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BCB Mailbag 26: State Fair vs. Summerfest

Answering the burning questions from you, the reader.

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Who else is ready for the weekend? Let’s chat about the 1st-place Milwaukee Brewers to help us get in the right mindset:

Kollin asks:

Where about (if anywhere) would Wei-Chung Wang be on the Brewers top 30 prospects list if he still had prospect eligibility?

Wang is having a pretty nice season out of the bullpen for AAA Colorado Springs, where he has compiled a 2.18 ERA across 33.0 innings covering 27 appearances. He isn’t striking a ton of guys out (6.55 K/9), but he is generating a lot of grounders (50% GB rate) and holding opposing batters to a .240/.299/.344 slash line this season. He’s been particularly stellar against left-handed hitters, who have collectively managed only a .503 OPS against WCW.

From what I’ve read, however, he doesn’t throw quite as hard as he did when he first debuted with Milwaukee back in 2014, now sitting in more of the upper-80s range with his fastball. His control is still good and his slider and changeup are legitimate secondary offerings. Relievers don’t generally carry much weight on top prospect lists unless they’re really dominant, though, and that’s just not WCW. He wouldn’t rank among the current Brewers’ top 30, but I wouldn’t say that’s a knock against him. He still seems pretty likely to provide value in the bullpen in the not-so-distant future, and may very well be able to carve himself out a nice career as a reliever or LOOGY.

Johnny Jumpshot asks:

The Corey Knebel Strikeout Record

It drives me crazy every time I hear the qualifier "from the start of the season". Why does THAT matter? What if a guy DOESN’T strike out a batter on opening day, but then records one the next eighty games? Is there a separate record for "at any point in a season?” And would you have any way of finding out THAT record? Thank you.

Our own Travis Sarandos covered this on his Twitter account yesterday, so I will defer to him:

evilone758 asks:

Where would you like Milwaukee farm team to be locate?

In a dream world where would you put the Milwaukee farm team and come up with a new nickname for them.

Ideally, the Brewers’ AAA team would be helping to save the Milwaukee Mile while playing their games at the State Fair grounds in West Allis. (Bring the Brewers AAA Affiliate to West Allis!)

If we’re talking a more “realistic” location outside the state, then maybe somewhere down in Illinois. Not too much elevation, not a ton of terrible weather, would be a decent environment for developing both hitters and pitchers, and would be a pretty close for calling players up to the big leagues. Maybe the Minonk Miners (to celebrate the town’s mining history) or the DeKalb Tractors.

schankct12 asks:

Rookie Contracts

Is signing bonus the only thing that draftees can negotiate in their contracts? Can deals include any incentives? I know some kids get in their contract that the team will pay for college later does this have to have a cash value associated with it and included as part of the bonus pool money?

Yes, the only thing a draftee gets to negotiate is his signing bonus. All draftees sign the standard minor league contract, which gives a team control for their first seven seasons as a professional (so long as they stay in the minor leagues) and sets their wage on a scale based on the level that they are playing at. These wages are typically below poverty-level until a player gets placed on the 40 man roster (which then extends the amount of time a team can control that player), or his 7-year minor league contact runs out and he can then negotiate with all 30 teams for a new deal.

Every affiliated ball player is eligible to receive collegiate tuition assistance under the “Professional Baseball Scholarship Plan,” which began back in the 1960s. This doesn’t count against the bonus pool at all and is available for all players to use following the end of their career. You can read more about the scholarship plan here at MLB’s official site.

nullacct asks:

What do we expect to get back for trading Braun at the deadline?

I think the chances they deal Braun at the deadline are pretty much nil. He was having a terrific season before missing most of the last two months of action, so with those health questions I doubt that anyone offers Milwaukee anything worthwhile during this summer’s deadline. If he comes back healthy and finishes the rest of the season strong (while helping lead the Brewers to the playoffs!) maybe there is some interest this winter. But with the full-NTC now in place and maybe a couple of teams that Braun would accept a deal to, I would start preparing yourself for the real possibility that he remains a Brewer through 2020.

ddloml asks:

Which is better, Summerfest or WI State Fair?

Follow up questions – How many of the 50 Summerfests have you attended? Are Cream Puffs really all they’re cracked up to be?

I’m not really all that into music, so I’ve never been particularly interested in Summerfest. I’ve gone in the past to see specific shows, usually at the big amphitheater (Bon Jovi, Rush, Tom Petty, took my wife to see her favorite band Fall Out Boy) but I typically know many, if any, of the bands that play the free side stages. I don’t think I’ve been to Stumblefest since 2014, and the last time before that was probably 2010 or 2011.

I am, however, very into eating lots of food that is terrible for me so we make it out to State Fair annually, and typically go multiple times. I’m a huge fan of the chocolate covered bacon on a stick as well as the deep fried Oreos. In my opinion, cream puffs ARE all they’re cracked up to be (though my wife isn’t a big fan). State Fair is a much better environment to take the family to; my kids love seeing the animals and going on the rides, especially the Giant Slide!

Thanks for all the great questions this week, everyone! Maybe the next time we do this, we’ll be chatting about potential trade targets for the 1st-place Milwaukee Nine.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference