Arizona is lovely this time of year

So I’ve been up since 5 a.m. ET, spent 5 hours in the middle seat of a plane (did get to see "Walk the Line") , had nothing but a muffin as sustenance for hours, but it was all worth it once I stepped out into the Arizona sunshine and made my way to Maryvale to check out the young Brew Crew.

There’s a reason why the Brewers are everyone’s favorite dark horse contender. It’s not just that there’s talent — it’s young talent with tremendous upside. We all know about the hitting talent with Weeks and now Fielder. All they need is some pitching and they could be at the top of the NL Central sooner rather than later.

With that in mind, I headed to the back fields to check out the pitching. Granted, the pitchers were working on bunting and hitting, but there’s some talent getting close. Zach Jackson (who’s a pretty good hitter, it turns out) was the key to the Lyle Overbay during the offseason precisely to help re-stock the upper levels. The former college lefty has spent just one full year in the Minors, but he made it all the way to Triple-A in the Jays system last year. But the Jays decided they needed their 45th corner infielder and the Brewers were smart enough to insist Jackson be a part of the deal. Voila — a top-level, knocking on the door starter.

You want more? Tune into Around the Minors Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET. You can hear my entire interview with Jackson (and a bonus interview with Tony Gwynn Jr.), as well as San Jose Giants manager Lenn Sakata. I’ll have more tomorrow. … from Tucson.

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