Brewers Midseason Report





Best Player: At age 20, second baseman Brett Lawrie is one of the youngest players in the Double-A Southern League, but opposing pitchers must have missed the memo. The 2008 first-round pick was doing a little bit of everything through 316 at-bats for Huntsville, batting .297/.359/.484 with six homers, 21 doubles and 10 triples while batting leadoff for the most part.

The highest-drafted position player ever from Canada, Lawrie also showed his athletic ability by stealing 20 bases in his first 28 attempts. He requested to move to second base from catcher and was showing that he could handle the work defensively. "He's a good athlete," general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's really coming on. He's still a young kid."

Biggest Leap Forward: Selected in the 18th round of the 2008 draft out of Ontario, righthander Nick Bucci impressed club officials with his performance with Rookie-level Helena last season. But the 19-year-old was even more impressive in the first half of this season with low Class A Wisconsin, going 3-3, 3.46 through 15 games (12 starts). Command issues plagued Bucci at times—he had 49 strikeouts and 41 walks over 65 innings.

His limited experience in Canada restricted Bucci's early-career workload, but he had come quite far in a short period since then, thanks to a repertoire that includes a 90-92 mph fastball, effective curveball and a decent cutter. The Brewers like his competitive nature on the mound.

Biggest Disappointment: Selected out of Indiana with the 26th pick last year, righthander Eric Arnett was too advanced to struggle in low Class A ball. Or so the Brewers thought.

After scuffling through an assignment to Helena last year, Arnett completely fell apart this season with Wisconsin. In 12 starts, he went 0-7, 6.87, while surrendering an alarming 11 home runs in 56 innings. With Arnett obviously pressing, the Brewers demoted him to the Rookie-level Arizona League with hopes of easing the pressure. Arnett's performance stood in stark contrast to 2009 supplemental first-rounder Kyle Heckathorn, who was thriving on the Wisconsin pitching staff.

MICROBREWS

• The Brewers released righthander Mike Jones, a 2001 first-round pick whose career was sidetracked by shoulder and elbow injuries, when they needed to make room on the Triple-A Nashville roster. Jones logged an 0.71 ERA, but with 13 walks in 13 innings, over eight relief outings.

• High Class A Brevard County outfielder Logan Schafer, who missed the first two months of the season with an inguinal hernia, was lost for the rest of the season after only seven games because of a broken foot.