Tagged: Nashville Sounds

Brewers farm teams close out the year

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Milwaukee is loaded with homegrown talent (Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Ryan Braun, Bill Hall,
Ben Sheets and Rickie Weeks came through the system). Who will be next in line? Some prospects took positive steps during the 2008 season. Here’s a look back.

Triple-A Nashville

Regular Season: 59-81

Postseason: None

Statistical Leaders: 1B Brad Nelson (.286, 18 homers, 78 RBIs), OF Laynce Nix (.284, 23 homers, 60 RBIs), LHP Lindsay Gulin (7-7, 3.54 ERA, 120 Ks)

Lowdown: The Sounds finished in last place in the Pacific Coast League. In fact, it’s the worst record in the franchise’s 31-year history. Nelson, Nix and Gulin, all veteran Minor Leaguers, somewhat helped their careers, but another step needs to be made to challenge for big-league playing time. The Sounds were hurt by the amount of talent developing in Double A for most of the season, which brings us to …

Double-A Huntsville

Regular Season: 73-67 (41-29 first half, 32-38 second half)

Postseason: None

Statistical Leaders: 3B Mat Gamel (pictured, .329, 19 homers, 96 RBIs), LHP Brae Wright (6-10, 3.59 ERA, 120 Ks), LHP David Welch (11-4, 3.90 ERA, 95 Ks)

Lowdown: The Stars posted the best record of any team that missed the playoffs in the Southern League, if that’s any consolation. The hitters need no comforting, they were solid. The Stars hit a league-leading .285, 16 points higher than the second-best team. The top three individual hitters in the league? All Stars: C Angel Salome (.360), Gamel and SS Alcides Escobar (.328), all of whom were September callups. Then there’s OF Matt LaPorta, who led the team with 20 homers despite getting traded to Cleveland in the CC Sabathia deal.

Class A Brevard County

Regular Season: 66-72 (35-34 first half, 31-38 second half) 

Postseason: None

Statistical Leaders: 3B Taylor Green (.289, 15 homers, 73 RBIs), RHP Alexandre Periard (9-6, 3.51 ERA, 76 Ks), LHP Bobby Bramhall (5-4, 2.51 ERA, 106 Ks)

Lowdown: The club lost a lot of pitching talent to promotion, which explains the win/loss dropoff in the second half. RHP Jeremy Jeffress earned club Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors after missing the first the first 40 games because of a suspension in August 2007 for testing positive for marijuana. Jeffress was Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2006 and went 4-6 with a 4.08 ERA in Brevard County before moving up to Huntsville.

Class A West Virginia

Regular Season: 77-62 (32-37 first half, 45-25 second half) 

Postseason: South Atlantic League runners up (first round: 2-1 over Lake County; championship: 0-3 to Augusta)

Statistical Leaders: 1B Steffan Wilson (.289, 19 homers, 100 RBIs), RHP Evan Anundsen (12-8, 4.28 ERA, 102 Ks)

Lowdown: Second best team in the Sally League for the second straight year, but look at the difference between the first and second halves. Something got into the Power. They ended up leading the league in batting average and runs scored for the season. 

— Nick Zaccardi

Brewers name Minor League Players, Pitcher of the Year

 


Thumbnail image for Escobar.jpg3B Mat Gamel
and SS Alcides Escobar were named Milwaukee’s Minor League Players of the Year, while RHP Jeremy Jeffress was named the club’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year as recipients of the 2008 Robin Yount Performance Awards.

In Double-A Huntsville, Gamel, 23, hit .329 (second-best in the Southern League) with 19 homers and a league-leading 96 RBIs. In the last two weeks, he was promoted to Triple-A Nashville and then to the big-league club. He played in the MLB All-Star Futures Game and was named to Double-A mid-season and post-season All-Star teams.

Escobar, 21, joined Gamel on the Southern League All-Star rosters. He led the league with 179 hits and ranked third with a .328 average. Escobar (pictured), nicknamed Inspector Gadget for his fielding tools, was also recalled by Milwaukee when rosters expanded Monday.

Jeffress, 20, pitched for Class A Brevard County and at Huntsville this season, compiling a 6-7 record with a 4.31 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 94 innings. The 2006 first-round pick missed a chunk of the early season due to a drug suspension.

— Nick Zaccardi

Brewers recall 10 for September push

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The Milwaukee Brewers brought in 10 reinforcements as rosters
expanded on Monday.
 
They include super-prospect 3B Mat Gamel, SS Alcides Escobar, C Angel Salome, OF Tony Gwynn Jr., C Vinny Rottino, 1B Brad Nelson, IF Joe Dillon, RHP Tim Dillard, LHP Mitch Stetter and RHP Mark DiFelice.
 
Gamel is the big name here. He hit .329 with 19 homers and 96 RBIs at Double-A Huntsville before his promotion to Triple-A Nashville a week ago. In five games for the Sounds, he batted .238 before beelining to Milwaukee. He’ll get limited playing time, but nonetheless should show glimpses of his future every day talent. In addition to Gamel, Escobar, Salome and Nelson will be making their Major League debuts.
 
Nelson’s story is especially sweet. He was signed in 2001, led the Minor Leagues in RBIs in 2002 and broke a hand in 2003 as a budding prospect. Nelson (pictured) worked his way back, playing in Triple-A in 2005, 2006, 2007 and this season, finally getting his big-league chance at age 25.
 
Gwynn returns after hitting .200 in April and May in Milwaukee. Dillon had a .227 average in 46 games with the Brewers, mostly in the first half. Rottino has five hits in 23 career at-bats scattered over the last two seasons.  
 
Dillard (8 1/3 IP, 5.40 ERA), Stetter (22 2/3 IP, 2.78 ERA) and DiFelice (13 2/3 IP, 3.95 ERA) spent time in the Milwaukee bullpen earlier this season.
 
— Nick Zaccardi

Brewers pitchers earn weekly honors

Jeffress.jpgA pair of Milwaukee hurlers won Pitcher of the Week awards on Monday, Lindsay Gulin of Triple-A Nashville and Jeremy Jeffress (pictured) of Double-A Huntsville.

Gulin went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts last week with 14 strikeouts, nine hits and five walks in 13 innings. The left-hander slowed the Round Rock Express in both games, including a two-hitter in seven innings on Saturday. For the season, he’s 7-7 with a 3.63 ERA.

For a little background, Gulin was drafted by the Mets in 1995 and has been in Triple-A in four seasons but never pitched in the big leagues. Gulin is 31, so time is not on his side. It would be a great story if he could continue to pitch well and earn that elusive call up.

Jeffress is more of what you would call a prospect. The 16th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft also went 2-0 last week, giving up one run in 11 2/3 innings while striking out 11. Jeffress is only 20, and those two starts were Nos. 2 and 3 since being promoted to Double-A.

It’s a nice bounce back for Jeffress, who tested positive for “a drug of abuse” late last season and had to serve much of his 50-game suspension to start this year.

— Nick Zaccardi