Curt Hogg is a man, myth, and legend all at the same time. You can currently find him on the University of Wisconsin campus refusing to wear a shirt. He is majoring in journalism and weight gain, with a minor in Yuniesky Betancourt studies. Many of you will know Curt as the “Ryan Braun Kid”, because he broke the story about Braun’s tainted test urine…which now was probably valid…so I guess Curt broke the story about Braun trying to cover up his cheating, but getting away with it that first time. No matter how you want to look at it, Curt has been a staff writer here for over a year and he has chosen a player very close to his heart. I know how bad this must have hurt you Curt, but Brewers nation thanks you for your nominee.
Nominee – Brooks Conrad
Reluctantly (and with a tear or two in my eye), I nominate Brooks Conrad for the Hall of Brewers We Won’t Miss. Conrad, a career pinch hitter with the Braves, was signed as a non-roster invitee for the spring of 2012. I thought it would be a good idea to advocate for him to make the team; he opened up in AAA and put up monster numbers that soon earned him a promotion to Milwaukee. This made me very excited. Then the former postseason hero in Atlanta went 0-27 to start the season in the majors. This made me look very stupid and, because of the events that transpired, the RtB Fantasy Baseball league is named “Dibs on Brooks Conrad”. For this reason I nominate Brooks Conrad as a Brewer We Won’t Miss.
Brooks Conrad was drafted b the Houston Astros in the 8th round of the 2011 MLB draft. Conrad was a standout infielder at Arizona State for 3 seasons. During his 6 seasons with the Astros organization he did not crack the major league roster, so at the end of his rookie contract he became a free-agent. From there, he signed with the Oakland A’s. After absolutely clobbering the ball in Triple-A (.243 BA., 28 HR, 91 RBI, 29 doubles, and a .508 SLG%), he got a September call-up to join the A’s.
His first stint in the big-leagues went as well as most September call-ups do, he got 19 at-bats and only had 3 hits. At the end of the 2008 season, his league minimum contract demands were too high for Moneyball and company…so Conrad hit the market again. This time he landed with the team that would ultimately make him a household name, well a household name in the Hogg household anyway.
Brooks was never really viewed as an everyday player by the Atlanta Braves, but he emerged as one of the most clutch pinch hitters of the decade. His first career home run was a 3-run game winner against the Nationals for crying out loud! His 2009 was not much to write home about, but that game winner got people’s attention. Then the 2010 season rolled around and Brooks got to taste the highest of highs and the Bill Buckner of lows. Conrad had 5 game winning hits during the 2010 season, including a walk-off and go ahead grand slam. That is TWO game winning grand slams in the same season, take that Denny’s. Sadly though, what most Braves fans remember him for are his 3 errors in Game 3 of the 2010 NLDS. Conrad tied the record for most errors in a divisional round playoff game. Even though the Braves brought him back for 2011, fans never seemed to get over his horrible postseason defensive performance. This leads us to his short and terribly depressing time with the Brewers.
The Brewers offered Conrad a minor league deal in the winter of 2012, including an invite to the big league camp. Brooks showed astonishing promise during spring training. Just kidding, he hit .204 and was terrible. But, in true Ron Roenicke fashion the wiry veteran made it on to the opening day roster. The guy had 3 hits in 40 AB’s for an earth shattering .075 batting average. Two of those three hits were home runs…in his defense, but he was designated for assignment in June and picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays. In two short months, Brooks Conrad made quite an impact on someone…somewhere…not in Milwaukee though.
There are 3 categories that define a true HOBWWM nominee. Here is how Conrad shapes up:
Stats – Dreadful: .075 BA and 2 HR
Money/Contract – League minimum, which was still too much for his 3 career hits in a Brewers unifrom
Likeability – This is hard to gauge because he wasn’t around for very long. He certainly is not a criminal and I never heard of any issues he had with teammates, coaches, or management. So I have to assume he is a good dude. I know Curt likes him a lot.
Now it is up to you. When it comes time to cast your vote…is Brook Conrad a player you Won’t Miss for all of eternity? Or is he just that guy who was really good at pinch hitting for the Braves…come to think of it was he even on the Brewers? You will have to decide soon enough.