Category Archives: Brewers Prospects

Prospect Auto: Matt Mieske

1996 Leaf Signature Edition

1996 Leaf Signature Series

I learned about Matt when he was a prospect in the Padres system, with High Desert back in 1991, where he had hit .341 with 15 home runs and looked like a great prospect. I was a bit surprised when he was part of the Gary Sheffield deal, but he was with Milwaukee by 1993, putting up a .687 OPS in 23 games. He only really managed to stick for a full season in 1995, and only got over 100 OPS+ in 1998, for two years. So he turned out to not be that great after all.
 
Still, I have fond memories of him in a fantasy baseball game that I created way back in the day, and was giddy at the prospect of getting his autograph.

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Bert Heffernan

Heffernan Star

Bert was kind of my introduction to an arcane world, one of prospects who hadn’t made mainstream baseball card sets, and yet were well-known to certain circles of fans. I’ve mentioned the prospecting magazines I used to read in the late 80s and 90s; as I recall, the first one I picked up reviewed every team – it was where I learned of players like Jeff Bagwell for the first time, but I also learned of some Brewers prospects that I had never even heard of before. Darryl Hamilton I was familiar with (the guy in the magazine was tabbing him as a future superstar – just a little off), but he was also talking of some catcher in A ball named Bert Heffernan. I had never heard of him, but I was instantly intrigued. Was this Milwaukee’s catcher of the future, flying just under the radar?
 
Well, history shows that no, of course, he wasn’t, and as far as I know, he never even had a major card issue. I had completely forgotten about him until I bought a cheap box of Star a few years back and came across this card. Once I saw him, though, all those memories came flooding back, and I decided to check up on his stats to see if he’d been overblown.
 
I was surprised to see he had made the majors, if only for a cup of coffee. I was less surprised to see that he had pretty much never been a legit prospect – just one conjured up this sportswriter. In 1989, the year I think the guy was writing for, he did hit .296, but had a paltry .376 slugging percentage.
 
The moral of the story? Don’t trust sportswriters for prospect picks.

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