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We continue to wrap up the 2012 season with links from around the web, including several notes on Norichika Aoki.
The 2012 playoffs are still going on but it's never too early to start looking ahead to 2013, as Adam McCalvy shows us with this position-by-position preview of the offseason.
Meanwhile, here's today's collection of season-in-reviews:
- Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com says the Brewers look strong again for 2013.
- Adam McCalvy says the Brewers' late season run came too late, but showed they still have fight left in them.
J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a review of the position players.
Norichika Aoki is the Brewers' unlikely candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, but Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew is considering him against another surprising Brewer rookie, Mike Fiers. Their unexpected contributions were a key part of the team's 2012 successes.
Aoki, by the way, was the Brewers' position player of the month for September/October after a month where he hit over .300, scored 24 runs and led the NL with 18 extra base hits. Marco Estrada, who posted a 2.63 ERA and struck out 39 opposing batters over 37.2 innings, was the pitcher of the month.
Speaking of Aoki, will his unexpected rookie performance help create more demand for other Japanese position players to make the jump? Bradley Woodrum of FanGraphs used Aoki's performance as part of an argument for reassessing the overall talent level of baseball in Japan.
Aramis Ramirez is probably unlikely to win a Gold Glove at third base and I'm ok with that, but this number did sway my thinking a little: Mark Simon of ESPN notes that Ramirez led all major leaguers with 19 barehanded assists this season.
I guess it's time to reopen the "Today In Free Agency" section: MLB Daily Dish reports the Cubs may look to sign one or more free agents to help fill out their starting rotation for 2013, and Shaun Marcum's name has come up.
I guess a long offseason would give the Brewers time to produce and sell new merchandise: Baseball Musings has a pretty funny Youtube video which, among other things, suggests the Brewers change their name to the "Milwaukee Ryan Brauns."
In the minors:
- The Arizona Fall League kicks off at 2:35 today when the Phoenix Desert Dogs (featuring Brewer minor leaguers) take on Scottsdale.
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has Tyler Thornburg 39th on his preliminary list of the top 50 pitching prospects for 2013. He left Wily Peralta off the initial list but in the comments said he could be #52.
- Sickels also doesn't have any Brewers on his list of the top 50 hitting prospects.
- Mike Newman of FanGraphs lists Huntsville Star Scooter Gennett as the seventh best second baseman he saw in person in 2012.
- The Appleton Post Crescent has a story on Wisconsin's championship rings.
Three more winter league seasons start in the next week as leagues in Venezuela, Mexico and the Dominican Republic open play on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Not all teams in those leagues have announced their rosters, but I can tell you that 2012 Brewers Livan Hernandez, Yorvit Torrealba and Alex Gonzalez are on the reserve list for Caracas.
The Brewers may have been eliminated from contention, but we're still planning on holding a BCB meetup to watch Game One of the World Series at The Tracks Tavern and Grill in Milwaukee on October 24. Make plans to join us and RSVP today, if you haven't already.
You can also feel free to bring your pumpkin: The Brewers want you to take a picture of your Brewer-themed jack-o-lantern for their #BREWITCHED contest.
If you haven't yet (and most of you haven't yet), please take a moment to vote in our Brew Crew Ball Tracking Poll. The poll will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
I've watched nearly every inning of every playoff game over the last few days and I've very rarely had more than mild concerns with the TBS broadcasts, which is a pretty significant improvement from past years (remember when #fisted was a thing?). Will Leitch of Sports on Earth says Turner's postseason coverage is "improved but still flawed." (h/t BBTF)
If you didn't watch last night's games you missed an all-time great Ichiro moment, as he managed to elude the catcher's tag twice while coming in to score a run. Baseball Nation has a gif of the play.
Now. if you'll excuse me, I've found my next haircut.