10.08.2009

Farm Report: Brevard County

Holy slacker! I guess a move across state lines can cause some things to fall through the cracks, such as my season ending Farm Reports. So, without further ado, let's take a look at one of the most successful teams in the Crew's system this year.

Brevard County Manatees (Advanced Class-A) 79-48

Best Base Stealer: Eric Farris - 2B - The second baseman was a beast on the base paths, stealing 70 and only getting caught six times. He led the Florida State League by 15 steals.

Most Power: Caleb Gindl - RF - For a little guy (5'9") Gindl(right) sure has some pop. His 17 homers led the Manatees and was second in the FSL.

Best Plate Presence: Zealous Wheeler - 3B - Wheeler hit .268 with a .370 OBP, which led the team. For the year he had 60 walks to go along with 78 strikeouts.

Extra Base Machine: Logan Schafer - CF - Schafer (right) led the team with 204 total bases. He had 31 doubles to go along with six homers and six triples.

Highest Average: Logan Schafer - CF - The Center Field prospect also won the Florida State League batting title with a .313 average.

Best Command: Evan Anundsen - SP - The sinker baller just edges out Amaury Rivas. Anundsen walked 41 in 130 innings and had a paltry WHIP for a starter of just 1.09.

Worst Defender: Brent Brewer - SS - In his second year with the Manatees, the athletic Brewer logged 35 errors.

Best Hitter: Logan Schafer - CF - To go along with his FSL batting title, Schafer led the team in runs scored (76), and was fourth in RBI's (58). He also had a .369 OBP from the lead-off spot, not too shabby.

Best Pitcher: Amaury Rivas - SP - It looked like Anundsen would walk away with this title except Rivas was white-hot in the second half. After the break he went 9-2 with a 2.26 ERA and .205 batting average allowed. Rivas led the team with 13 wins.

Five Up

Logan Schafer - CF - A third round pick a year ago, Schafer didn't make a splash as a rookie, but tore it up in 2009. He would seem ticketed for Huntsville, which means the pressure will be on another Center Field prospect (Lorenzo Cain) to have a big year next year.

Steffan Wilson - 1B/LF - Drafted in the 28th round in 2007, Wilson (left) has quietly put together a pair of very nice seasons. This year, he hit .272 with 13 home runs. The FSL is tough on hitters, but he'll need to improve on those numbers if he's to stay at first base. Double-A for him in 2010.

Mark Rogers - SP - He stayed healthy, which is most important, and pitched very well all season long. Rogers finished with an ERA of 1.67 in 64.2 innings. For the year he also struck out 67 and sported a .201 batting average allowed. He should be at Huntsville next year and is definitely one to watch since he already has to be on the 40-man roster.

Evan Anundsen - SP - Anundsen wasn't on the map coming into 2009. What did he do? Just put up a 2.69 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP. And throw a no-hitter. I think it's safe to say he's caught the attention of the front office.

Amaury Rivas - SP - Three talented pitchers in the Brewer's farm system? The only downside is that all three are still at least two years from the big league level (if they continue to spend a year at each level). Rivas signed as a free agent in 2005 and has been slowed by injuries. This was easily his best year as a pro.

Five Down

Chris Errecart - 1B - Errecart started the year at Double-A Huntsville but struggled mightily at the dish (he hit just .149) and found himself demoted to Brevard. Once there, he struggled as well, Errecart batted just .245 with 86 strikeouts in 90 games. Not going to cut it, at this point he seems destined for another year with the Manatees.

Brent Brewer - SS - Brewer has been called the most athletic player in the Crew's farm system. Well, athletic does not a baseball player make. Along with leading the team with 35 errors Brewer hit an anemic .222 and struck out 109 times in 104 games. If he ever figures it out he may be a good one, but so far, so bad.

Jeremy Jeffress - SP - The only thing holding Jeffress back is himself. When he returns next season he'll be sitting one more suspension from a lifetime ban from the game of baseball. He has a $10 million arm and a pot problem to match. Expect the worst and hope for the best.

Alex Periard - SP - If someone knows why Periard is on the 40-man roster, please let me know. My best guess would be that it's a similiar situation to Cody Scarpetta (injury, invalidated contract, etc.). That said, Periard had an ERA over five and didn't look anywhere near a promotion to Double-A. Right now, he's a waste of a 40-man roster spot.

Omar Aguilar - RP - Maybe it's not fair to include Aguilar on this list. He made a huge splash in spring training with an upper-90s arm and many considered him to be a closer in waiting. He started with Huntsville after an injury caused him to miss the start of the year. After an ineffective stint (7.71 ERA) he was sent to the Manatees where he found his stride. Still, you had to hope that he'd be in Nashville next year and maybe even the bigs. But now, not going to happen.

Biggest Surprise: Logan Schafer - CF - Obviously the Brewers thought pretty highly of him, since they drafted him in the third round, but the early returns have been terrific. Schafer has played his way into the picture for the Crew.

Biggest Disappointment: Jeremy Jeffress - SP - There is nothing worse to fans than a talented player who struggles because of errors in judgement. Jeffress' future is in his own hands, and if he can turn it around he could be a dominant Major League pitcher, but right now? He just needs to lay off the weed.

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