Milwaukee Brewers: Top 10 Prospects

Scouting reports for the Top
10 Prospects
 
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Tom Haudricourt
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TOP
TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Matt
LaPorta, of
2. Manny
Parra, lhp
3. Alcides
Escobar, ss
4. Jeremy
Jeffress, rhp
5. Cole
Gillespie, of
6. Mat
Gamel, 3b
7. Brent
Brewer, ss
8. Angel
Salome, c
9. Lorenzo
Cain, of
10. Caleb
Gindl, of
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for
Average
Mat Gamel
Best Power
Hitter
Matt LaPorta
Best Strike-Zone
Discipline
Michael Brantley
Fastest
Baserunner
Darren Ford
Best
Athlete
Brent Brewer
Best
Fastball
Jeremy Jeffress
Best
Curveball
Nick Tyson
Best
Slider
Robert Hinton
Best
Changeup
R.J. Seidel
Best
Control
Manny Parra
Best Defensive
Catcher
Lou Palmisano
Best Defensive
Infielder
Alcides Escobar
Best Infield
Arm
Alcides Escobar
Best Defensive
Outfielder
Darren Ford
Best Outfield
Arm
Brendan Katin
PROJECTED
2011
LINEUP
Catcher Angel Salome
First
Base
Prince Fielder
Second
Base
Rickie Weeks
Third
Base
J.J. Hardy
Shortstop Alcides Escobar
Left
Field
Matt LaPorta
Center
Field
Ryan Braun
Right
Field
Corey Hart
No. 1
Starter
Yovani Gallardo
No. 2
Starter
Ben Sheets
No. 3
Starter
Manny Parra
No. 4
Starter
Jeremy Jeffress
No. 5
Starter
Carlos Villanueva
Closer Rob Bryson
TOP PROSPECTS
OF
THE DECADE
Year Player,
Position
2007
1998 Valeriio de los Santos, lhp Mexico
1999 Ron Belliard, 2b Nationals
2000 Nick Neugebauer, rhp Out of baseball
2001 Ben Sheets, rhp Brewers
2002 Nick Neugebauer, rhp Out of baseball
2003 Brad Nelson, 1b Brewers
2004 Rickie Weeks, 2b Brewers
2005 Rickie Weeks, 2b Brewers
2006 Prince Fielder, 1b Brewers
2007 Yovani Gallardo, rhp Brewers
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF
THE DECADE
Year Player, Position 2007
1998 J.M. Gold, rhp Out of baseball
1999 Ben Sheets, rhp Brewers
2000 Dave Krynzel, of Diamondbacks
2001 Mike Jones, rhp Brewers
2002 Prince Fielder, 1b Brewers
2003 Rickie Weeks, 2b Brewers
2004 Mark Rogers, rhp Brewers
2005 Ryan Braun, 3b Brewers
2006 Jeremy Jeffresss, rhp Brewers
2007 Matt LaPorta, of Brewers
LARGEST BONUSES
IN
CLUB HISTORY
Rickie Weeks, 2003 $3,600,000
Ben Sheets, 1999 $2,450,000
Ryan Braun, 2005 $2,450,000
Prince Fielder, 2002 $2,400,000
Mark Rogers, 2004 $2,200,000
BREWERS
LINKS
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Team Page
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2007
Draft: Brewers
(Basic Database)
2007
Draft: Brewers
 
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Draft Report Cards: National League
 
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Milwaukee Brewers

No team has
advanced more impact players to the major leagues over the last few
years than the Brewers.

On any given night in
the final weeks of the 2007 season, you could find 21-year-old Yovani
Gallardo on the mound, backed by an infield of Prince Fielder (23),
Rickie Weeks (25), Ryan Braun (23) and J.J. Hardy (25), with Corey
Hart (25) in right field. All except Hart were first- or second-round
draft picks, which is how Milwaukee quickly rebuilt a sagging
franchise from within.

With that young nucleus
of players, the Brewers led the National League Central for most of
the season before pitching problems finally caused them to slip to
second place. Still, at 83-79 they posted their first winning season
since 1992. If not for yet another injury to staff ace Ben Sheets,
they might have made their first playoff appearance in 25
years.

A year ago, Gallardo and Braun ranked 1-2
atop our Milwaukee Top 10 Prospects list. When they were summoned to
the big leagues, Braun in late May and Gallardo in mid-June, it was
easy to see why they held such lofty status.

All
Braun did was post the highest slugging percentage (.634) of any
rookie in big league history, batting .324 with 34 home runs and 97
RBIs in just 113 games to win BA’s Rookie of the Year award. Gallardo
settled went 9-5 and posted the lowest ERA in the rotation at 3.67,
including a 3-1, 1.36 mark in the heat of the division race in
September.

Fielder became the youngest player
ever to sock 50 home runs in the majors, knocking legendary Willie
Mays from that perch. Hardy was named by his peers to the NL all-star
team and totaled 26 homers and 80 RBI. After his surgically repaired
right wrist finally healed, Weeks finished with a flourish, socking
nine homers in September.

Hart, who has played
in the shadow of his more-heralded young teammates, had a
breakthrough season. He hit .295 with 24 homers, 81 RBIs and 23
steals.

The Brewers got yet another peek into
the future when lefthander Manny Parra bounced back from a couple of
injury-plagued years to throw a perfect game at Triple-A Nashville
and finally made his big league debut in July. Only a broken left
thumb prevented him from making a bigger impact down the
stretch.

Graduating so many highly ranked
prospects to the majors in such a short time would wipe out most farm
systems. But Milwaukee’s six U.S.-based affiliates combined for a
387-298 (.565) record, the best among NL organizations, and five of
them reached the playoffs. While most of the Brewers’ most notable
picks were high first-rounders such as Fielder, Weeks and Braun,
they’ve done well in the later rounds and had more than their share
of success with the now-defunct draft-and-follow
system.

Those trends continued in 2007. The new
No. 1 prospect on this list is outfielder Matt LaPorta, taken seventh
overall, and the Brewers followed up with three more position players
who hit .300 or better in their debuts: catcher Jonathan LuCroy,
second baseman Eric Farris and outfielder Caleb Gindl. They also had
an impressive final class of draft-and-follows, led by righthander
Rob Bryson.

Other teams have taken note of
Milwaukee’s success. Jack Zduriencik remains as scouting director,
but the Brewers have lost a crosschecker after each of the last two
seasons. The Diamondbacks hired Tom Allison to be their scouting
director in 2006, and the Astros did the same with Bobby Heck in
October.

Scouting reports for the Top
10 Prospects
 
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