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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Corey Hart

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 3/24/82, Age: 21, Bats/Throws: R/R, Height: 6’6’’, Weight: 200. Acquired: Brewers - Drafted in the 11th Round of the 2000 Draft (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green, KY). 2001 Stats: (SSeason-A - Ogden) .340 AVG, 262 AB, 18 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 14 SB, 26 BB, 47 K, .403 OBP, .542 SLG. 2002 Stats: (High-A - High Desert) .288 AVG, 393 AB, 26 2B, 10 3B, 22 HR, 24 SB, 37 BB, 101 K, .356 OBP, .573 SLG; (AA - Huntsville) .266 AVG, 94 AB, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 3 SB, 7 BB, 16 K, .340 OBP, .362 SLG.
    Corey Hart is a tall, wiry, third base prospect in the Brewers’ system, and as such, has a reasonably decent chance at a big league career with only modest growth. Hart took two years just to get to full-season ball, but roughly 63 extra base hits and 27 stolen bases later he found himself in Huntsville, just a short phone call (under present-day organizational structure) away from the bigs. At 6’6’’, Hart presents many of the positives and negatives associated with his build. The torque he generates from that frame gives him tremendous power potential, and with his long legs he is much more swift than one would expect. I don’t think he’ll be much of an average hitter, mostly because of the downside to his size: he has a sizable strike zone. Hart hasn’t shown much propensity to handle that strike zone yet either, which will be a major hurdle for him as he prepares himself for a fairly open third base job in Milwaukee. He walked 44 times last year in 543 PAs, which is somewhat better than terrible. At this point, Hart projects to be a Richie Sexson-like player, except with better speed. His rather brief trial at AA last year illustrated the size of the jump from A to AA, in my opinion, and it also showed me that Hart isn’t quite ready yet. He should end up with a nice power/speed combination, but will probably torture his managers with a low BA and OBP combined with a boatload of strikeouts.
    The Brewers, in my opinion, are down near the Tigers in competition for the worst condition of a major league franchise. They have one good pitcher (Sheets) and one good hitter (Sexson) at the major league level, and they have maybe five or six prospects (Hart, Fielder, Nelson, Jones….maybe Hardy, Hendrickson, and Krynzel) that have a chance to contribute something significant in the majors. That’s bad news for the brat salespeople at Miller Park, but good news for guys like Corey Hart, because there will probably be jobs to be had if you’ve got the ability. Nelson is cruising up right behind Hart, and Fielder is right behind Nelson, but I don’t think either of them have a future anywhere but first base, which makes one wonder what their plans are long-term for Sexson. Wes Helms and Keith Ginter aren’t bad if they’re the bottom-tier hitters in your lineup (Ginter especially deserves a chance at some extended playing time after being stuck in Houston for seemingly eons), but they could be pushed aside by anyone resembling a prospect, so Hart has a pretty open road to the hot corner in Milwaukee. I would expect that he will struggle a bit the first half of this season at Huntsville, just like Sexson did in his AA debut, but he should get it together in time to warrant a cup of coffee this fall. I don’t expect him to be ready for spring training in 2004, but he may have the job by the end of next year. Sexson is a fair comparison for him, but Derrek Lee (and his higher level of athleticism) might be a better one. That athleticism might allow Hart to move to the outfield if need be, which could be handy given the logjam of players at the easy end of the defensive spectrum in the Brewers’ organization. Whether Corey will ever play for a winning team during his tenure at Milwaukee, well, that is a different issue entirely.


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