It's sort of an Island of Misfit Brewers, I suppose -- guys whose cards I believed that I needed for my team sets. I haven't sorted through these yet to see if I really needed them or not. Fingers crossed.
So, here are those Misfit toys.
Nelson is an interesting pitcher, even if he is someone who might wear rolls of toilet paper attached to a Tide detergent box on his head to football games.
His K/BB ratio this year is good -- 2.89 -- and he is under 1.0 HR/9 innings. Both of these are good indicators that he might be a useful pitcher -- or better -- going forward. The good news on one level is that Nelson tends to need a year of adjustment to master the level at which he is pitching.
And, if Nelson fails at that, perhaps I'll have trade bait to send to Jay Barker Fan. "Roll Tide!"
Ramirez is an interesting player. Some view him as a potential Hall of Famer. I personally do not; his contemporaries Chipper Jones, Adrian Beltre, and Scott Rolen have far better cases for enshrinement than Aramis does; when you have that many guys at your same position who played at the same time ahead of you, I just don't see it for him.
Aoki came over to the US after 8 very successful seasons with the Yakult Swallows in Japan (.329/.402/.454 slash line). He picked right up from there with Milwaukee in 2012 and hit entirely consistently with his Japanese numbers for two years. But, Khris Davis's emergence seemed to make Aoki surplus to requirements. Plus, with Aoki turning 32 in January of this year, it seemed to make sense to trade him away for a bullpen arm in Will Smith.
Whether Ron Roenicke knows what to do with Will Smith's arm in the bullpen other than try to make it fall off -- he has pitched literally in 1 of every 2 Brewer games -- is another question.
Are these guys Prospects?
1. Roache has yet to hit higher than .248 in Single-A since being drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 draft out of Georgia Southern. You can have all the tools in the world, but a college player should do better in either the Midwest League or the Florida State League than that. At this point, not a prospect. A better pick at that point in the draft? Alex Wood from the University of Georgia was selected in the second round -- 60 picks later -- by the Braves.
2. Alfredo Rodriguez was drafted twice by Milwaukee out of the University of Maryland -- in the 32nd round in 2011 and in the 17th round in 2012. He's been old for his league at every stop, he finished the 2014 season in the Florida State League at the age of 24, and he ended up playing 40 of his 82 games as the Brevard County designated hitter. When you're the DH in High-A ball at 24 years old for an NL team and you hit .255/.341/.319, you're not a prospect. You're organizational fodder.
3. Rogers got a September call-up this year. He's not much of a prospect to be honest -- he's a bit too old for that at age 26 -- but he only reached Triple-A this year. He's huge (6'6" tall, 245 pounds) but his best season featured just 22 homers (last year at Double-A). He could be a decent role player/platoon player at first and as an emergency outfielder -- sort of a cheaper (though as of yet unproven) version of Mark Reynolds without striking out once every three at-bats. Not a prospect but now a major leaguer.
4. Ratterree was a 10th round pick in 2013 out of Rice after his senior year of college. He's 23 and hit .235/.350/.452 in the Midwest League. He has some pop, but he also has trouble making contact. If that's the case at the lower levels, his power needs to develop quickly. Borderline Prospect, but only because the Brewers' system is not filled with great prospects. He needs to be in Double-A next season and hit well there to have a chance at a career.
5. Gibbard is already out of the Milwaukee system after seasons in rookie ball and Single-A in which his ERA was not below 5.27. The reason his ERA was that high was simple -- he gives up so many hits that it appears he is pitching batting practice. He had signed with the Normal CornBelters presented by Illinois Corn Farmers in the Frontier League in January of 2014, and, from there, the Rockies bought his contract. Not a prospect with a Capital N.
6. McFarland has spent the last two seasons in the Midwest League. He hit far better this year than last, but his batting eye is not good at all -- in each of his three seasons, he has walked between 22 and 24 times and struck out between 79 and 90 times. He's still young, but he will have to show a lot next year to move up higher than the Florida State League. At best, he's a borderline prospect based on his ability to make good contact when he does hit the ball.
Sexson spent four seasons in Milwaukee, and they were four of his best years. He came to Milwaukee when the Brewers were in full-sell mode in 2000, and he was traded away after the 2003 season to the Diamondbacks at just about the point in time that he was about to become very expensive (just as the Mariners, which paid him $50 million for four seasons; during that fourth season, the Mariners cut Sexson and his $15.5 million salary).
He just was not a long-enough term Brewer for me to get too attached.
Other Random Brewers
Because otherwise, this post will never end.
Like I said, I could keep writing and writing about each of these guys, but this post would turn into two posts.
In all, I think I picked up something around 150 to 200 cards total at the card show last weekend and spent about $100. In light of all the cards I got -- including the hits, the stars, the vintage, the parallels, and the Hall of Famers -- I think that was a pretty good haul over all.
Now, it's time to start worrying about Georgia's game against South Carolina today.