Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Sarasota, Florida, 21-year-old
second baseman Scooter Gennett has quickly transformed himself into one of the top young minor league prospects in the Brewers’ organization.
Primarily known for his outstanding speed and quick hands at the plate, the Florida State product has used his athleticism and pure hitting skills to his advantage. In his first season with Milwaukee’s class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Gennett hit .309 with 9 HR, 87 runs scored and 55 RBI. He was also able to amass 14 stolen bases as well as a .817 OPS.
Prior to the 2011 season, Gennett was swiftly promoted to high class-A Brevard County, where he would continue to strut his skills — only this time to a much more vigilant crowd.
In 134 games, (556 at-bats), the 5’9″, 170-pound infielder batted .300, including 9 HR, 51 RBI and 74 runs scored. His 167 hits were enough to lead all minor league prospects in Milwaukee’s system, and his .300 BA ranked fifth.
This fall, the youngster is currently honing his skill-set in the Arizona Fall League — MLB’s most preeminent and well-known league; a place where many of today’s top talents sharpened their games just a few years ago.
Through the league’s first nine games, Gennett has torched opposing pitching to the tune of a .395 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 11 runs scored, 24 TB and a 1.097 OPS for the Peoria Javelinas.
On top of his superb hitting abilities, breathtaking athleticism and quickness, Gennett is also a great fielder. Having made the transition from shortstop (his natural position) to second base, the youngster can play virtually and infield position with outstanding effectiveness. His strong arm may even allow him to become a future third-baseman if need be.
He’s still a raw talent, but it seems as though the young Gennett is gaining more and more recognition as a prime-time prospect for the Brewers. If he continues to make strides down on the farm (he’s expected to start 2012 with class-AA Helena), he could become with Milwaukee by late 2103, and possibly a starting role by 2014.
The Milwaukee Brewers dealt away a number of top minor league prospects last offseason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re weak when it comes to talent down on the farm.
A number of prospects are working their way through the system, gaining recognition and making a name for themselves along the way.
Let’s take a look at the seven most impressive prospects in Milwaukee’s farm system of 2011.
I’ve been raving about Thornburg’s future with the franchise for quite some time now, and he’s backing up my claim quite handsomely.
Milwaukee’s second-round selection in the 2010 amateur draft is spinning heads down on the farm in just his second full season in the system. Starting the year with class-A Wisconsin, Thornburg went 7-0 while posting a 1.57 ERA. He’s run into a stiff patch since being called up to class-AA Brevard County earlier in the year, but is still producing like no other starter in the system.
The 23-year-old phenom leads all pitchers with 144 SO to his credit in just 124.2 IP, is second in wins (10), and ERA (2.60) among all hurlers down on the farm.
With just days left until rosters expand from 25 to 40, it would be a surprise if Peralta isn’t called-up from class-AAA Nashville. In fact, reports indicate the Brewers may already be planning on bringing his talents to the bullpen to add depth.
Thus far in 2011, his fifth year in Milwaukee’s minor league system, Peralta boasts a 3.32 ERA, 134 SO and leads all Brewers pitchers in wins (11).
Peralta maintains three solid pitches to his credit, of which include a 92-94 mph fastball topping out at 96. He also has what scouts would call an “above average” slider in the low 80s. The only thing holding him back from the majors to this point is his command issues.
A future starter in the making, Peralta’s stint with the Brewers will be crucial in his development as a young player.
The 26-year-old Gamel has been waiting in the wings to take over for either Casey McGehee or Prince Fielder for the past three seasons now, and may suffer in the minors for a much longer time than expected if the Brewers re-sign Fielder after the season.
Nonetheless, you simply can’t argue with what he’s been able to accomplish as a minor-league — particularly in 2011.
Leading all Brewer minor leaguers in home runs (26), RBI (90) while ranking in the top five in hits (138), BA (.317), and SLG (.557), Gamel is in the midst of yet another solid season for Milwaukee’s class-AAA affiliate Nashville Sounds.
When the Brewers drafted him back in the 22nd round of the 2009 amateur draft, they had no intention of making him a starter on the major league level.
Working his way through the ranks of Milwaukee’s system, Fiers has never posted an ERA above 3.70 in any such season, and is the current leader among all Brewers minor leauge pitchers in ERA (2.14). The 26-year-old Fiers is an older prospect than most, but remains one of the most impressive prospects of the 2011 season.
A September call-up isn’t likely, but you can’t argue with the production he’s been able to administer for class-AAA Nashville.
Though you’d probably mistake him as a bat-boy rather than a top-notch prospect, Gennett’s 5’9″ 164-pound frame has enabled him to be one of the most well-rounded players in the Brewers’ system.
The versatile infielder has experience at shortstop, but made the move to second base after making the transition to the minor leagues.
Leading all Brewers in hits (154), Gennett has one of the more consistent bats in the system. His quickness and reaction has worked wonderfully, amassing 11 stolen bases thus far in 2011.
He may be a few years off from a starting job in the majors, but the talent is certainly there.
Milwaukee took Gindl in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, the same year they drafted current starting catcher Jonathon Lucroy, interestingly enough.
Since then, Gindl has worked his way through four of Milwaukee’s minor league clubs, now residing with class-AAA Nashville. The 5’9″, 205-pound outfielder has tremendous potential and carries a big bat — amassing 14 home runs and a .471 SLG thus far in 2011.
Expectations weren’t as high as others coming into his fifth season in the Brewers’ system, but Gindl has outperformed many other top prospects to get to where he’s currently at.
Taylor Green hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to power the Nashville Sounds to a 11-10 victory over the visiting Sacramento River Cats in front of 7,975 screaming kids on Tuesday afternoon at Greer Stadium.
With the win, Nashville (14-24) earned a season-split with Sacramento. All four games of the series were decided by one run.
Four Nashville hitters recorded multiple-hit contests in the victory. Outfielder Brett Carroll continued to stay hot against Sacramento, adding his second three-hit performance in the series while scoring three runs. Carroll, Edwin Maysonet and Taylor Green all drove in three runs on the afternoon.
The Sounds sent all nine hitters to the dish in the bottom of the first inning and plated four runs on Sacramento starter Guillermo Moscoso. The River Cats’ right-hander gave up a leadoff double to Eric Farris and walked the bases loaded before allowing a two-run single to Carroll. Moscoso then balked to put both runners in scoring position before allowing another two-run single to catcher George Kottaras.
Sacramento plated two runs to trim the Nashville lead to 4-2 in the next frame, all with two outs. Josh Butler surrendered a solo homer to catcher Josh Donaldson, his third of the season. Three batters later, the River Cats plated their next run when Jamile Weeks hit an RBI base knock.
The River Cats went ahead 5-4 in the next inning, beginning with Matt Carson hitting his sixth home run just inches above the glove of Jordan Brown in left field. With two outs again in the inning, Sacramento plated two more runs, highlighted by an RBI double from Donaldson and RBI single from Michael Taylor.
Nashville knotted the contest at 5-5 in the next frame. Carroll doubled to left field and later scored when Maysonet knocked a two-out single to right field.
Sacramento scored the last of its run in the top of the six inning, plating five runs to take a 10-5 lead. Outfielder Michael Taylor singled and scored on the ensuing Shane Petersen triple down the left field line. Reliever Jim Henderson came into the contest and allowed Weeks to single home Petersen for the next run. After a walk, Carson belted his second home run of the game, this time a three-run shot over the left field wall.
Nashville went ahead for good in the bottom of the seventh inning, again sending all nine batters to the plate for six runs. Sacramento reliever Jerry Blevins began the inning by hitting Jordan Brown and giving up a double to Brendan Katin, his team-leading 18th extra-base hit of the season. Carroll followed by driving in his third run of the contest with an RBI base hit to right field.
Blevins intentionally walked Kottaras before being replaced by Willie Eyre (3-2), who quickly offered up a base-loaded, two-run single to Maysonet. Green then blasted the first pitch he saw from Eyre over the center field wall and off the clubhouse. Giving Nashville the 11-10 lead, the three-run homer was Green’s fourth of the year and first since April 17.
Both starters took no decisions. Butler gave up a season-high seven runs while scattering 10 hits with two walks in five plus innings. Moscoso lasted three innings for Sacramento, surrendering five runs on six hits with three walks.
Henderson (1-1) backed into the win with two innings. Donovan Hand contributed a scoreless frame while Mark DiFelice converted his fourth save with a perfect ninth.
After an off day on Wednesday, the Sounds travel west to begin an eight-game road trip with the Salt Lake Bees (AAA-Angels) and Tacoma Rainiers (AAA-Mariners) of the Pacific Conference Northern Division, the teams’ only meetings this season. Left-hander Chase Wright (0-3, 7.50) makes the start at 7:35 pm CT on Thursday for Nashville against Salt Lake right-hander Matt Palmer (0-3, 10.67).