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Prince provides versatility in first big-league callup

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MILWAUKEE -- Josh Prince was the Triple-A Nashville Sounds' starting center fielder on Opening Day and the starting shortstop on Day 2. The Brewers envisioned him developing into a super-utility player, a la the Dodgers' Jerry Hairston Jr.

That project will have to continue in the Major Leagues, because on Day 3, Prince was in Milwaukee.

The Brewers promoted the 25-year-old on Saturday to replace third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee.

"With 'Ramie' out and uncertainly on [left fielder Ryan Braun, sidelined by a stiff neck], we needed somebody who could cover you both ways," assistant general manager Gord Ash said.

Prince fit that bill. He was originally a shortstop but was moved last season to the Double-A Huntsville outfield. A scorching-hot Arizona Fall League (Prince batted .404 with 14 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 25 games) earned him a spot on Milwaukee's 40-man roster.

When he was optioned to Nashville in March, the Brewers talked to Prince about playing all over -- second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions.

"It's being in the right place at the right time," Prince said of his unexpected promotion. "I'm a very religious guy, so I believe everything happens for a reason."

He welcomed the comparison to Hairston, who played a big role in the Brewers' 2011 postseason run and has played for nine different teams in parts of 16 Major League seasons.

"He definitely has come up. He's a guy who has done it for 15, 16 years, and has done a great job at it," Prince said. "Being able to play the infield and play the outfield, especially in the National League, it's pretty valuable."

A year ago, Prince was not considered a big-time prospect. On Saturday, at Miller Park for the first time since a pre-Draft workout in 2009, he was a Major Leaguer for the first time.

"I'm still pretty speechless," he said. "I'm trying to stay even-keeled, not try to get too many ups or too many downs. Just enjoy the moment."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
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