. I don't see how he fits, unless he becomes Gabe Gross next year. I'm sure Kapler will be one and done, so we will need a 5th outfielder. He doesn't strike me as the type, however.
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He's not horrid, though it's pretty clear he doesn't have any better outfield instincts than he did at 3B. He gets caught when he's trying to be too aggressive, and then lets balls drop in front of him when he's trying to play it safe. He never quite seems to get it right, maybe it will come in time. He's giving his all though, he's shown pretty good effort diving for balls and whatnot.

"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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Trade Prince in order to get Nelson in the lineup? I could see if someone was making a case for LaPorta or Gamel, but Nelson? Prince hit better in AAA as a 21 year old than Nelson is doing as a 25 year old in his 4th season in AAA.

 

also, if we really feel that any of these guys is close to or the equal of Prince, why would the team trade any of them? Who cares if they're butchers in the field, 4-5 guys with a 150 OPS+ will win you a lot of games. I'm not sure any team has ever had 4 or more guys like that on a team. I would rather ride that out until Prince is a FA and hope that couple WS titles and a chance at one of the greatest dynasties of all-time would persuade him to stay.

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agreed on Nelson; he doesnt seem to have much value and I wouldnt slot him as a starter on this team, much less and adequate 1B replacement. But the Brewers should deal Prince as they cant afford to have so many defensive liabilities on the field (Braun, Fielder, Laporta, Gamel at 3B, and Hart in CF).. when they lose Sheets, they won't have adequate pitching. Gallardo is a great #2, but would be a very marginal #1 long-term. That would make for some fun games, but not very balanced.

 

Bottom line is that with Sheets gone, they need pitching. The trading chips for top pitching sit in the corner IF/OF spots.

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And I think you need to be realistic. Yes, he has the ability to improve. But we're talking a couple hundred fly balls a day for at least a couple of years for him to get to the point of being regarded as below average. If he was 19, then I would be much more optimistic.

 

Nelson needs a position if he's ever going to develop his outfield skills. It's more than common knowledge that Kremblas moves almost every fielder to the outfield a few times a year in hopes of making them more versatile and in the future more likely to make it in the bigs. Nelson has been the odd ball during his time in the Brewers organization and has moved around to make room for other prospects.

 

But he's 25. The time to improve at a position to the point where he can play it in the majors is just about over.

 

I could say almost the exact same thing about Rickie Weeks. Should we just simply write him off?

 

I'm not saying Nelson will be an All-Star, but I think there is the potential that he could be an everyday player in the bigs. I really don't think it will be in Milwaukee, but I think he deserves a shot at some point. I do find it pretty impressive that he's struck out as much as he's walked up to this point (20 and 20). He may actually be a pretty good fit later in the year for the Brewers as a player that puts the ball in play, works the count, and limits his strike outs to a certain extent -- and he's a left handed bat off the bench.

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I'm not saying Nelson will be an All-Star, but I think there is the potential that he could be an everyday player in the bigs. I really don't think it will be in Milwaukee, but I think he deserves a shot at some point. I do find it pretty impressive that he's struck out as much as he's walked up to this point (20 and 20). He may actually be a pretty good fit later in the year for the Brewers as a player that puts the ball in play, works the count, and limits his strike outs to a certain extent -- and he's a left handed bat off the bench.

 

Everything you are saying there is about his hitting ability, which I agree with. Nelson will hit enough to be a Major leaguer. But it will have to be as a first baseman. Or a DH.

 

Nelson has been the odd ball during his time in the Brewers organization and has moved around to make room for other prospects.

He was moved around to try to find a position he could possibly play defensively to try to get his bat in the lineup, since he's basically been blocked at first. But there's a reason why those experiments haven't worked.

 

I could say almost the exact same thing about Rickie Weeks. Should we just simply write him off?

 

That's like comparing apples to squid. Second is a position that Weeks does have talent for. If Weeks was still in AAA and being switched to, say, catcher, just to get his bat in the lineup, then it would be an apt comparison.

 

I like Brad Nelson. He is going to be a decent hitter. But he just doesn't have the ability to play any position other than first.

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