May 5, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; The Milwaukee Brewers logo on the field behind home plate prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers selected the right-hander in the first round, 12th overall in the 2011 draft. The University of Texas product was the first of two picks the Brewers made in the first round in 2011, focusing on college arms with the selection of Jungmann and Georgia Tech left-hander Jed Bradley.
Both Jungmann and Bradley were projected to be “fast movers” given their experience as college pitchers and advanced skill set. As a result, Jungmann began his career immediately in 2012 with the Advanced A Brevard County Manatees. The Brewers saw immediate dividends as Jungmann put together a solid year going 11-6 with a 3.53 earned run average (ERA).
2013 saw Jungmann join the Double A Huntsville Stars opening day roster as the right-handed continued to move within the system. Spending the entire year in Huntsville, Jungmann went 10-10 with a 4.33 ERA. The season was one of frustration for Jungmann during his first trip to the Southern League. His control was not what it had been at Texas or Brevard County, his velocity was down on his fastball and hits he had given up in 2012 were turning into runs in 2013.
With his development delayed, the Brewers sent Jungmann back to Huntsville to start 2014. Jungmann responded with his best start to a season in his career. Prior to his later promotion to Nashville, Jungmann was 4-4 with a 2.77 ERA while with the Stars. Statistically, Jungmann’s tenure in Huntsville was highlighted by his decreased walk total only allowing 15 in 52 innings.
The hot start led to Jungmann’s promotion to Triple A Nashville, where he joined the Sounds rotation. However, like his initial stop in Huntsville the first time in Nashville has been a work in progress to say the least. Through 14 games, Jungmann is 5-5 with a 4.90 ERA with a career high 1.409 WHIP. While he has steadily improved while at Nashville, his walk total has been an issue for a pitcher that already allows about a hit an inning for his career.
The 6’6 Jungmann is not the same pitcher that the Brewers drafted in 2011, relying more now on his low 90’s sinker. His transformation into a “ground ball pitcher” has seen its share of ups and downs. If Jungmann can affectively pitch to contract his stuff allows him to give up hits but erase them with a lot of ground balls. However, he has to continue to learn to pitch with better control.
While people often point to the players the Brewers didn’t draft in 2011, Sonny Gray or Jose Fernandez, Jungmann was highly thought of ranking #9 according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com entering the draft . The talent is there for the 24-year old but there is also pressure on Jungmann to finish 2014 strong to maintain his place as a prospect. The future is wide open for the righty and I am sure we will continue to talk about his place in the system throughout the year and into the off-season.