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First projection of the 2008 rosters

And That

So, the road was torn up in front of my house today (luckily I didn't have to work), and wasn't able to leave the house all day. Being that bored, I decided to take a peek at what the rosters down to A-ball are going to look like come next April. Take the Brewers' roster with a grain of salt, and even the AAA and AA rosters will have a lot of changes. This still should provide a helpful idea of what we're looking at as far as depth and talent distribution. Note that I did not include Jeremy Jeffress or Angel Salome due to their suspensions, nor did I include Mark Rogers.


This won't be formatted as prettily as in the past, but what do you want for nothin'? Starting position players are marked with a *. Piggyback or cyclical starting pitchers are marked with a ^.


Catchers: Johnny Estrada*, Mike Rivera

Infielders: Prince Fielder*, Rickie Weeks*, Ryan Braun*, JJ Hardy*, Craig Counsell, Joe Dillon

Outfielders: Gabe Gross*, Bill Hall*, Corey Hart*, Kevin Mench, Tony Gwynn Jr.

Starting Pitchers: Ben Sheets, Yovanni Gallardo, Jeff Suppan, Carlos Villanueva, Chris Capuano

Relief Pitchers: Claudio Vargas, Matt Wise, Manny Parra, Seth McClung, Derrick Turnbow, Brian Shouse

Closer: Dave Bush



Catchers: Lou Palmisano*, Vinny Rottino

Infielders: Steve Sollmann*, Hernan Iribarren*, Alcides Escobar*, Adam Heether*, Guilder Rodriguez, TBD

Outfielders: Drew Anderson*, Callix Crabbe*, Brendan Katin*, Steve Moss

Starting Pitchers: Zach Jackson, Derek Miller, Sam Narron, TBD, TBD

Relief Pitchers: Tim Dillard, Vince Perkins, Steve Bray, Mitch Stetter, TBD, TBD

Closer: Luis Pena



Catchers: Carlos Corporan*, JR Hopf

Infielders: Michael Brantley*, Mike Bell*, Mat Gamel*, Yohannis Perez*, Ryan Barba, Ryan Crew

Outfielders: Matt LaPorta*, Lorenzo Cain*, Cole Gillespie*, Mel Stocker

Starting Pitchers: Steve Hammond, David Welch, Rafael Lluberes, Mike McClendon, TBD

Relief Pitchers: Bo Hall, Kevin Roberts, Josh Wahpepah, Ben Stanczyk, Pat Ryan, Dave Johnson

Closer: Rob Hinton



Catchers: Andy Bouchie*, Nestor Corredor, Anderson Delarosa

Infielders: John Alonso*, Ken Holmberg*, Brent Brewer*, Taylor Green*, Jimmy Mojica

Outfielders: Steve Chapman*, Darren Ford*, Charlie Fermaint*, Chuckie Caufield, Freddy Parejo

Starting Pitchers: Brae Wright, Chris Cody, Alex Periard, Zach Braddock, Mike Ramlow^, Luis Ramirez^

Relief Pitchers: Shawn Ferguson, JT King, DJ Lidyard, Travis Wendte, Jose Romero

Closer: Omar Aguilar



Catchers: Jonathan Lucroy*, Eric Fryer

Infielders: Curt Rindal*, Eric Farris*, Steffan Wilson*, Matt Cline*, David Fonseca, Zelous Wheeler, Eric Newton

Outfielders: Kurt Crowell*, Lee Haydel*, Caleb Gindl*, Mike Goetz

Starting Pitchers: Roque Mercedes, Evan Annundsen, Jose Garcia, Donovan Hand, Rob Bryson^, RJ Seidel^, Nick Tyson^, Dan Merklinger^

Relief Pitchers: Curtis Pasma, Wes Etheridge, Bobby Bramhall

Closer: Matt Kretzschmar

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Comments - I like Dave Bush as the closer, I feel the same way about him and I hope Melvin considers it.


With Inman, Rogers, Jones and jeffress all gone our pitching depth in the minors is pathetic. Luckily we have many SP options in the majors (Vargas, Bush, Parra). Jackson and Stetter could be ok in a bullpen role.


that AA squad is going to be fun to follow. Laporta-Gamel-Gillespie will be fun to watch.

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Bush is not a good fit for the closer role; he gives up way too many homeruns.


He also pitches his best the 1st time through the order. Batters have a hard time picking up his curveball during there 1st AB. He would be a good choice as a closer.
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Keep in mind that this thread doesn't really exist to discuss Bush's role on our team next year - there's plenty of space in the major league forum for that.


RyDogg is right - as I was compiling this, the lack of pitching depth, especially in AAA and AA, is shocking. Derek Miller may not even start the year in AAA, leaving just ZachJack and Sam Narron amongst current Brewers property who will be in the rotation there (and I'm not even sure about Narron). That's 2-4 spots in Nashville's rotation being occupied by minor league free agents. While I trust the Brewers to be able to fill those spots with decent guys, it pales in comparison to what we've had their recently.


When Salome returns, our catching situation looks fairly solid. Once he gets to AA, which may or may not happen right away, that's Palmisano, Rottino and Salome all within striking distance of Milwaukee. Compare this to a few years ago. And I love Jonathan Lucroy... dude can hit.


The AA lineup looks to be the most fun to watch early on, though an older-than-usual Power group could put up some gaudy numbers in the Sally League.

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RyDogg is right - as I was compiling this, the lack of pitching depth, especially in AAA and AA, is shocking.


Yeah, that struck me too. However, given that we just got 3 kids from the minors, I don't think it's as alarming as it would be if we had a bunch of 35-y.o. pitchers and were in desparate need of help. You'll probably never have (nor want to) a rotation of 22-24 year olds, so as long as you have a couple at the MLB level and then have a couple who could be there in a couple years, you're doing ok.

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That gap in the AAA / AA area you could see coming for a while now. After all, look at the vets that made up the Huntsville rotation most of the season. I'm not sure what happened to Tim Dillard this season, but his inability to transfer AA success to any form of AAA good fortune was puzzling. This was a season in which he should have readied himself to at least be the # 2 pitcher-in-waiting for 2008. He can still get the ground ball, but he at least struck out some people in Huntsville in his big 2006 season.


I hope Dillard doesn't become Paul Stewart, who I may have touted once or twice back in the day http://static.yuku.com//domainskins/bypass/img/smileys/tongue.gif.

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Thanks as always Toby. I know projecting the rosters is no easy task, but it sure is fun to look at.


The only comment I have is that I wouldn't be surprised to see the Brewers hold their shortstops from AA to Helena (Escobar, Perez, Brewer, Fonseca) to re-open the 2008 season.

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I find the shortstop situation pretty interesting. How they all wind up could have more to do with the cumulative spring efforts of Escobar, Perez and Brewer. For instance, if Escobar and Brewer prove they are ready to make the jump, I doubt they double up Brewer and Perez in Brevard. By the same token, if only Perez proves he is ready to move up, he probably stays in Brevard and spins his wheels for a little bit.


I like what Matt Cline did for H-Crew. He seemed to have the knack for good things there. If Fonseca doesn't make it, you still have Brad Miller, Scotty McKnight and Zach McAngus hanging around too. Even if they keep Brewer in WV, you have to think one of those guys makes the club, too.

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I would much rather have Steve Bray in the MLB pen and put Manny in AAA so he can get regular starts, but I think the way you projected it is much more likely.


Also, how many games do Salome and Jeffress have left on their suspensions?

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Outside of a frustrating inability to hit for average, their isn't much Moss doesn't do pretty well. His defense is outstanding, he's got good speed and runs the bases well, he 's got a little bit of pop, and he knows how to draw a walk. It'd be nice if he was more consistent at the plate but the guy is basically a perfect 5th outfielder.
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I agree with that assessment Toby. If one of those shortstops move up, that could set off a chain reaction in which all of those players are involved. And as you noted, there are a couple of other servicable players at the position that could fill in to offer the more prominent prospects a much needed breather and/or man the position until others are called up.


Moss pretty much has to move to AAA to make room for others. He's either with AAA or gone IMO, and I'm sure the Brewers will give him another chance. As Kat mentioned, he does everything pretty well except hitting for average, which unfortunately is going to be the one thing keeping him from even having a modest career as a 25th man on a roster unless he can figure out his swing next season.

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I agree with bretsky07 about Bray, but I really don't see it happening. When I was at the Nashville games towards the end of the year he appeared to be frustrated with the situation in Nashville/Milwaukee. I remember him going pitcher by pitcher on the Brewers roster and saying there was no way he'd get called up. That fact and the fact that they signed all those indy league guys didn't sit to well with Bray from what I could see.
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If Miller does retire, would there be chance Palmisano backs up Estrada? Between Rivera and Palmisano, I'd take Palmisano.

Palmisano almost certainly needs the development time in AAA. If we want him as a long-term option, I don't see it being wise to bring him up until mid-season at the earliest. Captain Lou is good defensively (better than Restradavera, anyway), but his bat is questionable. Even if you really believe in his bat, getting a few months of AAA mashing can't hurt.


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Outside of a frustrating inability to hit for average, their isn't much Moss doesn't do pretty well.


He hasn't hit since 2003. All those other things can be done by most every CF in the minors. We're talking about a 700 OPS in AA and below.


Moss, age 22, AA--.341/.345, 686 OPS

Gwyn, age 22, AA-.370/.338, 708


Moss, age 23, AA------.338/.377, 715

Gwynn, age 23, AAA--.360/.396, 756


I feel Gwynn may well start in the bigs for a few years, but he'd be a decent platoon or reserve. Moss is not even at that stage yet. Sure he might be a 5th OF, but as I said, lots of guys can run and catch and throw.

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While I'm a fan of Moss, I don't see him as anything more then a 5th outfielder. Like Patrick said his inability to make contact and hit for average is going to be his downfall from being anything more then that. But when someone said that he hasn't shown anything that simply isn't true. He has his flaws and limitations, but he has plenty of skills that still could translate into being a useful bench player.


So while I do love to shout out on my man-crush for Moss, you can be sure Al that I am quite aware of how insignificant of a prospect he is.

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And I love Jonathan Lucroy... dude can hit.

Any takes on his defense? A 3d-round draft pick is obviously pretty high (YoGa, right?), and I hope against hope that he's not another 'all-O, little-D' player. To have a C that can be solid--->strong defensively, and project at least a .750 OPS at MLB would be huge. I've payed attention to Lucroy since we drafted him (I was excited to see a C drafted so high for us), but obviously it's much easier to follow offensive production.


Does he project to being a big-league backstop? Or is there anything that'd make him have to switch to LF/1B/3B? Thanks in advance for any help!

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Does he project to being a big-league backstop?


Lucroy has been DHing some in the Hawiian League, so I'm going to take that as he has some defensive issues to work out. And That suggested his defense is what will dictate what level he opens next season at, but I haven't heard anything about him potential moving out from behind the plate. I'd assume he projects to eventually become about average defensively.


But I'm not one of the many experts on this that we have here, so I sure could be wrong.

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Lucroy probably will be no better than average defensively, but he has improved quite a bit the past couple of years. What he lacks in physical talent (he has an average arm at best) he makes up for an incredible work ethic and very strong leadership skills. Listening to several Helena broadcasts this season, the announcer continually praised Lucroy for the way he handled the game, took charge and overall stood as a leader for the team. Those kind of qualities may not mean much to people looking for statistical proof, but he leaves a lasting impression on those that have the chance to see him play live. While his arm is average, he again has worked hard to improve the accuracy of his throws.


He's a gap hitter with some over the fence power. His bat profiles best at catcher since he doesn't have the prototypical power to play a corner IF or OF position, but has above average offensive potential as a player up the middle of the diamond.


A catcher DHing some in the minor leagues really isn't a sign of a bad defensive catcher, particularly in a fall/winter league. The Honu have other catchers that they're trying to get playing time behind the dish, and minor league catchers always seem to get more days off than those at the big league level.


He's Michael Barrett-esque offensively and defensively, minus the character issues (quite the opposite exactly), and he fits the profile of Brewers early picks in recent years that place more of a premium on one's offensive potential than one's glove (Fielder, Weeks, Braun, LaPorta). Although keep in mind that Lou Palmisano, after leading the Pioneer League in BA, OBP and SLG on his way to being named the Pioneer League's MVP in his pro debut, is now known more for his defense than his bat.


A minor detail, Gallardo was a second round pick. You may be thinking of Inman, who was a third round selection (as was Palmisano).

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