1.25.2012

Farm Report: Second Base

Day three of our position-by-position look at the Milwaukee Brewers farm system brings us to the middle infield, second base to be specific.  And for a change this group features one of the organizations top prospects.

Here's a look back at our first two position breakdowns:
Catcher
First Base

1. Scooter Gennett - Ryan Gennett, or 'Scooter' if you will, was drafted by the Brewers in the 16th round in 2009.  He fell in the draft due to signing concerns but Milwaukee felt they would be able to strike a deal.  He didn't play in 2009 (it took a while to sign) and made his debut the following season.  Last season Gennett hit .300 with nine home runs and drove in 51 runs while scoring 74 times for High-A Brevard County.  He'll start next season with Double-A Huntsville.

2. Eric Farris - Farris had a nice bounce back year with Nashville a season ago.  After struggling through a knee injury in 2010, he came back for the Sounds and hit .271 with 37 extra-base hits.  Farris never played at Double-A and it would seem he's headed for another year with Nashville.

3. Nick Shaw - An interesting prospect, Nick Shaw has tremendous eye at the plate, maybe the best in the Brewers farm system.  Last season Shaw had a .260 average for Wisconsin last year but to go along with that mediocre average his OBP was .374.  He walked 82 times for the Timber Rattlers last season.  Shaw has split time between second and shortstop, so he projects out as more of a utility payer for the time being.

4. Sergio Miranda - In five seasons in the minor leagues, Miranda is a .286 hitter with a .347 OBP.  His career year came in 2010 when he drove in 71 runs with 18 doubles.  Last year with Huntsville he took a step back, hitting .270 and driving in only 29 RBIs.  He'll likely be the odd man out in the shuffle and promotions for 2012.  With Farris at Nashville and Gennett at Huntsville, Miranda seems destined for a bench role next season.

5. Adrian Williams - Choices are few and very far between after the top four in this group, we'll give it to Williams.  He was drafted in the 45th round a year ago and played in 56 games for Rookie Helena, batting .238.  Williams is only 21 so who knows what will happen next for him.

Final Thoughts - Second base can be labeled a strength, mostly on the wheels of Scooter Gennett.  He has some power (18 home runs in his first two seasons) and he projects as probably a lead-off or number two hitter, unless his power improves.  The concern with Gennett is his defense, in two seasons he has committed 43 errors at second base.  Still, he's a station to station guy so if his defense improves he could be a replacement for Rickie Weeks in a few seasons.

Farris is a solid prospect, although it's not clear whether Milwaukee views him as a future starter or a bench player.  He's got good speed, 70 stolen bases in 2009 and is a career .289 hitter through five minor league seasons.  His near future is likely as a bench player and it wouldn't be surprising if he had a chance to win a spot on a big club out of spring training.

All-in-all this is a group that features 2-3 players who could contribute at the major league level and one of which has the tools to be a future all-star.

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