Milwaukee Brewers: Top 10 Prospects Chat With Tom Haudricourt

Brewers Top 10 Prospects Chat




Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2007.

Q:  Gina Rooney from Nevada, IA asks:
Where is Brad Nelson rated and what does the future hold for the former #1 rated prospect?
 A: 

Moderator: OK, folks. Let's get started with today's chat. Unfortunately for Brad Nelson, he no longer is a rated prospect. He forfeited that status with poor years in 2005 and 2006 in which he was sent back to Class AA Huntsville after struggling in Class AAA Nashville. Nelson couldn't make adjustments at the plate and whiffed too much, and even a return to first base from the outfield couldn't shake him loose. He's no longer on the Brewers' 40-man roster.

 Q:  James from Rome,WI asks:
Tom-How is overall strength of the Brewer farm system? What is it's strengthsweakness. Also, what's the timetable for Cole Gillespe making it to the show? I saw him play in Omaha and I think he's the real deal.
 A: 

Moderator: Considering the number of prospects the Brewers graduated to the majors in recent years -- Weeks, Fielder, Hardy, Hart -- the system is still in relatively good shape. There are more pitchers at or near the top now, which is a good sign because the Brewers haven't done well developing their own pitchers. Gillespie is an offensive player who was very impressive in rookie ball but it is too soon to offer a timetable for his arrival in the majors. At this point, there is no rush.

 Q:  Eric from Elk Grove asks:
Tom, thanks for the chat. What's your take on Lorenzo Cain? He's certainly put up some interesting numbers so far, particularly given his lack of experience. However, if I had a dollar for every OF with "five-tool potential" who washed up on the Beach of Broken Dreams, then I would be a very wealthy man. What do you see as his upside and how likely is he to reach it?
 A: 

Moderator: Cain has a lot of upside because he is an excellent athlete who is starting to fill out and realize his potential. The main thing he has to work on at this stage is plate discipline. He strikes out too much and doesn't work the count enough to take advantage of his fine speed. He doesn't turn 21 until April, so there's plenty of time for him to live up to expectations.

 Q:  Cristian Guerrero from Harrisburg, PA asks:
What's your take on Brent Brewer? Does he have star potential?
 A: 

Moderator: If you have a scholarship to play wide receiver at Florida State, you have to be an exceptional athlete. All Brewer needs to do is play. He has all kinds of ability but is a raw baseball player who must work on his fielding as well as his plate discipline. But you can't coach the kind of physical tools he brings to the table. You either have them or you don't.

 Q:  Kevin from Green Bay asks:
What are Angel Salome and Charlie Fermaint's ceilings? Are they too small to be regulars? Where do they rank in the Brewers' Top 30?
 A: 

Moderator: Salome and Fermaint rank 11th and 12th, respectively, on the Brewers' prospect list. Salome is short but he's not little. The guy has zero percent body fat. He's a catcher with ability in a system with few catching prospects, so Salome is one to watch. He has a cannon for an arm and can hit. Fermaint has been slowed by injuries and has yet to approach the potential the Brewers believe he has. He is still a bit raw and unpolished but has the tools to be a good one. Like many of the organization's young hitters, he must improve his strike zone discipline.

 Q:  Kyle Reese from Oshkosh asks:
When Rogers returns in fall 2007, any thoughts to converting him to a closer in order to reduce the stress on his shoulder and offset his wildness?
 A: 

Moderator: I haven't heard any talk of moving Rogers to a closer's role. He has to get well and get command of the strike zone before worrying about changing his role. That kind of switch is much more likely with the No. 1 pick from last year, Jeremy Jeffress, who can throw 100 mph.

 Q:  Al from Port Chester, NY asks:
Please, give me a reason to believe that Jeffries will overcome his control issues and become the next Doc Gooden. Ok, ok...if not the next Gooden, how about NOT being the next Mark Rogers?
 A: 

Moderator: As you might have just seen, I project Jeffress as a closer at some point. You have to be leery because of the Brewers' checkered past with high school pitchers and Jeffress is a bit short for a big league pitcher but he can throw gas, which you can't teach.

 Q:  Al from Port Chester, NY asks:
Can Wil Inman's combo of command and competitiveness be good enough to make up for his lack of overpowering stuff in the big leagues? Enough to be a #2 SP? All the guy seems to do is win.
 A: 

Moderator: Anyone who saw Carlos Villanueva pitch for the Brewers last season realizes you don't have to be a flame thrower to succeed in the majors. Inman's combination of pitch-making and competitiveness make him special. And, as you mentioned, he's a winner. That's what it's all about.

 Q:  Jolbert Cabrera from Milwaukee asks:
Why did it take the Brew crew so long to move Kevin Roberts tot he bullpen? By all accounts, he has explosive stuff, just over a short period of time. Sounds like the makings of a closer to me.
 A: 

Moderator: You usually try to keep pitching prospects in a starter's role for as long as possible because it allows them to work on and develop all of their pitches -- hopefully. Once a pitcher is used as a closer, he tends to use his best pitch most of the time and second-best the rest of the time, without developing other pitches. At some point, it becomes evident when it's time to move a pitcher to relief for good.

 Q:  EZ Erick from Chi-Town asks:
How close was U. of Houston's former 2-way star, Kevin Roberts to making your top 30 list? Records indicate that he should be a future closer with his intensity and work ethic.
 A: 

Moderator: Roberts was very close to making it. We talked about him a lot. He's still a pitcher to watch.

 Q:  Joe R. from Newport News, VA asks:
What's the outlook for Manny Parra and Dennis Sarfate?
 A: 

Moderator: Sarfate has a good chance to make the Brewers' bullpen in the spring. He pitched well over the winter in Mexico, helping Hermosillo make it to the Caribbean Series. As for Parra, the guy has to stay healthy. He keeps breaking down and sidetracking his career. He went to the Arizona Fall League but wasn't ready to perform. He's a lefty so you don't give up hope but he has to stay on the mound for a full season.

 Q:  Joe R. from Newport News, VA asks:
Callix Crabbe can get on base and has speed. Does he have a future as a utility man?
 A: 

Moderator: Perhaps. Guys with speed can be useful, particularly in the NL. He just has too many guys in front of him right now.

 Q:  Dean from Madison asks:
Who makes it to the majors first - Cain, Gillespie or Gamel? I am assuming Cain has the highest ceiling. If so, between the other two, who has the most upside?
 A: 

Moderator: It won't be easy for Gamel because Ryan Braun is ahead of him at third base. If Braun eventually moves to the outfield, as some project, that would help. Cain might have the higher ceiling but Gillespie is such an advanced offensive player you can't bet against him.

 Q:  Brett from Florida asks:
Thanks for the chat. Can you tell me which Brewers prospects to expect to play this year in Brevard County?
 A: 

Moderator: I would look for some of the top performers at low Class A West Virginia last year, such as OF Lorenzo Cain, 3B Matt Gamel, C Angel Salome, INF Ryan Crew, RHP Will Inman, LHP Steve Garrison and reliever Kevin Roberts, to name a few.

 Q:  Brett from Florida asks:
What is the status of Mark Rogers and when he is healthy where can we expect him to play?
 A: 

Moderator: Mark Rogers had shoulder surgery on Jan. 12 and is expected to miss all of the 2007 season. The plan is to get him ready for fall instructional league. He could return earlier but the Brewers won't take any chances with him.

 Q:  Dean from Schmitz asks:
Does Iribarren really have a chance to be a starter in the majors, or is he more of a utility guy or someone that will be traded with Weeks ahead of him? What did the Brewers think of his corked bat?
 A: 

Moderator: I can't see Iribarren starting at second base for the Brewers, barring unforeseen circumstances. The Brewers weren't plesaed about the corked bat incident and showed it by suspending him. But he's a proven hitter and that evaluation shouldn't change.

 Q:  Timmy Chan from 3216 Oakmont asks:
Kevin Roberts fell off your top 30 list this year, but his intensity and work ethic prove that hes more suited for a closer-type role. Agree or disagree?
 A: 

Moderator: Agree.

 Q:  Dean from Madison asks:
Was Rogers ranking before his injury? If so, how far would he fall knowing his is going to be out a full year?
 A: 

Moderator: Rogers was ranked No. 5 before undergoing shoulder surgery. How far he falls for next year depends on how his recovery goes and if he looks back up to speed in instructional ball. Missing a year certainly doesn't help.

 Q:  Homer from Chicago asks:
Tom, Thanks for all the hard work you put in during the season. We really appreciate it! My question is: Do you sense any "buyer's remorse" from the Brewers' front office for drafting two high school pitchers in the first round who's arms have subsequently fallen apart? I'm talking specifically about Mike Jones and Mark Rogers. While they still may make contribution to the big league club, the odds are stacked against them at this point. Any sense that the team is rethinking this early round strategy? Given last year's selection of Jeremy Jeffress that seems unlikely but one can hope I suppose...
 A: 

Moderator: I have to admit I continue to be amazed that the Brewers like drafting high school pitchers in the first round because they've had absolutely no luck doing so. Injuries always seem to sideline their top prep pitchers. To my knowledge, the only first-round pick as a pitcher out of high school that the Brewers got to the majors was Jeff D'Amico. And he already had some surgeries and was destined to break down again. It just doesn't seem like it's worth drafting prep pitchers in the first round. Certainly, the Brewers haven't prospered by doing so.

 Q:  Paul Wall from Pearland, TX asks:
Kevin Roberts was a coveted 2-way star at Univ. of Houston, if for some odd reason he can't make it to the bigs as a reliever, why not let the kid pick up some wood like he did when he dominated C-USA?
 A: 

Moderator: I think the Brewers like Roberts enough as a pitcher to leave him in that role for now. Who knows? If he gets to the NL, he might get to swing a bat again.

 Q:  The Brewmaster from Beer City asks:
Thanks Tom for taking my question! Who do you think are the late round sleepers in the organization?
 A: 

Moderator: Ryan Crew is a gritty, jack-of-all-trades utility type who almost made our Top 30. OF Brendan Katin has tremendous pop in his bat. RHP R.J. Seidel projects as much higher than a 16th round pick, as far as ability. RHP Robert Hinton was a 40th round draft pick, for Pete's sake. Those are a few who come to mind.

 Q:  Cole Bruce from B-Town, TX asks:
Why not just let Kevin Roberts be a closer? We know he has learned from the likes of former Houston closers such as Crain and Wagner.
 A: 

Moderator: Looks like Kevin Roberts wins the prize for most asked-about player in the system. Perhaps we should have put him in the Top 30. In any event, I'm calling a moratorium on all further Roberts questions. No offense to Kevin.

 Q:  Brian Daniels from Kennesaw, Georgia asks:
My question is about Lorenzo Cain, what are his long term prospects as a future centerfielder? Also, are you guys sure Brent Brewer is not related to Bernie?? Oh yea one other thing.. what prospects do you see playing in Huntsville Alabama this year?
 A: 

Moderator: Brent Brewer could be the love child of Bernie Brewer, who has been known to fool around. Cain could project more as a corner outfielder as he fills out and develops more power. As for who might show up in Huntsville this year, I'd look for OF Brendan Katin, perhaps INF Ryan Crew, OF Charlie Fermaint, 2B Hernan Iribarren, LHP Manny Parra (again), reliever Robert Hinton, reliever Josh Alliston, and perhaps SS Alcides Escobar, though Cuban signee Yohannis Perez might end up there instead.

 Q:  Chris from Gaylord, MI asks:
Do you see Gallardo becoming just as good as Bailey or Hughes in the next few years? Who do you think he compares to that is in the majors right now?
 A: 

Moderator: Gallardo is very polished, so I wouldn't put any limits on him. He seems to be a special kid, on and off the mound. Heck, I'm not very good at comparing minor leaguers to big leaguers. I have heard the name Mike Mussina thrown around a bit. That would be nice for the Brewers, wouldn't it?

 Q:  Tim from Proctorville, Ohio asks:
What's your take on Marino Salas?
 A: 

Moderator: Salas seems to be one of those guys who has a good arm and upside, so why not spend the waiver money? The Brewers are trying to build pitching depth in their system, so it makes sense. He has minor league options left so it's not like he has to make the bullpen this spring. Salas throws hards and the Brewers love adding power arms.

 Q:  Tim from Proctorville, Ohio asks:
Carlos Villanueva: Solid MLB starter or a guy who just barely misses.
 A: 

Moderator: From what I saw last September, Villanueva doesn't appear to be a fluke. For a guy so young, he's very poised and knows what he's doing out there. And I love guys with killer changeups. He totally dominated the Cardinals in two starts against them. It was pretty impressive. Barring injuries, the Brewers have five starters lined up this spring, so Villanueva will have to wait his turn.

 Q:  Robert Goldberg from Lyndhurst, NJ asks:
Is Braun really that bad at third, or does that large error total make things seem worse than they are?
 A: 

Moderator: You have to remember that Braun was a shortstop in college who switched to third for his junior season. He still has some rough edges to work out at the hot corner, particularly with his foot work. Some believe he'll eventually move to a corner outfield spot but the Brewers want to give him every opportunity at third. Heck, he could make the club this spring with a good showing.

 Q:  Tim from Proctorville, Ohio asks:
What happened with Rolando Pasqual? Just a young kid trying to harness great stuff while being overmatched, or did the Brewers not get what they thought when they signed him?
 A: 

Moderator: At this point, that's a good question. We have to remember it's not easy for a teenager to move to the States, get assimilated in daily life and live up to baseball potential. Having said that, Pascual better step up this year or a big red flag will go up.

 Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
Hi Tom: How does Hernan Iribarren profile? Can he be an everyday player or is he best as a utility guy? Also, what is the latest status on Mike Jones?
 A: 

Moderator: We've addressed Mr. Iribarren earlier. As for Jones, it's anybody's guess. He continues to struggle to approach his pre-surgery form and might not ever make it. The Brewers won't give up on him until they have to. It would have been interesting to see where he'd be without all the injury problems.

 Q:  Dave Hammonds from Wisconsin asks:
Tom my man... thanks for the chat. Tell me a little about this Ryan Crew charector. Hes been very successful in college and his first few years of pro ball, why is he being overlooked?
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers aren't overlooking him. In fact, he is a favorite of farm director Reid Nichols.

 Q:  Warren from Texas asks:
Whatever became of Tom Wilhelmsen, whom BA described at one time, I believe, as having "the best arm, potentially, in the organization?"
 A: 

Moderator: In what has become an all-too-common story in sports, substance abuse problems got the best of Wilhelmsen. He correctly withdrew from ball to try to get his life in order, which after all, is most important.

 Q:  Jody from Chicago, IL asks:
Hi Tom. Do you feel there's any projection left in Villanueva since he's only 22? While the sample size was small, he pitched very well last year and seems underrated by all standards...the Davis trade not withstanding. I agree with the need for depth, but wouldn't Villanueva outpitch Suppan and Vargas out of the gate? What am I missing here?
 A: 

Moderator: You don't project Villanueva ahead of Suppan or Vargas because he doesn't have enough experience yet. But the Brewers like him and he could play a big role in future plans. As the Brewers found out last year when Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka were injured, you can never have too many starting pitcher candidates. I have a feeling Mr. Villanueva will find his way into the rotation at some point in 2007.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Where do you think the Brewers will place Cole Gillespie this coming season? With Cain, Ford and Brantley all succeeding at West Virginia a year ago, it would seem unlikely Gillespie would jump up to Brevard County. Is he due for a one-level promotion to WV despite his relatively refined game?
 A: 

Moderator: As you noted, there are many OFs ahead of Gillespie. But he is very advanced as a hitter, so anything is possible. The player always lets the organization know what level he is ready for with his performance on the field.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
How has Angel Salome's ankle healed? Will he be ready for spring training, and is the team hopeful that he will be able to pick up where he left off?
 A: 

Moderator: Salome's ankle has healed and the Brewers still have high hopes for him. As noted earlier, they aren't exactly overwhelmed with catching prospects.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
The presence of J.J. Hardy at the big-league level and the signing of Yohannis Perez seems to be the best thing that could happen for Alcides Escobar, as the Brewers can take it extremely slow with the youngster. Do you expect him to repeat a level this season to allow his bat to catch up to his glove?
 A: 

Moderator: It might be best for Escobar to repeat a level, especially since he missed so much time with a finger injury last season. I believe he also has struggled at the plate in winter ball, so it might be time for Escobar to get his feet back under him in 2007.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Ok, here's my "I know it's way too early to think about" disclaimer, but have the Brewers given any indication from their offseason scouting meetings what type of players they may be pursuing this spring with the June draft in mind?
 A: 

Moderator: I haven't looked into it yet but I understand there's some pretty good pitching and they're picking seventh. They wouldn't take another prep pitcher, would they? They better make it a good one because they forfeited their second-round pick by signing Jeff Suppan. And with the zillions of compensation picks after the first round, I don't think they pick again until around No. 107.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
What players were the Brewers the most excited about coming out of the instructional camp last fall? I heard Gillespie and Gamel were two of the more impressive hitters, but are there any other notes worth sharing?
 A: 

Moderator: I'll be honest with you. I don't really remember now who the Brewers liked in instructional ball. I think Brent Brewer and Jeremy Jeffress were there, and looking good, but I'm not 100% certain. Sorry.

 Q:  Derrik from Texas asks:
How come there is this perception that there are two top starting pitchers in the minors, then Gallardo and everyone else? I would think Gallardo could do as much damage as Bailey and Hughes once he reaches the show. Could that be before the all star break?
 A: 

Moderator: All I can tell you is that the Brewers think Gallardo is special. We could definitely seem him at some point in 2007, especially if injuries pave the way.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Dennis Sarfate has been incredible this winter, striking out batters while limiting opposing baserunners. While he does have an option remaining, how strong of a candidate is he to make the big-league club out of spring training?
 A: 

Moderator: Very strong, I would think. The Brewers liked what they saw of him last Sept.,and they particularly covet power arms.

 Q:  Homer from Chicago asks:
Tom, Last year the Brewers promoted Ryan Braun from A+ to AA even though his numbers maybe didn't justify the move. When he got to AA he proved he definitely deserved the promotion. Do you know what metrics are used to determine when a prospect is moved up a level? I think I read somewhere that Doug Melvin likes to have a player at 1 BB for every 10 AB.....is there anything else? Thanks
 A: 

Moderator: Brevard County is a tough hitter's park, with the wind blowing in most of the time. The Brewers took that into consideration, also realizing that Braun is an advanced offensive player who could handle the jump. And they were right.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Might the Brewers handle talented young high school pitchers such as Jeremy Jeffress and R.J. Seidel a little different this year given the injury problems they have had with Mark Rogers and Mike Jones? Do you expect either one to open the season with West Virginia, or is extended spring training and then Helena a more likely progression for 2007?
 A: 

Moderator: Considerign their previously discussed injury problems with prep pitchers, it would behoove the Brewers to take all precautions with Seidel and Jefrress. Seidel didn't even pitch as a pro after signing late, so I would imagine extended spring training is definitely in his future.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Darren Ford led the Brewers prospect in both stolen bases and strikeouts last season. While the stolen bases are nice, the strikeouts are an odd fit given his speed. How much are the Brewers stressing to Ford the importance of making contact and getting one base to make better use of his speed?
 A: 

Moderator: It is the major concern of the organization. Ford cannot reach his full potential until he stops getting himself out. But the guy can fly. I mean, fly. He has a very high ceiling.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
You mentioned already that the Brewers haven't done a good job developing their own pitchers. However, they have done an amazing job at drafting and developing young impact hitters. Do you think there may be an organizational problem, whether it comes the scouting department, the coaching staff andor the overall organizational philosophy that needs to be addressed? It would be hard to chalk the difficulty on developing pitching entirely on bad luck.
 A: 

Moderator: It does make you wonder, doesn't it, particularly with all the injury problems. Maybe the Brewers are about to snap that trend with the likes of Inman, Gallardo, Dillard and Hammond. But developing pitchers certainly has not been their strong suit. It's something they need to be concerned about.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
While you project Jeffress as a future closer, do the Brewers have any plans to convert him to the bullpen any time soon?
 A: 

Moderator: I don't think so. As mentioned before, you want a young pitcher to throw all of his pitches and try to develop them, which is not as easy to do out of the bullpen. I'd look for him to continue to start.

 Q:  Tim K. from Portland, OR asks:
Is Braun showing enough glove to stay at 3B? If so, does he replace Koskie out of ST? May 1? All-star break?
 A: 

Moderator: Koskie continues to suffer some effects from post-concussion syndrome that sidelined him for the second half of 2006. Thus, Braun's arrival date in the majors could move up drastically.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
Mat Gamel did an excellent job last year cutting down on his strikeouts from the 2005 season. Where does Gamel fit into the organization's long-term plans, and how quickly do the Brewers think he can move?
 A: 

Moderator: A lot depends on what happens with Braun. If he stays at third base, Gamel will have to change positions to get to the majors in the near future. There's no real rush at this point but the guy can swing the bat.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
I've heard that Robert Hinton may be the team's best prospect that most people have never heard of. Would you agree with that, and are there any others that may fit this profile as well? I'd call them sleepers, but as you know there is no such thing anymore.
 A: 

Moderator: I did refer to Hinton as a sleeper in an early question. But he is certainly being monitored by the Brewers' staff, who like him a lot. He's one to keep an eye on.

 Q:  Brewerfan from California asks:
Can you tell me about how the team sees Steve Hammond? Back of the rotation guy, lefty specialist, or filler? How did this guy slip under the radar?
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers like Hammond a lot. He's more of a finesse guy than a power guy, so he probably projects as a back-of-the-rotation guy at this point. If there's no fit there, he could always move to a specialist role. But the Brewers aren't placing limits on him at this point because he's been a winner and knows what he's doing.

 Q:  Brewerfan from California asks:
What is your sense of the team's decision to include Dana Eveland in the Arizona trade? Were they down on Eveland for his conditioning andor performance, or did they part with him reluctantly to get the deal done? Or a little of both?
 A: 

Moderator: Eveland was given a tremendous chance to carve a niche for himself when Sheets and Ohka were injured last year, and flopped badly. He could probably use a little fine tuning in both conditioning and attitude. The Brewers realize they could regret the move later but Eveland just didn't appear ready to contribute anytime soon, and they want to win now.

 Q:  BOB from PENSACOLA asks:
WHATS THE STATUS AND YOUR PREDICTION ON STEPHEN CHAPMAN. HAD A CHANCE TO SEE HIM SOME LAST YEAR IN MONTANA. COVERS ALOT OF AREA IN CENTER AND A GOOD LOOKING LEAD OFF MAN. THANKS
 A: 

Moderator: We have Chapman ranked No. 28 in our Top 30, which means we think he's one to watch. He has the makings of a late bloomer and we'll know a lot more by how he adjusts to Class A ball after a couple of years in rookie ball.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
If you had the chance to go on a road trip this summer, which affiliate would you make it a point to see?
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers' top prospects are going to be scattered around. But if Gallardo and Braun, and possibly Villanueva (not ranked because he doesn't have rookie status) are at Nashville (not to mention Dillard and Hammond), that might be a team to watch play.

 Q:  Jim from Fort Akinson asks:
Tom-A couple of the BA writers(especially Jim Callis) seem to really like the Brewers chances if they are healthy, what's your take?
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers need a year of good health to properly assess what they've got. There's certainly a lot of individual talent on their roster. Injuries derailed them last year. They need to stay off the DL in 2007.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
Have the Brewers considered the idea of having one of their affiliates play a game at Miller Park again? I know it was a lot easier when the team was in the Midwest League, since both the Snappers and T-Rats were only an hour away, but a home and away series between the Nashville Sounds and the Iowa Cubs at Miller Park and Wrigley Field would seem to generate a fair amount of excitement in both cities. Any thoughts?
 A: 

Moderator: The logistics and costs make it tough to do.

 Q:  Mickey Brantley from Toronto asks:
What happened to my son and why isnt he in the top 30??
 A: 

Moderator: Brantley was one of the many "bubble" candidates considered. He has to stay healthy and produce more. He doesn't have any pop at the plate (zero homers in 360 at-bats last year at West Virginia) and there are faster players ahead of him, so it's as much of a numbers game as anything.

 Q:  Nathan from Winnipeg, Canada asks:
Gallardo future #1 or #2? When can we expect him in the majors?
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers would take a No. 1 or 2 at this point, and the sooner, the better. Gallardo shouldn't let them down.

 Q:  Brewer Fan from California asks:
After a long period in which most of the Brewers' farm teams were in parks that favored hitters, often to an extreme, they are now in exactly the opposite situation. Are they happy with the pitchers' paradises, or looking to get into neutral situation? (Recognizing that the Brewers are not exactly a hot drawing card for minor league teams....)
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers have extended their PDCs at every minor league stop, so they must be happy.

 Q:  Brewer Fan from California asks:
The team has made a concerted effort to do things differently in Latin America, with big signing bonuses to some pitchers in particular, but the early returns aren't exactly dazzling. Is there reason for optimism in this regard?
 A: 

Moderator: Too early to say but at least their trying in Latin America, which wasn't always the case with previous regimes.

 Q:  Don from Pewaukee asks:
Any thoughts on Ben Stanczyk from Waukesha
 A: 

Moderator: Stanczyk is one of those workhorse types that every organization needs. His stuff doesn't break down as special but he takes the ball, which helps. Let's see what he does this year.

 Q:  Brewer Fan from California asks:
I was underwhelmed by Zack Jackson this year. Is there reason to believe that he's better than he looked in Nashville and Milwaukee in 06?
 A: 

Moderator: Jackson didn't show any consistent off-speed stuff when he came up to the majors last year, which hurt him. The hitters caught up to him the second time around. He does have good deception, however, and is a competitor, so there's hope for him. He just needs to improve his secondary pitches because he doesn't blow the ball by you.

 Q:  Brewer Fan from California asks:
The Brewers have a bunch of CF prospects, with varying combinations of tools, but they also just installed Bill Hall in center. Does the organization see any of the minor leaguers as potential regulars, or do we have a lot of fourth and fifth outfielders coming along?
 A: 

Moderator: The Brewers are moving Hall to CF now because they don't believe anybody is ready right now to play that position daily in the majors. Tony Gwynn Jr. or Laynce Nix could make them change their minds with big springs. There certainly are lots of good young OFs on the way. It's a position of real strength in the organization right now.

 Q:  Adam from NYC asks:
If Angel Salome doesn't stick at catcher for any reason, what alternative position could he play? Has there been any talks of a position change, in case his ankle injury hinders his catching ability?
 A: 

Moderator: Salome is a catcher, plain and simple. He has too much potential at that position -- which is a real weakness in the organization -- to even think of moving him at this time. Well, folks, gotta run. The questions are getting repetitive at this point, anyway, so hopefully we've covered most of the topics of discussion. Thanks for your participation. See ya next time.