There’s still not much happening in terms of Brewers news — that much is clear when Tom Haudricourt is tweeting about the snow (I imagine him these days reclined in his cublicle like Peter in Office Space, playing Tetris with Cheetos scattered across the desk). That means we have to pass the time somehow, and many are turning to projecting Opening Day rosters and ranking prospects.
Brew Crew Ball is undertaking a community prospect ranking project, letting readers do the ranking. Predictably, Alcides Escobar grabbed the #1 spot, and the #2 spot seems to be a race between Mat the Bat and Brett Lawrie.
Matt Hagen at The Hardball Times rolled out his prospect rankings for the Washington Nationals and the Brewers yesterday, also predictably ranking Escobar #1. From there, though, his prospect list looks a lot different than most others. Mat Gamel doesn’t make the list (presumably due to losing rookie status last year), and Caleb Gindl is ranked third, ahead of the likes of Jonathan Lucroy, Eric Arnett, and Angel Salome. To Hagen’s credit, his list is certainly unique, but he doesn’t provide much reasoning for Gindl’s ranking beyond seemingly having a hunch that he’ll break out in Double A this year.
Ranking the Brewers’ prospects isn’t as easy as it’s been in recent years, with so many players graduating the system or falling off the radar. If I had to do a ranking of my own, it would look something like this:
2. Gamel (Including him because we still don’t really know what we have in him)
5. Angel Salome (Let’s see what he can do with a healthy year, but finding ABs will be tough if Lucroy is also in Nashville)
6. Zach Braddock (Could make an appearance in the Brewers’ bullpen as soon as this year)
7. Eric Arnett (Interested to see how he does with the handcuffs off..won’t have to worry about high college inning totals)
8. Taylor Green
9. Logan Schafer
10. Jake Odorizzi
A bit short on pitching, but we already knew that — beyond the talent in the low minors, there’s not a lot there, and most teams can boast a few live arms at those levels. While the Brewers’ system still has a few bats that could make an impact in the majors, the same can’t be said for pitching. It’s one of the things that goes overlooked when people look at Jack Z’s success here (especially by those who look at what he’s doing with a bigger budget in Seattle and start crying for Melvin’s head) — for all the good he did building the system’s offensive power, he largely failed to produce big league arms.