We're past the halfway point in our look at the Opening Day rosters and that means the double-A Huntsville Stars are up. This team is loaded with talent that could be very close to the Major league level and in fact a few of them may see call-ups in September, assuming the Brewers aren't locked in a tight race that is.
Opening Day for the Stars takes place against the Jacksonville Suns and Dan Merklinger gets the call as the starter for Huntsville.
There are lots of quality names to be watching and with that I'm giving you the roster in the form of a link so you can see if for yourself without having to scroll down for what you're all here for in the first place... my highly anticipated "Players I'm Watching" list.
So for the full roster check out the release here.
With that it's on to my list:
Players I'll Be Watching:
2B - Scooter Gennett
Having watched him early on in his career I can tell you he's just a guy that you want to root for. He plays the game hard and full speed from beginning to end and that's how it should be done. He's also a guy that speaks softly and carries an above average stick. Last season he moved from low-A Wisconsin to high-A Brevard County and ended up hitting .300 there. He's someone that needs to prove he can hit at that consistent of a level as the Brewers are going to need a quality second baseman to back up and possibly take over for Rickie Weeks in the next 3-4 years. Weeks is after all a bit injury prone and would be starting to head towards the downside of the career arc by then.
1B - Hunter Morris
Let's see... a left handed hitter that has power and can hit for average, what's not to like? Well, some don't think he's got the defensive chops to play at the Major League level and honestly the rankings are all over for this guy. He's in at number 10 from MLB.com but barely makes the top 20 or 30 in some other rankings out there. I'm going to reserve judgement because I haven't seen him play much other than highlight stuff via youtube, but with the vastly different ratings he's a guy I will be keeping an eye on. Left handed hitters that are good don't last long in the minor league's and he could be someone that knocks on the big league door sooner rather than later with a solid 2012.
P - Cody Scarpetta
He's in the top 10 of just about every prospects list I've ever seen and frankly he's the kind of big and intimidating pitcher the Brewers don't really have. He went 8-5 with a 3.85 ERA last season at double-A last year and struck out 98 batters in 117 innings pitched. True he's not a guy that looks to just flamethrow you to death, but I do like his opponents batting average of just .234 (a .013 improvement from 2012). He really needs to put a dominate season together to really move up the list of possibilities for the Brewers roster in the near future.
P - Tyler Thornburg
Thornburg is in most lists top 5's and he's got a shot at becoming a quick mover especially if any injuries were to happen to the starting staff later in the season. His has been a quick ascension up the Brewers farm system and it wouldn't surprise me if all goes well that they think of moving him up to the triple-A level by seasons end. He went 10-6 with a 2.57 ERA last year in time between Wisconsin and Brevard County.