This time I was momentarily interrupted by my appearance on Tuesday's Frosty Mug for Brew Crew Ball. Why didn't I write my shortstop review on Wednesday then you ask? That's a good question...
Moving on, we tackle one of the thinnest prospect groups that the Brewers have, Shortstop. Maybe two worthwhile prospects in this group, so you'd better hope that Alcides works out because the Crew doesn't have much else happening at the Shortstop spot.
1. Alcides Escobar (MLB)
2. Joshua Prince (Low A)
3. Ryan "Scooter" Gennett (Rookie)
4. Brent Brewer (High A)
5. Michael Marseco (Short Season)
As per the usual, we'll start at the bottom and work our way up. Marseco was an 11th round pick a year ago, and his first season with Helena went well, hitting .340. Year two was a different story, he struggled to a .189 average for Wisconsin before being demoted back to Helena. He finished the year at .204. He's a singles hitter who plays above-average defense.
Brewer may not be on this list at the start of 2010. Considered the best athlete in the Crew's farm system, Brewer was a two sport athlete coming out of High School (Football and Baseball). So far in his Minor League career he has yet to make any strides. This year was awful on all accounts, he hit just .222 while striking out 109 times in 105 games. He also committed 35 errors.
Now, I say his time as a Brewer may be coming to an end not because the team will move on, but because according to scout.com he is scheduled to make an official recruiting visit to Oklahoma State this weekend. You hate to see big time potential like his leave the system, but judging by his first few seasons in the minors it might be the best move for him to make.
Scooter Gennett was a 14th round draft pick this year, he signed at the deadline and so didn't play in the system this season. Still, all accounts indicate he could be a very good player so I'm rating him on what's been said and not on numbers (which I hate doing).
Our No. 2 shortstop is an interesting prospect. Drafted in the third round this year, Joshua Prince made a huge splash in his first stop in the Brewers system. With Helena, he batted .298 with a .426 OBP before being promoted to Wisconsin. He describes himself as a lead-off hitter, and his numbers befit that. He'll need some seasoning, he hit just .221 after his promotion, but Prince might be one to watch.
Finally, we have the defensive whiz kid Alcides Escobar. I won't say too much about Escobar since we've likely heard it all by now. In Triple-A last year he batted .298 with 34 extra-base hits and 42 stolen bases. He followed that up by batting .304 in 38 big league games. It'll be fun to watch him play next year.
Overall the Brewers Farm System is thin at the shortstop spot, but that's generally the case when a top propsect is at our near the Major Leagues. If Escobar can hold down the Major League job for the next 4-5 seasons it will give the team plenty of time to replenish and restock their depth at shortstop.