Milwaukee Brewers: Power Ranking Top Prospects on the Farm, Post-Trade Deadline
Acquiring utility-man extraordinaire Jerry Hairston, Jr., second baseman Felipe Lopez and a scrappy set-up man named Francisco Rodriguez (I'm sure you've heard of him), Ron Roenicke's crew can now rest easy knowing Rickie Weeks' spot in the lineup is somewhat secured.
However, getting these players takes a plethora of young talent and a considerable amount of cash.
After depleting the farm system in the offseason, GM Doug Melvin was forced to deal away a handful of top prospects.
So in wake of a flurry of deadline deals and acquisitions, here are, in no particular order, the top prospects remaining in the Milwaukee Brewers' farm system.
*Author's note: the Mets will choose two players from a list of five minor-leaguers in the Brewers' system in September, but have yet to be named.
Alec Dopp is a Milwaukee Brewers featured columnist on Bleacher Report. Please follow him on Twitter: @alecdopp.
1B/3B Mat Gamel
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At this stage of his career, the 26-year-old Gamel is hardly a prospect.
This season, Gamel has absolutely shredded opposing pitching, batting .317 with 20 HR, 71 RBI and an eye-opening .552 slugging percentage for Triple-A Nashville.
Gamel has played in all of 11 games with Milwaukee this season as a designated hitter against AL opponents, but limped his way to a .115 BA and 2 RBI.
There's no question he's ready to take the next step as an everyday player at the major league level; however, it's tough when you're competing with Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee for playing time.
SS/2B Scooter Gennett
One of the players the Mets will be very interested in picking up come September, there's no disputing Gennett has all the potential in the world at the big-league level.
At first glance, Gennett resembles a Dustin Pedroia-type player in that he doesn't have all the physical tools, but rather the pure skill and will to succeed on a day-to-day basis.
In 2011, the star second baseman for the AA Brevard County Manatees is batting .295 with 6 HR, 37 RBI and leads all Brewers prospects with 124 hits.
Gennett was one of the most highly touted prospects coming out of high school, and, unfortunately for Milwaukee, will likely be one of the two players the Mets select in conjunction with the Francisco Rodriguez acquisition.
RHP Wily Peralta
Peralta is ranked as Milwaukee's top prospect from multiple sources around the web, but the way I see it, that may be a bit generous.
Either way you put it, there's no getting past the talent Peralta brings to the table: three solid pitches with little refinement needed. This year in class AA Brevard County, Peralta boasts a 3.24 ERA with a 9-6 combined record and has struck out 133 in 114.0 IP.
The 22-year-old Peralta has come into his own as of late, winning six straight games and tossing seven innings of one-hit ball in his latest start.
When rosters expand from 25 to 40 a month from now, don't be surprised if Peralta sees a considerable amount of playing time as a reliever.
RHP Tyler Thornburg
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One of the premier arms featured in the MLB All-Star Futures Game just a few weeks ago, the 5'11", 185-pound Thornburg is a future ace in the making.
Milwaukee took him in the third round of last year's draft, and has worked his way up through three different minor-leaugue affiliates in his short tenure as a top prospect, and is only beginning to gain more recognition throughout the Brewers' organization.
In 2011, Thornburg has gone 9-3 with a combined 2.30 ERA, 2 CG and has held the opposing batters to a .200 BAA.
The Tim Lincecum-esque right hander has only spent two years in the minors, but says he expects to make an impact at the major league level by the end of 2011.
RHP Amaury Rivas
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Rivas, 25, is a near lock to be a September call-up when rosters expand, as the Brewers will need as many relievers as they can get their hands on when the pennant races begin to take center stage.
Statistically, Rivas has been nothing short of a disappointment in 2011 -- carrying a 4.85 ERA with just 79 SO in 115.0 IP. Yet the feeling around the organization is that he will be a serious talent in the years to come.
Having spent three years in the minors, Rivas has been an All-Star in each. He has three solid pitches to his name, and maintains a deadly off-speed pitch.
2B Eric Farris
Another speedster with tremendous potential, Farris has a great shot a being recalled from the minors when rosters expand September 1.
This year, Farris has managed 38 RBI, 6 HR, 15 SB and 48 R despite weathering a knee injury that sidelined him for two months of the season.
When All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks was placed on the 15-day disabled list a week ago, Farris was immediately recalled from Triple-A Nashville, only to be optioned back less than 24 hours later.
Should newly-acquired 2B Felipe Lopez struggle mightily, there's an outside chance of Farris being recalled once more for the stretch run.
RHP Cody Scarpetta
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The bulky 6'3", 244-pound Scarpetta has enough stuff to make him a possible bullpen addition come September. He is currently 7-5 with a 4.12 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and has administered 92 SO in 107.0 IP.
Control issues have pushed back his big-league arrival, but a solid fastball-curve-change arsenal will have manager Ron Roenicke calling come 2012, if not this September.
CF Kentrail Davis
When I set out to rank Milwaukee's top prospects at the beginning of the 2011 season, I made sure to include the speedy Davis for no other reason than his tremendous upside.
Already with 30 stolen bases in 2011, the 23-year-old Davis is obviously a threat on the basepath. Manager Ron Roenicke loves aggressive baserunners, which may lead to a September call-up for Davis.
There are some issues that will need to be addressed, particularly his batting average. Still, Davis is a classic leadoff hitter comparable to Braves center fielder Michael Bourn.
RHP Kyle Heckathorn
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Easily Milwaukee's top hurler of 2010, Heckathorn has the potential to be a starter by 2013 if all goes well.
The crafty right-hander has pitched for two minor league squads thus far in 2011, and has gone a combined 5-7 with a 3.96 ERA and 77 SO in 102.1 innings of work.
Heckathorn ranks fifth in ERA and WHIP (1.29) among Brewers minor leaguers.
A September call-up may be a bit of a stretch at this point.