It’s a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short…
We generally try to avoid back-to-back mentions, either positive or negative, for a player but sometimes a guy just forces our hand with an outstanding run and there isn’t much else to do. That’s the case with Schafer, who was featured in the “three up” last week but has played so remarkably well since then he had to be the prospect of the week.
Over his last 10 games, Schafer has hit .529/.526/.647 with a triple, 2 doubles and 2 walks. It’s easy to say that Schafer needs to walk more and hit for more power to ever become a plus center fielder at the big league level, and it’s also probably true. Still, sometimes a player is just barreling the ball so well that they can rack up a lot of value just by hitting singles, and that’s what he’s done lately.
His seasonal line is .300/.352/.440, which is good but not outstanding for the Pacific Coast League. Combine that with well defense that plays well above the sum total of his tools, and he’s a big-leaguer-in-waiting at this point. As was mentioned last week, under other circumstances Schafer might be putting himself in line for a call up to Milwaukee, but with the backlog of center fielders there these days, it seems unlikey there will be room for him until September when rosters expand. When his time does come, though, Milwaukee should have a guy capable of handling at least platoon duty in CF for a few years while earning the league minimum.
It’s been a tale of 2 seasons for Peralta this year, before Milwaukee and after Milwaukee. The right hander earned his way to a late April call up to pitch out of the bullpen by starting off the season quite well. Since going back down, his command has often abandoned him and he’s posted a mediocre 43:33 K:BB ratio. Last week, though, he posted one of his better starts since April, allowing 1 run over 5 2/3 innings, striking out 6 and walking only 2. He did allow 8 hits, but he kept batters out of the air and was able to limit the damage. It’s arguable that Peralta has been passed up as the top prospect in the system, but he just turned 23 less than 2 months ago and he’s already shown the ability to get outs at the AAA level, so no one should dream of writing him off, even if the development path isn’t as smooth as it might be.
Drafted in the 3rd round in 2009 out of Tulane as a shortstop, Prince has moved to center in an attempt to continue moving up the minor league ladder. Over his past 10 games, he’s hit .281/.395/.594 with 3 home runs, a double and 7 walks. Overall, his numbers are still pretty pedestrian, but he’s hitting better than he ever has in his pro career. Unfortunately for him, he’s blocked behind quite a few center fielders in the Brewers system, with even more talent coming up behind him, so if he’s going to one day play in the big leagues it seems pretty likely it will be with someone else.
We have to fudge a little bit here, because Toledo didn’t actually pitch last week, but he’s been so good that he just really merited a mention. Drafted in the 11th round last year out of the University of Florida, Toledo hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 15th and has given up only 11 hits in 29 1/3 innings this year. He’s struck out 24 and walked only 11, so he’s solid in that area too. Add it all up, and he was more than worthy of his Midwest League All Star berth. It will be interesting to see what he does against more advanced hitters, as his raw stuff doesn’t scream “big leagues,” but he’s certainly done everything in his power to this point to impress.
It’s been an eventful past few days for Thornburg. The plan was for him to pitch in the Southern League all star game on Tuesday and then report to AAA Nashville. Instead, he will come up to Milwaukee and make his major league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays as a fill in for the injured Shaun Marcum. Unfortunately, he is coming off of back to back starts where he went a total of 10 2/3 innings and allowed 10 runs, though 3 of those were unearned. He also hasn’t pitched since June 9th, so rust very well could be an issue. On the plus side, he will have the advantage of facing hitters almost completely in the dark about him, so a strong outing is also quite possible. In other words, don’t read too much into what happens in the first start, either positive of negative.
One certainly has to admire Mark Rogers for sticking it out this long in a career that has been decimated by injuries. He’s endured mutliple surgeries and come back time and again for more. He’s also had been having a solid, if unspectacular year in AAA until last week. Over his last 2 outings covering 8 1/3 innings, Rogers allowed 13 runs (12 earned) on 14 hits, 8 walks and 8 strikeouts. The Brewers have persisted on keeping him in a starting role, so either they have hopes that he might one day be able to start in the big leagues, or they simply don’t think his body can hold up to the grind of being in the bullpen. The former is hard to imagine and if the latter were true, it would mean he can’t pitch in his likely only useful role at the big league level, so it’s hard to see a happy ending here, though stranger things have happened.
The Brewers have been taking their time with the 2009 4th round draft pick, and the results had been pretty solid in 2012 until his last start when he gave up 7 runs (4 earned) in 4 innings of work. The major issue with Hall is that even now at 21-going-on-22, he’ still not missing bats at the rate one would like for a top prospect. His K:BB ratio is an uninspiring 27:20 and he allows considerably more fly balls than ground balls in play. There is still time for things to get better, but it would be nice to see some major progress sometime soon.