Things are finally looking up in Milwaukee. The Brewers, who entered 2005 tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the longest streak of losing-record seasons (12), managed to improve to .500 and third place in the National League Central. It's progress, and perhaps the most encouraging development of all is that the Brewers' new owner, Mark Attanasio, boosted the payroll last season and seemed to bring new life to the franchise.
The Brewers pulled off their 14-win improvement in 2005 with one of the more interesting cores of home-grown prospects in the majors; former first-rounders Geoff Jenkins (1995), Ben Sheets (1999) and Rickie Weeks (2003), 2001 second-rounder J.J. Hardy and 1998 sixth-rounder Bill Hall were key contributors. Now, they'll add Prince Fielder (2002 first rounder) to the mix, one which boasts a solid pitching staff that includes starters Chris Capuano, Doug Davis and Tomo Ohka and closer Derrick Turnbow, all of whom were promising prospects who had fallen out of favor with their former organizations.