Earlier today the Milwaukee Brewers confirmed a report by Evan Grant that they had picked the Player To Be Named Later to complete their August 1 trade with the Texas Rangers which sent catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress to the American League West division leader.
The now-named player is outfielder Ryan Cordell, a 24-year-old right-handed hitter who opened the season among the Rangers’ Top 10 prospects (according to Baseball America) and who was sixth-best in the up-to-date rankings published by MLB Pipeline.
Brewers General Manager David Stearns said of Cordell that he “is a very athletic, right-handed hitting centerfielder with the ability to play all three outfield positions.” Stearns went on to say that Cordell “has displayed above-average raw power. He’s displayed above-average speed. When you put that combination together he gives himself the chance to be an above average Major League player.”
Cordell joins fellow outfielder Lewis Brinson (current #2 prospect in the Milwaukee’s farm system according to MLB Pipeline) and right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz (current #5 prospect) as three additions to a system widely considered among the best in baseball if not the best.
For an idea as to just how deep the Brewers system has become, look no further than Cordell’s initial ranking therein by the aforementioned MLB Pipeline. They initially slot Cordell in at #18 in the Brewers system. Cordell was eighth for the Rangers before Brinson and Ortiz left, and their system is also highly regarded.
Cordell has not yet played above Double-A, which is where he spent the entirety of 2016 prior to his injury, but he’s among the bevvy of prospects which require 40-man roster protection this winter lest they be exposed to the Rule 5 draft. You can rest assured they Cordell will find his way onto the roster.
For the Class-AA Frisco Roughriders, Cordell played in 107 games slashing .264/.319/.484 in 405 ABs. He totaled 22 doubles, 5 triples, 19 home runs and 12 stolen bases across 107 games.
Cordell played primarily outfield in college at Liberty following a freshman year that saw him bounce around. One person I talked to after the trade said that Cordell is “a freak athlete, for sure. Great speed and outfield instincts. Hits better than his numbers may show.”
Time will of course tell on every player, but Cordell seems to be yet another valuable piece to the Brewers’ puzzle to put together a consistent pipeline of talent.
Chronologically, in case you missed them, here are the official press releases sent out today by the Brewers regarding the two trades they made involving Will Smith, Jonathan Lucroy, and Jeremy Jeffress.
First, the trade that sent Smith to the San Francisco Giants.
BREWERS ACQUIRE PITCHING PROSPECT PHIL BICKFORD AND CATCHER ANDREW SUSAC FROM GIANTS
Left-Handed Pitcher Will Smith Headed to San Francisco
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired right-handed pitcher Phil Bickford and catcher Andrew Susac from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for left-handed pitcher Will Smith. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.
Bickford, 21, was selected by San Francisco in the first round (18th overall) of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. He entered the 2016 season ranked by Baseball America as the third-best prospect in the Giants organization. He is currently ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the top prospect in their organization (65th overall in baseball), and appeared in this year’s All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.
Bickford this season went a combined 5-6 with a 2.71 ERA in 17 starts between Class-A Augusta (11 GS, 3-4, 2.70 ERA) and Class-A San Jose (6 GS, 2-2, 2.73 ERA). He has held opponents to a .208 batting average (70-for-336, 5 HR) with 105 strikeouts in 93.0 innings pitched. He made his professional debut last season, going 0-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts with the Rookie Arizona Giants. He produced 32 strikeouts in just 22.1 innings pitched as he held opponents to a .169 batting average (13-for-77, 0 HR).
Susac, 26, was batting .273 (57-for-209) with 8 HR and 36 RBI in 58 games at Triple-A Sacramento this season. He has Major League experience with the Giants, batting .240 (53-for-221) with 6 HR and 33 RBI in 87 games from 2014-15. Selected by San Francisco in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Susac was a member of the 2014 world champion Giants.
Smith, 27, was acquired by Milwaukee from Kansas City on December 5, 2013 in exchange for outfielder Norichika Aoki. He went 9-8 with a 3.28 ERA and 1 save in 181 relief appearances as a Brewer, including 1-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 outings this season.
And the trade with Texas…
BREWERS ACQUIRE TWO HIGHLY-TOUTED PROSPECTS FROM THE RANGERS
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Right-Handed Pitcher Jeremy Jeffress Headed to Texas
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Lewis Brinson, right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz and a player to be named from the Texas Rangers in exchange for catcherJonathan Lucroy and right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.
“While it is extremely difficult to part with players the caliber of Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress, we are excited to add more young and talented players to the organization as we continue to build toward future winning seasons in Milwaukee,” said Stearns.
Stearns added, “We would like to thank Jonathan for his seven years of not only All-Star play on the field, but for the leadership and dedication that he and his wife, Sarah, displayed throughout the community. We also would like to thank Jeremy for his contributions to the Brewers, particularly his admirable work as a first-time closer this season.”
Brinson, 22, entered the 2016 season ranked by both Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com as the second-best prospect in the Rangers organization. He is currently ranked 30th and 21st, respectively, in all of baseball by those outlets.
Brinson was selected by Texas in the first round (29th overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .237 (72-for-304) with 11 HR, 40 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 77 games at Double-A Frisco this season.
Ortiz, 20, entered the 2016 season ranked by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Rangers organization. He entered this season ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the fifth-best prospect in their organization and currently ranks third. He is currently ranked 74th and 63rd, respectively, in all of baseball by those outlets.
Ortiz was selected by Texas in the first round (30th overall) of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. He went 4-6 with 3.48 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) between Class-A High Desert (7g, 6gs, 3-2, 2.60era) and Double-A Frisco (9g, 8gs, 1-4, 4.08era).
Lucroy, 30, batted .284 with 79 HR and 387 RBI in 805 games during seven seasons with the Brewers (2010-16), including .299 (101-for-338) with 13 HR and 50 RBI in 95 games this season. The two-time All-Star (2014 and 2016) was selected by Milwaukee in the third round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
Jeffress, 28, returned to the Brewers in 2014 and has gone 8-3 with a 2.36 ERA and 27 saves (all this season) in 148 relief appearances during that stretch. He was originally selected by Milwaukee in the first round (16th overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
As I did last year, and the year before, and the year before that, I’ll be keeping a running list of the Top 100 Players Right Now as they are revealed on MLB Network, eventually compiling the entire list.
They will have revealed all 100 by the end of Friday, February 27th. I’ll update this same space as they reveal the remaining entries.
As always, I will understandably highlight the Brewers players on the list. The Brewers had six players on the list entering 2012. Rickie Weeks was 83, John Axford was 77, Yovani Gallardo was 72, Aramis Ramirez was 66, Zack Greinke was 64, and Ryan Braun was too low at number 9. Entering 2013, the Brewers only had three players featured on the list (at the time it was revealed). Yovani Gallardo repeated his position at 72, Aramis Ramirez jumped all the way up to 32, and Braun settled in at 6. Kyle Lohse made last year’s list as well. As for 2014, just three players once again. Jean Segura checked in at 60, Carlos Gomez debuted at 44, and Ryan Braun dipped to 24.
The criteria for the list remains the same:
- Emphasized stats from the last three (3) seasons, weighting 2014
- Projected 2015 performance
- Defensive position
Here now are the Top 100-1* Players as listed by MLB Network:
100. Joe Mauer – 1B – Minnesota Twins
99. Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
98. Justin Verlander – SP – Detroit Tigers
97. Prince Fielder – 1B – Texas Rangers
96. Yordano Ventura – RP – Kansas City Royals
95. Pablo Sandoval – 3B – Boston Red Sox
94. Ben Zobrist – 2B – Oakland Athletics
93. Adam Eaton – OF – Chicago White Sox
92. Gerrit Cole – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates
91. Devin Mesoraco – C – Cincinnati Reds
90. Russell Martin – C – Toronto Blue Jays
89. Jake Arrieta – SP – Chicago Cubs
88. Lance Lynn – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
87. Kenley Jansen – CL – Los Angeles Dodgers
86. Jose Reyes – SS – Toronto Blue Jays
85. Andrelton Simmons – SS – Atlanta Braves
84. Nolan Arenado – 3B – Colorado Rockies
83. Chris Carter – 1B – Houston Astros
82. Jeff Samardzija – SP – Chicago White Sox
81. Starling Marte – LF – Pittsburgh Pirates
80. Jose Fernandez – SP – Miami Marlins
79. Christian Yelich – LF – Miami Marlins
78. Julio Teheran – SP – Atlanta Braves
77. Alex Cobb – SP – Tampa Bay Rays
76. Jayson Werth – LF – Washington Nationals
75. J.D. Martinez – RF – Detroit Tigers
74. Todd Frazier – 3B – Cincinnati Reds
73. Neil Walker – 2B – Pittsburgh Pirates
72. Carlos Santana – 1B – Cleveland Indians
71. Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City Royals
70. Sonny Gray – SP – Oakland Athletics
69. Stephen Strasburg – SP – Washington Nationals
68. Doug Fister – SP – Washington Nationals
67. Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta Braves
66. Nelson Cruz – DH – Seattle Mariners
65. Alex Gordon – LF – Kansas City Royals
64. Josh Harrison – 3B – Pittsburgh Pirates
63. Ryan Braun – RF – Milwaukee Brewers
62. Yasiel Puig – CF – Los Angeles Dodgers
61. Aroldis Chapman – CL – Cincinnati Reds
60. Matt Harvey – SP – New York Mets
59. Masahiro Tanaka – SP – New York Yankees
58. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – Los Angeles Dodgers
57. Kyle Seager – 3B – Seattle Mariners
56. Yan Gomes – C – Cleveland Indians
55. Matt Kemp – RF – San Diego Padres
54. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF – New York Yankees
53. Anthony Rizzo – 1B – Chicago Cubs
52. Dustin Pedroia – 2B – Boston Red Sox
51. Evan Longoria – 3B – Tampa Bay Rays
50. Cole Hamels – SP – Philadelphia Phillies
49. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays
48. Hunter Pence – RF – San Francisco Giants
47. Hisashi Iwakuma – SP – Seattle Mariners
46. Matt Holliday – LF – St. Louis Cardinals
45. Yu Darvish – SP – Texas Rangers
44. Jason Heyward – RF – St. Louis Cardinals
43. Jon Lester – SP – Chicago Cubs
42. Carlos Gonzalez – RF – Colorado Rockies
41. Jhonny Peralta – SS – St. Louis Cardinals
40. Greg Holland – CL – Kansas City Royals
39. Wade Davis – RP – Kansas City Royals
38. Carlos Gomez – CF – Milwaukee Brewers
37. Justin Upton – LF – San Diego Padres
36. David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox
35. Jordan Zimmermann – SP – Washington Nationals
34. Craig Kimbrel – CL – Atlanta Braves
33. Victor Martinez – DH – Detroit Tigers
32. Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds
31. Anthony Rendon – 3B – Washington Nationals
30. Jose Altuve – 2B – Houston Astros
29. Ian Desmond – SS – Washington Nationals
28. Zack Greinke – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
27. Hanley Ramirez – LF – Boston Red Sox
26. Madison Bumgarner – SP – San Francisco Giants
25. David Price – SP – Detroit Tigers
24. Bryce Harper – RF – Washington Nationals
23. Jonathan Lucroy – C – Milwaukee Brewers
22. Adam Jones – CF – Baltimore Orioles
21. Michael Brantley – LF – Cleveland Indians
20. Adrian Beltre – 3B – Texas Rangers
19. Yadier Molina – C – St. Louis Cardinals
18. Josh Donaldson – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays
17. Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Colorado Rockies
16. Johnny Cueto – SP – Cincinnati Reds
15. Corey Kluber – SP – Cleveland Indians
14. Adam Wainwright – SP – St. Louis Cardinals
13. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks
12. Jose Bautista – RF – Toronto Blue Jays
11. Max Scherzer – SP – Washington Nationals
10. Robinson Cano – 2B – Seattle Mariners
9. Jose Abreu – 1B – Chicago White Sox
8. Buster Posey – C/1B – San Francisco Giants
7. Miguel Cabrera – 1B – Detroit Tigers
6. Andrew McCutchen – CF – Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Chris Sale – SP – Chicago White Sox
4. Giancarlo Stanton – RF – Miami Marlins
3. Felix Hernandez – SP – Seattle Mariners
2. Mike Trout – CF – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
1. Clayton Kershaw – SP – Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryan Braun has been revealed as the 63rd best player in Major League Baseball “Right Now” entering 2015. As the criteria for the rankings weights 2014 the most and pretty much only relies on the last three years of stats at all, this is an understandable position for Braun right now. I have a feeling though that at this time next year Braun will have rebounded a bit.
Carlos Gomez moves up six spots from 44 last year to check in at 38. I’d rather have Gomez than Justin Upton at 37.
And due to a Twitter tease, we know (or at least Brewers fans do) that Jonathan Lucroy will be number 23 when they get there.
I’ll update more once I see who is around the Brewers, but that’s the only three I expect to make the list.
As first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (and since confirmed by several respected writers), the Milwaukee Brewers are receiving three players in return for Yovani Gallardo who was traded to the Texas Rangers.
The three players are a shortstop, a relief pitcher and an 18-year-old starting pitching prospect.
The shortstop is 21-year-old Luis Sardiñas who was suggested by Ken Rosenthal as potentially being involved as the Rangers had offered the Venezuelan in other trade ideas this off-season. He’s a guy who some still regard highly (7th overall Rangers prospect according to Baseball America) while others (MLB Pipeline, unranked) don’t have him nearly as high anymore. He’s considered a true shortstop defensively which is never a bad thing to have in the system.
The relief pitcher is Corey Knebel, a 23-year-old former 1st round pick (2013, 39th overall) of the Detroit Tigers. Knebel made his MLB debut in May of 2014, appearing in a total of eight games for the Tigers. He was later traded to the Rangers in the Joakim Soria deal. Knebel was listed as the Rangers’ eighth-best prospect prior to the deal. Of Knebel’s abilities, the website says:
Knebel definitely has the weapons and competitive makeup with which to close games. His fastball ranges from 91-98 mph with tailing action, and he uses his height to throw it on a downhill plane. When he stays on top of his curveball, it can be just as nasty as his heater, arriving in the low 80s with sharp downward break.
There’s some funkiness to Knebel’s delivery, but it adds more deception than it detracts from his ability to throw strikes. He flashes a decent changeup, which had the Tigers initially considering trying him as a starter, but his future definitely is as a reliever.
Knebel is 6’3″, was a closer at the University of Texas, and quite clearly skyrocketed through the minors and into The Show. If healthy (he was shut down in August with a UCL injury), he joins a murky if somewhat crowded Brewers bullpen situation.
The youngster of the trio is Marcos Diplan, (20th Rangers prospect, MLBPipeline). He can reportedly touch 98 MPH and sits in the low 90s but has room to add power onto his young frame. Diplan was the consensus top pitcher in the 2013 international class coming out of the Dominican Republic, that coming from MLBPipeline.com.
All told, this is a quality return for the Brewers. There is no surefire superstar in the group, but for one guaranteed season of Gallardo, and a chance to sign him to an extension or at least extend a qualifying offer, this was probably about as strong a return as could have been hoped. Oh, and as I reported yesterday, the Brewers kicked in some money to Texas. Reports have it as $4 million. That could explain some of the delay as a dollar amount of that size would need approval from the commissioner’s office.
Both Sardinas and Knebel were on the Rangers 40-man roster. Gallardo leaving opens one spot.
***UPDATE: To clear the other needed spot, former organizational player of the year Hunter Morris was designated for assignment.***
As first pinpointed by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Brewers followed through on my report from early last week and are reportedly on the verge of trading away homegrown starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 18, 2015
Gallardo, as you may recall, became the Brewers’ career strikeout leader late in 2014 and was on pace to overtake several statistical categories in Brewers history in the near future. It now appears as though the man we call “Yo” will finish where he currently sits.
I’m writing to discuss why I think this trade went down, some of the logistics without yet knowing all the names involved for sure, as well as my generalized thoughts about trading Gallardo from a macro level.
First, the Brewers are basically maxed out on their payroll as the day begins. Principal owner Mark Attanasio has been flexible over the years in adding payroll in season when the chance to compete is there. Just look at 2014. He authorized acquiring Jonathan Broxton (the likely closer to begin 2015) and Gerardo Parra (a pricey current 4th outfielder) after all. But entering a season where they sit after avoiding arbitration with all three of their eligible players (~$97 million committed to 12 players per Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel beat writer Tom Haudricourt), it’s not that far of a stretch to understand why Attanasio might want to trim a little payroll fat. Gallardo is set to make $13 million in the final season of a six-year, $42.5 million contract he signed before the 2010 season. This is also pretty strong evidentiary support of the idea that the Brewers had no plans to offer Gallardo another long-term contract or even a qualifying offer after the season.
That’s just one of the logistical points of this situation. Another that I’ve been told is that the Brewers might not be moving all of Gallardo’s $13 million. There is chatter that they’ll be paying a portion of his deal. That’s normally done to offset the cost to the acquiring team, thereby increasing the return in quality and/or quantity of players.
But why now? Why move Gallardo at all? He was drafted by the Brewers, after all. I’ve heard all this and more since the trade rumor was first floated out. To those questions, I answer thusly.
Gallardo rebounded a bit in 2014 and actually had a better overall season than many give him credit for. He still struggled against St. Louis, had a poor May after an excellent April and limped through September when everything around the team seemed to be collapsing together, but his season was strong as a sum of its parts. Gallardo’s fastball came back to life and he posted a career-best BB/9 ratio of 2.5 overall. With a full season of control, Gallardo is more valuable to the Brewers to move now than he would be at any other point in 2015. And outside of the money issues, Gallardo is the most moveable piece among the pitchers. He’s the best combination of return, savings, and striking while the iron is hot on the team.
You aren’t moving the cheap Wily Peralta, Mike Fiers or Jimmy Nelson. Kyle Lohse is the oldest of the group and wouldn’t bring as much in return since there’s less projectability left on his arm than that of Gallardo. And after bringing in Matt Garza on an expensive deal, that’s not changing yet, plus the fact that Garza is already on pace to providing an extremely inexpensive contract option.
You also can’t let yourself worry about the fact that he was drafted and developed by the Brewers. So was Rickie Weeks. So was Prince Fielder. So was Corey Hart. There is a time for the vast majority of players in the era of free agency to move on from their original teams. If Gallardo isn’t in the long-term plan and he can bring you back someone who is, you move him. It can be a hard thing for a franchise like Milwaukee to do when homegrown talent under team control is a necessity to win, but when that talent prices themselves out of town decisions must be made regardless of the potential public relations hit. In a perfect world every Brewer is Robin Yount, but a perfect world this ain’t.
As for the return, well that just might be another column once we learn the particulars. Rosenthal speculates that Luis Sardiñas might be involved, but as of Sunday afternoon Gallardo hadn’t even been informed that he’d been traded. A principal agreement could be in place without all the details sorted out. I’m told that Gallardo’s agent leaked the report though so somebody knows something. Understandably, both front offices are upset as the track record exists for both to operate quietly.
In regards to the next step that so many people wanted to jump to on social media already, the agent for James Shields wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t reach out to the Brewers to discern their plan and see if his client might fit. After all, the talk for a bit now is how nobody is in on Shields at the number he wanted. Engaging the Brewers could get things a bit more towards where Shields would like them to be. Then again, the conspiracy theorists point to how shortly after the Gallardo news broke, the Nationals agreeing to a contract with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer came out. They are pointing to the coincidence to indicate that maybe the Brewers desiring to trade for Wisconsin-native starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and needed to free up a rotation spot and some money to do it and that now that the Nationals feel confident in trading Zimmermann, they could fully engage on Scherzer. While that’s all plausible, it certainly feels like a couple of steps past where things stand as the sun comes up on Monday, January 19th.
Stay tuned. I have a feeling that things could get fun today.
Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.
Beginning last year, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well.
I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.
On Thursday, January 15, 2015 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. January 22nd had both Right Fielders and Left Fielders. Starting Pitchers and First Basemen will be revealed on January 29th. Lists for Relief Pitchers and Second Basemen came on February 5. Catchers and Third Baseman round things out on February 12.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
- CARLOS GOMEZ – MILWAUKE BREWERS
- Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
- Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
- Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox
- A.J. Pollock – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City Royals
- Denard Span – Washington Nationals
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Puig, 4. GOMEZ, Jones, Ellsbury, Cain, Pollock, Eaton, Leonys Martin (TEX)
Hamilton: McCutchen, Trout, 3. GOMEZ, Puig, Jones, Ellsbury, Eaton, Cain, Marcell Ozuna (MIA), Span
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Jordy Mercer – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Erick Aybar – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Alexei Ramirez – Chicago White Sox
- Jed Lowrie – Houston Astros
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops is Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Tulowitzki, Peralta, Reyes, Simmons, Desmond, Brandon Crawford (SF), Hardy, Jimmy Rollins (LAD), Starlin Castro (CHC), Aybar
Ripken: Tulowitzki, Desmond, Hardy, Simmons, Castro, Crawford, Peralta, Ramirez, Aybar, Rollins
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”
- Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
- Jason Heyward – St. Louis Cardinals
- Michael Cuddyer – New York Mets
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
- Brandon Moss – Cleveland Indians
- Matt Kemp – San Diego Padres
- J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders is Cliff Floyd Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Stanton, Bautista, Harper, Heyward, Kemp, 6. RYAN BRAUN (MIL), Shin-Soo Choo (TEX), Pence, George Springer (HOU), Gonzalez
Floyd: Stanton, Bautista, Kemp, Harper, Moss, Martinez, Pence, Kole Calhoun (LAA), Heyward, 10. BRAUN
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”
- Hanley Ramirez – Boston Red Sox
- Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
- Michael Brantley – Cleveland Indians
- Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
- Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Corey Dickerson – Colorado Rockies
- Justin Upton – San Diego Padres
- Christian Yelich – Miami Marlins
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders is Eric Byrnes Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Gordon, Marte, Brantley, Werth, Upton, Ramirez, Holliday, Brett Gardner (NYY), Cruz, Melky Cabrera (CHW)
Byrnes: Brantley, Upton, Werth, Gordon, Holliday, Marte, Cruz, Dickerson, Ramirez, Yoenis Cespedes (DET)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”
- Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
- Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
- Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
- Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
- Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
- Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
- David Price – Detroit Tigers
- Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
- Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers is John Smoltz Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kershaw, Hernandez, Sale, Scherzer, Wainwright, Kluber, Cueto, Yu Darvish (TEX), Jon Lester (CHC), Anibal Sanchez (DET)
Smoltz: Kershaw, Sale, Bumgarner, Scherzer, Hernandez, Cueto, Lester, Wainwright, Price, Kluber
MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
- Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
- Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
- Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
- Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
- Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
- Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen is Carlos Peña. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Goldschmidt, Cabrerea, Abreu, Votto, Rizzo, Freeman, Gonzalez, Encarnacion, Santana, Prince Fielder (TEX)
Peña: Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Abreu, Encarnacion, Gonzalez, Albert Pujols (LAA), Justin Morneau (COL), Votto, Freeman, Rizzo
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”
- Wade Davis – Kansas City Royals
- Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
- Dellin Betances – New York Yankees
- Joaquin Benoit – San Diego Padres
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
- Mark Melancon – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
- Zach Britton – Baltimore Orioles
- Tony Watson – Pittsburgh Pirates
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers is Dan Plesac. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kimbrel, Holland, Chapman, Betances, Davis, Uehara, Huston Street (LAA), Steve Cishek (MIA), Kenley Jansen (LAD), Andrew Miller (NYY)
Plesac: Kimbrel, Chapman, Betances, Davis, Holland, Jansen, David Robertson (CHW), Britton, Street, Uehara
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”
- Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners
- Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
- Ben Zobrist – Oakland Athletics
- Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
- Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
- Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
- SCOOTER GENNETT – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen is Harold Reynolds. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cano, Altuve, Walker, Utley, Zobrist, Kinsler, Pedroia, Kendrick, Dozier, Jason Kipnis (CLE)
Reynolds: Cano, Pedroia, Altuve, Kinsler, Kendrick, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Dozier, Dee Gordon (MIA), Omar Infante (KC) , Kolten Wong (STL)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays
- Josh Harrison – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Juan Uribe – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen is Mike Lowell. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Beltre, Donaldson, Wright, Longoria, Rendon, Carpenter, Seager, Todd Frazier (CIN), Arenado, Manny Machado (BAL)
Lowell: Beltre, Donaldson, Rendon, Wright, Longoria, Harrison, Arenado, Seager, Carpenter, Pablo Sandoval (BOS)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”
- Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
- JONATHAN LUCROY – MILWAUKEE BREWERS
- Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
- Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians
- Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays
- Devin Mesoraco – Cincinnati Reds
- Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
- Brian McCann – New York Yankees
- Derek Norris – San Diego Padres
- Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will also provide two additional lists: One from Brian Kenny and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers is Dave Valle. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Posey, Molina, Lucroy, Martin, Perez, Mesoraco, Gomez, Carlos Ruiz (PHI), McCann, Norris
Valle: Molina, Posey, Perez, Lucroy, Martin, Gomez, Mesoraco, McCann, Ramos, Mike Zunino (SEA)
So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.
There were five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder in 2014. They were: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th).
Which Brewers will be ranked by The Shredder heading in 2015? Turns out fans in Milwaukee get three this year. Carlos Gomez (CF, 4th), Scooter Gennett (2B, 10th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 2nd).
Here’s the 2015 Spring Training schedule! Cactus League action, come for the scorpion stings, stay for the cactus spines in your foot!
Below is the official press release with all of the dates/times/opponents.
Here are the quick hit highlights:
- P&C (and my annual viewing of the movie Major League) is officially set for Friday, February 20th
- Position players must report by Wednesday, February 25th
- Open with an exhibition against the UW-Milwaukee Panthers baseball team
- Gone is the traditional Maryvale opener against the Oakland Athletics. (Related to the Nashville Sounds re-affiliation?)
- No Miller Park exhibitions in 2015
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the team’s 2015 Spring Training schedule, which consists of 31 Cactus League games, including 16 at Maryvale Baseball Park.
The Brewers will open the spring schedule on Wednesday, March 4, against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team at Maryvale Baseball Park. This will mark the first time the Brewers will face a collegiate team in an exhibition game since 1983 when they played the Arizona State University men’s baseball team. It will also mark the first-ever contest between the Brewers and the Panthers.
The Brewers will host their National League Central rival Chicago Cubs on Saturday, March 14. The spring slate includes one scheduled split squad date on Sunday, March 15 vs. the Oakland Athletics at Maryvale Baseball Park and also against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Following an off day on Monday, March 16 – the first of two off days (also off on Monday, March 30) – the Brewers will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a game against the San Diego Padres in Peoria on Tuesday, March 17.
The Brewers will play three night games this spring. They include Friday, March 13 against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex (7:05 p.m. local start time); Tuesday, March 24 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Talking Stick (6:40 p.m.); and Friday, March 27 with a 7:05 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. All other spring games are day games, most of which will begin at 1:05 p.m. Arizona time (the games on Thursday, April 2 and Saturday, April 4 will begin at 12:05 p.m.).
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Friday, February 20. All position players have a report date of Wednesday, February 25. The first full workout is scheduled for Thursday, February 26.
Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers’ home Spring Training games will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT on Monday, December 8 at Brewers.com and by phone at 800-933-7890. Normal business hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT. Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 9, 2015. Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($23), Infield Reserved ($17), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8). In addition, there will also be a limited number of advanced parking passes available for $5. Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000.
Please note that games and times are subject to change. (Home games are in bold.)
Date Time (CT) Opponent Location
Wednesday, March 4
2:05pm – UW-Milwaukee – Maryvale
Thursday, March 5
2:05pm – LA Angels of Anaheim – Tempe
Friday, March 6
2:05 pm – Los Angeles Dodgers – Maryvale
Saturday, March 7
2:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Maryvale
DAYLIGHT-SAVING TIME BEGINS MARCH 8
Sunday, March 8
3:05 pm – Los Angeles Dodgers – Camelback Ranch
Monday, March 9
3:05 pm – Kansas City Royals – Maryvale
Tuesday, March 10
3:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Maryvale
Wednesday, March 11
3:05 pm – San Francisco Giants – Scottsdale
Thursday, March 12
3:05 pm – Colorado Rockies – Maryvale
Friday, March 13
9:05 pm – Seattle Mariners – Peoria
Saturday, March 14
3:05 pm – Chicago Cubs – Maryvale
Sunday, March 15
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Maryvale – SPLIT-SQUAD
3:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Surprise – SPLIT-SQUAD
Monday, March 16
Tuesday, March 17
3:05 p.m – San Diego Padres – Peoria
Wednesday, March 18
3:05 pm – Kansas City Royals – Surprise
Thursday, March 19
3:05 pm – San Francisco Giants – Maryvale
Friday, March 20
3:05 pm – Arizona Diamondbacks – Maryvale
Saturday, March 21
3:05 pm – Texas Rangers – Surprise
Sunday, March 22
3:05 pm – Chicago White Sox – Maryvale
Monday, March 23
3:05 pm – Colorado Rockies – Talking Stick
Tuesday, March 24
8:40 pm – Arizona Diamondbacks – Talking Stick
Wednesday, March 25
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Maryvale
Thursday, March 26
3:05 pm – Seattle Mariners – Maryvale
Friday, March 27
9:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Goodyear
Saturday, March 28
3:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Maryvale
Sunday, March 29
3:05 pm – Oakland Athletics – Mesa
Monday, March 30
Tuesday, March 31
3:05 pm – Cincinnati Reds – Maryvale
Wednesday, April 1
3:05 pm – Chicago Cubs – Mesa
Thursday, April 2
2:05 pm – San Diego Padres – Peoria
Friday, April 3
3:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Goodyear
Saturday, April 4
2:05 pm – Cleveland Indians – Maryvale