MILWAUKEE -- Add top prospect Matt LaPorta to the list of Brewers who will be tinkering with a new position this spring.
LaPorta, a collegiate first baseman and catcher who moved to left field after the Brewers made him their top pick in last June's First-Year Player Draft, will try right field beginning next month. With this week's news that another former first-round pick, Ryan Braun, will man left field for the big league Brewers next season, the team intends to use LaPorta at both corner outfield spots during the 2008 Minor League season.
"He needs to make sure that both sides are covered, that he feels like he's able to play both sides, and we'll make that decision later," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said on Monday, when the team showcased prospects LaPorta and Mat Gamel to kick off its annual Winter Warm-Up.
The team announced Monday that it had invited LaPorta to Major League Spring Training, an honor for a player so young in his pro career. There, LaPorta will have an opportunity to work alongside Braun with Brewers first base coach Ed Sedar, the club's outfield instructor. Ash hinted Monday that Braun's move to the outfield was permanent.
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