Subscribe: Brew Crew Ball
http://www.brewcrewball.com/rss1/index.rdf
Preview: Brew Crew Ball

Brew Crew Ball - All Posts



Leading the decline of Brewers blogs but with the best Junior Guerra content.



Updated: 2018-01-18T17:21:31-06:00

 



Milwaukee Brewers to sign Ernesto Frieri to minor league deal

2018-01-18T17:21:31-06:00

He’ll reportedly receive an invite to big league camp. So far this winter, the Milwaukee Brewers have focused their search for bullpen depth on arms with major league experience that throw predominantly fastballs and sliders. Today it was reported that the Brewers have added yet another right-hander in that mold to their stable of arms that will compete for a spot in the ‘pen this spring: Per source, RHP Ernesto Frieri has signed as a non-roster invitee with the Brewers and will go to big-league camp.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 18, 2018 Ernesto Frieri, 32, has spent parts of eight seasons in the big leagues since signing as an international free agent with the Padres back in 2003. The well traveled hurler has pitched for San Diego, the Angels, Tampa Bay, Texas, and Pittsburgh, appearing in 304 games along the way while posting a 3.59 ERA and 84 DRA- across 303.1 innings. His career started off quite promisingly, as from the year he debuted in 2009 through the 2013 season, Frieri worked to a 2.76 ERA with 12.3 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9. He spent a couple of those seasons as the Angels’ closer and has racked up 73 saves in his career. Since 2014, though, Frieri has struggled to find success in the big leagues thanks to a constant barrage of balls flying over his head and out of the park. He could muster only a 7.34 ERA in 48 games for the Angels and Pirates that season while coughing up 2.4 HR/9. The next year in Tampa Bay, his fastball was two miles per hour slower (down to 92.8 MPH) and he allowed six long balls in 23.1 MLB innings while pitching to a 4.63 ERA. He latched on with the Phillies that winter, but was released in the days leading up to Opening Day 2016. He then elected to sit out the rest of the 2016 season in order to get his mechanics back in order. Frieri returned to affiliated ball in spring of 2017 when he inked a minor league deal with the Yankees, and after logging a 3.00 ERA and 24:9 K/BB ratio in his first 21.0 innings he opted out of his contract in June. He then caught on with Texas, and following a few more appearances in the minors, the Rangers purchased his contact and he was back in The Show. It didn’t last long, though, as Frieri was DFA’d and outrighted back to AAA in a couple weeks after allowing four runs and six walks - but no homers - in 7.0 innings with Texas. The Rangers eventually sold his contract to the Mariners (for the grand sum of $1) and he finished out the year by posting a 5.25 ERA in 12.0 innings for Seattle’s AAA affiliate. He became a minor league free agent after the season concluded. As mentioned above, Frieri relies primarily on a fastball/slider combination, though he will occasionally mix in a changeup as well. After his fastball dipped quite a bit in 2015 his velocity was back to normal during his brief MLB stint last season, averaging 94.4 MPH. His paltry 6.1% swinging strike rate (again, SSS caveat here) in 2017 was far and away a career worst, though. Frieri seems like a long shot to break camp with the big league team at this point, but he’s certainly a solid-enough depth arm to have in the fold. He can still bring it with his fastball, and if the Brewers’ coaches can help get his command back in order then he could have some value as a reclamation project. The team has yet to confirm the deal, and financial terms if he makes the MLB team have not yet been reported. Statistics courtesy of Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs [...]



Submit Your Questions for BCB Mailbag #39

2018-01-18T09:00:07-06:00

(image)

Send in your questions and every Friday we'll answer them.

Today is Thursday, and you all know what that means:

Tomorrow is Friday.

And you know what Friday means:

Another edition of the BCB Mailbag!

We are less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale Baseball Park, and yet the trade and free agent markets remain at a relative standstill. It sounds like the Brewers are keeping busy behind the scenes, though, if David Stearns’ recent comments are any indication. Will the Brewers make a big move in the next few weeks, and what will it be?! The suspense is killing me! So let’s chat about that, and whatever else might be on your minds.

Looking forward to seeing what ya’ll come up with this week!




Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #13

2018-01-18T08:00:07-06:00

This is your chance to choose who the most exciting future Brewers are! The calendar has finally turned over to 2018, meaning that the Major League Baseball offseason is now roughly halfway complete. Only another four weeks until pitchers and catchers report! Our local nine has been only modestly active this winter, especially in comparison to the previous two offseasons under Slingin’ David Stearns. The rebuild is complete, so the Brewers are no longer in the mode of trading established major league players for prospects. We have also started to see many of the prospects acquired in the last three seasons by either Stearns or his predecessor Doug Melvin come up and start making an impact at the MLB level. Still, Milwaukee possesses an enviable collection of minor league talent and one of the best farm systems in baseball. Now it’s your turn to parse through Milwaukee’s top prospects and vote for where you think they stack up in the rejuvenated farm system. You’ll be given guidance from the top prospect lists that have already been released, and once outlets like MLB Pipeline and Minor League Ball update their lists for 2018, those will be included, too. Yesterday, Mauricio Dubon edged out the competition and was voted by you all as top prospect #12. Today, he has been removed from the list and Jake Gatewood has been added as we’ll vote for top prospect #13: RHP Marcos Diplan (age 21) Acquired from TEX (1/2015) 2017 stats (A+): 125.2 IP || 5.23 ERA || 119 K || 71 BB || 11 HR || 1.568 WHIP Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 14Prospects 1500: 16 1B/3B Jake Gatewood (age 22) Drafted 1st round (41st overall) in 2014 2017 stats (A+-AA): 570 PA || .264/.333/.441 || 15 HR || 10 SB || 161 K || 51 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 24Prospects 1500: 20 OF Corey Ray (age 23) Drafted 1st round (5th overall) in 2016 2017 stats (A+): 503 PA || .238/.311/.367 || 7 HR || 24 SB || 156 K || 48 BB Baseball Prospectus: 10Baseball America: 10Fangraphs: 10Prospects 1500: 10 OF Trent Grisham (age 21) Drafted 1st round (15th overall) in 2015 2017 stats (A+) 569 PA || .223/.360/.348 || 8 HR || 37 SB || 141 K || 98 BB Baseball Prospectus: 9Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 9Prospects 1500: 8 C Mario Feliciano (age 19) Drafted 2nd round in 2016 2017 stats (A): 446 PA || .251/.320/.331 || 4 HR || 10 SB || 72 K || 34 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 17Prospects 1500: 17 RHP Cody Ponce (age 24) Drafted 2nd round in 2015 2017 stats (A+-AA): 137.2 IP || 3.14 ERA || 103 K || 30 BB || 14 HR || 1.235 WHIP Baseball Prospectus: n/aBaseball America: n/aFangraphs: 16Prospects 1500: 18 Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference [...]



Brew Crew Ball 2018 Top Prospects List #1-10

2018-01-17T09:00:04-06:00

Our votes matter! As much as our opinions! The Brew Crew Ball community has spoken, and the top ten prospects are in. I always find this ranking revealing - I think it’s a good mix of paying attention to recent performance, scouts’ takes, new prospects, personal preference, and hopes and aspirations. Having a vote from those invested in the future of the Brewers smooths out the edges of bias and, I believe, gives us a good view of how the prospects rank. That said, we are frequently wrong. Here’s our 2017 voting results (1-10). As you will see (if you bother to look), four of those on the top ten have disappeared from the 2018 list, with only one of them because he is an official major leaguer now. Josh Hader accumulated enough playing time to not be included in this list. He also totally justified his 2017 #2 finish; he was very effective out of the Brewer bullpen last season. However, three of last season’s top ten are still in the Brewers’ system but have fallen out of that grouping. None of Corey Ray (3), Trent Clark (now Grisham) (8), or Phil Bickford (9) have shown up as of yet. Ray and Grisham haven’t advanced their development and have been passed by players who did, and Bickford had a lost season due to a recreational drug suspension and then an injury that derailed his comeback. The thumbnail sketches below will be more subjective than objective. Last season, we included projections of when players would arrive with the big club. We picked out 4 of the top 10 to debut in the 2017 season, and all of those players did exactly that...and none of the others. (Lewis Brinson, Josh Hader, Brett Phillips, and Brandon Woodruff all appeared with the big club last season). I’ve included my dreamed-for Brewer comp for each of the top ten. 1. OF LEWIS BRINSON (age 23) Last year ranking - 1 Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images He sure looks like a star... Brinson comes in as the Brewers’ top prospect for the second year in a row, and did it decisively, with 53% of the vote. I will now predict that it will be his last appearance at the #1 spot on this list. Next year he will no longer be eligible due to having played too much to be considered for the list, he will have been traded, or if he IS still eligible he will not have performed well enough to get voted into this position again. Lewis had an inauspicious major league debut in 2017 (.106/.238/.277, OPS .513; 2 HR in 47 AB). A September call-up didn’t happen due to a hamstring injury that ended his season prematurely. My hoped-for Brewer Career Comp: Larry Hisle (pre-shoulder injury) 2. P CORBIN BURNES (age 23) Last Year ranking - 20 That’s a big jump for the righty, but his performance in 2017 justifies it. He is the reigning minor league pitcher of the year for Milwaukee after a combined A+, AA line of 1.67 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He worked 145.2 innings. The 2016 4th round pick looks to build on two successful minor league seasons and perhaps make an appearance with the Brewers major league squad this season. He ranks as a mid-rotation starter with four effective pitches. My hoped-for Brewer Career Comp: Yovani Gallardo 3. 2B KESTON HIURA (age 21) Last Year ranking - debut Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images It’s the bat, folks! Hiura was the Brewers’ first round pick (#9 overall) in 2017, coming out of UC Irvine as the top rated college hitter. Hiura came out with an elbow injury that limited him to DH duty for UC Irvine and most of his time in rookie ball and at low-A Appleton, but he did appear at second base for the T-Rats at the end of the season. His bat was a resounding success, with a slash of .371/.422/.611, OPS of 1.033, in 187 plate appearances. He is a solid contact gap hitter who had 4 home runs in those 187 times at the plate. If he can keep the bat and play some adequate defense, the Brewers will have one of their best first round picks ever. My hoped-for Brewer Career Comp: Pa[...]



Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #12

2018-01-17T08:00:07-06:00

This is your chance to choose who the most exciting future Brewers are! The calendar has finally turned over to 2018, meaning that the Major League Baseball offseason is now roughly halfway complete. Only another four weeks until pitchers and catchers report! Our local nine has been only modestly active this winter, especially in comparison to the previous two offseasons under Slingin’ David Stearns. The rebuild is complete, so the Brewers are no longer in the mode of trading established major league players for prospects. We have also started to see many of the prospects acquired in the last three seasons by either Stearns or his predecessor Doug Melvin come up and start making an impact at the MLB level. Still, Milwaukee possesses an enviable collection of minor league talent and one of the best farm systems in baseball. Now it’s your turn to parse through Milwaukee’s top prospects and vote for where you think they stack up in the rejuvenated farm system. You’ll be given guidance from the top prospect lists that have already been released, and once outlets like MLB Pipeline and Minor League Ball update their lists for 2018, those will be included, too. Yesterday, Tristen Lutz was voted by you all as top prospect #11. Today, he has been removed from the list and Cody Ponce has been added as we’ll vote for top prospect #12: RHP Marcos Diplan (age 21) Acquired from TEX (1/2015) 2017 stats (A+): 125.2 IP || 5.23 ERA || 119 K || 71 BB || 11 HR || 1.568 WHIP Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 14Prospects 1500: 16 2B/SS Mauricio Dubon (age 23) Acquired from BOS (12/2016) 2017 stats (AA-AAA): 545 PA || .274/.330/.382 || 8 HR || 38 SB || 76 K || 39 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 13Prospects 1500: 13 OF Corey Ray (age 23) Drafted 1st round (5th overall) in 2016 2017 stats (A+): 503 PA || .238/.311/.367 || 7 HR || 24 SB || 156 K || 48 BB Baseball Prospectus: 10Baseball America: 10Fangraphs: 10Prospects 1500: 10 OF Trent Grisham (age 21) Drafted 1st round (15th overall) in 2015 2017 stats (A+) 569 PA || .223/.360/.348 || 8 HR || 37 SB || 141 K || 98 BB Baseball Prospectus: 9Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 9Prospects 1500: 8 C Mario Feliciano (age 19) Drafted 2nd round in 2016 2017 stats (A): 446 PA || .251/.320/.331 || 4 HR || 10 SB || 72 K || 34 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 17Prospects 1500: 17 RHP Cody Ponce (age 24) Drafted 2nd round in 2015 2017 stats (A+-AA): 137.2 IP || 3.14 ERA || 103 K || 30 BB || 14 HR || 1.235 WHIP Baseball Prospectus: n/aBaseball America: n/aFangraphs: 16Prospects 1500: 18 Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference [...]



What to expect from Boone Logan

2018-01-16T14:15:50-06:00

Logan is a high-strikeout LOOGY, but the most exciting thing about his signing might be what else it allows the Brewers to do An offseason stuck in neutral has left many teams around baseball focusing on depth more than the big splashes. That’s been true for the Brewers, too, who have signed the likes of Yovani Gallardo, Jhoulys Chacin and, most recently, lefty reliever Boone Logan. A 12-year veteran, Logan spent last year as a true LOOGY with the Cleveland Indians. While he appeared in 38 games, he only compiled 21 total innings of work. But while the workload was light, of the 63 outs he recorded, 44% of them came as the result of a strikeout, and he struck out 30.8% of all batters he faced. High punchout rates have become the norm for Logan, as he’s posted K/9 rates above 11 in each of the past six seasons and a K% north of 30% in 3 of the past 5 years. You have to go back to 2011 to find a year in which he didn’t strike out at least a quarter of opposing batters. He’s especially been death against left-handed hitters during his dozen years in the big leagues. Facing more than a thousand lefties in his career, Logan has held them to a line of .234/.311/.361, striking out 308 of them. He’s also held lefty-swinging batters to a wOBA of .298, as opposed to .357 for righties. We’ll probably hear how Logan’s strikeout stuff means he could face righties and pitch full innings, but that doesn’t mean he should. Right-handed hitting has beat him up to a line of .292/.373/.472 for his career, which is likely why Cleveland only allowed him to face 35 righties last year, as opposed to 56 lefties. He did hold righties to a .242/.294/.344 line in that extremely limited sample size, but history says that was pretty fortunate, and the Brewers would be wise to similarly limit those appearances. Much of Logan’s success comes from a wicked slider, which he uses liberally, to say the least. After throwing his slider roughly half the time over the past couple years, he threw the pitch an incredible 60.1% percent of the time last year in Cleveland, cutting his fastball usage down to just 39.9%. In that way, the fastball almost becomes a changeup, and batters aren’t used to seeing something straight from him -- especially since they may only see him once or twice in a series. It probably comes as no surprise that nobody who pitched at least 20 innings threw the slider more often than Logan did last year, beating out names like 2017 teammate Andrew Miller (57.8%). One of the most interesting things about this signing is how it almost exactly mirrors Cleveland’s signing of Logan last winter -- and how it could give us a clue on the Brewers’ plans for another pitcher on the staff. When they inked him to a one-year deal with an option last February, the only other left-hander Cleveland had in their bullpen was super reliever Miller. The idea was that the addition of Logan would give manager Terry Francona a lefty he could use situationally, freeing up Miller for more multi-inning or fireman appearances when the team desperately needed outs in high-leverage spots. Now the Brewers are signing Logan to a one-year deal with an option, possibly to serve in a situational role to allow Craig Counsell to use Josh Hader in much the same way Francona deployed Miller. The team has been coy about their future plans for Hader, but the suspicion has been that the hard-throwing, long-haired lefty would at least start the year in the bullpen. If the Brewers are indeed thinking about using Hader in Miller-like fashion, the signing of Logan would certainly seem to make that easier. At the very least, it looks like the Brewers have an effective lefty reliever that avoids contact and could possibly be a late-inning weapon against the Joey Vottos and Anthony Rizzos and Kyle Schwarbers of the world. Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs [...]



Milwaukee Brewers announce scheduled attendees for 2018 ‘On Deck’ event

2018-01-16T12:15:01-06:00

(image)

It’s a sign the winter is almost over — Brewers On Deck is just a couple weeks away

It’s been a slow offseason to this point, but a sign that winter is almost over is here -- the team is announcing its (tentative) list of attendees for this year’s Brewers On Deck event, scheduled for January 28th at the Wisconsin Center.

It’s a chance to meet players in person, and this year, a total of 34 players are scheduled to attend. That includes the big names like Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Eric Thames, Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson and Corey Knebel, but also several of the organization’s next wave of talent. Among the team’s top prospects expected to be there are Lewis Brinson, Corbin Burnes, Monte Harrison and Keston Hiura.

Several members of the coaching staff -- including manager Craig Counsell -- will also be there, as well as members of the front office and broadcasting teams.

A dozen Brewers legends and alumni are also being announced for the event, including Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Rollie Fingers, Gorman Thomas and Jeff Cirillo.

A full schedule of events for the day is yet to be announced, but players and some alumni will be signing autographs. Those autographs will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, with each player being limited to signing for 250 people. The cost of the autographs depend on who’s signing, and range from free to $25.

All of the proceeds from the autographs and a portion of the entrance fees ($15 for adults, $9 for kids in advance; $20 for adults and $15 for kids in cash only day-of) go to the Brewers Community Foundation. The team will also be collecting food donations for the Hunger Task Force at the door.

You can find a full list of scheduled attendees here. As always, the card is subject to change -- and the Brewers have been known to make a splash right before the event.




Brew Crew Ball Community Top Prospects Vote #11

2018-01-16T08:00:07-06:00

This is your chance to choose who the most exciting future Brewers are! The calendar has finally turned over to 2018, meaning that the Major League Baseball offseason is now roughly halfway complete. Only another four weeks until pitchers and catchers report! Our local nine has been only modestly active this winter, especially in comparison to the previous two offseasons under Slingin’ David Stearns. The rebuild is complete, so the Brewers are no longer in the mode of trading established major league players for prospects. We have also started to see many of the prospects acquired in the last three seasons by either Stearns or his predecessor Doug Melvin come up and start making an impact at the MLB level. Still, Milwaukee possesses an enviable collection of minor league talent and one of the best farm systems in baseball. Now it’s your turn to parse through Milwaukee’s top prospects and vote for where you think they stack up in the rejuvenated farm system. You’ll be given guidance from the top prospect lists that have already been released, and once outlets like MLB Pipeline and Minor League Ball update their lists for 2018, those will be included, too. Yesterday. Freddy Peralta ran away with the voting to round out the top-10 BCB Community Prospects. Today, he has been removed from the list and Mario Feliciano has been added as we’ll vote for top prospect #11: RHP Marcos Diplan (age 21) Acquired from TEX (1/2015) 2017 stats (A+): 125.2 IP || 5.23 ERA || 119 K || 71 BB || 11 HR || 1.568 WHIP Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 14Prospects 1500: 16 2B/SS Mauricio Dubon (age 23) Acquired from BOS (12/2016) 2017 stats (AA-AAA): 545 PA || .274/.330/.382 || 8 HR || 38 SB || 76 K || 39 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 13Prospects 1500: 13 OF Corey Ray (age 23) Drafted 1st round (5th overall) in 2016 2017 stats (A+): 503 PA || .238/.311/.367 || 7 HR || 24 SB || 156 K || 48 BB Baseball Prospectus: 10Baseball America: 10Fangraphs: 10Prospects 1500: 10 OF Trent Grisham (age 21) Drafted 1st round (15th overall) in 2015 2017 stats (A+) 569 PA || .223/.360/.348 || 8 HR || 37 SB || 141 K || 98 BB Baseball Prospectus: 9Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 9Prospects 1500: 8 C Mario Feliciano (age 19) Drafted 2nd round in 2016 2017 stats (A): 446 PA || .251/.320/.331 || 4 HR || 10 SB || 72 K || 34 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 17Prospects 1500: 17 OF Tristen Lutz (age 19) Drafted 1st round (34th overall) in 2017 2017 stats (Rookie): 187 PA || .311/.398/.559 || 9 HR || 3 SB || 42 K || 16 BB Baseball Prospectus: 11-20Baseball America: n/aFangraphs: 11Prospects 1500: 12 Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference [...]