4.25.2011

Farm Report: Nashville Sounds

With the season in full swing it's time to take a look at the early returns for the Brewers Triple-A affiliate the Nashville Sounds. For a change, the Sounds aren't loaded down with washed up Four-A players, so there are more than a few players worth watching on this squad.

Eric Farris - Second Base - Back and healthy, Farris hasn't shown off the wheels that stole him 70 bases two seasons ago, but he hasn't been a slouch either. Through the first 15 games of 2011 he's batting .321 with a pair of homers and a .356 OBP. Quiet numbers overall but he also has four errors on the year which is not a good start defensively by any means.

Mat Gamel - First Base - No errors so far, which is good for the player who looks like he will be the club's starting first baseman in 2012. Also promising is the .328 batting average, .423 OBP and seven doubles through 18 games. Throw in a stolen base and Gamel is off to a very nice start.

Taylor Green - Third Base - Finally playing at Triple-A, Green has managed to flash a bit of power in the season's opening month. Through his first 43 at-bats with Nashville he has three home runs, but he is only batting .256. The average isn't great, but the .365 OBP is worth noting. Green has a chance to establish himself as a legitimate major league prospect this year, whether he is trade bait or a real option for Milwaukee in the near future.

Caleb Gindl - Outfield - Two hits in 13 at-bats, but he is healthy and playing again which is most important.

Zelous Wheeler - Shortstop - Not sure he's really a shortstop, but he'll get that chance. That said, Wheeler is hurt and hasn't played since April 8. He currently resides on the 7-Day DL.

Brendan Katin - Right Field - Katin leads the team in home runs with five and RBIs with 12, but he's only batting .209 through 43 at-bats. The strikeouts still plague him though, he has 19 already, which is nearly half of his at-bats.

Mark Rogers - Starting Pitcher - His command seems to have gotten worse each year. Through his first 13.1 innings pitched he has walked a whopping 17 batters. Rogers has also been hit around, giving up 17 hits. That all adds up to a 9.45 ERA and 2.55 WHIP. His future as a starter requires drastic improvement in all facets of the game, otherwise the bullpen is calling.

Amaury Rivas - Starting Pitcher - And on the other side of the coin Rivas continues to be ever steady. Through his first four starts he is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA and 14 strikeouts against six walks. Rivas has gone at least five innings in every start and given up more than one run only once. It would not be a surprise to see him contribute to the Brewers this year if someone goes down with an extended injury.

Mike McClendon - Relief Pitcher - So far, McClendon is parlaying his limited major league experience into minor league success. In 2011 he's pitched 7.2 innings and struck out five against only one walk. Oh and he has yet to give up a run. He'll be seen again in 2011, you can just about guarantee it.

Josh Butler - Starting Pitcher - I'm not quite ready to write Butler off as a prospect, though his inconsistency is somewhat maddening. Butler has made three starts for the 2011 sounds and it's been a mixed bag. His first start was good, pitching six scoreless and striking out eight batters while walking just two. His next two starts were not so good, giving up seven earned in seven innings. This will be an important year if he is going to put himself back on the map.

Mark DiFelilce - Relief Pitcher - I'm sure every player on the sounds roster is very well groomed at the very least. DiFelice has pitched in five games and his line is as good as you could hope for. Five innings pitched, six strikeouts against zero walks and no runs allowed. Hard to tell what future he has with the big club but it's good to see him back and healthy.


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