The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired second baseman Ray Durham from the Giants, continuing with their effort in the push to make the playoffs for the first time since 1982.
Durham, 36, is hitting .293 for the Giants, with an on-base percentage of .385, and in theory, he could help the Brewers as a utility player. But it is also very possible that he will press Rickie Weeks, the Brewers' every-day second baseman to this point, for playing time.
Weeks is hitting .218 with eight homers, and Milwaukee ranks dead last among all teams in batting average for second baseman (.222).
ESPN.com's Keith Law is reporting that the prospects going to San Francisco are Steve Hammond and Darren Ford. The seriousness of the Durham talks between the Giants and Brewers was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.
The Brewers are in San Francisco this weekend, but Durham is not expected to play for Milwaukee on Sunday.
I found some blogger profiling these kids in a Top 20 Prospects features done last year. No doubt others will find better.
#13 Darren Ford, OF
6'1” 195 lbs. Born 10/1/1985
Draft and follow taken in the 18th round of the 2004 draft out of junior college Often mentioned as one of the fastest players in the minors, it will be the development of Ford's other skills that will ultimately determine how far he goes as a baseball player. After opening the year with a second go round in the Sally league at West Virginia and playing very well, he was promoted to High-A Brevard and posted markedly lower numbers. His batting line of (.335/.398/.504/.902) at West Virginia dropped to (.231/.317/.308/.625) in the more pitcher friendly Florida State League. Some of that drop off is to be expected, but the fact that his West Virginia numbers were driven by an insanely high .425 BABIP doesn't bode well for those type of numbers being something you can expect out of him on a regular basis. Extremely high BABIP numbers usually indicate unsustainable levels of performance. Ford continues to strike out too much (almost 25% of his AB's), though his walk rate (10%) is solid enough not to be a huge problem. His 67 of 83 successful stolen base attempts (81%) is as good as you can ask for, and he actually got better after moving up to High A. Defensively, he uses his great speed to his advantage in center field, where he is considered above average. Given his struggles at High A, he will probably open the year there.
#19 Steve Hammond, LHP
6'2” 205 lbs. Born 4/30/1982
Drafted in the 6th round of the 2005 draft out of Long Beach State University
Call me stubborn, but I'm not ready to give up on this personal favorite just yet. Drafted with an eye towards making him a reliever eventually, he performed so well in 2006 between High A Brevard and AA Huntsville that the team decided to keep him in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Things didn't go well in 2007 for Hammond in AA, a change largely driven by a 2.5 hits per 9 inning increase and a resulting .26 jump in WHIP. His K rate only declined slightly and his walks actually went down, which got me to thinking about a potential move to the pen. Sure enough, his K rate steadily declines as each inning passes all the way through the 5th, which would indicate some trouble holding his stuff deep into games. He did show trouble with walks in the first inning, which would be a problem were he to move into short relief. Still, I would like to see how he reacts to a move to the pen before writing him off as a prospect. If last years struggles as a starter persist into this season, I would expect that move sooner rather than later.