BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 05: Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays warms up before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 5, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Over the last couple of years, the Milwaukee Brewers have made some of the biggest acquisitions in baseball. In 2008, the surprised everyone by acquiring big CC Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians near the trade deadline and this past offseason, they acquired two more pitchers in Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum.
These have been some great additions for the Brewers, but these additions have come with a steep price. In order to get these stud pitchers, the Brewers had to give up some of their organization's top prospects.
With the recent call up of Brett Lawrie, who was once a top Brewers' prospect, I thought it be would interesting to take a look at where the rest of the former Brewer top prospects are and how they are doing.
In Sabathia Trade
Zach Jackson, LHP: Has a 5.81 ERA in 105.1 major league innings. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since the 2009 season and is currently pitching in Triple-A for the Texas Rangers where he has an ERA over five.
Rob Bryson, RHP: At 23, Bryson still has the potential to be an effective reliever for the Indians down the road. He has a 12.0 K/9 201.2 minor league innings. However, injuries and control issues are still a concern for Bryson. Bryson had shoulder surgery back in 2008.
Matt LaPorta, 1B/OF: The crown jewel in this trade, LaPorta has been a big flop so far with the Indians. He has a .234/.303/.396 slash line with 29 HR's in 930 major league PA's. LaPorta has a -1.0 career WAR. Not impressive at all.
Michael Brantley, OF: Brantley looked like nothing more than a fourth outfielder last season, but has had a decent season in Cleveland in 2011. He has a .270/.323/.390 slash line with seven HR's, 13 SB's, and a 1.7 WAR in 461 PA's.
In Greinke Trade
Lorenzo Cain, OF: Cain sounds more like a linebacker for Florida State rather than a center fielder. Cain is hitting .311/.381/.509 with 14 HR's and 12 SB's in 445 PA's for Triple-A Omaha in 2011. He should be the Kansas City Royals center fielder in 2012.
Alcides Escobar, SS: If it wasn't for his stellar defense at short (8.0 UZR), Escobar would be just as useless as Yuniesky Betancourt. Escobar has a .248/.283/.327 slash line with two HR's and 15 SB's in 440 PA's in 2011. His .270 wOBA is sixth worst in baseball.
Jeremy Jeffress, RHP: Jeffress can throw with anyone as his 96 mph indicates, but he rarely knows where it's going. Jeffress had a 6.5 BB/9 in 15.1 IP coming out of the Royals bullpen in 2011 before being sent down to the minors.
Jake Odorizzi, RHP: The 21-year-old has a 3.68 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and a 10.2 K/9 in 117.1 IP between High Single-A and Double-A in 2011.
In Marcum Trade
Brett Lawrie, 3B:Lawrie is five for his first 15 with one HR for the Toronto Blue Jays and looks like the real deal at third. Despite having a wrist injury, Lawrie was hitting over .350 in Triple-A before his call up.
While it's still too early to tell how some of these prospects will turn out, a good majority haven't impressed since they were dealt away from the Brewers. As we have learned throughout the years, prospects are like lottery tickets. Some pan out, but a far majority don't.
These three trades the Brewers have made are great examples of that.