Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Other Half of the Cracked Bat

After yesterday's celebratory post, it's time to get back to the nitty gritty for me as a baseball card blogger -- talking about and posting cards that another person was generous enough to send my way.  As I mentioned Sunday, Julie from A Cracked Bat showed her true colors and giving spirit in sending me a 100-card box through the mail packed with Brewers. 

Today's cards are the ones that don't fall into one of my player collections. Julie does a great job of sending cards I need, so now I just have to make sure I've kept my spreadsheets up to date!

Let's see what's here and if there is any inspiration that comes to me for these cards.

And it begins.  This one deserves its own song, I think. I mean, doesn't a plain blue swatch of an event-worn workout jersey deserve that? 

Well, according to the Popsugar website, the second best workout song for 2014 is a song that I really do enjoy a great deal:

In fact, I've probably posted it here before. It's that catchy to me.  Maybe it's because I've actually been to Pompeii...

Back on task now.  

Two minis and a shiny Chrome Nyjer Morgan.  I'm not sure really what led Michael Baumann on Grantland to write this tall tale called "The Legend of Tony Plush", but it's enough to get Morgan featured here.  

Carlos Lee was a strange addition in many ways for the Brewers. They sent Scott Podsednik to the White Sox for Lee and hoped to sign Lee to a longer term contract in the 2006 season. Now, getting rid of Podsednik was a great move -- scrap heap waiver fodder traded for Carlos Lee? Yes please.  But, then the Brewers couldn't sign Lee to an extension. So, they traded Lee to the Rangers for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, and Laynce Nix. And, for the right to get two outfielders who sucked but whom Doug Melvin knew, the Brewers not only sent Lee away, but also some minor leaguer named Nelson Cruz

Yes, the guy who led the AL in homers last year.

Okay, I understand that not every trade works out, but even then I thought that was a bad trade.  

Time to move on.

Finally, Julie sent me the Brewers future.  The 2014 draft in its early returns appears to be a good one for the Brewers. Medeiros is a high school pitcher out of Hawaii who was the first-round pick because he could be signed below slot and other slot money could go to others. In fairness, he was a legitimate first round pick -- a mid-90s fastball and his slider was called by one website as having the potential to be the best breaking ball in the 2014 draft.

Keeping his slot number low allowed the Brewers to take a shot in the second round with the 50th pick on a guy that is just a pure athlete -- Monte Harrison. He gave up a scholarship to play football at Nebraska to sign with Milwaukee. I hope Harrison can keep up his batting eye that he showed off in rookie ball in Arizona last summer -- a .402 OBP (.261 AVG) along with 32 steals in 34 attempts is really impressive for a guy who may appear at first to be really toolsy and not necessarily the equivalent of a gym rat in baseball. I'd love to see Harrison move up reasonably quickly and keep up the OBP. He has time, certainly, but he could be a star.
Jacob Gatewood actually was a higher draft pick than Monte Harrison -- he was 41st overall, technically still a first rounder. Where Harrison shone in Arizona, Gatewood struggled -- 13 BB and 71 Ks in 222 plate appearances, .206/.249/.279 slash line. Gatewood is a huge guy to be playing shortstop -- 6'5" tall at short? really? -- so I have to think he needs to hit more and will shift to third or first to move up. We'll see.

Troy Stokes was another high schooler drafted by the Brewers in 2014 -- in the fourth round of the draft. He was more of a poor man's Harrison in many respects -- good OBP (.363), 19 steals in 22 attempts, not a lot of pop in Arizona. Here's hoping he keeps that up and keeps developing.

Finally, Dustin DeMuth was the Brewers 5th round pick out of Indiana University. Chalk this pick up somewhat to saving some slot money again, because DeMuth was a college senior and out of eligibility. He hit very well in the Pioneer League in Helena -- as a college player should -- but then struggled in a short cameo in the Midwest League. He's 23 years old already, so I would expect him to be promoted reasonably aggressively if he shows that he can handle the Midwest League in the first half of the year.

All of these cards came from the Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects set that came out in the fall. While I'm not a prospector along the lines of Zippy Zappy, I do like to keep up with the Brewers farm system. Considering how bereft the team's minor league system is of talent at this point -- literally the only guy in the Brewers system to make any of the prospect lists as of late was Orlando Arcia with Tyrone Taylor a close second -- there is a lot of hope that the 2014 Draft helped restock the cupboards a bit (along with the Gallardo trade).

Julie sent me a bunch of other cards as well that I needed, but these were the highlights. Many thanks to you, Julie, for the great package.


  1. I always liked Nyjer Morgan, but wasn't too sad to see him go. The trade netted us some really good years of Joel Hanrahan.

    Great cards from Julie!

  2. Tony, it's challenging to find cards for you but that's part of the fun! I'll continue saving those Brewskies!

  3. No worries, none of us are prospectors like Zippy Zappy. But, it is fun to keep up with the minor leagues!