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The Prospector
Written by Rob Leibowitz   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 00:00

In recent weeks I’ve noted how strong the Brewers’ rotation appears to be in the long run as a result of the selection of both Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley in the first round of this years’ amateur draft. Neither player has signed yet, but likely will by the August 15th deadline.

However, the Brewers do indeed have other arms in their system that could reach the majors more quickly, with September being a possible call-up date for some. Wily Peralta is one such candidate. His second stay at Double-A, as a 22-year old, has been more impressive as he has translated his strikeout rates from the lower minors successfully while also improving his command and control. His overall ratios are at an 8.8 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9.

He does have some difficulties with left-handed hitters with an ERA over 4.00, but his peripheral numbers indicate hope with a 7.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. His ground-ball rate is higher from the left side too indicating how much progress he has made with his changeup. Right now he is a three-pitch pitcher with 3 plus-level potential pitches in his fastball, slider, and change. I believe he has middle of the rotation potential. The one concern is his weight. He is a big guy at 6’2” and listed at 240 pounds and will have to watch his conditioning or it could lead to health issues down the road.

22-year old Tyler Thornburg has been a making a lot of headway this year. He has pitched at two levels, posting a 10.0 K/9 in A-ball and a 10.0 at A+. His control, which was solid in A-ball, however, has not moved up with him to the next level yet with his BB/9 sitting a 5.2 BB/9. He is yet another very hard-thrower in their organization and he does have a three pitch mix. But again, he also has a reputation for inconsistent command over his career. At 22, he needs to be advanced aggressively, to see what he can do at higher levels. Like others in the Brewers’ system his role too, may be relief.

Cody Scarpetta remains a work in progress. He has not quite translated his stuff to Double-A to great effect with his K/9 dropping from a 10 to a 7.7. His control and command have also not made much progress either with his BB/9 holding at 4.7. At least he is blessed with enough weapons, having three pitches including a changeup, curve, and fastball that may all be plus pitches at the MLB level. He just needs to learn how to pitch. At soon to be 23, time may be running out for him as starting pitching prospect and a move to relief could occur. He still has No. 3 starter potential if he can figure things out.

It is not all good news for the Brewers, however. Amaury Rivas has failed to make the transition to Triple-A. After making a steady, if not consistent climb through the lower minors, Rivas K/9 has dropped and the trend is discouraging at a full point per season starting at 8+ in A+ ball. His normally solid control, which typically translates better, has not been there either, posting a career worst 4.6 BB/9. When he’s on, he throws fairly hard and changes speeds well, command both his pitches well. One has to wonder if there is something more going on here than ineffectiveness. He has undergone Tommy John surgery before.

Top prospect Mark Rogers has been the greatest disappoint though. Instead of making a push to reach the Majors he has fizzled, once again due greatly in part to injuries. The former first round pick has had multiple shoulder surgeries over his career, but looked like he was back on the right track producing 9.0 K/9 at two consecutive levels. His control has never been great either, though he has two or three potential plus pitches with an upper-90s fastball and a power curve as his main weapons. Carpal tunnel syndrome has affected his performance this year and he has bounced between three minor league levels and overall has walked more batters than he has struck out this year. If he can ever physically prove to be healthy, his best bet now to making the Majors may be as a reliever. For now it is safe to cut both him and Amaury Rivas if you were holding onto them in your keeper/dynasty leagues.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 02:43
 

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