I hope you've all recovered from last night. It was an exciting and stressful game with many twists and turns. And while it sure was a Puppy Bowl for the ages, some of us here at BCB haven't stopped thinking about baseball. With only 9 days until pitchers and catchers report, the major and minor league season will be here before you know it. As such, we'll be continuing out position-by position look at the the Brewers minor league system. Much like last week, we'll be looking at another relatively weak position and another relatively strong position.
We'll start with third base, where I could only find two prospects worth mentioning. However unlike yesterday where the four SS prospects had relatively low ceilings, our two 3B prospects offer a little more hope.
The corner OF situation at the major league level is pretty set, which just figures because the corner OF situation in the minor leagues is pretty strong, at least for the Brewers farm system.
Starting with third base we find...
Cutter Dykstra, who had an abysmal first pro season, amidst a lot of family drama. He hit only .212 in Wisconsin, and only managed to hit .244 when demoted to Helena. The 2008 2nd round pick was forgotten by most and thought of as a big disappointment by everyone else. But 2010 was a totally different story. He hit .312 while showing plenty of plate discipline, posting a .416 OBP. Unfortunately, the switch from OF to 2B to 3B was a bit rocky, and his defense there was Gamel-esque. He also showed almost no power, with only 20 XBH in 350+ ABs. But still, he put himself on the Brewers prospect map. But if he wants to be considered a legit prospect, he's going to need to start driving the ball a little more and prove that he can play 3B.
2010 line: .312/.416/.411. 353 AB, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 27 SB.
Taylor Green has gone up and down during his minor league career with the Brewers. Drafted in the 25th round of the 2005 draft, he burst onto the scene in 2007 when he OPS'd .922 in the Sally League as a 20-year-old. He followed that up with another nice year in 2008. Numerous injuries slowed him in 2009, and he didn't have the bounce-back season in 2010 that we were all hoping for. He's still got decent power and plate discipline, but the front office seems to have lost a lot of confidence in him, leaving him off the 40-man roster and exposing him to the rule 5 draft. He's still got talent, but he's not close to threatening Casey McGehee for his position.
2010 line: .260/.336/.438. 393 AB, 13 HR, 81 RBI, 0 SB.
Much like Luis Cruz yesterday, I would add Mat Gamel here, but he's not technically a prospect anymore.
Moving on to corner outfielders...
With his stocky build and power potential, Kentrail Davis was immediately drawing Kirby Puckett comparisons when he was drafted in the supplemental first round of the 2009 draft. He signed late and was challenged with a first pro stop at Brevard Co. He didn't do much at Brevard Co., other than get hit by pitches and get injured. But he was still taking his walks, so he wasn't a total disappointment for the Manatees. He finally started to pick things up when he was demoted to Wisconsin. He finished his season with a lovely .939 OPS (for the Rattlers), but only 3 homers, a disappointment for someone with above-average raw power. He should hit for average, but he's going to need to get some of that power back if he hopes to make it at the major league level.
2010 line: .304/.407/.459. 368 AB, 3 HR, 63 RBI, 11 SB
Khris Davis sort of burst onto the scene last year by hitting 22 homers, a new Rattlers record. He had a pretty solid year all around, hitting near the ideal .300/.400/.500 slash line while playing a decent left field. Despite his good season he still continues to fly under the radar, probably because he's a little old for his level. I'd like to see him skip that whole power-suppressing environment of Space Coast Stadium and see what he can do in Huntsville. But that's probably not going to happen.
2010 line: .280/.398/.499 555 457 AB, 22 HR, 72 RBI, 17 SB
Another personal favorite prospect of mine, Caleb Gindl was continually one of the better all-around hitters in the Brewers farm system, despite everyone always reminding him how short he was. He hit for average, he hit for power, he got on base. But then he hit AA. He still had a decent year for the Stars, but his power dropped off significantly. He spent part of his offseason in the AFL, where he had a hot start, but a very cold finish. Gindl has spent most of his career in right field, but spent a significant amount of time in center field last year. If he can prove that he can handle CF, and he keeps hitting, he could get a shot with the big league club soon. After all, Carlos Gomez is the only one blocking him right now.
2010 line: .272/.352/.406. 463 AB, 9 HR, 60 RBI, 10 SB
I'm sure by now we all know the story of Brendan Katin by by now. A former teammate of Ryan Braun at the U of Miami, Katin has done nothing but hit homers and be a pretty good overall hitter since being drafted in the 23rd round of the 2005 draft. Yet it has gotten him nowhere. I'm not sure what else he needs to do to get a chance. He's been in Nashville for the past three years, and he's already 28. Unless he learns how to play CF, or the FO has a sudden change of heart, I don't see him getting a shot anytime soon, for whatever reason.
2010 line: .286/.382/.580. 336 AB, 26 HR, 76 RBI, 1 SB
You might also be familiar with the story of Brock Kjeldgaard. Taken as a pitcher in the 34th round of the 2005 draft, Kjeldgaard (pronounced KEL-guard) converted to a hitter after two unsuccessful seasons of pitching. At 6'5" 215 lbs., he's got plenty of raw power, belting 17 homers in the offensive black hole of Space Coast Stadium last year. But he's still learning how to hit, as evidenced by his 175 Ks last year. Still, there's some potential there, and I'm curious to see what he can do in Huntsville next year.
2010 line: .245/.308/.416. 490 AB, 17 HR, 75 RBI, 3 SB (2 CS)
Stop by next week for part IV in the series!