Milwaukee Brewers: Top 10 Prospects Chat With Tom Haudricourt

Milwaukee Brewers: 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, 2009.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Thanks for the chat. How far off the Top 10 did Jake Odorizzi fall, and what factor(s) excluded him?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Barring any in-house changes, I had Odorizzi at No. 11, so obviously he just missed the Top 10. The kid has a high ceiling and the Brewers were very careful to limit his work after he signed.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Had Brantley not gone to Cleveland, where would you have ranked him, and why?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Brantley definitely would have been in the Top 10. He's an extremely talented player who should see action in the majors as soon as this season.

 Q:  Jean from Sandusky, OH asks:
What is your opinion of the LaPorta/Sabathia trade at this point in time?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Obviously, when you trade your top prospect, you better make it to the playoffs. The Brewers did, and Sabathia was THE reason why, including beating the Cubs on the final day of the season. The Brewers thought they had coverage in the outfield, and when you haven't been to the playoffs in 26 years, you do whatever it takes to get there.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Did Omar Aguilar make your Top 30, and what are scouts telling you about him?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I had Aguilar at No. 17. He really made strides in 2008, including a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. I could see him pitching in the Brewers' bulpen sometime this year, if the need arises.

 Q:  Katie from RI asks:
Hi, Tom! Is Chris Errecart still on your Top 30 list?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Errecart fell out after a so-so season at Class AA Huntsville in 2008.

 Q:  Toby from Erie PA asks:
What are your thoughts on Cody Scarpetta?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Scarpetta is a pitcher to keep an eye on. Big and strong, his debut with the Brewers was delayed by a finger injury that required surgery. He could be one of those guys who shoots up through the system.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Which possibility is more likely in your eyes - Fielder getting traded and moving Gamel to 1B, or Fielder staying put and Gamel moving to the OF? Also, who would you say has better defensive skills - Gamel or Braun?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Either one could happen. I get this feeling that Gamel will end up at first base at some point, because the Brewers have little chance of keeping Fielder long-term. Braun was not very good at third but Gamel, thus far, has been worse. I just don't see him improving enough in the field to be a regular at 3B in the majors. Perhaps he'll prove me wrong.

 Q:  Jean from Sandusky, OH asks:
Which position seems the most likely destination for Lawrie in a couple years' time?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers are hoping he'll stay at catcher because he could be a real force offensively there. But it's not beyond the realm of possibility that he'll evolve into a corner infielder or outfielder.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
When do you see Cain making his debut in Milwaukee, and will there be room for him?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: It wouldn't surprise me if Cain made it to the majors at some point in 2009. He made great strides last year. Mike Cameron is on a one-year deal and Cain could be the starter in CF next season.

 Q:  Gavin from Ottawa, Ontario asks:
I was surprised to see that Cody Scarpetta did not make your top 10 list! By placing him on their 40 man roster, do you think the Brewers will be giving him a shot in the rotation by maybe 2010? It'll be a big step for Scarpetta if he can have an injury free 2009. Thanks!
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I had Scarpetta at No. 20. You have to realize the kid hasn't done much yet, mostly because of the late start after finger surgery. The Brewers were forced to put him on their 40-man roster earlier than usual because of a technicality. His original signing was voided because of the finger injury and he was later re-signed. To comply with the rules, the Brewers had to put him on the 40-man over the winter or risk losing him.

 Q:  Ralph from Williamsville, IL asks:
Is Logan Schafer on your prospect radar?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I had Schafer near the bottom of my Top 30. A lot of scouts love his athleticism. We'll have to see if he's going to hit enough to make it to the majors.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Is Evan Frederickson's drop in velocity cause for concern? Why did Milwaukee sign him in the supplemental round?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Frederickson is the classic "boom or bust" signing. He wowed the Brewers in a pre-draft workout, throwing in the high 90s, so they moved him up their draft board. But he has had control problems in the past and they resurfaced after he signed. He also might have been a bit fatigued. We'll know more about his future when we see how he fares in 2009.

 Q:  Craig from Calgary, Alberta asks:
You rated Cody Scarpetta's curveball as the best in the system. What else is there to like about him, where does he start next year, and is he a future top 10 prospect in the system?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Scarpetta is very aggressive, pounding the strike zone and usually keeping the ball down. He definitely could be a Top 10 prospect in the future. Because he had to be placed on the 40-man roster prematurely, as previously noted, the Brewers will try to push him through the system.

 Q:  Frank from Anchorage, AK asks:
What can you tell us about Erik Komatsu?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Komatsu is an advanced hitter with a good eye at the plate and decent pop. At 5-10, he's a bit squatty and might project as a fourth outfielder rather than a starter. Let's see how he progresses defensively and if he has peaked coming out of college or will continue to improve. He looked very good at the plate in rookie ball and hangs in there well agains lefties, for a left-handed hitter.

 Q:  Craig from Calgary, Alberta asks:
Hitaniel Arias seemed to struggle mightly in the Arizona League this year (50K's in 132AB's). Was that just a factor of him getting acclimated to life in the States, and do you see him improving this year?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers made a commitment a couple of years back to get young Latin players to the states ASAP rather than keeping them in academies overseas. The thinking was that their progress would be accelerated. But many of these kids have been overmatched in the Arizona League and the team there has posted few victories. The Brewers are rethinking their position and might re-open an academy in the Dominican.

 Q:  Clooch from VT asks:
I was surprised to see that Jake Odorizzi missed the top 10, although I'd imagine that he wasn't far away. Judging from his scouting reports before the season, he seemed like a guy that elicited different reactions, but the scouts who liked him really liked him. What can you tell us about him after his first exposure to professional ball?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Odorizzi did OK in Arizona but the Brewers were really careful with his innings. His velocity wasn't as good as it was in HS but that happens a lot because of fatigue. Odorizzi is a fabulous athlete — he was a very good wide receiver in HS — and the Brewers have high expectations for him.

 Q:  Sean McAndrews from London England asks:
Does Gamel have any chance of sticking at 3B? Would he have a reasonable chance in the OF should a corner spot open up or is 1st his only destination short of a trade to the AL?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers are going to see how Gamel looks at 3B this spring. If he doesn't improve, he'll have to move to 1B or an OF spot at some point. An elbow injury forced him out of the Arizona Fall League, which cost him a chance to continue improving in the field.

 Q:  Brian from New Berlin, WI asks:
Hernan Irribarren, he's sniffed the majors twice and the Brewers seem committed to Weeks despite him not living up to expectations. Is he just a classic no power infielder that doesn't hit enough and doesn't have a high enough OBP to make it to the majors or what?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers have played Iribarren in the outfield in the minors because he was blocked at second base by Weeks. He can swing the bat but doesn't seem to fit in at any one particular defensive position. At this point, it appears he'll have to be a utility player in the majors.

 Q:  Nick from Boston asks:
Hey Tom, Thanks for the chat, can you tell me where Brent Brewer slotted in and what to expect from him in 2009? If he plays like his potential, where would be fit in Milwaukee? 2B? Trade bait? Utility? This is, of course, he harnesses all those tools he has! Thanks again!
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I had Brewer at No. 15. He lost some spots because of his struggles offensively. Brewer just needs to keep playing. He was a football player in HS, for the most part, and still needs the experience. He did show me something by going to the Arizona Fall League let as an injury fill-in and bopping some homers. That experience had to help him. He sure has the athletic tools to make it. He just needs the plate discipline.

 Q:  Brewers Fan from Milwaukee asks:
Hey Tom, what can one expect from Cole Gillespie? Is he good enough to start for the Brewers or any other major league team, or is he destined to be a 4th outfielder? Also, do you expect to see him in Milwaukee in 2009 at all? Thanks!
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Gillespie is a nice offensive player — more of a gap hitter than a bomber — who is fundamentally sound in most areas of the game. Barring an unexpected move at the big-league level, however, it's difficult to see him supplanting Braun or Hart in Milwaukee's corner OF. So, at some point, the Brewers will have to figure out what to do with him. He'll move up to Class AAA Nashville this year and try to be ready if anybody goes down in Milwaukee.

 Q:  Sean McAndrews from London England asks:
What is Escobar's ceiling on offence? Could he add enough strength to develop Rollins like power? Could he ever steal 40+ like Reyes? Or is he likely to top out at an Orlando Cabrera type stat line?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: There were concerns about Esbobar's offense until last year, when he really broke through on many fronts. As he continues to fill out and get stronger, he should develop more pop. He can run the bases well and is fabulous to watch in the field. Escobar has been one of the youngest players at every level in which he has played, which tells you something about his skill level. JJ Hardy has done a very nice job for the Brewers but I don't see Escobar being held back for long.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
When do you expect we will see Mat Gamel in the majors and at what position?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Within the next year or two. As noted above, I'll be surprised if it's at third base. Where he eventually plays for the Brewers will be one of the most interesting decisions they'll have in the near future.

 Q:  Meta from Atlanta asks:
Do you see Omar Aguilar as a future closer?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: If Aguilar continues to improve, he indeed could close at some point for the Brewers. At the least, he projects as a solid set-up man at the big-league level.

 Q:  Meta from Atlanta asks:
Do you think Eduardo Morlan will stick? Did he make the top 30?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Morlan has looked strong in winter ball. There are many bullpen candidates but if Morlan does anything, he'll probably be kept because the price is right. I had submitted my Top 30 before Morlan was selected in the Rule 5 draft but I believe BA prospect guru Jim Callis inserted him somewhere in there.

 Q:  Meta from Atlanta asks:
Should we still be excited about Edgar Trejo?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: He wasn't in my Top 30, if that tells you anything.

 Q:  Meta from Atlanta asks:
Eric Fryer, great prospect, or greatest prospect?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: An advanced college hitter, for sure. But is he really a catcher or a DH or what? That is to-be-determined. I gave him some thought but he is not in the Top 30.

 Q:  Bryan from San Francisco asks:
What's the word on Logan Schafer? How much of a chance will he have in an organization with Cain and Dykstra?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers like Schafer and sent him to Hawaii to play some more over the winter. You raise a valid point. Will Schafer hit enough to eventually rank with Cain and Dykstra. Perhaps not. With his athleticism, he might eventually project to an extra OF. Let's see.

 Q:  Brendan from Boulder, Co asks:
Where would you place Salome in the grand scheme among other minorleague catchers? The way his hand-eye coordination offsets his swing from the heels approach reminds me a little bit of Dustin Pedroia's approach. While Pedroia is certainly a unique player and I know you guys HATE making those types of comparisons, how do you think the approaches of the two players compare? Also, Caleb Gindl had an interesting season in A-ball, is he still a prospect? Can you share some thoughts on him?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Salome has an unusual offensive approach but obviously makes it work. Now, let's see how far he progresses defensively. He was shut down immediately in the AFL because of arm problems and could have used the defensive work there. As for Gindl, he obviously can swing the bat. But he's a bit squatty and not a real power hitter, so where will he play in the majors? That's the primary concern at this point.

 Q:  Keith w from Fort Dix NJ asks:
What is Zach Braddock ceiling? Thanks
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Braddock is such an interesting case. He has all kinds of talent, and is a lefty, which helps. He has had some health situations that have held him back, however, raising questions about durability. If he can stay on the mound and continue to gain experience, I think he has a very high ceiling. He's still a young pitcher.

 Q:  Trey from Helena, MT asks:
Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions....Where does Wily Peralta figure into the Brew-Crew's plans? I could see him as a closer/set-up option for us w/ the good FB/CB combo. When he's eligible for the Rule 5, I think 2010, do you think the Brewers will protect him on the 40 man?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Peralta opened eyes again in 2008 after recovering from Tommy John surgery. Because he's big and strong with a blazing fastball, I agree with you that he might eventually project as a closer in the majors. You can bet if he continues to throw like this the Brewers will protect him when the time comes.

 Q:  Zach from Missouri asks:
Alcides Escobar or Elvis Andrus?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I haven't seen Andrus but I've seen Escobar and he is a defensive whiz. I haven't heard the same about Andrus. Many scouts consider Escobar one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He's the cover boy on the new BA, which tells you something.

 Q:  Ryan from Chandler, AZ asks:
I see you have Rickie Weeks in center field for the 2012 line up. Is he still going to hit like he was projected to? I saw a few Brewers games last year, and it did not look good at all. Thanks!
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I'll be honest with you. I don't think I had Weeks in CF in the projections I sent in. I believe it was changed internally at BA, which is their right. The magazine has final editorial say on all copy, which is cool with me. I'd think either Lorenzo Cain or Cutter Dykstra is just as likely to be in that spot.

 Q:  Ike from Detroit asks:
What's the prognosis on Mark Rogers?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Who knows? He has missed two entire seasons, thanks to two shoulder surgeries. I dropped him completely out of the Top 30 this year because I just don't have a feel if he's going to make it back. He's still young and supposedly making progress with his throwing program. Suffice it to say that 2009 is a HUGE year for Mr. Rogers.

 Q:  Andrew D. from Los Angeles, CA asks:
In what order would you rank the farm systems in the NL Central? Would the Brewers be No. 1?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: As far as top to bottom talent, the Brewers might be first. Some of the other teams in the division are weak in their farm systems right now. I hear St. Louis' system is improved. But, again, I'll be honest with you. I don't know the other systems nearly as well as I know the Brewers' system. You would think as bad as Pittsburgh has been they would be piling up the high draft picks but I know they've had some misfires. Not sure how BA is ranking those farm systems right now

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
Great chat! What do you think about Lawrie eventually moving to 1B, with Fielder moving on in a trade? Could he play there? With Gamel or Hardy moving to 3B he seems blocked, and if he doesn't work out at C, it seems 1B would be the most logical spot. Does he have enough power to play there? Is he a possible 35-40 HR guy? How does the Brewers infield appear that it will shake out?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: It wouldn't surprise me if Lawrie found his way to first base at some point. Or the OF. Or 3B. That's how versatile he has been. But, like many of the Brewers' top prospects, Lawrie is much more advanced offensively than defensively. Accordingly, it's going to be some musical chairs in coming years regarding defensive positions for these guys.

 Q:  Jeremy from California asks:
Why is Jeremy Jeffress ranked so high when he is a one pitch pitcher, who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Jeffress indeed has control problems at times, which is not uncommon with young power pitchers. But if you've ever watched him pitch when he's throwing strikes, you'd understand the high-ceiling projections. Beyond a blazing fastball, he throws a pretty good curve ball. Commanding it has been a problem at times. He might profile as a closer at some point.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
The obvious question - would Laporta have still been # 1 had he not been dealt? Also - where would Brantley have ranked had he not moved on? Would he have made the list? Thanks for the chat!
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Not sure if LaPorta would have stayed No. 1. Escobar and Gamel are pretty talented players. And, as noted, Brantley would have been in the Top 10. Some scouts even think he has a higher ceiling than LaPorta.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
Best guess - Brewers catcher in 2011 - Lawrie, Salome, or other?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I'm going to go with Jonathan Lucroy, who probably is a more well-rounded player, offensively and defensively, than those two. But Salome and Lawrie are going to play in the majors at some point. If you look at the Brewers' recent void in developing catchers, this represents an embarrassment of riches, actually.

 Q:  Richard from Ft. Lauderdale asks:
Do you have any thoughts on Brent Brewer?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Fabulous athlete who needs to gain more experience and develop plate discipline.

 Q:  James from Rome,WI asks:
Tom-My question is about Angel Salome and Jeremy Jeffress. Even though both have tremendous potential they are both 1 strike away from being suspended because of previous troubles. Would either have any trade value? Especially Salome since he can only play catcher in the National league.
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I don't see the Brewers trading Jeffress because they don't have many pitching prospects at the top levels. Because of the aforementioned development of depth at catcher, Salome could be traded at some point, I guess.

 Q:  James from Rome,WI asks:
Tom-How does Eric Fryer rate as a C compared to Jonathon Lucroy? I know Fryer has played other positions.
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Lucroy is more advanced defensively. He ranked second among all minor-league catchers last season in throwing out runners on steal attempts.

 Q:  Bob Turner from Brantford, Ontario asks:
Does Brett Lawrie have a chance to be the best hitting Canadian ever amongst the Larry Walkers and Jason Bays? Do you believe he can hit with Angel Salome and out-defense him?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Scouts tell me that Lawrie is one of the most-advanced hitters they've seen at that age, regardless of country of origin. He already has lots of experience in international competition, using wood bats, which most hitters his age can't boast.

 Q:  Mat from Halifax, Nova Scotia asks:
Only 1 pitcher in the top 10 for the Crew? What does this indicate about their minors pitching talent? Should I avoid them altogether, or are there a couple of gems hidden in there somewhere?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The rest of the Top 30 is stocked with pitchers. As noted earlier, the Brewers are thin in pitching at the top levels of the system right now. But there are a lot of promising arms coming up from the lower ranks.

 Q:  Mat from Halifax, Nova Scotia asks:
What is the ceiling on Cutter? Will he be able to cut it as a starting outfielder anywhere, or while he only make it as high as a 4th outfielder?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: That's a good question. Because he just switched to CF, the jury is still out. But he has athleticism and determination, a la his father, and the fact that he's already in the Top 10 should tell you something.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee, WI asks:
While no one expects too much to change with the scouting department, Bruce Seid has noted that he has some small philosophical differences from those of Jack Zduriencik. Have you asked him what those differences are?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I haven't really delved into all of that with Bruce but he knows the Brewers have to be better in advancing pitchers to the big leagues. And the Brewers do have a lot of really good hitters who have question marks defensively. Perhaps Bruce will make some subtle changes in those areas.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
With a successful, although brief stint in the AFL, do you think the Brewers will place Lorenzo Cain at AAA to open 2009?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Yes, I do.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
With the Brewers high ceiling talent and depth do you see them as a top 10 system? Would they had ranked in the top 3 had they kept Laporta and Brantley?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Considering some of the minor league talent the Brewers have traded away in recent years, I think they still have a lot of talent in their farm system. In fact, when I was putting together the Top 30, I was reminded of that fact. It was that depth that convinced the Brewers they could trade away some top prospects to strengthen their big-league club.

 Q:  Adam from Miami asks:
Who do you think was the biggest surprise for the Brewers in 2008? I think Mike Ramlow showed some progress and the ability the Brewer seen in him. He only left Hawaii because of the usage on his arm.
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Biggest surprise? Hard to say. LHP Efrain Nieves and RHP Amaury Rivas are candidates. Both jumped well onto the radar screen with their performances in 2008. And, as noted, RHP Wily Peralta is back in business after recovering from surgery.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
The Timber Rattlers team looks as though it could be loaded thanks to the 2008 draft efforts. In addition to the likes of Peralta, Nieves, Dykstra, Frederickson and Adams, who else ends up in Wisconsin? Lawrie? Odorizzi? Lintz?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Lawrie definitely has a chance. Because Odorizzi and Lintz were really limited in terms of innings after signing, they might have to go back to rookie ball for a spell. But they're also very talented, so they might show up in Appleton before the year is done. You are right. That's going to be a fun club to watch, in terms of talent.

 Q:  Tim from Iowa City asks:
Hey Tom, thanks for taking our questions. I was wondering why you guys don't seem to think Salome is a lock to be the Brewers catcher of the future. He hit .360 last year in Double A which is incredible. That kind of hitting alone should get him to the majors in spite of flaws in his defensive game. Plus, don't you think Salome will have an easier time improving his defense, than a poor hitter would have improving his offense?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Salome indeed could turn out to be that guy. I'm intrigued by how short he is, though. I don't recall seeing a catcher that short in the majors. He's not small, just short. But he can swing the bat and has improved defensively, so it would not be a shock if he becomes a No. 1 catcher.

 Q:  Dick from La Crosse, WI asks:
Tom, Where does RJ Seidel rank among the top 30 prospects? Will he start the season in Brevard County?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I had Seidel at No. 26 (as noted, Morlan was inserted somewhere). He definitely should move up to Brevard after a solid showing at Class A West Virginia.

 Q:  Mark from San Francisco asks:
Where does Evan Frederickson rank ? Thank you.
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I had him at No. 28 (he might have moved down with the insertion of Morlan). I would have placed him higher if he wasn't so wild after signing.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
After seeing several relatively obscure players (Zach Braddock, Taylor Green, Omar Aguilar and Wily Peralta) emerge in recent years as legitimate prospects, who is one player the Brewers think will be next in line to make a name for himself this coming season?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Keep an eye on the aforementioned Efrain Nieves. He's a lefty, which always helps.

 Q:  Jeff from Wauwatosa asks:
Hi Tom. There is no way the Brewers can hope to compete with Chicago or anyone else in the division if they don't acquire another good pitcher. There has been growing sites that are thinking that the Brewers may trade Prince. I've heard Matt Cain mentioned (SF won't do that), but not much else. Who do you think would make good trading partners for our future DH? I do hope they trade Prince and roll the dice with signing a free agent to fill his spot. Their rotation is shaky at best.
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Doug Melvin tells me few teams want to trade good, young pitchers these days, for obvious reasons. I don't really expect Fielder to be traded this winter. Sometime later is a better bet.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
Given the amount of talent at the AAA and AA levels, and the rising cost of the current Brewers payroll due to the amount of youth that is approaching arbitration and free agency, do you expect to see a lot more turnover on the 2010 roster?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Not a ton but there will be some. It's inevitable for small-market franchises such as Milwaukee. You constantly have to turn over your roster over to stay viable economically.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
Who is #1 on this list a year from now?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Of Escobar doesn't make it up to the big leagues, it's probably going to be him again. Otherwise, Lawrie isn't a bad guess.

 Q:  Patrick from Milwaukee asks:
Among positional talent, what is the Brewers greatest organizational weakness?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Probably second base, behind Weeks. I do like Eric Farris, however. I think he's a guy to watch. And there aren't any dynamite first base prospects although, as mentioned, some guys could be switched there.

 Q:  Matt from Toronto asks:
Hello from the great white north (literally at this time of year)! Thanks for doing this. We all know about the raw power in Lawrie's bat, another lumberjack of a Canadian slugger likely headed to the bigs. However, I am unsure about his defense — I don't think he would anything more than an average catcher if everything went right - do you see him more as a 1B or LF down the line, or is there a chance he is nothing more than a DH-type, a liability in the field?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Lawrie will get the chance to catch until he proves he can't do it. Moving to another position is always an options. He has played all over the field as a youngster.

 Q:  Russ from Allentown, PA asks:
What is the scoop on the Rule 5 p/u this year. does he throw junk, speed??
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: More speed than junk. His velocity isn't eye-popping but pretty decent, and he looks like he knows how to pitch.

 Q:  Marty from Orlando asks:
What can you tell me about Mike Ramlow?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers like him. He was considered for the Top 30. He made nice strides in 2008 and is a strike zone-pounder.

 Q:  Tobias funke from asks:
How good can Taylor Green be?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Taylor doesn't have great individual tools but when you put it all together, he's a solid, fundamentally sound player. The Indians seriously considered taking him instead of Brantley in the Sabathia trade.

 Q:  Bill from Aledo asks:
Is Trey Watten a legitimate prospect?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Too soon to tell, really. He scuffled a bit in rookie ball but that's not always a great indication.

 Q:  Jamie from Cleveland, OH asks:
Saw that OF Charlie Fermaint has had a strong winter ball season. Do you think the Brewers have handled him correctly?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: Considering his individual tools, Fermaint has been one of the biggest underachievers in the system. That's why I didn't even rank him in the Top 30 this year. Time for Charlie to get it together.

 Q:  Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Zelous Wheeler hit pretty good at low A and made the all star team - what are your thoughts on his future?
 A: 

Tom Haudricourt: I like Wheeler. He has a lot of zip to his game, is energetic and gets after it. I hope he does well because you have to hope a guy with that name makes it to the majors. Well, folks, that will have to be all for this chat. Sorry if I didn't get to your quest. Thanks so much for partcipating and having interest in the Brewers.