9.10.2009

The Farm Report: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Continuing our look at the Brewers Farm System, we move to the newest team in the organization, the Low Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. At the end I'll crank out positional rankings and maybe my best attempt at a Top Prospect list, but that's for later. In the meantime, we'll check out the team that calls Fox Cities Stadium home (yea, I know the real name, just don't care).

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low Class A) 58-81

Best Base Stealer: Erik Miller - CF - Miller stole 18 bases in 25 tries, good enough for second on the team.

Most Power: Brock Kjeldgaard - 1B/LF - The converted pitcher (left) showed big time power potential, slugging 20 homers on the year to lead the team.

Best Plate Presence:
Corey Kemp - C/1B - Kemp finished with an impressive .376 on-base percentage and second on the team with 54 walks.

Extra Base Machine:
Brock Kjeldgaard - 1B/LF - To go along with those 20 home runs, Kjeldgaard hit 30 doubles and 4 triples, he finished the year with an impressive 54 extra base hits.

Highest Average: Corey Kemp - C/1B - You were expecting Brett Lawrie? Kemp hit .282 for the T-Rats in 2009.

Best Command:
Daniel Meadows - SP/RP - The lefty struck out 108 while walking only 32. Of players that pitched more than 90 innings for Wisconsin, his walks were the lowest.

Worst Defender: Brett Lawrie - 2B - His defense remains a work in progress, Lawrie committed 16 errors in his first professional season.

Best Hitter:
Brett Lawrie - 2B - An advanced hitter, Lawrie (right) had a very well-rounded 2009. He batted .273 with 13 homers and 65 runs driven in. His consistency makes him the best hitter.

Best Pitcher: Wily Peralta - SP/RP - Peralta led the team in strikeouts (118) while sporting an ERA of just 3.47.

Five Up

Brock Kjeldgaard - 1B/LF -
The big lefty hit just .250 but he showed good power and finished the season on a high note, batting .319 in August and .409 in September. He looked destined for another year at Low-A before the strong finish. Strikes out way too much though, 174 times in 133 games. Still not bad for a former pitcher.

Corey Kemp - C/1B - After hitting just .253 in Helena a season ago, the 2008 14th round pick put himself on the map with Wisconsin this season. Kemp hit .282 with 31 doubles and a .376 on-base percentage, good enough that the Crew gave him a cup of coffee with Huntsville for the last week of the season.

Chris Dennis - OF - Dennis wasn't assigned to Wisconsin to start the year, but when Cutter Dykstra struggled and was sent back to Helena there was a need for another outfielder. Dennis responded by hitting .318 with 20 extra-base hits in 38 games before an injury ended his year.

Daniel Meadows - SP/RP - Proof that it really doesn't matter where you get drafted, just that you do. Meadows was a 49th round pick a year ago. He had an unimpressive year first season but flipped the script this year. Meadows led Wisconsin with an impressive 13 wins, eight more than anyone else. It'll be Brevard County for him next season.

Cody Scarpetta - SP/RP - The clock is already ticking for Scarpetta because an injury invalidated his rookie contract. He's on the 40-man roster and thus will be in the big leagues before the Brewers would otherwise like. Scarpetta delivered this season, tossing 105 innings and finishing the year with 116 K's and a 3.43 ERA.

Five Down

Michael Marseco - SS -
Last year's 11th round pick struggled with the stick for Wisconsin, batting just .189 through 93 games before ultimately being sent back to Helena and being replaced by Joshua Prince.

Jose Duran - 3B - Duran batted just .221 for Wisconsin in 2009. For a college hitter, and sixth round draft pick you expect better. At least he's consistent, he hit .221 for Helena a year ago.

Cody Adams - SP/RP - A second rounder last year, Adams struggled with a 5.93 ERA and 1.86 WHIP before being suspended for testing positive for amphetamines. If you suck when you're on drugs that are supposed to help, wouldn't you stop using the drugs?

Evan Frederickson - SP - Frederickson (left) has been flat out terrible in Low Class A. He finished the season with a 3-9 record and walked 82 in 97.1 innings pitched. His WHIP was an unbearable 1.86. I think it's safe to say a promotion is unlikely.

R.J. Seidel - SP -
Let's chalk this one up to injury, but a bad year is a bad year. Seidel had a 1.78 WHIP and 6.91 ERA in eight game for the T-Rats. Considering that there was talk he may not pitch this year, I guess that's fine. Those numbers are horrendous though.

Biggest Surprise:
Daniel Meadows - SP/RP - For a 49th round pick to have a year like Meadows had the organization has to be excited. He's big (6'5") and left-handed and has good command. He got hit around a little bit, giving up 122 hits in 116.2 innings, but that will happen when you are a strike-thrower.

Biggest Disappointment:
Evan Frederickson - SP/RP - Was Jack Z trying to blow the system up in his last draft? Three of the top four pitchers he drafted in 2008 have been completely ineffective (Frederickson, Adams and Seth Lintz). Frederickson needs to find the strike zone and soon.

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