Milwaukee Brewers: 5 former prospects from the 2000s lost to history

(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /
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Brad Nelson

Do you know who was rated even higher than Jones in 2003? Brad Nelson! The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Nelson in the fourth round of the 2001 draft, and Baseball America rated him as the 21st best prospect of all of baseball in 2003.

Nelson blasted 20 homers with an .856 OPS in Single-A and High-A in 2002, and that strapped the rocket to his back. Nelson made it to Double-A in 2003, and that’s where his career started to stall.

After earning the promotion to Huntsville in 2003, Nelson posted a .589 OPS in 39 games. In 2004, he spent the full year at Double-A, and managed a .755 OPS with 19 homers. He was again back in Double-A in 2005, and managed a .798 OPS with six homers before finally getting a promotion to Triple-A at the age of 22.

22 years old is hardly over the hill for a baseball prospect, and it was great to see Nelson finally get over the hump. He was stuck there until finally getting a cup of coffee in 2008, but by then Prince Fielder had already had one 50-homer season, and was firmly entrenched at first base. Nelson made the roster in 2009, but was set to be sent back to Triple-A in early May. He elected free agency, and caught on with the Seattle Mariners. He bounced around for a few years before finally calling it a career after the 2014 season at age 30.