Mark Rogers, Cody Scarpetta lead the way for Milwaukee's top prospects; what other prospects should we take note of?
By now, it should be no surprise to know that the Milwaukee Brewers have accumulated some of the most promising young stars via the draft over the past few seasons.
Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo and Rickie Weeks are just a few examples of Milwaukee's uncanny ability to recognize future difference makers within the organization.
So with a new season nearing, here are some of the prospects headlining the Brewers' farm-system.
Standing in at 6'3'', 220 pounds, Rogers is undoubtedly the Brewers' top prospect who could potentially become an essential part of Milwaukee's starting rotation in the near future.
Despite a few minor injuries, the former fifth overall pick in the 2005 MLB Amature Draft maintains an arsenal of capabilities that could be of use in 2011.
A low to mid 90 MPH fastball complemented by an impressive breaking ball topping out around 79-83 MPH are the primary assets Rogers carries with him, however he does have other convenient swing-and-miss pitches that will be of great importance in the major leagues.
The only thing keeping him from a position in Milwaukee's starting rotation are lingering shoulder issues that sidelined him for two full seasons.
Should Rogers pitch up to his capabilities in Milwaukee's minor league affiliates, he could soon find himself in a starting position in the Brewers' five-man rotation as early as next season.
A near carbon-copy of Mark Rogers, Cody Scarpetta is as fundamentally sound a pitcher as you will ever see on a minor league diamond.
A slow start to his 2010 campaign in the Florida State league, Scarpetta rebounded in excellent fashion to vault himself atop the league leaders in strikeouts, and could certainly see playing time in the near future for the Brewers.
Milwaukee selected Scarpetta in the seventh round of the 2007 draft hoping for him to become a solid third starter in their rotation of the future, and so far it's looking bright for the bulky right-hander.
For the time being, expect Scarpetta to continue his progressions in the minor leagues as he attempts to make his way up into the major league in the near future.
Another up-and-coming speedster from Milwaukee's farm system, Eric Farris is by far and away the most dangerous base-runner the Brewers have maintained in a long time.
Drafted by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, Farris has spent his days with many of the Brewers' minor league ball clubs.
However due to his youth, the Brewers have opted to develop Farris' talents for an extensive amount of seasons.
Nevertheless, you can't ignore his speed, tenacity and overwhelming offensive and defensive skill-set that carried him to three profoundly effective seasons in the minor leagues.
From his rookie season in the minors, 2007, to his latest campaign in 2010, Farris has furnished 161 RBI, scored 208 runs, batted at least .271 and accumulated an awe-inspiring 138 stolen bases including a total of 70 stolen bases in 2009 alone.
Farris has a bright future ahead of him, and we should get a great look at what he has to offer this season for the Brewers.
Drafted as Milwaukee's first-round selection back in 2005, Peralta has quickly become one of the hottest commodities in the Brewers' farm system along with other notable draft picks Eric Arnett and Mark Rogers.
Unfortunately for Peralta, he could conceivably stay in Hunstville (Milwaukee's AA affiliate) for another full season as he continues to improve on his stuff.
Since being drafted by the Brewers some five years ago, Peralta has spent many of his years in different locations (Helena, West Virginia, playing for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Brevard County and AA Hunstville).
Should he continue to work on his stuff, it's not out of the question for this 6'2'', 225-pounder to secure a legitimate role in Milwaukee's bullpen to work his way up to the starting rotation.
The fourth member of Milwaukee's plethora of young arms on the farm, Kyle Heckathorn could be considered the prospect with the most major-league potential, mostly due to his 6'6'', 235-pound stature.
Drafted by the Brewers in the first-round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Kennesaw State, Heckathorn will become a major piece of Milwaukee's starting rotation in the seasons to come.
With the impressive ability to hit his spots with his mid to high 90 MPH fastball, Heckathorn makes for a dominating talent for the Brewers in the next few years.
However, due to an inconsistent slider that will need some maintenance, Heckathorn will most likely be stuck in Milwaukee's minor league affiliates for another full season or two.
When Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum officially depart from Milwaukee after the next few season, expect Heckathorn to be called up to assume a major role in the Brewers' rotation.
In the midst of Milwaukee's plethora of up-and-coming young prospects, one such talent has yet to be fully recognized by even most Brewers fans.
Amaury Rivas, who made his pitching debut back in 2005 as a member of the Brewers' minor league affiliate in Arizona, is clearly one such pitcher who will contribute a surplus of positivity to Milwaukee's pitching staff in the coming future.
The 25-year-old Dominican-born stands in at 6'2'', 210 pounds, and attributes many positive features to his game including a knack for hitting his spots with consistency.
Combine that with a fastball topping out in the mid 90s and you've got yourself one impressive prospect.
With a solid amount of experience already under his belt, and impressive 2009 and 2010 seasons pitching for both A+ Brevard Country and AA Hunstville, we're almost certain to get a great look at Rivas over the course of Milwaukee's 2011 regular season.
The 20-year old all-purpose phenom Scooter Gennett may have only one season's worth of minor league experience under his belt, but that won't stop him from becoming Milwaukee's top in-fielding prospect for the next few seasons.
Yes, Gennett is without question one of the biggest assets the Brewers maintain in the minor leagues, and his potential as a major league infielder has no known limits whatsoever.
Contributing to the Brewers' minor league affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers last season has increased his exposure to a bulk of Brewer fans; however his name still remains a mystery for the most part in Wisconsin.
A .309 batting average, 55 RBI, nine home runs, 14 stolen bases and .817 OPS in his inaugural season in the Brewers' farm system now has scouts raving over his potential within the ballclub.
In fact, rumor has is that Gennett will most likely replace Rickie Weeks at second base when he is called up in the next few seasons.
The former 16th-round selection from the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft will have a lasting impact on the future success of Milwaukee baseball.
Without question one of Milwaukee's most aspiring young talents down on the farm, Kentrail Davis is certainly a prospect to watch closely each of the next few seasons.
The Brewers took a chance on the speedy 5'9'', 195-pound Davis in the first round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft to find out he could be roaming the outfield of Miller Park as soon as next season.
Last season, Davis maintained a successful season with the Wisconsin Timber-Rattlers and the Brevard County Brewers—two of the Milwaukee's premier minor-league affiliates—by accounting for 63 RBI, 28 doubles, 10 home runs and 10 triples while posting a OPS of .866.
As impressive as his batting has become, it is his fielding that will eventually take him to the next level with the Brewers, preserving a .974 fielding percentage playing predominantly center and right field.
Look for the 22-year old Davis to become a staple in Ron Roenicke's aggressive-style offense just a few seasons down the road.
When the Milwaukee Brewers took to the 2010 MLB Draft, they already had maintained one of the best farm-systems in all of the major leagues.
But after taking Auburn's versatile infielder Hunter Morris with their fourth-round selection, they managed to add yet another powerful bat to their system.
Standing at an athletic 6'4'', 215 pounds, Morris is a prospect that looks to make a difference for the Brewers in the years to come—possibly sooner depending on whether or not Milwaukee decides to trade away Prince Fielder for more pitching before the end of the 2011 season.
Morris' statistics during his rookie minor league season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2010 aren't what you'd expect given the hype: 44 RBI, .251 batting average and nine home runs. However, don't expect those numbers to duplicate in 2011.