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Minor League Transaction Thread -- From 2013 All-Star Break to 2014 Opening Week

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Offline  Re: Eric Arnett
Posted: March 22, 2014, 12:30 PM Post
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nate82 said:
pogokat said:
so, have the Brewers had a first round pick that fared worse than Eric Arnett? obviously, I mean of those that signed?


Yes, Antone Williamson a 1st round (4th pick) in 1994 and Chad Green 1st round (8th pick) in 1996. Neither made it to the majors and were higher picks than Arnett was.


I was going to say Williamson too, but he actually did get a cup of coffee in Milwaukee.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced, including Eric Arnett
Posted: March 23, 2014, 8:54 AM Post
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Good luck to just-released 1B Helena/Wisconsin Adam Giacalone.

The 2012 16th round pick found work quickly with the Joliet (IL) Slammers of the independent Frontier League.

He's staying positive.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced, including Eric Arnett
Posted: March 24, 2014, 1:34 PM Post
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TheCrew07 said:
I think the answer to that is obvious, you still have to fill out 6 MiLB rosters stateside each summer. It's not like Michael Marseco had any kind of legitimate future as an MLB SS, but they did need someone to play SS for WI.

I honestly don't have a problem with college roster filler types at all, every once in a while those guys will vastly exceed expectations. Arms or position players, there going to be a ton of picks later in the draft about filling positional needs more so than potential MLB futures. I'm not thrilled about drafting a slew of college relievers in the top 10 rounds, I think that theory stinks, as I want to continually sprinkle upside throughout the draft. I don't have a problem with a Tyler Wagner who has a legitimate chance to start and work his way up to a #3, I think those are wonderful picks. I'm talking more the guys who don't have a plus secondary pitch at all and most reasonable talent evaluators will peg (and rightly so) as low ceiling bullpen types.

I just don't hold the Brewers amateur scouting dept in all that high of regard, I do however think their pro-player scouting is above average. It's too bad because if I was going to pick one or other, I'd rather the amateur scouting be above average to keep filling the organization with legitimately talented prospects.

The more I follow the minors the less I'm interested in the organizational spin regarding their own prospects. That's a big reason I rarely link any of TH's articles posted on the BA, he doesn't even cover the minors or answer chat questions as well as the other beat writers whom BA leans on to fill content. He says he knows and follows the minor leagues but he clearly doesn't, or perhaps literally has no idea how to independently judge talent because the things he says I've already read or heard from Ash, Melvin, or some other organizational source some place in a different interview. It's really not all that hard to cypher out the organizational spin if you pay attention, but yet he posts like he's Jim Callis... it just rubs me the wrong way.

Unfortunately the Brewers' opinion on their own players... well it really doesn't mean to squat to me in most cases because from a developmental side the organization doesn't do anything particularly well and are behind the curve in many cases. They can say they see a college guy like Magnifico as a MLB starter, but what real credibility do they have? When have they ever taken a big arm, developed control, and developed 2 at least league average pitchers for that pitcher? It hasn't happened... EVER! These guys whom are college relievers and become good MLB starters like Cingrani, they don't fit that profile at all. They already have decent enough command and a plus secondary offering to start with, and most everyone keeps trying to put them back in the reliever bucket but they are so dominant they force their way into the rotation. Or take a starting pitcher like Wacha who is another RHP moving against the tide with just 2 pitches, but both those pitches are 70-80 on the scouting scale. I talked about that 2 pitch thing quite a bit with Sheets, it's not how many pitches you throw it's how good the pitches you throw are. I just don't believe in developing stuff, I think that's something either you have an innate feel for or you don't.

Wow did I get off on a tangent, sorry.


We don't have a 'like' button here, but I'd click it if we did.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread - Post-Draft
Posted: March 25, 2014, 8:39 AM Post
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This is from last June 18th --

Mass Haas said:
As per the Brewers' Player Development Dept.:

Announced as an undrafted signee was Scott Harkin of Sonoma State University, previously with Loyola Marymount, a 6'2" senior, turns 22 on August 6th

ROHNERT PARK, CALIFORNIA -- Sonoma State University senior Scott Harkin will have an opportunity to extend his baseball-playing career as the Walnut Creek native has signed a free agent contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Harkin becomes the second student-athlete off this year's team to head to the minor leagues, following Harmen Sidhu, who was selected by Tampa Bay in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last weekend. Harkin is the 85th SSU baseball student-athlete to sign a professional contract since 1986.

Primarily a shortstop for the Seawolves in his only season at SSU, Harkin will enter the professional ranks as a right-handed pitcher. He made eight appearances on the mound in 2013, all in relief, and went 2-0 with a save, compiling a 2.25 ERA in a total of eight innings of work. He allowed seven hits, two runs and four walks while striking out 13 of the 35 batters he faced.

Offensively, Harkin batted .244 with nine doubles, a triple, three home runs, 22 RBI and 31 runs scored in 56 starts, all at shortstop. On Mar. 9 in a 5-4 win over UC San Diego, Harkin belted a two-run home run in the second inning, then earned the victory on the mound in relief several innings later.

Scott Harkin is the second player in school history to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers; former SSU standout Kevin Wong signed a free agent contract with Milwaukee in 1991. Over the last 27 years, players have been signed out of Sonoma State by 21 of the 30 major league franchises.

Player Page at Sonoma State

***

Kevin Wong did play in the Pioneer League in '91, but not for an affiliated team, apparently.


The Brewers announced today that Harkin (2013 stats) has been released.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced, including Eric Arnett
Posted: March 25, 2014, 8:42 AM Post
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In addition to Harkin, the Brewers announced the release of 28-year-old OF Greg Golson, signed last January as a minor league free agent. There was a discussion thread here at that time.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced, including Eric Arnett
Posted: March 25, 2014, 8:54 AM Post
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Mass Haas said:
In addition to Harkin, the Brewers announced the release of 28-year-old OF Greg Golson, signed last January as a minor league free agent. There was a discussion thread here at that time.


Apparently Mattison showed enough in big league camp and with Gindl not making the major league roster, there was simply a glut at AAA.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced
Posted: March 25, 2014, 9:37 AM Post
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CheeseheadInQC said:
The pitching heavy drafts the past few years have created a bit of a bullpen backlog, and something had to give. However, I'm really surprised they couldn't find spots for Wall and to some extent even Williams (although as earlier noted, there could be other considerations there). Giacalone and to a slightly lesser degree Harris and Jenkins are also surprises.

I'm not that surprised by McMahon, though. The third spot in Huntsville along with Haniger and Richardson was the only real full season starting spot up for grabs, and I have a feeling Kjeldgaard gets that one. After that, there's a decent-sized group competing for the Huntsville and Brevard County backup outfield spots many of whom have advantages over McMahon: ability to play center (Stang), ability to play the infield (Mittlestaedt), draft status (Walla), etc. Plus, Golson or Mattison could end up getting bumped down to Huntsville. McMahon just got caught up in a numbers game.


Seriously?? Last I checked, Lance Roenicke still has a spot. He's both older than McMahan and hasn't shown anything close to what McMahan showed just two years ago. Golson is gone so he won't get bumped either. Walla? 280 AB's at Wisconsin, and zero HR? For a corner OF? At some point his draft status should be meaningless.

McMahan was released because his last name wasn't Roenicke. Nepotism is alive and well in the Brewer system.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced
Posted: March 25, 2014, 4:18 PM Post
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JohnBriggs12 said:
CheeseheadInQC said:
I'm not that surprised by McMahon, though. The third spot in Huntsville along with Haniger and Richardson was the only real full season starting spot up for grabs, and I have a feeling Kjeldgaard gets that one. After that, there's a decent-sized group competing for the Huntsville and Brevard County backup outfield spots many of whom have advantages over McMahon: ability to play center (Stang), ability to play the infield (Mittlestaedt), draft status (Walla), etc. Plus, Golson or Mattison could end up getting bumped down to Huntsville. McMahon just got caught up in a numbers game.


Seriously?? Last I checked, Lance Roenicke still has a spot. He's both older than McMahan and hasn't shown anything close to what McMahan showed just two years ago. Golson is gone so he won't get bumped either. Walla? 280 AB's at Wisconsin, and zero HR? For a corner OF? At some point his draft status should be meaningless.

McMahan was released because his last name wasn't Roenicke. Nepotism is alive and well in the Brewer system.


I never said I agreed with it, and you're right that there is a good case to be made for keeping him, just that it wasn't shocking. He wasn't really projected to get a starting spot either in Huntsville or Brevard. Figure one or two backup outfielders per team, let's say three or four total. Stang put up similar numbers to McMahon in Brevard and can play center, which is helpful, so he is probably slightly in front, and even with Golson gone, they seem to like Hermida and Mattison, and if they keep them both someone is likely getting bumped down to AA. That would leave one or two spots for between Walla, Roenicke, McMahon and Mittlestaedt. Like I said, especially if they keep two from that group, I'd probably have guessed McMahon, but when you get down to the projected last spot, it is hard to call it a shock.

As for Walla and Roenicke still being on the team, there are still more players in camp than spots, so nothing is secure. It wouldn't shock me if one still gets cut and the other accepts the kind of offer Seidel rejected.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced, including Eric Arnett
Posted: March 25, 2014, 7:04 PM Post
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It would be nice if there were HS kids with upside available in the 16th round, but the reality is that most HS kids who have upside who haven't been drafted by that point will likely choose a college scholarship than sign for what the average 16th round pick signs for and take their chance they can parlay that scholarship into additional coaching that gets them drafted much higher in three years. Unless you have a situation where you have some bonus pool money left over which IIRC was the case with Denson, or you have a kid who isn't particularly fond of school and the idea of spending more time in it, but even so I'm not nearly as high on Denson as many here are. Kind of like TheCrew07 says about pitchers who don't have a plus 2nd pitch, if all a hitter has is power and no other plus tools they probably aren't going to get far either.

Bummed about Lamontagne. Was hoping that 2010 season wasn't a mirage and that he could develop into something. Injuries derail many a career.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: Several Releases Announced, including Eric Arnett
Posted: March 25, 2014, 7:16 PM Post
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LouisEly said:
It would be nice if there were HS kids with upside available in the 16th round, but the reality is that most HS kids who have upside who haven't been drafted by that point will likely choose a college scholarship than sign for what the average 16th round pick signs for and take their chance they can parlay that scholarship into additional coaching that gets them drafted much higher in three years.


The exact round this high schooler was drafted by the Crew.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: More Releases Announced
Posted: March 27, 2014, 10:57 AM Post
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Darn numbers crunch -- during the overnight we'll highlight the efforts and contributions of these players, released today, as per @BrewersPD:

INF Joe Thurston
OF Chad Stang
3B/1B Mike Walker
1B Cody Hawn
IF/OF T.J. Mittelstaedt
C Mike Turay
OF Charlie Markson
RHP Estevenson Encarnacion
RHP Taylor Mangum
LHP Juan Santiago
LHP David Otterman

Stang will probably be the biggest surprise for most, did get 244 plate appearances at AA last summer (.582 OPS), just turned 25.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: More Releases Announced
Posted: March 27, 2014, 12:24 PM Post
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I wish all these guys good luck in finding somewhere to play...keeping the dream alive.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: More Releases Announced
Posted: March 29, 2014, 6:36 AM Post
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Alphabetically on the releases specifically announced Thursday, links point to career stats via MiLB.com:

23-year-old RHP Estevenson Encarnacion, signed one week after his release by Cleveland last March - Encarnacion, who will turn 24 in June, made 15 relief appearances for Helena last summer. Previously, he spent two years in the Indians' system, one in the Dominican Summer League and one at the Arizona Rookie level. From Anguilla Island in the Caribbean, a British territory, Encarnacion pitched for Great Britain in 2011 WBC qualifying play.

25-year-old 1B Cody Hawn, 6th round, 2010 - The University of Tennessee product did the obligatory raking in the Pioneer League, and posted a .294/.382/.406 line at Wisconsin a year later. But things did not go well at Brevard County, and it was a repeat season, this time in a part-time role for the left-handed bat, in 2013. Hawn was interviewed three times for Manatees broadcasts last summer, you can listen to those here.

Recently-turned 25-year-old RHP Taylor Mangum, undrafted free agent signing out of Utah Valley Univeristy in June of 2012 - Mangum saw action at four levels with the Crew, from Maryvale up to Brevard County. His numbers neither shone nor were poor, but for a 6'1" undrafted RHP, they weren't quite enough to move on. You can revisit his journey through 2012 audio at Helena and 2013 audio from Brevard.

OF Charlie Markson (38th round, 2013) turned 23 last February, and it's disappointing the Whitefish Bay and Notre Dame product only got one year in the system, and won't get to play alongside recent Brewer free agent signee LHP Kevin James, who followed the same school path. Thought Markson would be a valuable 4th outfielder-type with his home-state Rattlers this summer. You can listen to two Helena interviews via Steve Wendt with Markson here.

2010 44th round IF/OF T.J. Mittelstaedt can be proud of a solid four-year run. Labored through a full scorching Maryvale summer as a rookie out of Long Beach State, posted an .853 OPS at Wisconsin, laughed at Brevard County's status as a graveyard with an .828 OPS in 2012, and displayed defensive flexibility with nearly split levels of time at 2B/3B and the corner outfield spots. Heck, he made three one-inning relief appearances over the years and maintained a 0.00 ERA. Despite a weak average at Brevard in 2013, Mittelstaedt still managed to get his walks and slug enough for a .745 OPS, and he was the king of the walkoff last season. Sample his walk-off highlights here (along with his Manatee interviews). Here's to you, T.J. 44th round? Only 5'10"? You contributed nicely to four years worth of Link Reports.

LHP David Otterman, 7th round, 2012 - The Brewers' Canadian connection took a real hit this spring: Chadwin Stang (noted below), Jalen Harris, now Otterman. Tough one for David, the club needs 7th round college picks to advance beyond the rookie-ball level. Otterman walked 38 in 44.2 innings at Helena last summer, and despite his southpaw-ness, wasn't kept on for 2014. Helena audio can be found here.

LHP Juan Santiago, 23, Dominican-based signing prior to the 2010 DSL season - Similar to Otterman, control was an issue for Santiago at Helena in 2013. Santiago made the jump to Montana after three developmental seasons at the Dominican complex.

OF Chadwin Stang, 8th round, 2009 - Stang's pro career included a lost 2010 (torn left knee meniscus, right shoulder labrum tear). Who comes back from that daily double? Stang did, and kudos for him, reaching AA in 2013. Stang closes his Brewers stint with a career .682 OPS. Listen to Manatee audio from last season here. Chadwin said goodbye with a classy Tweet here.

Veteran infielder Joe Thurston, 34, signed by the Brewers last January - so Milwaukee will not be included on Thurston's career stat page.

24-year-old catcher Mike Turay, 24th round, 2012 - played his senior season at Cal State Stanislaus, not sure when we'll be typing that school's name again. Turay saw quite a bit of action at third base in 2012 at Helena, but was back behind the plate for the majority of 2013, again in Montana. It's so tough for catchers to advance beyond the lowest levels of the system - the organization needs bodies to catch all the newbie arms, but there's only so few spots open once the full seasons begin. Turay had a good interview presence, here he is with Steve in both 2012 and 2013.

3B/1B Mike Walker, 25 (26 this coming June), 14th round, 2010 - the University of Pacific product advanced exactly one full level in each of his four years, maxing out at Huntsville in 2013. His mother, born and raised in Australia, qualified Walker for WBC play with the squad, and he was recently Down Under facing the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in exhibition play. After three solid seasons, it was a rough go at AA last summer, and it appears that the (apparent) need to play Jason Rogers at third base in Huntsville to start 2013 meant it was time to let Walker go. Despite the tough 2013 season, Walker had his share of audio and video highlights from Huntsville archived.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: More Releases Announced
Posted: March 29, 2014, 1:10 PM Post
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Mass Haas said:
OF Chadwin Stang, 8th round, 2009 - Stang's pro career included a lost 2010 (torn left knee meniscus, right shoulder labrum tear). Who comes back from that daily double? Stang did, and kudos for him, reaching AA in 2013. Stang closes his Brewers stint with a career .682 OPS. Listen to Manatee audio from last season here. Chadwin said goodbye with a classy Tweet here.


I always liked Chadwin and you're right about that tweet, good luck to all those released.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
- Plato
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
- Plato


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: More Releases Announced
Posted: March 29, 2014, 2:40 PM Post
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As expected, Renaldo Jenkins wasn't out of a job long. Picked up by the Colorado Rockies.


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Offline  Re: Minor League Transaction Thread -- Latest: More Releases Announced
Posted: March 29, 2014, 7:48 PM Post
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Via Adam McCalvy (MLB Trade Rumors text) --

The Brewers have inked catcher Connor Narron (career stats), the son of bench coach Jerry Narron, to a minor league deal, tweets MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Narron will report to extended Spring Training.

The 22-year-old was drafted in the fifth round in 2010 by the Orioles, and has topped out at the high-A level thus far. He was released by the O's earlier this week.

***

In his pro career, the switch-hitting Narron has played at the following positions --

First base - 94 games
Third base - 81 games
Left field - 45 games
Shortstop - 8 games
Right field - 4 games
Catcher - 0 games

From this year-old article (I suggest this click for the full read):

Connor Narron's nearly ended earlier this year over a tray of brownies.

While attempting to scoop brownies out of the tray with a knife instead of a spatula — a move even he knows is ill-advised — Narron sliced open the palm of his left hand and needed 10 stitches to close the wound.

The mishap caused Narron, the only son of former major league catcher and manager Jerry Narron, to miss nearly all of spring training. He practiced for about a week before being assigned to Frederick, where he will open the season Friday with the Keys as one of the team's first basemen.

Narron knows he is lucky. If that cut was a few centimeters deeper, his career epitaph would have read something like: Connor Narron, lacerated hand (brownies).

It's hard to imagine a more ignominious career-ending injury and it's even more impossible to imagine how he might have lived it down, especially as the son of a former major leaguer. Not that Narron was giving it much thought.

"I had a full stomach (from the brownies)," he said.

***

No matter how you slice it (pun intended), those are ugly career offensive numbers. And now it's an apparent transition to catcher. Starting over in Maryvale at age 22 is not a crime, however, so we'll see...


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