USA TODAY Sports
ESPN's top 500 project continued today, and four more Brewers were on the portion of the list unveiled on Friday.
As I've mentioned a couple of times this week (401-500), (301-400), ESPN has taken on a major project to rank the top 500 players in baseball for the 2013 season and enlisted the help of 34 employees to do so.
Jonathan Lucroy, #213: The Brewers' primary catcher checks in here, up from 330 a year ago. Lucroy only appeared in 96 games a year ago but hit .320/.368/.513 in his breakout campaign. He's a few spots on the rankings behind Tigers catcher Alex Avila (#204) and new Ranger A.J. Pierzynski (#208) but ahead of Mariners backstop Jesus Montero (#214).
Carlos Gomez, #219: The newest long-term Brewer made a big leap on this list this year, coming all the way up from #458 a year ago. He set a new career high with 19 home runs a year ago, which was enough to get him in between Indians reliever Chris Perez and new Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster.
John Axford, #228: While Carlos Gomez is a quick riser on this list, John Axford is headed in the opposite direction. He was #84 a year ago, and is down nearly 150 spots after his ERA ballooned from below 2 in 2011 to 4.67 in 2012.
Norichika Aoki, #244: A year ago at this time Aoki had never played a professional game in the US, but today he's one of the game's top 250 players. ESPN has him slightly behind fellow outfielders Ichiro Suzuki (#238) and David Murphy (#243) and ahead of Ben Revere (#254) and Adam Eaton (#262).