Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects Chat With Tom Haudricourt





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, 2011.

Moderator: Tom Haudricourt will answer your Brewers questions beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

    JAYPERS (IL): Had he been healthy and signed, where would Dylan Covey have ranked on your list?

Tom Haudricourt: Hi,folks. Let's get started with our Brewers' chat for today. Had Dylan Covey signed with the Brewers, considering what happened with their top prospects being traded this winter, he might have debuted at No. 1.

    Steaky (Mass): What's your assessment of Hunter Morris, and how close to your top 10 list did he rank?

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers think Morris' bat will take him through the system quickly. They even gave him some playing time at third base in the Arizona Fall League. I don't have the list I submitted originally to BA, so I'm not sure where Morris will rank. I believe he was 10-20, somewhere in there.

    JAYPERS (IL): Could you sum up Eric Arnett's problems for us? And did he fall out of your top 30 altogether this year?

Tom Haudricourt: Who knows what happened with that guy. His velocity and stuff diminished greatly from before the draft, which shouldn't happen with a pitcher coming out of college. His confidence eventually was shot from taking so many beatings. The Brewers think fatigue set in from pitching so much without a break, so they completely shut him down this winter.

    Grant (NYC): What are scouts saying about Matt Miller?

Tom Haudricourt: The scouts like Miller a lot. He had fallen back a bit in college but was the workhorse of the Helena team that won the Pioneer League title. He didn't miss by much from making the Top 10.

    JAYPERS (IL): If Rogers and Scarpetta are potential #3 starters, what would you project Peralta as?

Tom Haudricourt: Probably about the same. Rogers might be a No. 2 if he harnesses his control a bit more. Some folks think Peralta could morph into a reliever but the Brewers think his repertoire is good enough to start. He is learning to pitch more to contact and not try to strike out everybody, which means he is evolving as a pitcher.

    Tex (Houston, TX): Khris Davis - prospect or suspect?

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers' love Davis' bat. They just aren't sure exactly where to play him to keep moving him through the system. They've had that problem with players before and eventually figured it out. Davis was given consideration for my Top 30 list but didn't quite make it.

    Dara (Chicago): Is Caleb Gindl still a prospect? If so, where did he rank? thanks Tom

Tom Haudricourt: Gindl just missed making the Top 10. The Brewers are trying him out in center to see if he can handle the work there. He'll probably never be more than average there, if that, but the Brewers think his bat will get him to the majors somewhere. He was one of the youngest players in the Southern League last season and struggled at times but held his own, then fared OK in the Arizona Fall League before wearing down a bit.

    Brent (NY): Is Angel Salome still residing on your top 30? How are his defensive skills these days?

Tom Haudricourt: I'm not sure Salome is even in the system anymore. I haven't heard anybody talk about him. The guy played his way out of a shot at the majors by bugging out on the Brewers as a catcher last year. He requested to move to the outfield, where he was just another guy. A pretty good example of professional suicide, in the opinion of many.

    Travis (Seattle, WA): Tom, Thanks for answering my question. How far outside the top 10 was Tyler Roberts? What can we expect from him down the line? Thank You!

Tom Haudricourt: You know what, folks? My laptop melted down over the weekend and I had to get a replacement, and my original Top 30 list disappeared along the way. So, I don't know the exact rankings beyond the Top 10. I do know Roberts is in there and I want to say in the 20-30 group. I do know that scouts said he made a huge leap in the Arizona Rookie League last year and he is considered a legitimate big-league prospect now. And a lot of it was self-taught before he was drafted.

    JAYPERS (IL): Do you think any of these Top 10 deserves to rank on BA's Top 100 overall prospects list? If so, which ones?

Tom Haudricourt: I'm guessing none of them will make the Top 100 but I could be wrong. Maybe Rogers will because of the way his stuff came back last year after two years of shoulder problems.

    Jasen (FLL): What are the odds that Rogers can stick as a SP in the majors?

Tom Haudricourt: A lot better than they used to be. Getting his feet wet last September helped. A lot will depend on how his control looks this year. It was a bit shaky last year. He also needs to continue to build up his arm after being "babied" a bit with pitch counts last year. I'm guessing he'll start the year in the rotation at Class AAA Nashville with hopes of being ready should the need arise during the season.

    Hank (Milwaukee): Thanks for the chat Tom. What can you tell me about the ceiling of RHP Joel Pierce. Seems like he was one of the few high-upside picks the Brewers managed to sign in this year's draft.

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers would disagree with that assessment that he was one of the few high-upside picks they signed. For instance, they think Puerto Rican shortstop Yadiel Rivera, taken two picks after Pierce, has high upside. As for Pierce, those Canadian prep pitchers haven't pitched enough to get a good read on them, at least for me. Let's wait until he gets on the mound this year and see what he looks like, then I'll be better able to answer that question.

    Jasen (FLL): Excluding Rogers, who has the highest ceiling in the system and why?

Tom Haudricourt: That's a tough question. Because Cody Scarpetta is still developing as a pitcher, and is such a big, workhorse-type of kid, he could be somebody to watch. He'll pitch most of next season at 22.

    Jim (Indiana): The Brew Crew washed away a great deal of their system acquiring Greinke, Betancourt and Marcum, which seems like a potential playoff making difference. Are any of what they gave up, primarily Lawrie, Odorizzi and Jeffress, viewed as potential All Stars? I'm guessing solid players but not stars, correct?

Tom Haudricourt: In my opinion, Odorizzi was the most special player traded away because he has such good "pitchability" at such an early age. He could be a top-of-the rotation starter if he continues to develop. Lawrie's probably going to hit. Just not sure where he'll eventually land in the field. I'm guessing it won't be at second base but I could be wrong.

    James (Rome,WI): Tom- Taylor Green ever going to amount to anything other than being good at getting hurt?

Tom Haudricourt: I really liked Taylor a couple of years ago (and still do as a person) but injuries have taken a toll for a player with "fringy" talent to begin with. He just hasn't been able to stay healthy and continue progressing. I don't have him in my Top 30 this year, which tells you something. He needs to make a move in 2011.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Caleb Gindall or Lee Haydel? Who do you pick for your team? Salome or Lecroy?

Tom Haudricourt: I guess you didn't hear that Salome is no longer a catcher, by his own choice. As for Haydel and Gindl, too bad you can't combine Haydel's defense with Gindl's offense. Then you'd have a heck of a center fielder.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): We know Grienke makes the Brewers. Of the guys traded for Zach (Ordorizzi, Cain, Escobar, and Jeffries) who makes the 2011 Kansas City roster?

Tom Haudricourt: Well, Escobar will be KC's starting shortstop. And I'm guessing Cain has a real good chance to be their center fielder. He was in a prime position for the Brewers at that position and I know the Royals insisted that he be included in the trade. Jeffress might earn a bullpen spot but Odorizzi played last year in low Class A so you won't see him for awhile.

    Jim (Indiana): Please correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not aware of any solid, "big league regular" catching prospects in the Brewers' system. Given the number of top catching prospects in the Yankees system, is a trade a possibility? I'm dreaming but would Braun bring Gardner and Montero?

Tom Haudricourt: As noted earlier, Tyler Roberts has the potential to be a good big-league catcher. And the Brewers think Jonathan Lucroy, who was force-fed to the majors last year after Gregg Zaun was injured, will hold his own. Keep an eye on Cameron Garfield, too, but he has to smooth out some rough edges first.

    William (Salt Lake City, UT): Is the Brewers farm system now a bottom of the barrel farm system or middle of the road ?

Tom Haudricourt: Well, I know BA is ranking them as bottom of the barrel. I don't know what other farm systems have. Most of the Brewers' talent is low in the system now, so let's see how many make moves this year and whether there's more there than people think.

    Joe (Wisconsin): Do you feel Rogers can sustain enough to be a starter, or could we be looking at a power closer at some point?? I am not sold on Axford, so the Brew Crew might need a back up plan...

Tom Haudricourt: How could you have watched Axford pitch last year and not like him? All he had to do was replace the all-time saves leader and prove he should have the job, which he did. I've heard no talk of making Rogers a closer.

    Marcus (Sheboygan): This has to be one of the worst top-10's in BA history, right? I mean, when your #1 prspect is a 25-year old reliever...well, that's just sad! What has happened to this organization?!? No future impact players at all?!?! U-G-L-Y! Is there any hope here for Brewers fans???

Tom Haudricourt: Mark Rogers is not a reliever. Look, the Brewers traded Lawrie, who was going to be No. 1, then Odorizzi, who was going to replace him at No. 1, as well as Jeffress, who was going to be No. 3. Mat Gamel no longer qualifies because he lost rookie status, and last year's No. 1, Escobar, is gone. So, when you lose that many top-of-the-line guys, the Top 10 is going to take a hit. The Brewers thought it was more important to try to win in 2011 after two disappointing seasons. Judging from the impact in ticket sales, it seems like their fans agree.

    Mike (Minnesota): What's the good word on Max Walla? I know he's struggled thus far, but does he have any future with the Brewers in the coming years?

Tom Haudricourt: Walla has been pretty bad thus far. He hasn't shown any of the power that wowed people in pre-draft workouts. Considering he was the pick the Brewers' got from the Yankees for losing CC Sabathia as a free agent (2nd round in '09), he better get going.

    James (Rome,WI): Tom-Where is Hunter Morris going to end up? I know he played 1B at Auburn, some LF at WI, and then played a little 3B in the AFL. Isn't his bat good enough to advance fast through the system?

Tom Haudricourt: The Brewers plan to keep looking at Morris at different positions though he played 1B at Auburn. They do like his bat a lot and think that will keep him moving up.

    Grace (Ohio): Does Kentrail Davis end up having the bat to compare favorably to Brian Giles or does he come up short and end up as a Caleb Gindl type?

Tom Haudricourt: Hard to say right now. He had hamstring problems in the humidity at Brevard County and was dropped to cooler temps at Wisconsin, where he batted .335 in 64 games with a .939 OPS. There's a lot of talent there but he and Gindl are similar-type players at this point. Davis is just getting his career started, though.

    Shawn Nelson (Chippewa Falls,Wi.): Hi Tom,I was a little surprised not to see Gindl or Schafer in the top ten. What are their ceilings? Thanks.

Tom Haudricourt: Schafer missed almost the entire 2010 season or he might have been in the Top 10. He needs to stay healthy and re-establish himself but the Brewers think he could play defense in the majors right now. Gindl is more of an offensive player, which might limit him to a backup role in the majors. If Schafer stays healthy this year, he could be the Brewers' center fielder soon.

    Kade Nelson (Chippewa Falls,Wi.): What do you think of Erik Komatsu and Cam Garfield? Also,any chance Arnett turns it around? Thanks.

Tom Haudricourt: Komatsu is a guy to watch because after an injury-plagued 2009, he played very well last season. The Brewers think he's going to be an on-base type guy and therefore a future leadoff hitter. Garfield has to continue to catch, get experience and prove he'll hit enough to be more than a projected backup. As for Arnett, let's just say that 2011 is a mighty big year for him.

    Shane (Miami): Tom - My condolences on having to put together this list; however, I am one that believes the Brewers used their system properly in making their deals for Greinke and Marcum, if they feel they can contend. What are your thoughts about Gennett sticking at second?

Tom Haudricourt: Second base is definitely the position for Gennett in the future because he comes up a bit short defensively at shortstop. He's one of those gritty kids who does what it takes to win. Gotta like anybody named "Scooter," right?

    Dave (Atlanta): Any hope for former bonus baby Rolando Pascual?

Tom Haudricourt: No longer in the system, to the best of my knowledge.

    Dave (Atlanta): Will Mark DiFelice be healthy for spring training?

Tom Haudricourt: Supposedly, yes. The question is how much losing a year will do to his stuff as an older pitcher. He already defied the odds to get to the majors, so I wouldn't put anything past him.

    Dave (Atlanta): Is Alex Periard still a prospect? Do the Brewers see him as a starter or reliever?

Tom Haudricourt: Periard's stock has plummeted since shoulder injuries derailed him in 2009. He is still seen as a starter but he didn't make my Top 30 this year, if that helps answer your question.

    Michael (Milwaukee): Is the Brewers plan for rebuilding the worst farm system in baseball, to trade away Greinke and Marcum next year, and possibly Weeks and Fielder; if the master "win now" plan does not work?

Tom Haudricourt: Why would the Brewers trade top prospects for Greinke and Marcum with plans to trade them next year? The big-league club would have to implode considerably for that to happen. Both guys are under control through 2012. Weeks and Fielder are free agents after this season, however. The Brewers hope to extend Weeks' contract before spring training. Doesn't look promising with Fielder. Should the Brewers fall out of the playoff race by July, his name would come up prominently on the trade market. They don't expect that to happen, however.

    Marty (Philly): Tom, Whats the word on Mike Ramlow (LHP). The year before and after TJ, he has proven to be a pretty useful lefty? Any thoughts on why he is overlooked?

Tom Haudricourt: I just don't hear his name come up much. One thing that was weird about him last season at Class A Brevard is that lefties batted .344 against him and righties batted .194. That's strange. He did have a good strikeout rate (9.71 per 9 innings), however. Never count out left-handed relievers.

    Josh (Miami): Will Brendan Katin ever get his shot at the next level? He misses 6 weeks and still has 26 HR, 75+ RBI and batted over .285. For a guy who they say never walks, he had a .382 OBP. Thoughts?

Tom Haudricourt: If Katin hasn't gotten his chance by now, it's hard to imagine what it would take to get one. When you're not invited to big-league camp, that's not a good sign.

    Jesse (Green Bay): If Mat Gamel were eligible would he have been #1? Does this guy finally get a chance to stick at the big league level this year?

Tom Haudricourt: Gamel might have been No. 1 if eligible. People tend to forget his prospect status because he's no longer rookie-eligible and therefore off the "prospect" list.

    Bryce (Calgary): Did Joel Pierce receive consideration for the top 30?

Tom Haudricourt: Not really. Until a guy pitches, it's hard to know what you've got. Let's see what he looks like in 2011.

    Perry S (Santa Fe, NM): Does Rafael Neda project as the Brewers catcher of the future? Does he have the bat to make a position change possible down the road?

Tom Haudricourt: Neda didn't play enough (13 games in rookie ball) in 2010 for me to get any solid scouting report on him. I'll be better able to answer that question after 2011.

    Petey Pablo (Carrboro NC): Where will Del Howell begin 2011 and did he make the top 30? Thanks!

Tom Haudricourt: I dropped Howell out of my Top 30 this time because he just didn't throw the ball well at low Class A Wisconsin. He'll probably go back to that squad to start 2011 but that could change with a big spring. He just needs to get better command of his pitches.

    Pony (Chicago): What is going on with Matt Gamel? He seems like he has the talent to hit why won't they give him a chance? Thanks.

Tom Haudricourt: There just hasn't been a spot for Gamel, who also has been derailed by injuries the past two years. He played primarily at third base but the Brewers are set there with Casey McGehee. He has gotten work as a corner outfielder but the Brewers have all-stars Ryan Brauna and Corey Hart there. Should Prince Fielder leave via free agency as expected after 2011, Gamel could land at first base down the line. There just hasn't been an opening for him yet. Well, folks, I'm going to have to move on to other things. Hope you enjoyed the chat today. Thanks for your interest and participation.