Most of the attention of those following the Milwaukee Brewers is on Arizona this week, and rightfully so. The club has reached some rarified air as of the All Star break this season. Currently in a tie for first place in the NL central, the Brewers also boast multiple players taking part in last night’s home run derby and in tonight’s all star game. For long suffering baseball fans from the Cream City, this is the sort of success that comes along once every, oh, twenty years.
With all the excitement taking place in Phoenix, then, it may be surprising that the moment of the All Star break that may have raised the most eyebrows around the Brewers organization occurred approximately 1600 miles away, in a place better known for country music than for cacti. That’s where Caleb Gindl of the Nashville Sounds—the Brewers Triple-A affiliate—hit for the cycle on Sunday night against Albuquerque to spur his club on to a 9-5 victory. Nicknamed “Bowling Ball” by his teammates due to his stature (Gindl stands 5’8 and weighs 205 lbs), the stocky centerfielder certainly knows a thing or two about contact. Since being drafted in the fifth round out of Pace High School in Florida Gindl has compiled a .295 batting average across five minor league campaigns, including hitting .281 this year for the Sounds. He specializes in extra base hits, plugging in ten doubles and twelve home runs this year in seventy-two games.
Caleb Gindl is one of the top prospects in the Brewers farm system at the moment, and he looks to comprise the next generation of Brew Crew talent along with other rising stars like pitcher Wiley Peralta, second baseman Scooter Gennett, and fellow outfielder Erik Komatsu. Although Milwaukee’s minor leagues may not hold the same wealth of position talent as the early 2000s edition that produced such luminaries as Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, and Ryan Braun, it is encouraging to know that in 2011 the cupboard is anything but bare.