In December, the staff of Reviewing the Brew will be looking at the Top 10 Milwaukee Brewers’ prospects as ranked by Baseball America. When the Brewers look toward the future, they’ll do so with these top 10 players in mind.
Baseball America ranked RHP Taylor Jungmann as the sixth-best Brewers prospect coming into the 2014 season. He was selected in the first round (12th overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Texas, and MLB.com named him the No.3 prospect in the Brewers organization before the 2012 season.
For a top-15 pick, Jungmann hasn’t been the lights-out pitcher some expected, but the soon-to-be 24-year-old still has time to figure it out – he’s only played two years of professional ball. As of now, scouts see him as a potential number four starter.
In his rookie season with the Brevard County Manatees in 2012, Jungmann went 11-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 26 starts. That performance earned him a promotion to Double-A Huntsville the following year. In this past season with the Huntsville Stars, he was a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star and finished a 10-10 record with a 4.33 ERA. One knock against him is that he showed a bit more wildness, walking almost five per nine innings. He made three starts in the Arizona Fall League (9.82 ERA) before a groin injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
When the Brewers drafted Jungmann, they thought they were getting a hard-throwing pitcher who could rack up the strikeouts. That hasn’t been the case so far. His fastball can touch 92 MPH but usually sits around 89-90. His arsenal also includes a changeup, curveball, and slider. However, like Jimmy Nelson, he tends to over-rely on his fastball. During a start in the Arizona Fall League, he gave four earned runs on four walks and two hits. He was pulled after throwing 56 pitches in two innings. Of those 56 pitches, 49 were fastballs.
As far as 2014 goes, Jungmann should start the season in Double-A before making the jump to Nashville. I expect to see a better command of his off-speed pitches and less walks.
Jungmann isn’t the ace Milwaukee thought he’d be (big surprise), and he may turn out to be a bullpen arm instead of a starter, but with more time in the minors and increased comfort with his pitches, you can expect to see Jungmann up with the Brewers sometime in 2015-16.