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The Micro Brew Review: 6/4/10

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I don't know about you, but I dream about the impact our minor league stars might have on the big league club one day.
I don't know about you, but I dream about the impact our minor league stars might have on the big league club one day.

Recap
Nashville (AAA): The Sounds suffered a tough loss last night, but still were able to finished the week with a 5-2 record. The Sounds took three of four against the I-Cubs and two of three against the Albuquerque Isotopes (LAD). At 32-22 Nashville is still in first in the PCL American northern division. Although now that Heether is gone, who knows how long they can hold on to that lead?

Huntsville (AA): The Stars had a difficult week going 2-5. Despite solid offensive contributions from some of their star players (no pun intended), Huntsville lost 2 of 3 against the Birmingham Barons (CWS) and 3 of 4 against the Mobile Bay Bears (ARI) and are now 25-29. They are now tied for third (or second last) place in the Southern League north division.

Brevard County (A+): The Manatees also had a difficult week, going 2-4. They went 1-2 in the final two games of a four game series with the Ft. Myers Miracle (MIN) and lost two of three against the Jupiter Hammerheads (FLA). At 19-35, the Manatees are still last in the FSL north division, 12.5 games behind the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Wisconsin (A): The Rattler’s also had a difficult week (are you noticing a trend?), but closed it out nicely with a win last night against the Ft. Wayne TinCaps (SDP). The week started with a four game sweep at the hands of the Cedar Rapids Kernels (LAA) and ended with a series win against the TinCaps. Overall, they were 2-5 on the week. At 20-34, the T-Rats are in second last in the Midwest League western division, 15 games back from the Kernels.

Dominican: The DSL Brewers are 1-2 so far this season. This is about all I know about them. If you can read Spanish, you can find out more here.

Transactions
It was a very busy week in the minors this week, with new players signing, and some interesting names moving up the ladder.

-Kameron Loe and Chris Capuano joined the big league club from Nashville, while Adam Stern and Marco Estrada were sent back down to Nashville.
-Jeff Bennet and Brian Bruney signed new contracts.
-Chuck Caulfield, Mark Rogers, Mat Gamel and Martin Maldonado were moved from Huntsville to Nashville. Caulfield and Rogers were then immediately sent back down.
-Andre Lamontagne was promoted from Wisconsin to Helena.
-Dan Merklinger was promoted from Brevard Co. to Huntsville, pitched in one game, and was immediately sent back down.
-Taylor Green, Josh Butler, and Angel Salome were activated from the DL, while Amaury Rivas and Ben Johnson were placed on the 7-day DL.
-2008 supplemental first round pick Evan Frederickson was sent down from Brevard Co. to Helena.
-Long-time farm-hand Chris Errecart was released.
-Adam Heether was placed on waivers and swiped up by the Athletics

Five Up
1. Scooter Gennett: Scooter capped off another impressive week with a homer and another 3 hit game last night. He collected at least one hit in each game this week, 13-25 (.520) overall, raising his average to .358.

2. Brett Lawrie: This is the second week in a row that Lawrie had made the Five Up list, which is very encouraging. Lawrie went 8-24 (.333) this week and hit his fourth homer of the season last night. He also collected two triples and raised his average to .267.

3. Luis Cruz: Cruz had almost as good of a week as Gennett, going 10-21 (.476). He also collected at least one hit in every game this week, including two doubles and two home runs.

4. Mat Gamel: It may have only been a rehab assignment, but Mat Gamel was looking like the old Mat Gamel again last week. He hit .393 with a homer, two doubles and 5 RBIs for the Stars before being promoted to Nashville yesterday.

5. Lorenzo Cain: Cain has been on fire this week, going 12-26 (.461) including a triple and a homer. He also collected two stolen bases. This is Cain’s second week in a row in the Top 5 and his average is now up to .353. I think its time for a promotion.

Five Down
1. Kyle Dhanani: The third baseman was promoted to Wisconsin last week and has struggled. He collected only three hits in 16 ABs(.166).

2. Evan Frederickson: If you read the transactions, you’ll notice that Frederickson really is down, to Helena (re: extended spring training). He only pitched in one game this week , but he allowed two runs and couldn’t record an out. If you look at his page on the Manatees website, you’ll find his ERA for that day is (*.**), or basically, infinity.

3. Erik Miller: Miller started the year at Brevard Co. and struggled so he was sent back down to Wisconsin where he has continued to struggle. He went 3-17 on the week (.176.)

4. Brock Kjeldgaard- The former pitcher whose known for his power is having a hard time in pitcher friendly Brevard Co. this year. He went 3-21 (.143) this week. Although he does lead the Manatees in home runs with a whopping 2.

5. Michael Marseco: It’s been another hard week for the Rattler’s SS. For the second straight week, he has only collected 1 hit (1-21, .047).

Power Rankings

The first Friday of every month I’m going to add Power Rankings. Now, before you read this list, know these things.

  • Firstly, this is not like brewerfan.net’s Power 50. That is an overall top prospects ranking; this is a ranking of the players who are having the best season so far.
  • Players who are on the major league roster who were having good years in the minors are not included in this list (see: Axford, John).
  • Certain stats and factors had more weight than others when I threw together these rankings. For instance, starting pitchers had more weight than relievers. Players who are younger for their level had more weight than players who are older for their level.
  • Also, I like OPS and WHIP.

And now, on to the list...

  1. Scooter Gennett (2B/IF, A)- The 2009 16th-rounder has been a very pleasant surprise this year. He just keeps hitting and hitting, to the tune of a .358 AVG.. He’s also hitting with decent power (.479, a plus considering his size) and getting on base at a nice rate (.414 OBP).
  2. Jake Odorizzi (SP, A)- Odorizzi has had a couple rough outing this year, but has pitched very well for the most part with a nice 3.47 ERA. His peripherals are nice. He’s struck out an impressive 60 batters in 46.2 innings, good for a 11.6 K/9 rate. His walk rate is a little high at 3.3/9 innings, but that’s to be expected at a young age. He also sports a sparkly 1.11 WHIP.
  3. Lorenzo Cain (CF, AA)- After a disappointing, injury-filled 2009, Cain is having a very nice bounce back season, sporting a slash line of .360/.453/.507. He’s also stolen 12 bases and has only been caught once.
  4. Kyle Heckathorn (SP, A)- Heckathorn has had a couple rough outings early in the season, but has been pretty dominant the rest of the time. He‘s got a nice 1.12 WHIP to go with a 2.72 ERA, and most encouragingly, a walk rate of 1.7/9 innings.
  5. Amaury Rivas (SP, AA)- Rivas recently landed on the DL, but he was having a great season before that. He’s only allowed more than 2 runs in 3 outings this year and has a nice WHIP of 1.21. He’s a tad old for AA, so a promotion this year would do a lot to raise his stock.
  6. Erik Komatsu (OF, A+)- An 8th rounder in 2008, Komatsu missed almost all of last year with a concussion and a hamstring strain. But he is back this year and it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. He’s got a nice slash line of .307/.374/.406. and has stolen 13 bases without being caught. This might be asking a lot in the FSL, but I’d like to see some more power from the guy who hit 11 homers in Helena in 2008.
  7. Nick Bucci (SP, A)- If you look at ERA alone, it appears that Bucci is having an outstanding season. While he is having a good season, his peripherals leave much to be desired. He has somehow managed to maintain a 1.74 ERA with a BB/9 rate of 5.4. That’s probably because he only gives up about 6.4 H/9 innings pitched. He’s not striking out many, but he won’t turn 20 until next month so I’d keep an eye on Bucci.
  8. Khris Davis (OF, A)- This probably isn’t the K. Davis one might have expected to see on such a list, but the Rattler’s outfielder is having a very nice season. He’s hitting for decent average (.311) and good power (.505), but he probably should be, considering he’s 22-years-old. I’d like to see what he can do in Brevard Co this year.
  9. Zelous Wheeler (3B/IF, AA)- the 23-year-old Wheeler has put up decent numbers throughout his minor league career, but he is putting together what is easily his best season so far. He’s walked more than he’s struck out (26/19) and has a nice slash line of .289/.398/.422. He’s even managed to steal four bases while playing 3B and SS.
  10. Brandon Kintzler (RP, AA)- Where did this guy come from (the St. Paul Saints, to be exact)? The 25-year-old reliever has been absolutely dominate for the Stars this year. This season he has a miniscule .550 WHIP and has only walked 1 in 21 innings. I’m calling for another promotion to Nashville.
  11. Shawn Zarraga (C/DH, A+)- I’m not sure what the Brewers plans for Aruba native are. He began last year in Wisconsin, but hardly played and was sent down to Helena. So instead of sending him back to Wisconsin this year, he was bumped to Brevard Co. where he is hitting a very nice .313. He must not be very good defensively, because he is being used almost exclusively as a DH. He’s only 21 so there’s plenty of time to improve.
  12. Mike McClendon (RP, AAA)- McClendon had a pretty average minor league career up until this year. Suddenly, he has a 1.15 ERA between AA and AAA (with one spot start) with a shiny .766 WHIP. In 31.1 innings he only has given only 5 BB.
  13. Matt Cline (3B/IF, A+)- Cline leaded the Manatees in AVG (.338), OPS (.439), and SLG% (.408). How good of a hitter he really is is somewhat subject to debate considering he is 24-year-old in A-ball. What I find interesting is that the natural SS was only committed two errors this season in 39 games at 3B.
  14. Chris Smith (RP, AAA)- Smith is back to doing exactly what he was doing last season- shutting down games late for the Sounds. He’s collected 15 saves this season with a 1.74 ERA. His K/9 are up this year to 12.6, however his BB/9 and H/9 are also up to 2.6 and 7.4, respectively.
  15. Andre Lamontagne (RP, A+)- The big righty was recently rewarded for his stellar performance in Wisconsin with a promotion to Brevard Co. Between the two levels he has a 2.28 ERA and is striking out more than a batter per inning.

Honorable mentions: Dan Meadows, Michael Fiers, Jon Pokorny, Lucas Luetge, Lee Haydel, Taylor Green, Ray Olmedo, Luis Cruz, Chris Dennis.