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LaPorta moves onto Project Prospects Top 25 Under 25 list


He's #24, and, along with Matt Wieters, is one of only two players on the list to have no Major League service time (I'm not counting Jay Bruce, who will make his ML debut today). Fielder is still #1, Braun still #7, while Gallardo dropped from #11 to #16.
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Cool, and odd to see that his two positions are occupied by players above him on that list.

 

The list is a nice reminder that there is still plenty of hope for the franchise, recent road trips notwithstanding. It's very odd to see how much local sentiment has turned against Prince Fielder...though I suspect that a patented Prince hot streak will put a sock in that one of these days. Still, some interesting decisions ahead for the GM, and some real challenges as well, as there is a growing sense that the talent here, though considerable, needs some major realignment.

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I wonder how close Gamel is to the list.

 

Gamel has a better BA, OBP and SLG percentage. (And is 6 months younger)

 

I always wonder how they rate these players. Does Gamel get punished because he isn't a quality defender yet? While LaPorta avoids that knock because he plays RF...

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It's very odd to see how much local sentiment has turned against Prince Fielder...though I suspect that a patented Prince hot streak will put a sock in that one of these days

 

Agreed -- fans are jumping to conclusions based on what, imho, is simple variance. If Fielder had started the season on a power binge, a stretch like this would go largely unnoticed.

 

Good to see Matt get some more well-deserved recognition. I'm really looking forward to getting a look at him in the coming seasons.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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People are upset because he talked about his contract. Its more of that Wisconsin self-esteem issue where they not only want players to play here, they want players to love playing here and willing to do it cheaply. "You love us, you really do love us!"
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Which is funny since the only time he talked about it was in the context of being asked a direct question about it. His response really wasn't all that 'scandalous'.
Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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On Fielder I would think it has more to do with fans being fickle... he's made some horrible plays in the last 2 weeks, isn't hitting home runs at a 50 HR pace, and didn't sign a contract extension. I think sbrylski06 nailed it, Braun signed so he's the good guy... Fielder didn't so he's the bad guy. Like I said, my only complaint about him is the fact he can't hardly dig a ball out of the dirt. His stat line isn't horrible, he's just not carrying the team.

 

I would think that Gamel gets hurt on this list because he wasn't a high draft pick and has glaring defensive issues in his past.

 

Good for Laporta though.

"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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fans are on him, not just because they're fickle, looking for a bargain, or dumb. They are on him because they don't like the attitude of "gimme my money" with nothing in return. The fans in general understand the economics and are willing to pay if they feel the players are appreciative of what they have and respect the team, the city, and how the system works. Especially in baseball, where players have every luxury in relation to other sports. How many fans complained when Favre signed his record contract? Or Michael Redd or even an heavily underperforming Tim Thomas who got max money? Even if players can't perform up to the expectation, if they put in the effort and act appreciative of their lot in life, the fans will not complain about them.

 

What Wisconsin fans don't like are highly paid athletes complaining about their paychecks. You signed an unfavorable deal? That's the business. You are still making a ton more than anyone else. Sometimes you get a contract that favors you, sometimes it doesn't. Prince has the option to cash in and get $50M tomorrow and we're supposed to empathize with him not making enough because his agent is unwilling to cash him in? Tough luck. Cry me a river. If that's how you want to play it, go out there and play your game and shut your mouth. Don't come out to the media complaining about "not getting yours" because you are too greedy to accept $50 million. Is he worth more? If he can stay healthy, sure he can make more. He is the one calling the shots though and don't pawn that off on the fans not understanding. Fans would have no problem backing him if he didn't say a peep and cashed in with the Yankees after his tenure. But he has the benefit of the most powerful union in sports behind him and the most powerful agent in sports behind and he is going to make top bank and he's going to vent about not getting his? Please.

 

And that goes for any athlete. If they want to cash in somewhere else, more power to them. Except in a case like Coco, where he didn't give the Crew a fair shake at re-signing him. The fans won't begrudge you unless you pull a Mike Mckenzie, Gary Sheffield, or a Javon Walker. When you are a highly-paid athlete on track to receive a ton of money, and then that's not good enough, its frustrating for the fans to go out and support that attitude. It's a game that the fans are paying a high price to make you uber-rich. Enjoy it and act like a professional. That is what Braun has done; he didnt have to take a bargain to demonstrate this. Fielder hasn't completely gone the wrong way just yet, but he definitely leans the wrong way.

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They are on him because they don't like the attitude of "gimme my money" with nothing in return.

 

This was not Fielder's attitude. This is the kind of distortion of what he said that's problematic.

 

 

What Wisconsin fans don't like are highly paid athletes complaining about their paychecks.

 

He's not high-paid by athlete standards. He's very low-paid.

 

 

Prince has the option to cash in and get $50M tomorrow and we're supposed to empathize with him not making enough because his agent is unwilling to cash him in? Tough luck. Cry me a river. If that's how you want to play it, go out there and play your game and shut your mouth. Don't come out to the media complaining about "not getting yours" because you are too greedy to accept $50 million

 

This is not the way it played out either. The media came to him, and he answered a direct question without being disrespectful or ridiculous. I can't fault fans for being upset that Fielder has chosen Boras & the big money, but he is not this evil whiny villain people try to make him out to be.

 


The fans won't begrudge you unless you pull a Mike Mckenzie, Gary Sheffield, or a Javon Walker.

 

Then I take it you retract your claims about Prince?

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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It's very odd to see how much local sentiment has turned against Prince Fielder...though I suspect that a patented Prince hot streak will put a sock in that one of these days

 

Agreed -- fans are jumping to conclusions based on what, imho, is simple variance. If Fielder had started the season on a power binge, a stretch like this would go largely unnoticed.

There is no sentiment from me. The team would just be better off with LaPorta at 1B and premium pitching that Fielder would bring in return.
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"I'm not happy about it at all," Fielder said. "The fact I've had to be renewed two years in a row, I'm not happy about it because there's a lot of guys who have the same amount of time that I do who have done a lot less and are getting paid a lot more.

 

"But my time is going to come. It's going to come quick, too."

 

...

 

"You have to respect their scale," Fielder said. "But like I said, I'm not happy about it. But I'm going to do my job this year."

 

Those are the quotes. There is nothing in there to suggest anything more than that Prince doesn't like the way the pay-scale is structured in MLB. He never says he's mad at the Brewers -- fans just run with the quote. Think of it this way: frame the question as, 'Prince, are you happy with your contract situation?' His choice of representation is the reason he hasn't been extended, & I think Prince is more than aware of that...

 


"Brewers.MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports the Milwaukee Brewers have offered a contract to 1B Prince Fielder that would buy out at least one year of free agency and includes an option for another year."

 

(http://www.kffl.com/player/6382/MLB) -- 3/31/08

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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I too feel Fielder's value to the org is for the pitching he can bring us. I really don't have anything against him, I'm just not going to go 'gaga' over a 270-lb Boras client because he can hit 50 dingers and is an increasing liability on the field as he eats himself out of a position. I like his ability to hit and he will break out of his slump and turn into a very great hitter. But this org has done a great job at identifying potential bats which limits his value. Get what you can for him, free up LaPorta, and bring in a young ace pitcher via trade for him.

 

Yes, I would have been a bigger fan of his this year if he'd said "I understand the economics and my time will come". I would have liked it if he'd been a serious offseason regiment that had him dropping 10 lbs instead of gaining 10 lbs. I'd have liked it if he came out belting homeruns and hiting for average like last year. But instead, he complained about not getting his fair shake, he came in overweight, and he is not hitting his numbers. I'm not bashing him, I actually like and will continue to cheer for him. But until Prince shows a better commitment to the team and turns it around, I'm not going to get overly excited about him. He's a very talented player and it's a business.

 

This doesnt make me a "dumb fan", I just prefer Braun's attitude - always have. Besides a long-term commitment, he has accepted his pay graciously, he has a proven drive to stay in shape and succeed for the long term. He doesnt sweat the details about not making enough, because he recognizes that once you make x number, its all gravy - which it is. And for those players that want to make more than what the Crew can pay? More power to them! As long as they don't complain about "only" making X million, I'm not annoyed.

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There is no sentiment from me. The team would just be better off with LaPorta at 1B and premium pitching that Fielder would bring in return.

Without question. Prince Fielder is a great player. A premium offensive player. However, this team will be a much better team next year with Matt LaPorta or Mat Gamel(I prefer Gamel at 1st because I believe that he has the ability to turn into a very, very good defensive 1st basemen) manning 1st and Clayton Kershaw in our rotation and Johnathan Broxton as our closer.

 

In fact, I think that this team almost has to make that type of deal to become a true WS contender. Pitching wins playoff series, and even moreso, POWER pitching wins short series. If the Braves would have had another John Smotlz rather than Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine I believe they'd have won at least 2 more World Series.

 

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My sudden dislike for Fielder has nothing to do absolutly nothing to do with how he's hitting or what he said. Its because he's eroded from a terrible defender to an intollerable defender. That only happens with laziness. I'm guessing thats a big reason why others have turned on Fielder also.

As for Laporta, great to see him get the recognition he deserves, what an inspired draft pick by Jack Z. Awesome that the Brewers got him at #7, while the Cubs, picking #3 grabbed the player I thought was most overrated in the draft, Josh Vitters, who hit 214 in A ball this year and got sent back to EST. Another division rival picking in front of us, the Pirates, again grabbed college pitching, and Danial Moskos has struggled to a 5.60 ERA and just 31 Ks in 45 innings in A+.How many people right now wished the Brewers had picked for perceived need instead of drafting LaPorta?

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"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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Just because people think Prince should be traded does not mean I have turned on him. He wants, will get, and deserves big money from someone I just don't think it is smart for the Brewers to be that team to pay him. It is nice to see Mark A let the payroll climb but it obviously will stop somewhere. Prince has great value it what he could be traded for and our best minor leaguers who seem like solid MLB players could replace him. Now they wont match his numbers but I think a guy like LaPorta could be close enough that along with a 1/2 type pitcher and maybe a young reliever with closer potential it would make this team better. It would also free us up financially to sign other guys. Dealing Prince only makes sense if LaPorta and/or Gamel can be good, not average, major league 1B and if we get young, very good starting pitching in return.

However, lets not paint us who want to trade Prince as people who have turned on him because he has had a bad start. I want to, and expect to, see him pick it up as much as anyone else. I just think for a small market team you do what can make your team better even if it is trading one of your best players like the A's did with Dan Haren.

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There's so much to like about Prince. He cares. He has gobs of power. He's got batting intelligence.

 

But he's got limitations--they're real and they're extreme. He's a typical AL player; he's Mo Vaughn and he better watch out.

 

The thing is he doesn't really believe in himself. He could take over 50 million right now and be set for life, or he can wait on his 10 million next year. But what if he puts up a line like 25 HRs and a .265 BA? He might only get 8 million in Arby. Then what?

 

What if the injuries start? You just know once they start a guy like him is going to be chronic. Think about what he's doing to his knees every time he runs hard.

 

He might not like the system, but he could have done something about it. He could've opted to circumvent that system, but he chose not to. It was his decision. So he doesn't like his decision. Don't look at the Brewers or they're fans because he didn't effectively use his talent and he's got something stuck in his craw.

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But that's the thing -- this notion that Prince has "something stuck in his craw" is based on manipulating a quote so it makes fans feel justified. I just posted his exact words, which looked pretty clearly in response to, 'Prince, are you happy with your contract situation?'

 

He can't win. The only thing fans have to complain about in terms of Prince's contract is that he has Boras as an agent. The rest of it is a total reach. Fielder hasn't said a peep before or after the one quote, in direct response to a question about it. This idea that he's whining about his contract is frustrating.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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He can't win. The only thing fans have to complain about in terms of Prince's contract is that he has Boras as an agent. The rest of it is a total reach. Fielder hasn't said a peep before or after the one quote, in direct response to a question about it. This idea that he's whining about his contract is frustrating.

 

TLB -- I'm not picking on you, just using your quote as a starting point.

 

He could have said "No comment." Or something like "It's part of the business." But instead he give a mini-vent. Sure it's not much, and the fact he has said nothing since has left a bad taste in fans mouths. He could have made some reference to whatever offer he got from the Brewers, or said more about Ryan Brauns signing, other than "Thats good for him". Whether he means it or not, his words have come off as bitter, and image is a lot of sports now. It is what fans buy into and teams market. And he should know this, and players either decide they are bigger than a team or sport, and don't give in, or decide the team/sport is what makes them bigger, and buying into (or "selling out" as it may be perceived) the team/league/sponsorship/etc is what affects our peception of a player. Long gone is the day when a guy can just go to the ballfield, be himself, and if he does well enjoy the accolades (see Barry Bonds). Now a player is almost required to be media savvy -whether it's playing nice, making a statement or apperance, or simply acting the part.

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TooLiveBrew do you think the Brewers will be able to afford to keep Prince when he hits free agency? It seems like a forgone conclusion that he wont sign a contract until then, I just don't the Brewers could or should give him the huge contract he will get. Again I like Prince, he has great passion and fire. You and I may differ on his quote, I do think there is some animosity there but I could be wrong. however, my feelings about trading Prince have nothing to do with attitude but all to do with LaPorta and Gamel, Prince's inevitable huge contract, and our need for another stud pitcher.
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Honestly, how can you fault a player who would rather EARN his paycheck year-to-year? Imagine if Ben Sheets had such a contract (though I also know arbitrators never LOWER salaries). And 270lb or not, how many players have socked 50HRs in the least 20 years? Would you rather have Prince or Andruw? Prince or Brady Anderson? I'd rather have Prince than Ryan Howard, for sure.
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But that's the thing -- this notion that Prince has "something stuck in his craw" is based on manipulating a quote so it makes fans feel justified.

I think the sentiment isn't based solely on his contract comments.

 

1. Braun is a weekly participant in a Milwaukee morning talk show. Prince is not.

2. Prince's defense has been bad this year. Whether true or not - at times it look as if he lacks effort.

3. Remember when Prince was suppose to sign a bat for all the full-season ticket holder - and suddenly had a "conflict" even though this was set up months before? Prince disappointed many fans. Ryan Braun stepped in graciously signed the bats.

4. How often do you hear about Prince in the community? (Maybe he does, but I hear great things about Bill Hall and Weeks - not much about Prince)

5. Braun is signed long-term - which would suggest that signing Prince long term isn't as likely.

6. Braun has become the face of the franchise. Braun also stepped up and called out the team to play better. We hear about how Prince is a great leader in the clubhouse. But we see Braun being a leader.

7. Prince has a ton of value right now. The Brewers have a replacement. (LaPorta or Gamel) We need pitching - you must admit, trading him for pitching at least makes some sense.

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