Brewers' Komatsu Completes Comeback In Style

MILWAUKEE—Erik Komatsu didn't come out of nowhere in 2010. It only seemed that way.

Drafted in the eighth round in 2008 out of Cal State Fullerton, Komatsu did not rank among the organization's top prospects at the start of the season. The diminutive, 5-foot-10 outfielder fell off the radar screen last year while being limited to 26 games by a concussion, followed by wrist and hamstring injuries.

"Last year, I was hurt all season," Komatsu said. "My main goal this year was to stay healthy."

Mission accomplished.

Komatsu, 23, played in 130 games for high Class A Brevard County, batting .323/.413/.442 with five home runs, 31 doubles, 28 stolen bases and more walks (68) than strikeouts (61). The lefthanded hitter led the Florida State League in walks, runs scored (90) and on-base percentage, and he ranked second in average and hits (157).

Komatsu played all three outfield positions, making 73 starts in center, 30 in right and 22 in left. For those across-the-board contributions, the Brewers named him their minor league player of the year.

Farm director Reid Nichols delivered the news to Komatsu in Phoenix after a round of batting practice in instructional league.

"I was kind of taken by surprise," Komatsu said. "I feel I worked hard in the offseason and it paid off."

Brevard County is notoriously tough on power hitters, so Komatsu learned early on to concentrate on line drives. He slugged .500 on the road, compared with .388 at home.

"It was tough," he said. "At the beginning, it was like, 'What am I going to do?' You've got to find a way to get through it. I took (home runs) out of the equation. I kept hitting line drives and figured the doubles would turn into home runs somewhere else.

"I feel there's more improvement to come. I'm looking forward to it. I just need to get more experience at higher levels."


• Righthander Jake Odorizzi won organization minor league pitcher of the year honors for going 7-3, 3.43 in 23 games (20 starts) for low Class A Wisconsin. He led the Midwest League with 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings while holding opponents to a .212 average.

• Third baseman Mat Gamel left the Brewers with less than a week remaining in the season to have surgery on his left big toe, an injury that caused him discomfort all season with Triple-A Nashville. He batted .309/.387/.511 with 13 homers in 311 at-bats for the Sounds.