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Which year was more exciting for minor league - '04 or '07?


As the title implies, which was a more exciting time to follow Brewers minor league system, 2004 or 2007?


2004: We were ranked the top farm system in baseball by Baseball America, and we had several top notch impact players, highlighted by many current players: Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, as well as others who were highly ranked (like Krynzel). In addition we had a bunch of pitchers that were highly thought of in Eveland, Parra, Jones, Hendrickson among others. But the minor league teams were like the pro team, and they didn't win. Only Beloit and Helena had winning records but no one made the playoffs (if memory serves correctly). We had a debacle both in Milwaukee and in High Desert (high A). Looking through the POwer 50 and the players from that year, we had high end talent, but not a lot of depth.


2007: We graduated a lot of the top end talent, and now we have moved our top 2 into the Big Show (Braun, Gallardo), but the cupboard isn't bare. While not Fielder/Weeks/Hardy/Hart pedigree, we have a bunch of good players, and a some nice pitching depth. But all levels from the parent club through low-A are in first place, and 2 have clinched a first half title (and the playoff birth that comes along with it).


Now of course we'd love the best of both worlds -- have Fielder, Hardy, etc in the bigs with another Fielder, Hardy, Weeks, etc on the way. But just in terms of what is fun to follow -- high profile prospects doing well individually, or some very good prospects and sleepers who are all collectively doing well as teams in the season?

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It's hard to say even in hindsight, but I'm going to say this year has been more fun to watch, just because we can now see the fruits of the efforts from the Brewers scouting and player devleopment departments. In '04 we were anxiously waiting for so many players to make their way to the big-leagues, and now we are watching a lineup that is almost entirely homegrown. Seeing that success lends to even more hope, having a sense of confidence that the organization is truly doing the right things to put themselves in a position to be successful for a long, long time.


Plus, you have three teams that are on the top of their respective divisions. 2003 was probably more fun to watch just because the organization had three teams in the playoffs IIRC (Huntsville, Beloit and Helena) with three respective league MVPs (Hart, Fielder and Palmisano). I seem to remember the '03 AA playoffs and playoff chase being particularly exciting since both Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera were once facing the Stars at the beginning of the season, only to be helping the Florida Marlins win the World Series later that year. That gave a glimpse on the kind of immediate impact a farm system can have, and for all we know could have been somewhat of a preview to this season if Braun and Gallardo can have the impact many are hoping they will.


In addition, I don't remember being as excited about any pitching prospects as I am about Gallardo, and Inman might be a close second.


Garnering top rankings by Baseball America is nice, but it's a lot better to actually see the results.

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2007 by far... 2004 was great watching prospects, but I think the system has only gotten deeper. I takes me about 40 minutes to get through box scores and game logs. It never used to take me that long.

"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 forgot to mention that tomorrow could be a very exciting day for the organization, more for than just the anticipated MLB debut of Gallardo, but I'm guessing the Brewers are planning on making a splash by announcing the signing of Matt LaPorta (as discussed on the draft forum), which will probably include him taking BP with the club. Plus, I think Weeks it has been rumored that Weeks may re-join the team early this week, so the orgnaization may have three relatively large transaction-related news items to report tomorrow (even though we know Gallardo is already with the club).


I have never felt more compelled to arrange my schedule to make it a point to be at Miller Park...other than opening day http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif .

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i'd say this year definitely for me, though 2003 was quite special as well:


2003: i felt like there was hope coming in the form of hart/hardy/nelson/jones and i drove like 6 hours tow watch those guys play in Huntsville with Michael (madbad2000) and chris (billscottcanrake). We had a blast and we got to hobknob with hardy and hart, which was cool, and we spent haalf the game in the pressbox with mark mccarter (beat writer) and robert portnoy (announcer)...it was all cool, but...


2007: Just watching hardy, fielder, hart, braun, weeks, and very soon yo, play in the majors is a dream for me...seriously---i saw braun and yovani in BC almost exactly a year ago...it's just too cool for them to be in the majors...its also satisfying to get to see hart and hardy produce finally---it seems like we've been waiting a long time for those guys, but they are both still young...down on the farm, i've gotten to witness the awesome Power, and get to know a few of the key players...i'll evan admit i had a whole conversation with taylor green when i thought he was kenny holmberg...stuff like that makes this year amazing to me...getting to be at jeffress' first start, listening in on conversations between zach braddock and alex periard, having Mike Mcclendon look ashamed of himself (in a totally humble way) when he told me his fastball only hits 86 "but i pound them with the sinker...) those things have made this season special for me...the fact that the teams have been off the charts good, well that's even better...


2007 has been one of a kind so far...i have no idea how much better it can get, but i feel that it will...i mean, manny parra's finally in AAA...brent brewer has a .350 OBP...it's just too much, man

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I agree that 2007 is much better because we have solid prospects in the minors as before, but we also have them in the bigs where it actually matters. As much as I loved reading the box scores and dreaming of what could be, it's obviously no match for sitting in the outfield at today's game and seeing Hart go deep twice, Hardy jack one, and Fielder hit an insane inside-the-park homer, or being at Petco to see Braun's first major league jack.

We lacked big time success of our farm system at the big league level back in 2004, and while it was fun back then, we've finally escaped the torture of our inept former regime and have our prospects in a successful mix that could finally land us in the post-season.

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In '04 we were anxiously waiting for so many players to make their way to the big-leagues, and now we are watching a lineup that is almost entirely homegrown. Seeing that success lends to even more hope, having a sense of confidence that the organization is truly doing the right things to put themselves in a position to be successful for a long, long time.


I agree with this 100%. As cool as it was to see all those kids in 2004 (and 2003), many of them in person, it's more fun to follow prospects when the major league team is actually pretty good. Instead of wondering if a batch of players can save the franchise, I'm wondering if Braun and Gallardo can put them over the top.


Perhaps the 2003-2004 group is more important than this one... and they will always be special, but this year has been incredible.


Plus, you have three teams that are on the top of their respective divisions. 2003 was probably more fun to watch just because the organization had three teams in the playoffs IIRC (Huntsville, Beloit and Helena) with three respective league MVPs (Hart, Fielder and Palmisano).


2003 was more special than 2004 for me. That Beloit team was so much fun to watch in person, especially late in the year with all the 2003 draft picks being added. I don't know how many times this year I have watched Fielder launch a home run and think... "Just like in Beloit."


The one disappointing thing about the 2007 crop is that I haven't seen them in person like I did the earlier teams. I saw Weeks and Fielder and Gwynn so many times as minor leaguers, and even saw Hardy and Hart a couple even though they didn't spend time in Beloit. No suck luck with guys like Gallardo and Braun and Inman.



"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

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2004 was hope for the future. 2007 at the risk of overreaching is hope for a long run at the top. I've gotten more lax in following the draftees, or the hype factor seems less on individual prospects as we've had more major leaguers to follow. But looking at this year we just seem to generating as many good prospects as the last few years without relying on the first pick in the draft and that is what really is exciting.
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I vote for 2003/2004. There had been such a dry spell for sooooooooooooooooo long that the idea that we actually had legitimate players on the come was really exciting. I took my kid to college in NC in 2003, but we had to stop in Huntsville for a game to see Hart (play 3rd), Hardy, Krynzel, Adams and Nelson. It was very cool.
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2003 was very exciting in terms of following minor league results. The results were not unexpected that year, though. There were big prospects to follow, and I remember checking this site all through winter 2002-03 to get any information I could about the minor league players.


I was not expecting the teams to do so well this year. I thought Brantley might be good and the Brevard County team would probably be great, but I had no idea about the Power. If I remember correctly, articles and posters seemed to have fairly low expectations for them -- not enough power, pitching uncertainty, ? reliance on young players. But they just exploded.


Until this year's minor league season, I felt like Melvin, Zd et al had breathed some life into the Brewers that might give us 3-5 years of excitement. Now, like was said earlier, I am more hopeful of a long string of major league success.


With only one high pick this year, this could have marked the beginning of the end of this exciting run. I've got faith that the final DFE class will allow us to continue to compete with organizations that may have had 4-11 picks before we had our second one.

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Brewers Minor League System Posts a Combined .603 Winning Percentage


MILWAUKEE ? With the first half of the minor league season nearly completed, the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system ranks atop all other minor league organizations with the best overall record. In 262 games, the Brewers farm system has a 158-104 record, a combined .603 winning percentage. Ranking second on the list is the New York Yankees, who have a .579 mark (161-117)


Both of the Brewers Class A teams clinched first half titles after the Brevard County Manatees claimed the Florida State League Eastern Division first half title this week. Last week, the West Virginia Power secured a spot in the playoffs after winning the South Atlantic League Northern Division first half title. Currently, the Brewers Double A squad, the Huntsville Stars, hold a narrow first place lead in the Southern League (1/2 game lead with four games remaining in the first half) and the Nashville Sounds are second in the standings, trailing the Iowa Cubs by 1.5 games in the Pacific Coast League Triple A standings.


The Brewers will be represented by a number of players selected to All-Star contests. Brevard County landed six players in the FSL All Star Game including pitchers Wil Inman, Ben Stanczyk, Josh Wahpepah and Luis Pena in addition to shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielder Cole Gillespie. (Both Pena and Inman will not participate as a result of their promotions to Huntsville).


The West Virginia Power had seven players and two staff members named to the SAL All-Star team. Center fielder Darren Ford, closer E.J. Shanks and pitcher Mike McClendon were all named to the original All-Star team, but will miss the game after being promoted to High-A Brevard County. Outfielder Chuck Caufield, third baseman Taylor Green, and LHP Zach Braddock were added to the revised roster and will join catcher Andy Bouchie, Manager Mike Guerrero and Hitting Coach Corey Hart at the SAL All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 19 in Rome, Georgia. The Class AA and AAA teams have yet to be announced.


On the season, the Nashville pitching staff ranks first in the Pacific Coast League in team ERA (3.69) and has been led by pitcher Yovani Gallardo, who was promoted to Milwaukee yesterday. Gallardo leads the PCL in wins (http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/glasses.gif and leads the entire minor leagues in strikeouts (110) and strikeouts per 9 IP (12.75). Nashville starter Chris Oxspring leads the league with a 2.50 ERA (minimum 0.8 IP/team game) and is second in the league in strikeouts (74) while limiting opposing hitters to a .216 batting average.





The Huntsville pitching staff has also had key contributions with Manny Parra leading the way with a league best ERA (2.6http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/glasses.gif and a league-high 80.2 innings pitched. Parra was promoted to Triple A Nashville yesterday. He is currently ranked second in the Southern League in wins (7) and strikeouts (81). Closer Marino Salas has recorded 13 saves, which ranks third in the league, along with a minuscule 1.04 ERA.


The Stars? offense has been powered by Steve Sollmann. He is currently ranked sixth in the league in batting (.329), second in on-base percentage (.455) and third in runs scored (45). Catcher Lou Palmisano (.299 batting average) and Brendan Katin have been productive at the plate. Katin ranks fourth in the league with 47 RBI.


Brevard County clinched the first half using a balanced attack of pitching and hitting. As a team, the Manatees are currently third in ERA (3.22) in the FSL and third in hitting (.270). Alcides Escobar has been a spark, posting a .325 batting average which ranks fourth in the league. His 18 stolen bases also ranks fourth best in the FSL and he leads the Manatees with 37 runs scored.


On the pitching side, recently promoted Wil Inman was dominant during his FSL stint. His 1.72 ERA places him second in the league and he owns the league-lead in strikeouts with 98 (second in all of the minors behind Gallardo). He has held opposing batters to a .198 batting average. Luis Pena also dominated FSL hitters during his time in Brevard County. His five wins and six saves still lead the team and opposing hitters batted a meager .184 against him.


The West Virginia Power owns the best record in all of the minor leagues with a 46-18 mark (.719 winning percentage) entering tonight?s games. The Power have been nothing short of dominant so far this season, highlighted by their 14-game winning streak from April 12-27 along with their league best .307 team batting average.


West Virginia has been led by the league?s best offense, averaging 6.76 runs and 11 hits per game. They have scored the most runs (433) in the South Atlantic League (43 more than second place Greensboro) and have collected 81 more hits than the next highest team in the league.


The Power have five batters that are currently ranked in the top 7 in batting average in the SAL. Taylor Green?s .339 avg. places second, followed by Michael Brantley and Darren Ford who rank fourth while hitting .335. Chuck Caufield (.331) and Andrew Lefave (.329) round out the list, ranking sixth and seventh respectively. Meanwhile, Caufield leads the SAL in hits (87) and is second in RBI (53). Darren Ford paces the league in stolen bases with 31.


The benefactors of the Power offense has been the pitching staff. Mike McClendon posted a 5-2 record with a 2.87 ERA before his promotion to Brevard County. Zach Braddock leads the team in ERA (1.21) and was named the Brewers Pitcher of the Month for April. Meanwhile, the Brewers? 2006 first round pick Jeremy Jeffress joined the Power in late May and has gone 3-0 alongside a 1.45 ERA in four starts.

-I used to have a neat-o signature, but it got erased.
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