Results tagged ‘ Josh Prince ’
I heard a rumor this afternoon that I’ve been trying to vet since.
Aramis Ramirez reinjured his knee in Friday night’s game against he Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. It is said to have been similar to the injury that cost him just under two weeks of time in the Cactus League, though Ramirez told reporters that the knee hurts worse this time around.
Ramirez was scheduled for an MRI Saturday morning and word is anxiously awaited about his immediate future. If the team thinks it’ll only be a few days, they could keep the veteran third baseman active on the bench for those days. However, given that the Brewers are already with a reduced bench because of a stuffed bullpen, and that Ryan Braun may need another day off as well, and that their only back up infielder in the first place is Yuniesky Betancourt…the stars are aligning for a DL stint for Ramirez regardless of the severity of the injury.
I looked over the 40-man roster last night and tried to determine who it could be. Scooter Gennett is a second baseman and the team needs coverage at third. Maybe they could bring up Hunter Morris and put Alex Gonzalez over at the hot corner, but that would require a 40-man roster move. Same with Stephen Parker (the 3B the Brewers got when they traded Darren Byrd to the Oakland Athletics) or Blake Davis. Nothing seemed to make sense.
Then I got a tip about an hour ago.
I felt dumb for not having thought of it myself, but sitting there on the 40-man roster is a former shortstop who has learned to play to outfield to increase his versatility. That’s experience on the left side of the infield. The versatility also adds a backup to both the infield and the outfield with just one roster spot. I interviewed him at Brewers On Deck, which makes me feel even more spacey for not having thought of him.
But I’ve had it confirmed now that friend of the blog Josh Prince is on his way to Miller Park.
There’s a chance that he won’t be activated in time for tonight’s game, but it appears as though he’ll be wearing #25 whenever he is.
If #Brewers made a DL move, obviously I’d pass it on. Just saw Tony Migs outside the clubhouse with a mystery No. 25 jersey.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 6, 2013
How he is utilized and what trickle-down effect that has on the other would be starters is up to Ron Roenicke of course.
Congratulations to Josh Prince! How long he’s up will be directly related to how healthy other players become. Whether Ramirez, Bianchi, or Green, whoever is healthy first likely pushes Prince back down to Nashville, but what a moment for the young man!
*EDIT* (I came home from a nice day/night out and find that my Josh Prince article didn’t post as scheduled. Awesome.)
Welcome to being inside of two months until Opening Day. Yesterday was exactly two months out from the pomp and regalia, of the bunting and lineup intros, of everything that makes Opening Day superb.
But that was yesterday. This is today. Today, we’re 58 days away and today we therefore turn our attention to a 6’1″, 190 lb outfielder who came to the Brewers organization by way of Tulane University…
Joshua C. Prince was originally drafted by the Brewers in the 3rd round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He was their sixth overall selection that summer behind Eric Arnett, Kentrail Davis, Kyle Heckathorn, Max Walla, and Cameron Garfield. Those are some names you know if you follow the Brewers minor league system.
Prince was drafted as a shortstop, assigned to the rookie level Helena Brewers right away and after 36 games of .298/.426/.348 ball, received a promotion up to Class-A Wisconsin. He played 31 games for the Timber Rattlers to finish up 2009 and didn’t fare quite as well. Still, as a 22-year-old he began 2010 with Class-A Advance Brevard County. In 106 games, Prince struggled at the plate. He was .233/.287/.282, 62 R, 95 H, 80 K, 32 BB, 1 HR. About the only true positive offensively for Prince that year was his 44-of-55 (80%) stolen base numbers. In short, it was a learning year. Prince was learning how to get better and overcome while the team was perhaps beginning to learn whether he had what it took to succeed.
He answered those questions a bit by coming on strong in 2011 in an encore performance as a Manatee. In 75 games, Prince posted a much better batting average and on-base percentage and actually began showing a little more home run power as he tallied five on the campaign.
Prince was still in need of something to distinguish himself from the other bats and gloves in the clubhouse though. That came in two phases. First, Prince spent a considerable amount of time as an outfielder in 2012, his first time ever playing the position. Some may recall in a televised Cactus League game that spring that Prince was inserted into left field late in a game and, as will happen, the ball found him quickly. He was kind of hung out to dry and it showed. It was his second day in the outfield ever and he’d never taken a fly ball in left. He came into spring training as a shortstop and it wasn’t until after a week or two went by that they asked him to try working in the outfield to increase his versatility.
What that did accomplish though was expose Prince to what the outfield was like in a live game situation. He learned from it and every other misstep and miscue and has made himself a pretty good outfielder in just one year of working at it. He’s got room to improve but as he told me personally at Brewers On Deck when I pulled him aside for an interview, he feels that when he stops getting better it’s time to stop playing at all.
(The entirety of the Prince interview will be transcribed soon and I’m working on getting a file up for you to listen to it but haven’t gotten there yet.)
But the 10 minutes or so I was able to spend with Prince were eye-opening from my perspective. He was humble but confident in himself and his abilities. He felt that his skills at this point would be best suited to leading off and that his batting eye was his best asset today.
That was reflected in his 2012 numbers. His OBP was 95 points higher than his batting average as a member of the Class-AA affiliate Huntsville Stars. He stole 41 bases, and while he struck out 107 times, he walked seventy-four times. That’s 74 in 596 plate appearances. Yes, it’s a completely different level of competition, but for comparison’s sake Rickie Weeks walked 74 times in 588 PAs. I think we all can agree that Weeks has a good eye at the plate.
Those strong regular season numbers told the Brewers brass that it was time to see what they had in this kid. Well, the numbers and the fact that Prince would be eligible for the Rule V Draft in December if he wasn’t added to the 40-man roster. That combination of factors led to Prince’s trip to the desert for the Arizona Fall League.
All he did there was lead the league in hits (36), post a team-high .404 batting average (second in the entire league) with 15 walks and only 14 strikeouts in 89 at-bats. His on-base was again significantly higher than his average (.491) and his slugging was an eye-popping .573 courtesy of 10 extra-base hits. He also was 10-of-14 in stolen bases attempts in the AFL. Prince’s 1.064 OPS was good for third in the league as well. He was named to the AFL Top Prospects Team which is a selected the league’s managers and coaches.
The Brewers had privately hoped before the Arizona Fall League that they’d be able to hide Prince for one more turn without having to add him to the 40-man roster. The results spoke far too loudly though and Prince was added to the 40-man on November 20th. Said Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash “(Josh) made the most of his opportunity. I’ll say that.”
What I’ll say is that Josh Prince is certainly a name to know for any passionate and informed Brewers fan. So watch for the outfielder who will be much more acclimated to his job than when you possibly saw him last. He’ll be the guy with the 58 on his back.
You can follow Josh Prince on Twitter: @JoshPrince17
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #59 John Axford
- #60 Wily Peralta
- #61 Darren Byrd
- #63 Tyler Thornburg
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Miguel De Los Santos
- #67 Santo Manzanillo
- #68 Jesus Sanchez
- #70 Nick Bucci
- #73 Ariel Peña
- #74 Michael Olmsted
- #75 Travis Webb
- #77 Jed Bradley
- #78 Taylor Jungmann
- BONUS ARTICLE: #91-94 Adam Weisenberger, Hunter Morris, Kentrail Davis, Rafael Neda
Thirty-two current Milwaukee Brewers players from the 40-man roster plus a host of alumni, Minor League prospects, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place Sunday, January 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Delta Center. The event is presented by Time Warner Cable.
Brewers On Deck is the annual Fan Fest that bridges the gap between winter and Spring Training. Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include the following (all subject to change):
- John Axford (@JohnAxford)
- Burke Badenhop
- Jeff Bianchi
- Ryan Braun
- Nick Bucci (@nickbooch)
- Hiram Burgos (@Burgos196)
- Khris Davis
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers (@Fiers64)
- Yovani Gallardo
- Mat Gamel
- Scooter Gennett (@Scooterg11)
- Caleb Gindl
- Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27)
- Michael Gonzalez
- Tom Gorzelanny (@TGorz)
- Taylor Green
- Corey Hart
- Johnny Hellweg
- Jim Henderson (@JimHenderson29)
- Brandon Kintzler
- Jonathan Lucroy (@JLucroy20)
- Martin Maldonano (@Machete1224)
- Chris Narveson (@sleep_trick)
- Michael Olmsted
- Wily Peralta
- Josh Prince (@JoshPrince17)
- Mark Rogers
- Logan Schafer (@LoganS22)
- Josh Stinson (@JStinny19)
- Tyler Thornburg (@TylerThornburg)
- Rickie Weeks
- Ron Roenicke
- Joe Crawford
- Marcus Hanel (@Markoos55)
- Garth Iorg
- Rick Kranitz
- Jerry Narron
- Johnny Narron
- Ed Sedar
- John Shelby
- Lee Tunnell
- Clint Coulter (@ccoulter12)
- Kentrail Davis
- Drew Gagnon (@Dgags24)
- Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19)
- Taylor Jungmann
- Hunter Morris (@HunterMorris15)
- Jimmy Nelson (@Jimmy_J_Nelson)
- Victor Roache (@_Heavy28Hitter_)
- Matt Erickson (Mgr.)
- Jerry Augustine (@jaugie46)
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
- Gorman Thomas
- Bob Uecker
Tickets for Brewers On Deck are currently on sale. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children ages 14 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers Ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at Brewers.com/ondeck. On the day of the event, only cash will be accepted for purchases made at the door. Tickets the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with coaches, players and staff, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
The same system for autographs will be used for Brewers On Deck that was used last year. Recipients of any “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Numbered coupons to be entered into the random selection process will be available the day of the event only and will be distributed beginning at 8 a.m. at the Delta Center. Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted later this month.
Fans can receive one coupon per event admission ticket and can use that coupon to enter the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding coupons that are chosen must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the PREMIER autograph sessions.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information regarding the lottery process, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
All autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
The Brewers announced this morning that they have added five players to their 40-man roster ahead of tonight’s midnight EST deadline for protecting players from the upcoming Rule V Draft.
The players protected are:
- RHP Nick Bucci
- RHP Hiram Burgos
- OF Khris Davis
- INF Scooter Gennett
- OF Josh Prince
Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash was contacted for some quotes* about the players added today and said the following about how they arrived at these five names.
“They’ve all excelled at various times over the course of the season at different levels. Probably even more important than that are the tools and ability they possess. We want to manage and protect our assets. We didn’t want to lose any of the five.”
“We had some other guys we liked as well,” said Ash. “We did our due diligence. We started with a list of nine or 10 names and whittled them down. There are surprises (in the Rule 5) every year. You can’t protect everybody.”
Bucci is 21 years old and coming off of a very good 2012 season split between the Low- and High-A levels of the Brewers farm system. He posted combined numbers of a 1.90 ERA, 1.102 WHIP, 9.3 K/9 in 42.2 innings over 10 starts. He missed time to begin the season coming off of an injury. His season debut was July 18th with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Bucci finished his year with a stint in the Arizona Fall League. Not only are the Brewers high on him, but after missing the amount of time he did, it was a way to help him get more innings before shutting it back down for the winter.
“I wouldn’t put much emphasis at the level he pitched at. That was mostly a rehab assignment,” said Ash. “He’s young and has a good arm, and a team could keep him as the 13th pitcher on the staff (if taken in the Rule 5 draft). For $50,000 (the draft price), you can’t replace that kind of arm. It might be a longer road for him but we like his upside.”
Burgos, 25, rocketed through the system in 2012. He began the year with the High-A Brevard County Manatees, made a stop in Double-A with the Huntsville Stars, and finished as a Nashville Sound in Triple-A. There was even talk that he was being kept at the ready in late September should the Brewers have needed an extra arm later in their season. Quite the year. That is evidenced in his numbers which ended up at a 1.95 ERA (2.91 in AAA), 1.035 WHIP (only 128 hits), over 171.0 innings pitched in 28 games (27 starts).
“Everyone wants to put labels on him and he is a Shaun Marcum type,” said Ash. “He has great command and without overpowering stuff he still has a knack for missing bats. It’s hard to explain. He has command of the strike zone and a real knack for getting out of trouble as well. Those are some of the intangibles you look for in a pitcher.”
Davis is a 6’0″, 195 lb outfielder who both bats and throws right-handed, turns 25 next month. Davis began his season with Huntsville before an injury and subsequent rehab assignment cost him some time. He came back to Hunstville in early July and was promoted to Triple-A on July 30th where he played out the remainder of the season. Davis played a total of 82 games in the regular season posting a combined line of .350/.451/.604 which includes a .310/.414/.522 line at Triple-A in 32 games. Davis was also assigned to the Arizona Fall League in order to get more at-bats but he didn’t fare as well in the desert the second time around. Still, he does appear to have a bat which could play at the MLB level one day.
“He’s a tremendous offensive player,” said Ash. “He’s a bit streaky but when he’s hot, he’s real hot. I saw him hit the longest home run I saw all year at Nashville. It went over the batter’s eye in center field. The ability is there and in the American League it’s easy to carry an extra hitter (as a Rule 5 pick). His bat is close to being big-league ready. We didn’t want to lose him.”
Gennett’s addition to the 40-man roster was probably the easiest to guess (outside of Burgos because Melvin told us so in an interview awhile ago) because despite his small stature (5’9″, 164 lbs) his profile has been an elevated one. All he’s done is hit since signing with the Brewers after being drafted in the 16th round of the 2009 draft. Over .300 at both Low-A and High-A, Gennett continued his progression with a full season in Double-A which saw his average dip to .293 but he basically maintained his OBP including an increase to his walk rate. He is still learning second base defensively after being drafted as a shortstop, but those issues are getting farther away in his rear view with each inning. His errors decreased, his fielding percentage has gone up every season (I know…I know), and his Range Factor per Game has also increased every season.
The final player who was added today (alphabetically, not necessarily reflective of ability) was tapped due to his incredible “season” in the Arizona Fall League. Josh Prince was just converting from infield to outfield defensively and after a pedestrian season at Double-A Huntsville (.251/.346/.360) the Brewers probably thought that they might be able to avoid protecting him for one more year. Then when Mat Gamel’s exemption request to play in the AFL was denied, the Brewers sent Prince instead and he absolutely rose to the occasion. Now, AFL offensive stats are often inflated but Prince even rose to the top of the inflation. He hit a team-best .404 which was good for second-highest overall in league. His OBP was .491 so he was still drawing some walks (a team-best 15, 5th-best in the AFL) and his slugging finished at .573 which gave him an OPS over 1.000 at 1.064.
“That (AFL) performance certainly put him over the top,” said Ash. “That kind of performance in that setting is something everyone notices. He was the talk of the league, and every scout from every team passes through there at some point. It’s hard to minimize that kind of performance. He solidified his place in the organization.”
With these additions, the Brewers 40-man roster currently sits at 39.
*Appreciation and credit to Tom Haudricourt at the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel for the quotes about the players from Brewers assistant general manger Gord Ash.
Wondering who wore a certain uniform number all-time for the Milwaukee Brewers?
The Brewer Nation has got you covered. If you found this list on its own, head back here for the full repository after checking out this one.
John Gelnar (’70-’71)
Bob Reynolds (’71)
Frank Linzy (’72-’73)
Bill Travers (’74-’80)
Reggie Cleveland (’81)
Bobby Clark (’84-’85)
Mark Clear (’86-’88)
Dave Engle (’89)
Ricky Bones (’92-’96)
Julio Franco (’97)
Jim Abbott (’99)
Raul Casanova (’00-’02)
Kevin Mench (’06)
David Bell (’06)
Mike Cameron (’08-’09)
Doug Davis (’10)
Mark Kotsay (’11)
Josh Prince (’13)