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Latest Top Prospect List -- Rotoworld's


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Yo G, Ryan B, Will I and Jeremy J. Not bad!

My only complaint: It's too bad that Homer pitched too much in High School for the Brewers to take him....

@BrewCrewCritic on Twitter "Racing Sausages" - "Huh?"
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  • 3 weeks later...

SI.com's top 75 prospects is in the midst of being unveiled this week.


Bryan Smith, co-founder of Baseball Analysts, is a freelance writer with work appearing at the Hardball Times, BaseballProspectus.com and Baseball America.


The Brewers have none between 75 and 46, look for Yo and Ryan later this week, obviously.


Smith did include two in his "Honorable Mention" category:


Will Inman, SP, Brewers

2006 Stats (A-): 1.71 ERA, 75H/110.2IP, 134K/24BB


Inman is my No. 76 prospect. The right-hander was A-ball's most dominant starter, thanks to an aggressive and controlled approach to hitters. Inman pitches around 90 mph but succeeded by throwing the ball on the inner half as consistently as any other pitcher in A-ball. We should learn in 2007 if Inman's breaking ball is a good enough pitch to provide success at the highest levels.


Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Brewers

2006 Stats ®: 5.88 ERA, 30H/33.2IP, 37K/25BB


While Tim Lincecum struggled all spring with complaints about his size, despite his velocity, Jeffress quietly became the third prep pitcher drafted. Like Lincecum, Jeffress touches the mid-to-upper 90s with ease, and does so with a delivery less likely to evoke winces. A center fielder in high school, Jeffress is very athletic, but quick legs could not help ugly control numbers during his Arizona Summer League stint. Jeffress' 2.56 G/F ratio suggests his fastball is as heavy as it is fast, so injury notwithstanding, the Brewers would be misguided to not make at least an ace reliever out of their first rounder.


Link leads to the entire series:



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Yes, too low, how can you say Yovani will be "starring", not starting, but starring, by season's end, and have him at 24. Braun too, for that matter, by about ten spots apiece at least -- it'll be an interesting Top 15 Tuesday.




41. Hunter Pence, 24, OF, Houston Astros

2006 Stats (AA): .283/.357/.533, 17 SB in 523 AB


Due to his small-college background and abnormal swing, Pence will have to prove himself at every level. He did so in 2006, dominating the Texas League despite no longer having a noticeable age advantage over the competition. Pence's month-by-month statistics are all over the board, though he did remain consistent in two areas: power and strikeouts. While months with different BABIPs (Batting Average on Balls In Play) fluctuated his batting average substantially, Pence showed he can be a 25-home run threat (albeit with 125 strikeouts) in the majors. His 2006 batting line represents his big league ceiling, I think, but Pence will still have to prove it all over again in 2007.


Drafted - Selected by Milwaukee Brewers in 40th Round (1189th overall) of 2002 amateur entry draft (June-Reg), went on to Division I Texas-Arlington.

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Well looking at who was in the same company and the profiles that follow, those rankings don't make sense. Why is Braun behind LaRoche and Yo just barely in front of Garza and Pelfrey, who both are then questioned. Yo's profile doesn't state any weakness or deficiency. And they put a lefty who can't keep his walks down in front of the minors' K leader. His ERA and K's speak for themselves. He was a workhorse moreso than any other prospect in his class, and yet they continue to bring up his build. For all intents and purposes, we have the Latin equivolent of "Andrew" Dice-K! I already know it's a foregone conclusion we're going to see him atop the rankings, much like King Felix in years past with Bryan. Following the recent import sensation will be the latest New York media darling, who is openly praised as the superior pick to said blind lefty in the Dodgers' organization. And then behind Mr. Hughes will undoubtedly be the Communist Kerry Woods. You can already see the criticism of the Brewers' front office by the author as he openly wonders why the frugal Brews of Bud did not open their purse strings a bit for the Texan instead of signing a reliever out of Hockey-ville, Maine? Truth be told, I think we did draft the best Texan in the draft.
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Check that. Dice K doesn't even get a token mention, as he has now finished up the list on his site, baseballanalysts. I am quite surprised by Chris Young occupying a spot so high, but besides that, nothing too exciting. The Texan comes in above Phillie Hughes. Nevertheless, Andrew Miller and Tim Lincecum both are slotted in front of Yo which tends to rub me the wrong way. But I'll let our prospects' seasons speak for themselves.
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There is no greater season for a prospect evaluator than the winter.


This seems to be a pretty bold statement after reviewing Bryan's list http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif .


I have casual email contact with Bryan, so I'm not going to get too down on the guy, and I always recognize that it takes a lot to put these lists together, especially when we don't have our own out there at Sports Illustrated for others to tear apart (meaning he must be doing something right).


Philip Hughes, Homer Bailey, Yovanni Gallardo and Scott Elbert all had very similar seasons. Neither has a huge edge in stuff, meaning none of them should be ranked that far apart. I'm not sure how Yo can be ranked so much further down from Hughes & Bailey, other than what seems to be the lack of perceived national hype. Especially, when Jim noted, that Bryan Smith recognized that Yo could be "starring" at the big-league level by the end of the year.


And as Ryan noted, Elbert's walks are way too high for him to be anything but the fourth best prospect of these four. There just seems to be a fair amount of personal favoritism going on with their individual placements.


Braun is simply too low for his combination of statistical success and his potential as a prospect.

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My only guess on Braun is that Bryan thinks he is going to be a left fielder and slots him accordingly. If he is slick at AAA, Braun could be within the top three, if he's still eligible. Nevertheless, considering that Troy Tulowitzki could also be pushed off his position by his defensive deficiencies, I don't see how the two of them are so far apart either. Perhaps there is a Beer Goggle Bias...
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In the article, it says he is mistake-prone. I know the Brewers were also looking at him as a third baseman and he refused to move, which also speaks a bit about his makeup (putting your team before yourself). Nevertheless, I've never been that impressed with Troy, and after his best comp (Crosby) flaked last season, I have even more doubts.
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The Brewers only asked Tulo is he would move to 3B given the Brewers organizational need there. That news further supported that it seemed clear the Brewers were trying to fill an organizational need in the 2005 draft.


I've never heard anyone suggest that he will have to move away from SS. Quite the opposite actually, as despite his big body he moves pretty well from side to side and has a very strong arm. I have also heard Crosby as a comparison for Tulo, but that is only in offensive and defensive potential (and the fact that they both went to Long Beach State), not based on Crosby "flaking" one season.


When comparisons are used player to player is has to do with ability, not their individual career paths, such as injuries, personal issues, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rotoworld the latest, with Top 10's from all NL Central teams at this link -- Brewers' text included here:




Milwaukee Brewers


1. Yovani Gallardo - RHP - DOB: 02/27/86 - ETA: Aug. 2007

6-3, 2.09 ERA, 54 H, 103/23 K/BB in 77 2/3 IP for Single-A Brevard County

5-2, 1.63 ERA, 50 H, 85/28 K/BB in 77 1/3 IP for Double-A Huntsville


After a season in which he struck out 188 and gave up just 104 hits in 155 innings, Gallardo can't be put too far behind Philip Hughes and Homer Bailey in a rundown of the game's best pitching prospects, especially since he may be a better bet than either to remain healthy. The 2004 second-round pick throws 90-94 mph and has an excellent curveball. Capable of mixing in a slider and a changeup, he's able to keep hitters guessing and is especially lethal when he's ahead in the count. He's on his way to becoming a No. 2 starter, and he could be ready to help out by the second half of the year.


2. Ryan Braun - 3B - DOB: 11/17/83 - ETA: Sept. 2007

.274/.346/.438, 7 HR, 37 RBI, 54/23 K/BB, 14 SB in 226 AB for Single-A Brevard County

.303/.367/.589, 15 HR, 40 RBI, 46/21 K/BB, 12 SB in 231 AB for Double-A Huntsville

.326/.396/.641, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 23/11 K/BB, 4 SB in 92 AB for Scottsdale (AFL)


Braun was picked one spot after Ryan Zimmerman in the 2005 draft, going fifth overall. There are just as many questions about his glove now as there were then, but he has made rapid progress offensively, amassing a 916 OPS in his four minor league stops and then finishing third in the AFL in OPS last year. The right-handed-hitting Braun could bat .290-.300 with 25 homers per year once he settles in. Still to be determined is whether his long-term future is at third base or in left field. He has the range to handle the hot corner, but he may always be too error-prone. The Brewers might give him a long look at the position this year if Corey Koskie can't overcome his post-concussion syndrome. If Koskie is fine, then it's more likely Braun won't see the majors until September.


3. Will Inman - RHP - DOB: 02/06/87 - ETA: 2009

10-2, 1.71 ERA, 75 H, 134/24 K/BB in 110 2/3 IP for low Single-A West Virginia


Inman's ERA actually stood at 1.40 before his final start, when he surrendered five runs and two of the three homers he gave up all year. Outstanding command of a low-90s fastball made the 2005 third-round pick one of the minors' most successful pitchers. He also has a curve and changeup that he can use to good effect. Still, there are negatives. None of his pitches project as a big strikeout weapon in the majors, and he did miss time last year with a sore shoulder. Also, as a flyball pitcher, he's certain to give up more homers going forward. He's probably going to be more Dave Bush than Ben Sheets.


4. Jeremy Jeffress - RHP - DOB: 09/21/87 - ETA: 2011

2-5, 5.88 ERA, 30 H, 37/25 K/BB in 33 2/3 IP for Rookie AZL Brewers


With the 16th overall pick in last year's draft, the Brewers chose Jeffress, making him the 10th high school pitcher they've used a first-round selection on in franchise history. Five of them were top-six overall picks. Of the previous nine, only Jeff D'Amico, the 23rd overall pick in 1993, made it to the majors with the team. No one else had a career of significance, though Mark Rogers still has a chance.


In the Brewers' defense, Jeffress might have been a top-five pick in the old days. With a fastball clocked regularly in the high-90s, he had perhaps the best velocity of any starter in the class. His second pitch is a slider that can be considered advanced only in comparison to his changeup. The Brewers will go very slowly with him and probably hold him out of full-season ball this year. If the pick pays off for Milwaukee, it's probably not going to be for several years.


5. Steve Hammond - LHP - DOB: 04/30/82 - ETA: May 2008

6-5, 2.53 ERA, 68 H, 70/23 K/BB in 85 1/3 IP for Single-A Brevard County

5-6, 2.93 ERA, 63 H, 58/23 K/BB in 73 2/3 IP for Double-A Huntsville


Hammond was a reliever at Long Beach State, but the Brewers have used him as a starter since drafting him in the sixth round in 2005 and he's done nothing but impress. Since he throws in the low-90s, there's reason to believe he could make it as a starter in the majors. He has a changeup that's proven to be a weapon against righties. His third pitch, a slider, doesn't quite measure up yet, but he has room to improve. Though he's turning 25 this year, he's more like a 22-year-old in terms of experience, as he missed considerable time prior to being drafted with elbow troubles. Even if he fails to master the slider, he could be an effective sixth- and seventh-inning guy. The Brewers could call on him as a reliever this year.


6. Lorenzo Cain - OF - DOB: 04/13/86 - ETA: 2010

.307/.384/.425, 6 HR, 60 RBI, 104/58 K/BB, 34 SB in 527 AB for low Single-A West Virginia


Cain was a raw talent when selected in the 17th round in 2004, but the Brewers saw enough to sign him as a draft and follow the following spring and he's made rapid progress ever since. His 36 doubles last year suggest that he could become a 20-homer guy as he continues to get stronger, and he has the speed to cover plenty of ground in the outfield, though the Brewers have already had him shift from center field to right. If he can continue to keep his strikeout total under control, he could have a future as a regular.


7. Cole Gillespie - OF - DOB: 06/20/84 - ETA: 2009

.344/.464/.548, 8 HR, 31 RBI, 34/40 K/BB, 18 SB in 186 AB for Rookie Helena


More than adequately filling the void left by Jacoby Ellsbury's departure, Gillespie hit .374/.493/.685 for Oregon State last year, delivering 12 more homers than the one he had in his first two years combined. That still wasn't enough to make him a hot property on draft day, but the Brewers felt he was worthy of a third-round pick, and as should have been expected, he was more than a match for the Pioneer League after signing. Gillespie lacks exceptional tools and his glove figures to limit him to left field, but he should continue hitting for average and drawing walks. His chances of playing regularly hinge on him becoming a 20-homer guy. He may fall a little short, but he is interesting.


8. Zach Jackson - LHP - DOB: 05/13/83 - ETA: July 2007

4-6, 4.12 ERA, 106 H, 58/44 K/BB in 107 IP for Triple-A Nashville

2-2, 5.40 ERA, 48 H, 22/14 K/BB in 38 1/3 IP for Milwaukee


Jackson went from A ball to the majors in one year and even had an organization switch mixed in, so it's forgivable that last year's results were less than exceptional. The bulk of his struggles in Triple-A came right after he was sent back to Nashville in mid-July. Jackson, a 2004 supplemental first-round pickoff the Blue Jays, arrived in Milwaukee in the Lyle Overbay deal. He typically averages 88-90 mph with his fastball or about three mph less with his cutter. His changeup is the best of the rest of his offerings. While last year's strikeout rate was truly disturbing, he does get enough on his pitches to make a career as a fourth or fifth starter likely. He'll be ready when needed this year, but with Carlos Villanueva ahead of him and Gallardo moving up quickly, he might have a better chance of helping the Brewers as a reliever.


9. Angel Salome - C - DOB: 06/08/86 - ETA: 2010

.292/.349/.447, 10 HR, 85 RBI, 63/39 K/BB, 7 SB in 418 AB for low Single-A West Virginia


Lou Palmisano is no longer looking like much of a prospect, but the Brewers may have a new catcher of the future in Salome, a 2004 fifth-round pick. The 5-foot-7 native of the Dominican Republic showed the ability to hit for average and doubles power in the South Atlantic League last year. He did struggle defensively, but he has a terrific arm and the Brewers can work with him on the finer points of catching. He should join Cain and Gillespie in the Florida State League this year.


10. Mark Rogers - RHP - DOB: 01/30/86 - ETA: 2010

0-0, 2.25 ERA, 5 H, 5/2 K/BB in 4 IP for Rookie AZL Brewers

1-2, 5.07 ERA, 68 H, 96/53 K/BB in 71 IP for Single-A Brevard County


Rogers, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft, seemed poised for a breakthough 2006, but it never materialized. June was his only strong month and shoulder troubles followed in July. The decision was made in December to have him undergo surgery to repair a damaged labrum, and he's likely to miss all of 2007. A healthy Rogers throws 92-96 mph and gets strikeouts with a hard curveball. If he makes it back in 2008, he could yet develop, maybe into a closer.


Next five: LHP Manny Parra, OF Tony Gwynn Jr., OF Charlie Fermaint, 2B Hernan Iribarren, SS Alcides Escobar


2006 top 15: Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Jose Capellan, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz, Zach Jackson, Mark Rogers, Will Inman, Hernan Iribarren, Manny Parra, Alcides Escobar, Ben Hendrickson, Dave Krynzel, Dennis Sarfate, Yovani Gallardo


2005 top 10: Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Jose Capellan, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart, Ben Hendrickson, Mark Rogers, Dave Krynzel, Manny Parra


2004 top 10: Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Brad Nelson, Mike Jones, Manny Parra, Corey Hart, Dave Krynzel, Jorge De La Rosa, Luis Martinez


2003 top 10: Corey Hart, Mike Jones, Brad Nelson, Prince Fielder, Dave Krynzel, J.J. Hardy, Ben Hendrickson, Manny Parra, Ben Diggins, Bill Hall

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