Milwaukee Brewers Top-15 Prospects of 2009, No’s 6 – 15
For an overview of the process used to grade players, the factors used to determine where a player ranks, and other frequently asked questions, please click here. All grades are subject to change based on any new information I receive before the start of the season. If you disagree, you can make your case by contacting me or you can make a comment below at the bottom of the page.
You can find a full listing of each team’s top prospect list in the Top Prospect List Archive Page. Also, each team will have their Team Page published when their top prospect list becomes available. Team pages include team rosters, stats, payroll and front office information, past Baseball-Intellect articles related to that team, and links to some of the team’s best fan sites. We wrap up the Milwaukee Brewers…
Also See: Milwaukee Brewers, Prospects 1 – 5
6. Jon Lucroy | C | B – R | A+ Brevard County | Age – 22 | Drafted – Round 3, 2007
Body Type – strong build, not a great athlete, but not bad for a catcher
Lucroy has hit at all three levels in his two professional seasons. His power blossomed a bit this past season. After posting just a .145 ISO-power in Helena, Lucroy upped his power to .200 in a pitcher’s park in West Virginia and sustained a .176 ISO in Brevard County.
Lucroy has a line drive stroke with a bit of loft and should hit for at least average power. He doesn’t strike out too often and is really just a solid all around player though he doesn’t have many plus tools. His plate discipline is solid, but he’ll need to work on laying off the breaking stuff.
Defensively, Lucroy is said to only possess an average arm, but his quick release accounted for a caught stealing percentage of around 40%. His general receiving skills appear to be solid with just three passed balls in 400+ innings, but his blocking skills need work as he allowed 25 wild pitches.
Best Case Outcome – Top-12 everyday catcher
More Likely Outcome – Average everyday catcher
7. Lorenzo Cain | CF | B – R | Double-A Huntsville | Age – 23 | Drafted – Round 17, 2004
Body Type – very wiry and athletic
Cain’s value took a big boost as the Brewers decided to move Cain from a corner outfield spot to center field. His bat didn’t really profile well in one of the corner spots, but it’s a different story in center field.
Cain made tremendous strides with the bat, showing a better propensity to walk and a significant increase in power and hard contact.
He still strikes out too much and it would be nice to see a few more walks, but the progress was excellent to see. Also encouraging was the improvement each month of the season and how he actually performed better after he was promoted to Double-A Huntsville.
*Credit to Minor League Baseball
Cain has very quick wrists, which help him generate excellent bat speed, though his loading process is a bit long. There is a chance he can continue to add power as his frame fills out. Notice how he lets the ball travel deep into his hitting zone before unloading on the ball. This is a great indication of Cain’s bat speed.
Cain was an excellent defensive right fielder and while he has to cover more ground in center field, he still has above average range.
Best Case Outcome – Above average everyday center fielder
More Likely Outcome – Average everyday center fielder
8. Jake Odorizzi | RHP | AZL (Rookie) | Age – 19 | Drafted – Round 1 (32), 2008
Body Type – athletic and projectable
I scouted Odorizzi early last Summer.
I thought he was an excellent value pick with a lot of upside for Milwaukee. I would of liked to see a little more dominance in his performance, but the sample size was incredibly small. Reports were that his velocity was down somewhat, which isn’t surprising considering it was the end of a very long baseball season for Odorizzi. I suspect he’ll start next season in Helena.
Best Case Outcome – No. 2 starter
More Likely Outcome – Too soon to say
*Update on 10/30/09 – For a pitch-by-pitch report on Odorizzi during the 2009 season, click here
9. Taylor Green | INF | B – L | A+ Brevard County | Age – 22 | Drafted – Round 25, 2005
Body Type – sort of a squatty type of player
Green’s physical tools don’t rate as plus, but he has an advanced understanding of the strike zone and excellent plate discipline as evidenced by his better than 1:1 BB:K ratio.
He projects for average, maybe slightly below average power down the road, but should be able to post very good OBPs.
*Credit to Minor League Baseball
Green keeps the bat head in the strike zone for a long period of time as well as keeps the bat connected to his body, both of which help in making consistent contact. While he’s a little out in front on the pitch above, he generally see’s the ball into his hitting zone. His bat speed grades out as slightly above average.
The biggest question for Green comes on defense. His range and arm are average at third base, and while he would profile best at second base, he may not have the quickness for the position.
Best Case Outcome – Average third baseman or above average offensive second baseman
More Likely Outcome – Utility player that plays all over the diamond and gets around 450 AB per year
10. Cutter Dykstra | CF | B – R | Helena (Rookie) | Age – 18 | Drafted – Round 2, 2008
Body Type – Short and athletic
Dykstra, son of former major league player Lenny Dykstra, is known to be an excellent athlete and will be used in center field for the Brewers. His arm is sorta fringy, but he has the natural talent to make the transition work.
Dykstra isn’t the biggest guy in the world, but is said to have pretty good power for his size. The only looks I’ve had of Dykstra’s swing is from his draft video and I’ve kept in mind that the video was taken in 2007 and there have probably been some changes since that time. In those swings, Dykstra displayed quick wrists and a quick bat, but he also displayed too handsy of a swing where he achieved extension out in front before contact instead of letting the ball travel deep into his hitting zone. Ideally, the hips and hands should turn together. Dykstra’s swing ordinarily isn’t conducive to hitting for power though there have been exceptions.
*Credit to the MLB Scouting Bureau
I wouldn’t be too concerned about his swing at this point, however, because he has the natural ability to make the necessary adjustments and he did display decent power in his debut season in Helena. However — in a small sample size — Dykstra put the ball on the ground way too much, which is a symptom of a handsy swing and my hope is that he’s not taught to hit the ball on the ground in a way to make better use of his plus speed.
The biggest positive that can be taken away from Dykstra’s first professional season was his excellent patience at the plate. He walked in a tremendously high percentage of his plate appearances.
Best Case Outcome – Above average center fielder…fits the profile of a lead-off hitter
More Likely Outcome – Too soon to say
11. Cody Scarpetta | RHP | Helena (Rookie) | Age – 19 | Drafted – Round 11, 2007
Scarpetta is a big pitcher with a durable frame. His fastball is clocked between 92 – 94 mph with a lot of natural movement that he’ll have some difficulty getting a handle on. The pitch has a sneaky quality to it. His curveball is of the power variety, coming in between the mid – upper 70′s with a lot of bite. Consistency can be an issue, but the pitch flashes plus potential. Scarpetta also has a change-up that is still in development.
Scarpetta is one of the highest upside players in the Brewers’ system. The sample size is small, but he overwhelmed the AZL and Pioneer League during his short stint. Scarpetta looks to attack the strike zone, but will struggle with his command at times because of an inconsistent release point. In addition to missing bats, Scarpetta has the ability to induce ground balls.
He’s a guy that could move quickly through the Brewers farm system especially if he can harness the command of his fastball.
Grade – C+
ETA – 2012
12. Caleb Gindl | OF | B – L | Single-A West Virginia | Age – 19 | Drafted – Round 5, 2007
Gindl is a short and stocky player that has a solid all around bat, but doesn’t play a position where his bat will ultimately play well. He’s an aggressive hitter though he’s more than willing to take a walk, but will struggle to make contact at times. His bat speed is solid, but doesn’t rate as plus. He does show an ability to make hard contact using a line drive stroke, but doesn’t hit for much power. Since he has a limited amount of projection left, it’s a question for how much power he’ll eventually develop.
Grade – C+
ETA – 2011
13. Cole Gillespie | OF | B – R | AA Huntsville | Age – 24 | Drafted – Round 3 (92), 2006
Gillaspie won’t wow anybody with his tools, but he has an extremely good understanding of the strike zone. He’s a better athlete than you would expect, but not good enough for anything other than a corner outfield spot. He’s a very heady base runner and managed to steal 17 bases last season.
The biggest issue for Gillespie is that while his bat is good, it’s not great, especially for a corner outfield spot. His power only grades out as average and he strikes out too much to hit for a high batting average. He’ll be a useful role player, as a guy who can play both corner outfield spots capably, as well as first base.
Grade – C+
ETA – Mid-2009
14. Zach Braddock | LHP | A+ Brevard County | Age – 21 | Drafted – Round 18, 2005
Braddock has legit talent that’s backed up by his production, but he has never been able to stay healthy. His low 90′s fastball has good life and his hard, late breaking slider generates plenty of swings-and-misses. The pitch is especially tough on lefties.
Braddock’s control went south on him last year for whatever reason and to remain a starter, he needs to do a better job of throwing strikes and getting deeper in games. He has the stuff to remain a starter, but he has to show he has the durability to start. I think he ultimately ends up as a very solid set-up guy out of the bullpen as long as he can remain healthy.
Grade – C+
ETA – 2011
15. Efrain Nieves | LHP | Helena (Rookie) | Age – 19 | Drafted – Round 7, 2007
For a scouting report on Nieves, you will need to subscribe to the FREE Baseball-Intellect Newsletter by using the form below:
For readers already using an RSS feed for site updates, you can skip the updates and sign up for just the content that does not appear on the main site by clicking here.
Other C+ Prospects (in no particular order): Wily Peralta (great arm, good early performance), Erik Komatsu (put up good numbers, ability to play CF makes him very intriguing), Seth Lintz (see scouting report by clicking here), Omar Aguilar (another power arm with spotty control), Cody Adams (like him, a few mechanical tweaks could bring his fastball up another notch), Josh Romanski (doesn’t have good fastball velocity, but he has a deep repertoire, advanced pitchability, and commands all his pitches), Maverick Lasker (projectable young starter with three potential average or better pitches)
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): Rob Wooten, Blake Billings, Evan Frederickson (click here to see scouting report, Evan Anundsen, Alexandre Periard, Brent Brewer, Roque Mercedes, Shawn Zarraga, Bobby Bramhall, Nick Green
Also See: Milwaukee Brewers Team Page
Up Next: Pittsburgh Pirates, Prospects 1 – 5
What to Do Next