Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Call-Up Candidates: Position Players

No cute introductions, just four potentially soon-to-be big league postion players.

Martin Maldonado (40-man)

YearAgeLevGPARH2B3BHRSBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGTB
201124AA6424124551303211956.264.349.37077
201124AAA321311936505001614.327.426.50956
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2011.

Maldonado is almost a lock to be called up, with Ron Roenicke himself hinting to his imminent arrival. Come September 1st, he may not have much of a role beyond giving his manager the tactical peace of mind to pinch-hit George Kottaras, who he may be able to challenge for a job next spring. Maldonado has the kind of catch and throw skills (career 42% CS) that make Mike Scioscia swoon and could influence Ron Roenicke enough to grant a start to his eventual career as a big-league backup, especially since he also possesses enough secondary skills to equal Kottaras's contributions with the bat. Even though Maldonado has been generally old for his leagues, his days of wondering what Wil Nieves has that he doesn't should soon be over.

Mat Gamel (40-man)

YearAgeLevGPARH2B3BHRSBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGTB
201125AAA1154908214227027203974.319.378.562250
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2011.

Another guy whose time to shine will almost certainly come next year, Gamel's consistent mashing in the PCL should soon be rewarded with a month of a major-league per diem. Unfortunately, he was in this exact same situation back in 2008, back when he was a top prospect with a late 2009 ETA. Now, he's 26 and in his 4th Triple-A season. Gamel's best chance to contribute will be in a pinch-hitting capacity, and any audition for the 2012 first base job will occur late in the next month when (hopefully) the Brewers will have the division locked up.

Eric Farris (40-man)

YearAgeLevGPARH2B3BHRSBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGTB
201125AAA1225486613224561873165.267.316.372184
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2011.

After a brief stint as Rickie Weeks' replacement, Farris was whisked back down to Nashville with a plan to return upon roster expansion. Among the players profiled here, Farris may offer the most utility to the current roster, standing around at various up-the-middle positions while being otherwise being stashed on the bench for late game Runnin' Ron-approved baseburning. This is probably for the best, since Farris isn't much of a hitter and unless something changes on that front, will likely have a modest career as a utility infielder/designated jackrabbit who could fill out the edges of most teams or play everyday and bat leadoff for Dusty Baker.

Logan Schafer (not on 40-man)

YearAgeLevGPARH2B3BHRSBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGTB
201124A+9414110001154.306.390.30611
201124AA5021131579401051725.302.368.39274
201124AAA3215726461115321413.336.400.54074
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2011.

Schafer is the best of the various non-roster outfielders sitting around in Nashville, as he has mashed in the PCL while rebounding nicely from the injuries that plagued him in years past. How far this will get him is unclear, as the Brewers don't need an outfielder and are wary of disrupting their SI-Cover-Cursed clubhouse chemistry. Schafer's future itself is a bit cloudy too. There's seemingly no room for an outfielder in 2012, either, and Schafer, who could be an excellent fourth outfielder and maybe something more, is going to be running out of things to prove in the minors fast. It's going to take a trade or injury stack for Schafer to get major-league playing time, and neither of those options are particularly appealing for fans of the big-league team.

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