Friday, June 10, 2016

The VFBC Brewers 2016 Minor League All-Star Team!

It's been a very exciting year in the Brewers minor league system this year. After last year's prospect refresh, the system is loaded with talent at all levels and has had some pretty amazing performances. Not only has it been a great year for Brewers prospects so far, but some of the best players haven't started playing or have only played very little because they are playing in rookie leagues, have only been on teams for a very short period of time or have been injured for a majority of the year. So here it is!

Catcher: Manny Pina, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.349/.388/.566, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 22 R
Pina has had an amazing year at Colorado Springs. The 29-year-old catcher is pretty old for the level, his potential in the majors is most likely as a back up, but that doesn't make his contributions any less impressive or important at the AAA level.

First Base: Garrett Cooper, Biloxi Shuckers
.304/.365/.418, 0 HR, 17 XBH, 28 RBI, 13 R
Cooper has split his time among several positions but has spend a good chunk of his games at first for the Shuckers. Another prospect that's a little old for his level, his development was slowed in the past by injuries and 25 isn't THAT old for hitting prospects. The only disappointing thing about Cooper is his lack of power over the fence, but he's still had big contributions for the team overall ranking in the top 5 on the team in RBI and OPS.

Second Base: Blake Allemand, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
.321/.387/.440, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 17 R
Allemand was drafted last year and has some decent potential as a major league utility player. After a disappointing start to the year at Brevard County (along with basically ever hitter at Brevard County), Allemand was moved to Wisconsin in need for depth and has had great success. I thought about going with Nate Orf here, but Allemand has been significantly more valuable to the T-Rats than Orf has been to the Shuckers or Sky Sox.

Third Base: Garin Cecchini, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.280/.346/.404, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 24 R
Garin was an offseason acquisition by David Stearns and a former top prospect. The 25-year-old has had a very good year at AAA after a slightly slow start. While having a good year at a park that really helps its hitters, he's also the only organizational third baseman having a good season. I was tempted to put Wisconsin third baseman Jake Gatewood here, he's had a decent season in the power department but has more than his fair share of strikeouts and errors.

Shortstop: Orlando Arcia, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.298/.335/.408, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 34 R, 9 SB
There is a lot to like in the organization at shortstop, but there's no doubt Arcia is the best one. Even with Angel Ortega having a great year at Brevard County, he doesn't have nearly the OPS Arcia has. The organization's top prospect has been having a very good season and if Jonathan Villar wasn't playing out of his mind right now, would be breaking down the door to get onto the Brewers' roster.

Brett Phillips, Biloxi Shuckers
.253/.338/.461, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 31 R
A lot of outfielders have been having decent seasons but even after a stint on the DL, Phillips leads most of the offensive categories on a very good Biloxi team. Phillips has even kept up with the power boost he saw last year that helped propel him into top 100 prospect status -- although he was helped by a three homer game. He continues to be very exciting and a huge grab in the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade.

Keon Broxton, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
.269/.365/.521, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 21 R, 16 SB
Broxton was acquired in the offseason from the Pirates and has bounced between AAA and the bigs. While his performance at the major league level has been very disappointing, Broxton has absolutely destroyed AAA pitching. Even though he has half the games of most the other players eligible, he's had insane levels of success that make it very hard to deny putting him here.

Elvis Rubio, Brevard County Manatees
.282/.327/.408, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R
Rubio has had a pretty solid year between two levels this year. In fact, he's one of the few players finding offensive success in Brevard County. It also helps that there is a really big drop off in performance in the OF after Rubio. He's one of a growing number of intriguing international prospects in the Brewers' farm system.

Starting Pitchers:
Josh Hader, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
2-1, 0.95 ERA, 57 IP, 73 K, 19 BB
If you've been paying attention this year, you know Hader has had huge success at Biloxi. The only complain is that he isn't going that long into some of his starts due to control issues. Either way, he's on the leader board for minor league baseball, not AA, minor league baseball in a lot of key pitching categories. Hader is probably the Brewers' minor league player of the first half.

Marcos Diplan, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
5-1, 1.89 ERA, 47.2 IP, 64 K, 24 BB
Marcos was acquired in the Yovani Gallardo trade, had an ok year in rookie ball last year, and is now having a fantastic season at A-ball. The most impressive is Diplan's strikeout rate, higher than it's ever been in his career. Another important detail, Diplan is only 19.

Jon Perrin, Brevard County Manatees
1-5, 2.66 ERA, 71 IP, 77 K, 7 BB
Perrin has had some struggles with the Manatees, but has still had a good year, especially once you combine his stats with the first part of his year at Wisconsin. Perrin has been a nice surprise and has some big league potential for the future. He was a 27th round draft pick last year and is moving very quickly through the minors.

Jordan Yamamoto, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
3-2, 2.25 ERA, 52 IP, 53 K, 10 BB
Yamamoto has been a very pleasant surprise for the year. He's struggled up until this point in his pro career but is starting to put it all together. Not only has he been able to limit runs, he's been striking players out and limiting walks.

Drake Owenby, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
2-1, 2.91 ERA, 43.1 IP, 38 K, 12 BB
Another Wisconsin pitcher and 2015 draft pick, Owenby has been having a good amount of success. Being a college pitcher and getting to pitch against high schoolers help but it's still been a good year for Owenby.

Stats come via Baseball Reference. If you have any players you think should be on the list, let us know on Twitter or in the comments!

The Brewers Top 10 Prospects: After the First Two Rounds of the Draft


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

View From Bernie’s Chalet Brewers’ Draft Twitter Poll Tourney

The finals are here! It's been chalk up to this point, but now we have the two best prep pitchers in the draft class going head-to-head.

Jason Groome: A hard throwing lefty with a group of plus pitches and control Groome is regularly ranked as the best prospect in the class and by all accounts, should be available when the Brewers pick on Thursday.

Riley Pint: The top prospect heading into the year, Pint has fallen off a bit due to concerns about his mechanics. He struggles to consistently throw strikes, but who cares when you're throwing 102 MPH and already have 3 average or better pitches before you've graduated high school?

Vote below and let's see if the prospect the Brewer make on Thursday is the pick the fans want!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

View From Bernie’s Chalet Brewers’ Draft Twitter Poll Tourney

The View From Bernie's Chalet Brewers' Draft Twitter Poll Tourney is moving into round two! All of the favorites won, with the closest race being between Kyle Lewis and Mickey Moniak, but none of the winners had less than 70% of the vote.

Round two sees Jason Groome against Kyle Lewis and Riley Pint against Delvin Perez. Groome is regularly ranked as this draft's best prospect. A high school left-handed pitcher with huge potential, he has ace written all over him if he can put his skills together. I've seen complaints that his control is lacking for the value some teams are placing on him. Kyle Lewis is a potential major league center fielder ranked as having five average or better tools. Many scouts rank his power ability fairly high and say he has a chance to hit for a pretty high average to go with it, along with decent speed on the bases.

On the other side of the bracket, we see two of the draft's most exciting prospects. Riley Pint is a high school right-handed pitcher who reportedly hit 102 mph with his fastball early in the year. Pint's pitches are already regarded as plus or better, and he shows an advanced changeup for his age, however scouts worry about his aggressive throwing motion. They believe it will make it very hard for the talented prep-star to ever consistently throw strikes. Then there's Delvin Perez, one of the prospects most frequently linked to the Brewers in mock drafts. Perez is one of the youngest players in the draft and has a gigantic ceiling to go with no negotiating leverage, which could pay huge dividends when the Brewers are trying to draft high-stock players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. A slick fielding shortstop out of Puerto Rico, Perez has the chance to develop a well-above average hit tool and even a little bit of pop. It's pretty fun to imagine partnering him at maxed potential alongside current top prospect Orlando Arcia.

So here's the bracket. The voting will be open for two days, and the Twitter polls can be found below. Let's see if the Brewers fanbase can get this pick right!

Don't Trade Braun, Ever (One Homer's Thoughts)

 After Brad wrote that piece a few weeks ago on how the Brewers should trade Braun now and Lucroy later, I felt inclined to share my thoughts on why I don't want the Brewers to ever trade Ryan Braun. Now I'm not saying I don't think it won't happen. It's a possibility. But as a die hard Brewers fan and die hard fan of Ryan Braun, deep down inside I don't ever want to see him wearing another teams uniform.

I am fully aware that it might be best for the club to trade Braun. And if a trade is made and the Brewers get a really good prospect haul in return and don't have to pay any of Ryan's salary for the duration of his contract then I would be fine with it. But selfishly I want Ryan Braun to be a Brewer for his entire career. I think it would be awesome to see him follow suit with guys like Yount, Ripken, Gwynn, Brett and Jones and spend his whole career in one teams uniform. It certainly is a rare sight in today's game of baseball. And we probably won't see too many more going forward.

The biggest reasons I personally don't want to see him traded are simple. First, I'm obviously a huge fan of Braun and he has brought me so much joy over the past 10 years and so many memorable moments that I would like that to continue. The second reason I'd like the Brewers to keep Braun ties into the first. I think he can be a big contributor still on the next Brewers teams that compete and go to the postseason. I know, I know. Braun has had some injury issues/concerns over the past four seasons. The thumb, the back, the wrist, etc. While he misses games here and there, he has still only been on the DL once in his career (2013). If he stays healthy and they manage his games played as they have done so far in 2016, he has a chance to still be very productive.

He is 32 now and will be 37 when his contract expires (including the option year in 2021). Why can't he still be a very productive bat in the last three years of that deal (19'-21') when the Brewers figure to be a contender again? David Ortiz is still productive at 40 years old. Only way he isn't in my opinion is if it's a health issue. And that really can't be predicted one way or the other. I also bet they have him move to 1B sometime in 2018 or 2019 if not sooner to make room for another young talented OF and to put him in a better position to stay healthy. And "IF" he is healthy, why wouldn't he still play and more specifically hit at a high level?

In the meantime I am sure we will continue to read tweets and articles from reporters giving us the latest Braun trade rumors. And when reading those rumors, remember he only has a handful of clubs that he can be traded to without having to agree to said trade. And players usually put those clauses in contracts for a reason. They want to stay where they are at. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

View From Bernie’s Chalet Brewers’ Draft Twitter Poll Tourney

It’s the first ever View From Bernie’s Chalet Brewers’ Draft Twitter Poll Tourney! Ok, maybe the name needs a little work.

Below is a bracket and four Twitter polls. Vote in each contest to determine the prospect you want the Brewers to draft next Thursday. It’s for fun and to determine which prospect the fans want most. Hell, maybe we’ll get it right and the fans can brag about their success and then be disappointed in 5 years when the prospect is bussing tables at a bar!