I'd say that it's high time an extensive look at the Brewers farm system, even more in-depth than the farm reports we've cranked out all season long. So one by one we'll be delivering positional rankings for every single spot on the diamond. Today: Catchers, led by the guy who is tearing up the Arizona Fall League.
1. Jon Lucroy (AA)
2. Angel Salome (AAA)
3. Cameron Garfield (Short Season)
4. Corey Kemp (Low A)
5. Carlos Corporan (AAA)
Starting from the bottom, Corporan is probably the most advanced defensively but he is head and shoulders behind Lucroy and Salome offensively. Corporan may be a major league backup someday, in the Mike Rivera mold, unless he makes huge strides with the stick.
Corey Kemp is an interesting prospect, he really burst onto the scene this year by leading Wisconsin with a .282 batting average. His performance led to a brief promotion to Double-A, he'll be one to watch over the next couple of seasons.
Garfield was a 2nd round draft pick this year, he got off to a very quick start hitting .471 in his first six games. As a high school pick, he's got a lot of development ahead of him but definitely one to watch.
Finally, we come to the great catching debate. Jon Lucroy vs. Angel Salome. I'll admit, I like Lucroy better, there are just too many question marks regarding Salome. He's been suspended for steroid use, he's never shown major extra-base power, or run production for that matter and his defense has been a long, slow development.
The fact of the matter is, Lucroy just seems to have a higher ceiling. He's shown good power, 20 home runs in 2008, a very good eye at the plate - he had a .380 OBP for Huntsville this year. And as mentioned earlier, he's tearing up the Arizona Fall League with a .382 average. Only one guy can play next year for Nashville and it will be Lucroy, don't be surprised if Salome is traded during the winter.
Catchers in the Brewers farm system are a far cry from a few years ago when there was no prospect anywhere near the Majors and it was an organizational black hole. Now, the depth at this position is one of the best in the system.