Weekend Wrap Up

Adrian Houser was back at it again on Sunday night in Mississippi. The righty out of Oklahoma improved to 4-0 after throwing 6 scoreless innings while allowing three hits, one walk and struck out four. He lowered his ERA to 1.80 (7 ER/35 IP) over 6 starts with the Brewers organization and opponents are hitting just .215 against him.

The Orlando Arcia train continues to chug along. He went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. The 21-year-old shortstop is hitting .393 (22-for-56) with 11 runs, 4 doubles, 2 triples and 3 homers during the stretch and is hitting .307 overall on the year.

1B Garrett Cooper has taken a liking to Double-A pitching since his promotion on Friday from Brevard County. Over his first three games, Cooper is 6-for-11 with a pair of RBI in a Shuckers uniform. Over his whole season, the former 6th round pick in 2013 out of Auburn is hitting .300 with 32 doubles (2nd in the organization) with 8 homers, 55 runs scored and 56 RBI.

OF Tyrone Taylor moved into the leadoff spot for Biloxi Sunday night and the move paid off for manager Carlos Subero. Taylor went 3-for-5 with an RBI triple. Over his last 5 games, he’s hitting .450 (7-for-20) with a pair of doubles, a triple and homer.


SS Jake Gatewood hit a two doubles Sunday; a day after he smoked his first homer since returning to Wisconsin.

Gatewood is just 4-for-21 since his promotion from Helena, but three of his four hits are for extra bases.

It was revealed on Saturday that LHP Nathan Kirby was likely going to have Tommy John Surgery, ending his brief 2015 season and sidelining him for the 2016 season as well. The 40th player taken in the 2015 June draft, was recently shut down at Class A Wisconsin and sent to be examined by team physician William Raasch. In five outings (two starts) with Wisconsin, Kirby was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA, with 15 hits and seven walks allowed in 12 2/3 innings, and seven strikeouts.

INF Blake Allemand (5th round, 2015) is on an eight-game hitting streak (13-for-31). He is hitting 34-for-99 (.343) in August for Wisconsin.

It wasn’t a bad first weekend in the Pioneer League for OF Trent Clark. The 18-year-old and 15th overall pick in this year’s draft is 6-for-12 over his first four games in Helena including a 4-for-4, 3 RBI game on Friday. He’s hitting a combined .322 between the AZL Brewers and H-Brewers.

OF Malik Collymore is on a 5-game hitting streak, hitting .450 (9-for-20) with 4 RBI and 5 runs scored over that span for Helena. He’s hitting .323 with a homer and 13 RBI over 23 games since being traded from the Cardinals.

The Brewers are off today before beginning a three-game series with Pittsburgh at Miller Park Tuesday through Thursday.

Minor League probables for Monday:
Colorado Springs – Ariel Pena
Biloxi – Josh Hader
Brevard County – Jorge Ortega
Wisconsin – Eric Hanhold
Helena – Jake Drossner

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Go Brewers!

Jeff
@JLevering4

Heading Down the Home Stretch

With the 2015 minor league regular season drawing to an end over Labor Day weekend, the Brewers have the Biloxi Shuckers as their lone playoff team (74-53, best in the Southern League) as of now.

As September 1st arrives next week, major league rosters will expand to 40 players and there is a lot of speculation as to who will be up in Milwaukee once the time comes.

Here is the list of players currently on the 40-man roster eligible to be recalled:

Pitchers

RHP Preston Guilmet
RHP Johnny Hellweg
RHP Brandon Kintzler
LHP Mike Strong
RHP Tyler Wagner

Catchers

Juan Centeno

Infielders

1B Matt Clark
3B Matt Dominguez
SS/2B/3B Yadiel Rivera
SS/2B/3B Luis Sardinas

The Brewers have 37 players on their 40-man currently, so they could purchase the contract of, at most, three more players should management see fit. That also leaves some flexibility for the offseason when the Crew must decided who to add to the 40-man roster to protect from the Rule-5 Draft.

As to who will actually be here in September? Your guess is as good as mine, BUT my best guess would be Guilmet, Kintzler, Strong, Centeno, Clark, Dominguez and Sardinas all come up September 8th once the regular season is over in the minor leagues.

Hellweg is still coming back from Tommy John surgery and has not pitched well in his return (1-9, 7.13 ERA in 14 starts with Brevard County and Biloxi). Tyler Wagner has dominated in Biloxi and he’ll be in their playoff rotation (more on Wagner in a bit). Yadiel Rivera was recently sent back to Biloxi after being in Colorado Springs for a couple months. He’ll continue to pair with Orlando Arcia up the middle for the Shuckers playoff run.

Now, once the Shuckers either win the Southern League title or not, we may see Wagner and Rivera in Milwaukee, but we won’t know that for some time.

Jungmann Not a Young Man Anymore

So many rookies are having terrific season in the big leagues. Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs, Matt Duffy of the Giants, Lance McCullers with the Astros, etc, so it might be easy to over look the great season that Taylor Jungmann has turned in with the Brewers.

After making his debut with Milwaukee in early June, the righty out of Texas is 7-5 with a 2.66 ERA, the lowest ERA for any rookie. His 7 wins are the 2nd most on the club behind Jimmy Nelson’s 10.

Here are four reasons why more people should be paying attention to Jungmann’s break out season from Michael Clair of MLB.com.

Standout Performances

As mentioned above, Tyler Wagner has been unreal this season. He picked up his 11th win of the season Thursday night throwing five scoreless innings allowing four singles and striking out six. He lowered his ERA to 2.13 and extended his scoreless streak to 19.1 innings. In August, Wagner is 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA (4 ER/29.2 IP) with 24 k’s and just 9 walks in 5 starts.

One of Wagner’s rotation mates, Adrian Houser turned a few heads with his start on Tuesday tossing seven scoreless innings on just two hits with three punch outs using only 90 pitches. Houser has been on point since being acquired by the Brewers in the Gomez/Fiers deal going 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA (7 ER/29 IP) with 26 k’s and issuing just 3 walks.

SS Orlando Arcia extended his hitting streak to 11 games Thursday night by going 2-for-3 with a triple, 2 RBI, 2 BB and 3 runs scored.

During his 11-game stretch, Arcia is 17-for-44 (.386) with 8 runs scored and has struck out just 3 times. He’s had some kind of a special season, one where his average has not been below .294 all season long. There have been questions posed about Arcia being called up to Milwaukee in September. This is tricky because he’s not on the 40-man roster yet, but he’ll need to be added to it in the offseason. At 21-years-old, do the Brewers start his arbitration clock to see what he’s got at the big league level once the Southern League playoffs are over? Or do they just wait? Stay tuned!

Both OF Trent Clark and SS Gilbert Lara were promoted from the AZL Brewers to Helena and made their debuts on Thursday night. Clark batted 5th and went 2-for-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored while Lara hit 6th going 1-for-4 with an RBI double. Clark and Lara are 18 and 17-years-old, respectively, and the bump to Helena to get a taste of a higher level for the next 11 days proves these two are making good strides in their progression towards a place in Milwaukee.

Brevard County 1B Garrett Cooper was promoted to Biloxi and joins the Shuckers on Friday. Cooper hit .294 with 8 HR, 32 2B and 54 RBI in 119 games with the Manatees. He replaces OF Brett Phillips, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to August 25th, on the Shuckers active roster.

Speaking of the Manatees, CF Omar Garcia has 51 stolen bases establishing a career high. The former 7th round pick in 2013 has been caught just 15 times and has 13 2-steal games.

OF Malik Collymore went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for the Helena Brewers Thursday. He has safely hit in 3 straight and 5 of his last 6. He is batting .303 with 11 runs, 6 doubles, a triple and a homer in 21 games in the Brewers system since being acquired from St. Louis for Jonathan Broxton.

Timber Rattlers INF Blake Allemand is batting .330/.371/.418 in 23 games in August. He is currently on a 6-game hitting streak (.391; 9-for-23) and has safely reached base in 16 straight games. He is batting .381 since August 11th.

How about the last 48 hours for T-Rats INF Tucker Neuhaus?

Great note by from Jason Massopust in his weekly Brewers Bits; On Monday, the Rookie Arizona League Brewers stole 12 bases in 13 attempts. As a team they have 96 SB in 55 games, good for 2nd in the league. 12 steals in a 9 inning game?!?!…a game where the Brewers had more steals than hits (11) and lost 8-7 to the AZL Padres. You better believe that the Padres pitchers and catchers were out early working on Tuesday on pick-off moves and times to the plate. YIKES!

And, finally, who remembers RHP Ariel Pena, the 3rd player the Brewers got for Zack Greinke back in 2012 with Jean Segura and Johnny Hellweg? Well, Pena has spent his entire season in Colorado Springs. In his first 36 outings of the year, he was pitching out of the bullpen to a 5.16 ERA. Originally groomed to be a starter and only this year pitching consistently out of the bullpen, he has since been moved back into the starting rotation, and since July 30th, he has a 1.85 ERA in 6 starts. After his initial outing, a spot start on the 30th, Pena has gone 0-1 but owns a 0.84 ERA (2 ER/21.1 IP) with 27 strikeouts and only 5 walks.

How about his last two starts?

ND, 5.1 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 10 K’s on last Friday in Colorado Springs
ND, 6 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K’s Wednesday in El Paso.

That’s all for this week…enjoy your weekend!

Go Brewers!

Jeff
@jlevering4
#FutureCrew

In Case You Missed It…

Top Brewers Prospect SS Orlando Arcia had quite a weekend at the dish.


He’d add another homer on Sunday to chalk up his first multi-homer game of his career. And here’s why. The kid is calm and relaxed. Over his last 10 games, Arcia is hitting .342 (13-for-38) with three homers and 7 RBI and has hit in seven straight.

In Brevard County, Manatees RHP Jorge Ortega continues to blossom and entrench himself in prospect status in 2015. Despite taking a loss on Sunday (1-0 to Lakeland), the Venezuelan tossed 8 innings allowing just a run on 8 hits (all singles) while not walking a batter, again. On the season, Ortega has issued just 11 walks in 138.2 innings and has a league high 6 complete games (only 2 are of the 7 inning variety).

Are there more superlatives for the year that Tyler Wagner is having in Biloxi? Terrific, great, amazing…All are appropriate. He threw seven scoreless innings on Friday night allowing just six hits while striking out six to lower his league leading ERA to 2.21. He’s gone two straight starts with 7 IP and no runs allowed and has yet to surrender more than 3 runs since June 11th (11 straight starts).

2nd round pick in June, RHP Cody Ponce, is opening eyes in Wisconsin. After a brief stay in Helena, he’s kept dealing for the T-Rats. Friday night, he threw 5.1 innings (68 pitches/48 strikes) allowing just a run on four hits with four strikeouts to earn his 2nd professional victory. Overall, Ponce is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 2 saves and has allowed 1 or 0 runs in all but one of his 9 appearances in Wisconsin while hold opposing batters to a .210 average.

After a rough month of July following a promotion from Helena, INF Blake Allemand has adjusted very well in August hitting .333 (26-for-78) with a homer and 10 RBI.

How about the month for 1st rounder in 2014, SS Jake Gatewood. We talked about him in the last post too, but he is red hot in August (.347, 25-for-72 with 2 HR and 15 RBI). He’s had a hit in eight of his last nine games hitting .432 (16-for-37) with a homer and 8 RBI. Even more encouraging, his production with runners in scoring position, batting .333 (21-for-63) and .324 (11-for-34) with RISP and 2 outs.

Since being acquired on July 31st from the Cardinals (for Jonathan Broxton), OF Malik Collymore has taken a liking to his new organization hitting .306 (22-for-72) over 17 games with a homer, 9 RBI and has collected a hit in all but four of his games played.

A model of consistency, OF Trent Clark, is on a 5-game hitting streak (6-for-18) with a triple, 2 RBI, 4 runs and 3 stolen bases (18). In the 41 games he’s played, Clark has failed to have a hit in just NINE of those contests. He played in just 2 games in June (1-for-3), but hit .305 in July (25-for-82) and is hitting .315 (23-for-73) in August. In the Arizona League, Clark ranks 4th in OBP (.418), T-3rd triples (6), 5th in stolen bases (18) and 3rd in walks (27).

Clark’s teammate, OF Demi Orimoloye, has been equally as impressive. To go with Orimolye’s .292 average in 33 games, he ranks in the top 5 in the AZL in HR (T-4th, 6) and slugging pct. (4th, .518) while his 26 RBI leads the Brewers. Both Orimoloye and Clark are 18-years-old.

Hard to believe that baseball wasn’t even Orimoloye’s passion until just a few years ago. You can read all about his rise to stardom here.

And finally, Domingo Santana made his Brewers debut on Friday in Washington DC…


Here’s to more lasers from Santana over the next 6 weeks of the season!

Thanks for reading, Go Brewers!

Jeff
@JLevering4
#FutureCrew

Santana to the Show; Double Dose of Shuckers

It was announced earlier Friday that OF Domingo Santana had been recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs, taking the place of the injured Tyler Cravy.

Santana had played in 20 games with the Sky Sox post trade and hit .380 (30-for-79) with 2 HR, 5 doubles, a triple and 18 RBI. Power to all fields and starting to get a real feel for his plate discipline (on pace for a career low in strikeouts). Overall, he’s hitting .333 with 18 homers and 77 RBI on the season.

Santana was originally signed by the Phillies before being traded to Houston in the Hunter Pence deal in 2011. Crazy thing, though, Santana wasn’t even supposed to be part of the package. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Less than two months after they picked George Springer from the University of Connecticut, the Astros sent Pence and cash to the Phillies on July 29, 2011, for [Jared] Cosart, [Jon] Singleton, [Josh] Zeid and a player to be named later, which ended up being Santana. In spring training, a Phillies official admitted that Santana wasn’t actually supposed to be on the list that was given to the Astros to pick from to satisfy the final piece on Aug. 15, 2011.”

The Phillies loss was the Astros, and ultimately, the Brewers gain. Welcome to the Brewers, Domingo!

Double Dose O’ Shuckers

The Jackson Generals got two for the price of one in a double header on Thursday night with the Biloxi Shuckers. RHP Adrian Houser started game one and LHP Josh Hader started game two.

Houser went 5 innings in the opener allowing a run on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts and walked his first batter as a Shucker in 22 innings over 4 starts. He’s now 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA. Biloxi would win 5-1. OF Brett Phillips went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the victory.

Hope you enjoyed my chat with Phillips on Brewers On Tap this week too.

In game two, Josh Hader stole the show. Unfortunately, the Shuckers offense didn’t help out much and Hader suffered a loss despite allowing just 1 unearned run on 2 hits while striking out 10. You’ve seen a handful of clips from Hader, but if you’ve never seen a full at-bat, check out this clip from Thursday’s outing.

That fastball from that arm slot is scary good. His breaking balls tends to roll/flaten out, but when he gets on top of the slider, it’s a wipe out pitch. Consistency is his key with that arm slot/release point, and you can hear him talk more about staying consistent/sharp on this coming weeks’ Brewers On Tap.

RHP Jorge Lopez tossed another gem on Tuesday night.

Seven scoreless from Lopez in Jackson, TN allowing just 1 hit (coming in the 7th after 6.1 no-hit frames) while matching a career-high with 9 strikeouts. His breakout season continues with a 12-5 record with a 2.32 ERA with 128 punch outs. In August, in a word, filthy! 3-1, 0.93 ERA (3 ER/29 IP) with 30 K’s in 4 starts.

1B Matt Clark is still swinging it in Colorado Springs as he clubbed his organizational leading 18th homer Thursday night.

Clark ranks 9th in the system with a .281 average and ranks 2nd in RBI (67). Oh, and he and his fiance just bought a house! Nice Emoji game.

How good has RHP Devin Williams been lately with the T-Rats? How about, over his last four outings, 2 ER over 13 IP with 11 strikeouts and just 2 walks. He owns a season ERA of 2.87 in 18 games/13 starts, and has allowed 3 ER or more in an outing ONE TIME ALL YEAR and that was back on May 26th. The former top pick of the Brewers in 2013 is coming into his own this season. Again, pushed to the bullpen since July 23rd to try and keep his innings down hasn’t deterred Williams. He hasn’t allowed any more than 6 hits in a game all season (the only time being his 1st start of the season on May 16th); that explains his .220 opponents batting average, and righties at .182.

LHP Kodi Mederios had a tough outing on Wednesday at Quad Cities, but he’s had a solid season with the Timber Rattlers. Over 22 games/15 starts, he’s 4-3 with a 4.27 ERA and a save while striking out 85 batters in 86.1 IP. In this article by Dennis Punzel of Madison.com shows you just how far he’s come since being a young Judo competitor as a kid to now drawing some comparisons to Chris Sale and Madison Bumgarner.

SS Jake Gatewood raised his average to .270 (55-for-204) in 52 games with the Helena Brewers. He has safely hit in 3 straight and 6 of his last 7. In 16 games in August, Gatewood is especially hot hitting .344 with 8 runs, 6 doubles, a triple, 2 homers, 13 RBI and 7 walks. According to H-Brewers manager Tony Diggs, “He’s really starting to blossom now.”

Friday night will feature some marquis pitching names on the Brewers’ prospect list as RHP Zach Davies, RHP Tyler Wagner (going for his 10th win of the season and owner of a 2.33 ERA) and RHP Cody Ponce are scheduled to start for Colorado Springs, Biloxi and Wisconsin, respectively.

Thanks for reading, Go Brewers!

Jeff
@jlevering4

Shuckersville, USA

MGM Park, the home of the Biloxi Shuckers, Double-A affiliate of the Brewers. AND owners of one of the best records in Minor League Baseball.
IMG_4253
The thoughts of being in a home ball park at all in 2015, at times, seemed bleak. The club began the season without playing a game in the city of Biloxi until June 6th.

The place was built so quickly that the screens on the foul poles were actually turned into foul territory (that was fixed) and were constructed INSIDE the wall (not corrected, but padded to the fullest extent).
foul poles
But, travel, personnel changes and constant ball park construction has kept this team’s spirit high. A lot of wins will do that too.

From an electric pitching staff, which has gotten even better since the trade deadline, to one of the best shortstops in baseball, the Shuckers have the makings of a special group…and story lines a plenty.
IMG_4250
Let’s start with the #1 prospect in the Brewers system, Orlando Arcia.

We’ve talked about his numbers all season. The accolades, the charisma and the ability. He has not only won over the clubhouse, but also his manager, Carlos Subero.

High praise for a just turned 21-year-old. And talking with other players and coaches, they feel Arcia is a big league shortstop defensively right now. His bat needs a little refining, but that won’t hinder his potential production in Milwaukee. Basically, the sky’s the limit for young Orlando.

Right-hander Jorge Lopez has taken huge strides in 2015. For a former 2nd round pick in 2011 that grew up playing volleyball and never had an ERA under 4.50 in the Minor Leagues prior to this season, he’s got 11 wins, a 2.45 ERA and 116 strikeouts.

His pitching coach Chris Hook has nothing but positives when talking about Lopez on the hill.

How about one of the newbies, OF Brett Phillips. Tremendous talent on the field and even more personality, if it’s possible.

Here is just a little bit of our conversation and get a taste for his enthusiasm.

You can hear the full version later this week on Brewers On Tap.
IMG_4251
A couple other newcomers from the Astros deal, pitchers Adrian Houser and Josh Hader, are equally impressive.

Houser is a big, big human. 6’4″, 210 and throws up to 97mph. Even on his last pitch of his last outing, on pitch number 95, he hit 95 mph. His side session today was filled with changeups and sliders as those are the two pitches he’s identified as “needing the most improvement”.

For Hader, he’s most comparable to the White Sox Chris Sale. He’s long, lanky and throws up to 97 mph from a low 3/4 delivery.

Another guy with big personality; owns an “old” 1998 Ford Ranger truck that he’s named “Ranger Danger”, hunts deer (bow and arrow) and ducks, and has been known to umpire with his dad in Maryland in the offseason for “a little extra cash”. That full conversation with Josh coming to Brewers on Tap soon.

OF Victor Roache took a little while to hit his stride in professional baseball. A guy with “freakish” raw power to all fields and a guy who had never been promoted in-season prior to this year. Now, he’s hit Double-A pitching better than he hit at any other level.

It was interesting, while we were talking about the adjustments he’s made from 2014 to 2015 and from High-A to Double-A he mentioned being “consistent” and “not letting the pitcher dictate at-bats”.

He had hit 16 homers this year prior to Sunday night, 10 in Brevard County, 6 in Biloxi. All 10 of his blasts with the Manatees went to the opposite field. All 6 of his homers as a Shucker went to left/left center.

Again, we had the talk about approach no more than 2 hours before, then….BAM…HR #17, to the opposite field, his 1st in Double-A, and into the teeth of a howling wind. It’s a game of adjustments; Roache is doing just that and improving every day.

What a ball club! Poised for the Southern League Post Season; armed with one of the best starting rotations in the minor leagues, arguably the best triple threat in the outfield (Phillips, Roache and Tyrone Taylor) and no doubt the best shortstop in the minor leagues.

Biloxi is the place to be in 2015.
IMG_4255

#FutureCrew

Thanks for reading, Go Brewers!

Jeff
@JLevering4

Straight Shuckin’

The Biloxi Shuckers continue to be the jewel of the Brewers’ system this year. Their 66-48 record is the best in the Southern League, and, given their personnel changes and 55-game road trip to start the season, makes this club even more impressive.

There have been a couple constants, though, SS Orlando Arcia and RHP Jorge Lopez .

Arcia is hitting an even .300 through Thursday’s action including a league leading 32 doubles.

In August, Arcia has a hit in 9 of 13 games (16-for-53, .302 average). He has spent a TOTAL of six days hitting under .300 this year and bottoming out at .294. And how about Arcia’s splits, hitting .283 (102-for-360) against right handers and .397 (25-for-63) against lefties…That’s impressive. Oh, and he’s swiped 22 bases (being caught 6 times), has struck out just 60 times in 423 at-bats and has committed just 9 errors. Arcia was named by Baseball America as the best defensive shortstop and as having the best infield arm in the Southern League.

He’s 21 as of 10 days ago!

For Lopez, he’s been rolling since his 3rd start of the season. He picked up his 11th win of the season on Wednesday tossing 8 scoreless frames allowing just 4 hits while striking out 8. His ERA currently sits at 2.45; 2nd best in the league, his 119 strikeouts are also 2nd and his .206 batting average against is 1st. In a more recent stretch since the All-Star Break, Lopez owns a 1.89 ERA (13 ER in 62 IP) with 61 strikeouts and was recently tabbed by Baseball America as having the best breaking pitch in the Southern League.

Of the newcomers since the trade deadline, none have been hotter than OF Brett Phillips . Over his last 5 games, the 21-year-old is 9-for-19 with 4 doubles, 2 triples and 6 runs scored. He had a 4-for-4 game and fell a homer shy of the cycle on Wednesday night. Overall this year, Phillips is hitting .320 with 16 homers, 14 triples (leads all of minor league baseball) and 32 doubles to amass a .937 OPS.


Both Arcia and Phillips are ranked in the Top 100 on MLB.com’s prospect list at #14 and #38 respectively. Entering the season, Arcia was listed at #88 (the only Brewer on the list) and Phillips was not even on the list. Two more names appear for Milwaukee in the Top 100, OF’s Trent Clark and Domingo Santana at #84 and #85.

Santana is hitting .360 with a homer and 12 RBI in 13 games since joining the Brewers system.

Clark has now reached base in 17 straight games and has hits in 16 of those contests for the Arizona League Brewers. Since July 23rd, Clark is hitting .394 with 10 runs, 4 doubles, 3 triples, 5 RBI and a .481 OBP. He’s upped his average to .333 on the season with a .916 OPS.

Not only is Clark excelling on the field, but he is showing maturity beyond his years for being just 18. This article is all you need to read to prove it.

RHP Adrian Houser started his 3rd game with the Shuckers Thursday night and allowed two earned runs over 6 innings with 8 strikeouts. It was his first win in the Brewers system and owns a 3.18 ERA (6 ER/17 IP) with 17 strikeouts and no walks since being traded from Houston.

RHP Devin Williams has had some kind of a season in 2015, cementing his name among the top prospects in the Brewers’ system. He has allowed 3 ER or more just once this season, and not since May 26th. Recently, he’s been limited to pitching out of the bullpen because he’s already surpassed his career high in innings. The 20-year-old has allowed just 2 runs over 10 frames in August with 7 strikeouts and only 1 walk. His ERA sits at 2.99 on the season.

It may not be Wei-Chung Wednesday’s at Miller Park, but LHP Wei-Chun Wang has been on a tear in High-A. Over his last 10 starts with Brevard County, he’s 5-2 with a 1.40 ERA (9 ER/58 IP) with 32 strikeouts. He tossed six scoreless allowing just 4 hits in a win Thursday night.

I’m headed to Biloxi Saturday to see the Shuckers and MGM Park. Interviews to come with a number of players and coaches as we check in with the #FutureCrew on their own turf!

Thanks for reading, Go Brewers!

Jeff
@JLevering4

An Arms Race

A few notable performances from Friday first.

RHP Jorge Lopez tossed his fourth straight quality start. Lopez is 10-5 with a 2.62 ERA (116.2ip, 34er) with 43 walks and 111 strikeouts. He has not walked more than 3 batters in any of his last 7 games, going 4-3 with a 2.34 ERA (46ip, 12er) in that span with 13 walks & 45 strikeouts. He is second in the league with a 1.13 WHIP and owns the lowest average against (.210). In addition, Lopez has safely hit in 4 straight games, batting .400 (4-10) with 2 RBI in that span.

LHP Brent Suter earned his first career Triple-A win in his first start. He tossed 6 scoreless frames and allowed 4 hits with a walk and 2 strikeouts. Between Biloxi and Colorado Springs, the 25-year-old out of Harvard owns a 6-3 record with a 1.82 ERA (89ip, 18er) in 21 games (12 starts).

RF Domingo Santana hit his first homer for the Sky Sox Friday, his 17th of the season. Santana finished 2-for-4 with a run, homer and 2 RBI. He is batting .267 (11-30) with 5 runs, a double, triple, homer, 8 RBI in 7 games with Colorado Springs. He had a 9-game hitting streak snapped Saturday night.

From Saturday, RHP Cy Sneed tossed 7 innings for the Manatees and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits with a walk and 8 strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 2.77 (39ip, 12er) with 5 walks and 31 strikeouts in 7 starts at High-A. Sneed is holding righties to a .235 (20-85) mark. Between the T-Rats and Manatees, Sneed is 6-8 with a 2.71 ERA (116.1ip, 35er) with 22 walks and 98 strikeouts in 22 games (20 starts).

RHP Adrian Houser (22) had his start shortened due to rain yesterday. Houser tossed 5.1 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts. RHP Cody Ponce (21) tossed 3 innings for Wisconsin yesterday and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits with a walk and 4 strikeouts. He is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA (24ip, 4er) in 7 games (4 starts) at Class-A this season. LHP Josh Hader (21) will make his second start for the Shuckers (5 scoreless, one-hit frames in his debut with 9 k’s), while LHP Nathan Kirby (21) will make his first professional start for the T-Rats Sunday.

1st rounder in June OF Trent Clark extended his hitting streak to 13 games with 3 more hits for the AZL Brewers Friday. Clark is batting .404 (21-for-52) since 7/23 with 6 runs, 2 doubles, 3 triples, 4 RBI and a .467 OBP. Overall this season, Clark is batting .330/.414/.487 with 5 doubles, 5 triples, a homer, 12 RBI, 12 stolen bags and 14 walks.

OF Kyle Wren has safely hit in 6 straight games, batting .423/.483/.577 in that span. Since July 8th, Wren is batting .325./.394/.422 with a homer and 13 RBI.

CF Omar Garcia went 2-for-5 with a run and stole his 44th base of the season for the Brevard County Manatees Saturday. He has safely reached base in all 8 of his games in August, batting .323 (10-31) with 4 runs and 5 stolen bases with a .417 OBP. Garcia leads the Brewers system in swipes and is second in the Florida State League.

And, finally, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal analyzed the Brewers’ Future and how the minor league system was rebuilt over the course of 48 hours at the trade deadline. It’s a fascinating piece.

Thanks for reading! #FutureCrew

Jeff
@JLevering4

Welcome to the Brewers; July Awards

There have been some impressive debuts by the newest crop of Brewers, both acquired in recent trades and the 2015 draft class.

OF Domingo Santana has not missed a step since been dealt from Houston.

In Wednesday night’s win in Oklahoma city (where he spent most of 2014 as Houston’s old affiliate) Santana went 3-for-5 with a triple, two runs and an RBI. He’s had a hit in all four games played with the Sky Sox going 8-for-19 (.421).

In that same game RHP Zach Davies made his debut with Colorado Springs. He limited the Dodgers’ affiliate to one run over six innings with seven strikeouts to pick up the win. Davies was sent from Baltimore in the Gerardo Parra deal and owns an overall record of 6-6 with a 2.77 ERA in 20 games/19 starts in Triple-A.

The Biloxi Shuckers have seen a pair of debuts over the last three nights. Tuesday, LHP Josh Hader was dominant tossing five shutout innings for Biloxi and allowed just one hit, a walk and struck out nine, one shy of his career-high. Hader is 21-years-old and touched 97 mph in that start.

On Monday, RHP Adrain Houser made his Shuckers debut going 5.2 innings allowing three runs on seven hits, but did not issue a walk and struck out six. All three runs scored against him in his final inning of work. Both Houser and Hader were part of the 2-for-4 swap with Houston.

LHP Nathan Kirby, drafted this past June out of the University of Virginia, debuted with Wisconsin over the weekend. He’s pitched twice out of the bullpen (three innings total) and has yet to allow a run. The Brewers are limiting his work load this summer after having some shoulder issues during the college season.

In the Pioneer League in Helena, 1B David Denson was named the Top Star in Tuesday’s All-Star Game after going 2-for-3 with a pinch-hit homer, 2 RBI and a pair of runs. Denson was drafted in the 13th round of the 2013 Draft. RHP Marcos Diplan, acquired in the Yovanni Gallardo deal in January, pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

Award Winners

RHP Jorge Lopez with the Biloxi Shuckers was selected as the Brewers’ minor league pitcher of the month for July. Lopez went 3-2 with a 2.53 ERA (32 IP, 9 ER) with eight walks and 32 strikeouts in the month. Overall, Lopez is 10-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 104 strikeouts (both 3rd in the Southern League). INF Jason Rogers with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox was selected as the Brewers’ minor league player of the month. Rogers played 23 games for the club and hit .313/.440/.563 with 13 runs, five doubles, five homers, 13 RBI and 19 walks. Overall, Rogers has had a hit in 28 of his 33 games in Triple-A, is hitting .344 with a .449 OBP and is currently on a 6-game hitting streak.

Streakers and Standouts

Can anyone stop SS Orlando Arcia in the Southern League? He extended his hitting streak to eight games Wednesday night going 1-for-4 with two runs scored and a double (#30). During the streak, he’s hitting .448 (13-for-29) with five doubles and three RBI. His .306 average is good for 5th in the league, he’s 2nd in hits (119), 1st in doubles, 3rd in extra-base hits (40), 6th in steals (20), and 2nd in runs scored (60). Oh, and he’s only made EIGHT errors (.981 fielding %) good for 2nd among Southern League shortstops.

RHP Tyler Wagner racked up another quality start Wednesday in a win against Mobile. The righty tossed six innings allowing just a run on six hits with four strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.33 which leads the league.

OF Victor Roache blasted a two-run homer and went 3-for-4 with four RBI Wednesday night for Biloxi. The shot was his 16th of the season (6th in Double-A) and he has 62 RBI; both lead the Brewers’ system in those categories.

In Brevard County, 2B Chris McFarland continues his All-Star season.

His walk-off, two-run double in the bottom of the 12th was the difference in the Manatees 5-4 win over Tampa. McFarland is hitting .274 with 18 doubles, three homers, 41 RBI and 48 runs scored.

In Wisconsin, RHP Cody Ponce, is taking to pro ball very well. He’s 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA over 8 games, 5 starts allowing just 5 ER in 26 IP with 19 strikeouts and just five walks. The 2nd round pick out of D-II Cal Poly Pomona in Southern California has not allowed an earned run over his last three games (9 IP), and has been unscored upon in five of his six games with the Timber Rattlers.

And 1st rounder from this year’s draft, OF Trent Clark, is rolling in Arizona. He collected his 5th triple of the season Wednesday night and is hitting .305 (32-for-105, with 11 extra base hits) and 11 steals in 14 tries. The five triples tie him for the organizational lead with Orlando Arcia, who’s played in 98 games, and OF Matt Long in Colorado Springs, who’s played in 100 games. Clark has played in just 27.

Let’s get the hashtag going…#FutureCrew

Thanks for reading,

Jeff
@JLevering4

News and Notes

After the flurry of activity at the trade deadline, not only was the Brewers’ Major League club shaken up, but so were all the minor league clubs.

Losing four players in Milwaukee brought in six minor leaguers and one waiver claim (RHP Preston Guilmet) so there has been some movement down on the farm.

The full transaction log from August 1st.

LHP Michael Kirkman and OF Bryan Petersen were released.
OF Michael Reed and LHP Michael Strong were transferred from Biloxi to Colorado Springs.
RHP Tim Dillard was reinstated from the Colorado Springs DL.
CF Brett Phillips reported to Biloxi.
INF Brandon Macias was reinstated from the Biloxi DL.
LHP Luis Ortega was placed on the Wisconsin DL retroactive to 7/31.

Got all that?

The key cog in the Carlos Gomez deal was Brett Phillips and he made his Shuckers debut Saturday night. He may have gone 0-for-4 at the plate, but he did make a fabulous catch in center field.

You can see the speed and the jumps he gets in center. Really impressive.

We’re still awaiting the debuts of LHP Josh Hader and RHP Adrian Houser in Biloxi, OF Domingo Santana and RHP Zach Davies in Colorado Springs and OF Malik Collymore in Helena. All should be coming in the next few days.

The pitcher in that Shuckers game Saturday was RHP Jorge Lopez. He has been terrific all season and Saturday was no different as he chucked 8 scoreless frames (6 hits, 3 BB and 6 K’s) and has now won 10 games in back-to-back seasons. The second round pick in the 2011 draft lowered his ERA to 2.52 (110.2ip, 31er) and has walked 41, while striking out 104. In 7 starts after the All-Star break, Lopez is 5-2 with a 1.88 ERA (48ip, 10er) with 15 walks and 46 strikeouts.

Friday night, the Shuckers played a doubleheader and got a brilliant performance from RHP Tyler Wagner

Wagner threw his second career complete game shutout (7 innings) allowing only one hit while walking 3 and striking out 5. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Wagner is 8-5 with a 2.38 ERA (113.2ip, 30er) on the season with 32 walks and 91 strikeouts. He is second in the system in ERA (and 2nd in the Southern League), tied for second in wins and tied for third in strikeouts.

Another guy that was on the move within the system was RF Michael Reed who appeared in his first game for the Sky Sox Saturday and went 3-for-3 with a run, a walk, 2 doubles, a triple and collected 4 RBI.

The Brewers fifth round draft selection from the 2011 draft was batting .285 with 22 doubles, 6 triples, 5 homers, 53 RBI and 25 stolen bases with Biloxi, before he was promoted to Triple-A. Welcome to Colorado Springs!

How about some stand out performances within the system in July.

Brevard County Manatees’ 1B Garrett Cooper led the Brewers organization with a .342 (27-for-79) average in July. He hit 4 homers and drove in 15 over 24 games in the month. He was followed by New Jersey native 2B George Iskenderian, who hit .341 (31-for-92) with a homer, 18 RBI and 8 stolen bases in the month with Helena. Undrafted free agent LHP Brad Kuntz did not allow an earned run in the month with the AZL Brewers. In 6 games (1 start), the Cincinnati native tossed 21 innings, walking 4 and striking out 28. And LHP Wei-Chung Wang went 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA (23ip, 4er) with the Manatees in July.

More updates to come from a busy final month in the Minor Leagues!

Thanks for reading!

Jeff
@jlevering4

The Return for Gerardo Parra, Jonathan Broxton

On the heels of dealing Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to Houston Thursday, the Brewers came back with more action Friday sending OF Gerardo Parra to Balitmore and RHP Jonathan Broxton to St. Louis.

Parra was a Brewer for one calendar year, having been acquired by Milwaukee at the deadline in 2014 from Arizona, and was enjoying a career year in 2015. His .326 average was good for 4th in the National League, he’s just one homer shy of tying his career high (10) and is currently on a career best 14-game hitting streak (the longest for a Brewer this season).

The return from Baltimore for Parra is RHP Zach Davies who has been pitching in Triple-A Norfolk all season. Davies, 22, entered the 2015 season as the sixth-best prospect in the Orioles organization according to Baseball America. He was selected by Baltimore in the 26th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He has gone 27-29 with a 3.47 ERA in 101 games (81 starts) during his career in the minor leagues (2012-15), including 5-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with the Tides this year. He was ranked as the 8th best prospect in the Baltimore system according to Baseball America.

Per industry sources, Davies is a, “sinker, slider with a great change up guy. He may look like a bat boy, but is tenacious with a gritty demeanor. Has great upside down the road and could be a steal for Milwaukee.”

Also on Davies, “Knows what he’s doing on the mound. Excellent change-up. Fastball 89-91 with good sink and a good curveball. Very repeatable and smooth delivery.

Davies will be assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Thornburg has been recalled from Colorado Springs.

For Broxton, the Brewers received OF Malik Collymore from St. Louis. A former 10th rounder in 2013 from Mississauga, Canada was playing in Short-Season Johnson City in the Appalachian League hitting .216 with 2 HR and 7 RBI over 23 games. He’s converting to the outfield this year after originally being picked as a second baseman.
S-Malik_Collymore_4___Content
Overall in his brief career, Collymore is a .286 hitter. According to his manager in Johnson City, “He’s a great kid. Works hard. Ball sounds different coming off his bat. Good runner too.”

Collymore was rated as the 27th best prospect in the Cardinals system entering 2015, per Baseball America. He’ll be assigned to Short-Season Helena.

Also, to complete the Brewers moves from Thursday, OF Logan Schafer will be recalled from Colorado Springs. And INF Elian Herrera will be selected from Colorado Springs taking the places of Gomez and Fiers on the active roster.

In addition, RHP Preston Guilmet has been claimed off waivers by Milwaukee from the Dodgers. He’s been with Toronto, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay this year after originally being a 9th round pick in 2009 out of Arizona by Cleveland. Over his career, he’s 22-16 with a 2.69 ERA in 262 minor league games with 103 saves and 410 strikeouts in 378.1 innings while opponents have hit just .213 against him. Guilmet has appeared in 17 big league games with Cleveland, Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

With all the activity, here’s a look at the updated Top 30 Prospects per MLB.com.

It’s been a busy 24 hours, and maybe some more moves coming in the next few hours. STAY TUNED!

Thanks for reading.

Jeff
@jlevering4

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.