2012 Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects

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.

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Tom Haudricourt
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1. Wily Peralta, rhp
2. Taylor Jungmann, rhp
3. Jed Bradley, lhp
4. Tyler Thornburg, rhp
5. Scooter Gennett, 2b
6. Logan Schafer, of
7. Cody Scarpetta, rhp
8. Taylor Green, 3b/2b
9. Jorge Lopez, rhp
10. Jimmy Nelson, rhp
Best Hitter for Average Taylor Green
Best Power Hitter Hunter Morris
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Nick Shaw
Fastest Baserunner Reggie Keen
Best Athlete D'Vontrey Richardson
Best Fastball Santo Manzanillo
Best Curveball Cody Scarpetta
Best Slider Jimmy Nelson
Best Changeup Dan Meadows
Best Control Michael Fiers
Best Defensive Catcher Martin Maldonado
Best Defensive Infielder Yadiel Rivera
Best Infield Arm Yadiel Rivera
Best Defensive Outfielder Logan Schafer
Best Outfield Arm D'Vontrey Richardson
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy
First Base Hunter Morris
Second Base Rickie Weeks
Third Base Taylor Green
Shortstop Yadiel Rivera
Left Field Ryan Braun
Center Field Logan Schafer
Right Field Corey Hart
No. 1 Starter Yovanni Gallardo
No. 2 Starter Zack Greinke
No. 3 Starter Wily Peralta
No. 4 Starter Taylor Jungmann
No. 5 Starter Jed Bradley
Closer John Axford
Year Player, Position 2011 Org.
2002 Nick Neugebauer, rhp Out of baseball
2003 Brad Nelson, 1b Rangers
2004 Rickie Weeks, 2b Brewers
2005 Rickie Weeks, 2b Brewers
2006 Prince Fielder, 1b Brewers
2007 Yovani Gallardo, rhp Brewers
2008 Matt LaPorta, of Indians
2009 Alcides Escobar, ss Royals
2010 Alcides Escobar, ss Royals
2011 Mark Rogers, rhp Brewers
Year Player, Position 2011 Org.
2002 Prince Fielder, 1b Brewers
2003 Rickie Weeks, 2b Brewers
2004 Mark Rogers, rhp Brewers
2005 Ryan Braun, 3b Brewers
2006 Jeremy Jeffress, rhp Royals
2007 Matt LaPorta, of Indians
2008 Brett Lawrie, c/3b Blue Jays
2009 Eric Arnett, rhp Brewers
2010 *Dylan Covey, rhp U. of San Diego
2011 Taylor Jungmann, rhp Brewers
*Did not sign.
Rickie Weeks, 2003 $3,600,000
Taylor Jungmann, 2011 $2,525,000
Ben Sheets, 1999 $2,450,000
Ryan Braun, 2005 $2,450,000
Prince Fielder, 2002 $2,400,000
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Milwaukee Brewers

When the Brewers decided to retain Prince Fielder despite his pending free agency and gave up three of their best prospects (Brett Lawrie, Jake Odorizzi, Jeremy Jeffress) as well as youngsters Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain in trades for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, it was obvious they were going all-in for the 2011 season.

And then their chip stack grew and grew.

An improved pitching staff propelled Milwaukee to a franchise-record 96 regular-season victories, including a 57-24 mark at Miller Park. The Brewers won their first division title and first playoff series since their World Series season of 1982, dispatching the Diamondbacks in the Division Series before losing to the eventual champion Cardinals in a six-game National League Championship Series.

Greinke and Marcum lived up to expectations, combining for 29 victories and helping lower the team ERA from 4.58 in 2010 (14th-best in the NL) to 3.63 in 2011 (seventh). Homegrown product Yovani Gallardo remained the staff ace, winning 17 games and becoming the first Milwaukee pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts in three consecutive seasons. Reclamation project John Axford tied for the league lead with 46 saves and set a team record by converting his last 43 in a row.

As usual, the offense was productive and led by the formidable 1-2 punch of Ryan Braun and Fielder, who both put together MVP-caliber seasons. Rickie Weeks joined them to give the Brewers three starters in the All-Star Game, a first for the franchise, while Corey Hart had another solid season.

General manager Doug Melvin continued to make astute moves during the season while giving up second- and third-tier prospects. He picked up Nyjer Morgan from the Nationals at the end of spring training, and Morgan ignited the team with his enthusiasm and delivered the Division Series-winning hit. Melvin also acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets to serve as Axford's set-up man, and Jerry Hairston from Washington to fill in for an injured Weeks and a slumping Casey McGehee.

Milwaukee didn't need much help from the minor leagues, though third baseman Taylor Green parlayed a big season at Triple-A into a late-August callup and a spot on the postseason roster. After dropping to 30th in Baseball America's rankings following the Greinke and Marcum deals, the farm system rallied in 2011 and showed some promise for the future.

The Brewers won't necessarily have openings for them, but Green, outfielders Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl and righthander Michael Fiers have proven themselves in Triple-A and could help at the major league level in 2012. Righthander Wily Peralta, the orgnization's No. 1 prospect, allowed just seven runs in five Triple-A starts at the end of the season and isn't far behind.

In order to avoid having to trade for more pitching in the future, Milwaukee continued to focus on arms in the draft. They had two of the top 15 choices in 2011, including a compensation pick for failing to sign first-rounder Dylan Covey the previous year. The Brewers used both first-rounders on advanced college pitchers, Texas righthander Taylor Jungmann and Georgia Tech lefty Jed Bradley, and also picked up righthanders Jorge Lopez (second round), Drew Gagnon (third) and David Goforth (seventh).

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