Beating the Bushes: Top Farm Teams in Brewers History: #6 El Paso Diablos, 1985


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

Three plus months ago, I began a weekly series looking back at some of the top farm squads in the history of Brewers baseball, dating back to 1970 when the Seattle Pilots headed northeast from spring training in Arizona and became the Milwaukee Brewers. I have not included short-season Class A or Rookie ball teams, as their seasons are generally too short to compare to full-season squads in A, AA, and AAA levels.

With this week’s edition of Beating the Bushes, I present the #6 team on my list:

"#6 El Paso Diablos, 1985"

The Diablos were managed by Terry Bevington and won the Western Division in Class AA Texas League with a 86-50 record, but were unable to win the league championship, losing to the Jackson Mets, who won their second consecutive league title. Bevington would go on to pilot the Chicago White Sox for three years (1995-97), including a pair of runner-up finishes in the American League Central Division.

Billy Jo Robidoux nearly won a Triple Crown, leading the league in RBIs (132) and batting average (.342), but falling short in the home run department with a runner-up finish to teammate Joey Meyer (37-23). On the pitching side, Chris Bosio led the league in Ks (155), while Dan Plesac placed second with 12 wins and Jay Aldrich tied for second with 12 saves.

As a team, the hitters once again dominated while playing half their games at Dudley Field and led the league in runs scored (882), home runs (122) and batting average (.294). The pitchers–as to be expected–struggled but managed to place third with strikeouts (843) and fourth with a WHIP of 1.428.

Thirty-four players performed for El Paso and fifteen of those would play in the majors.

Pitcher Dan Plesac was a starter for El Paso, leading the team with 12 wins. During an 18-year big league career, the big (6’5, 205#) lefty started only 14 games while relieving in 1,050 more. He saved 158 games, including two years of 30 or more.

Chris Bosio led the Texas League in strikeouts and won 11 of 17 decisions. As a major leaguer, he performed for 11 years and went 94-93 with an ERA of 3.96.

Lefthander Juan Nieves went 8-2 in 17 starts for the Diablos. He would go on to pitch just three years in the bigs, and holds the distinction of throwing the only no-hitter in Brewers history on April 15, 1987 against Baltimore. Every Milwaukee fan has seen the last out of that historical game–a diving Robin Yount preserving the gem with his catch in center field.

Outfielder Glenn Braggs had a body chiseled from marble, but he could hit a bit, too. In El Paso he hit 20 homers and stole 20 bases while slashing 310/409/520 in 448 at-bats. In seven years at the major league level, Braggs  played in 692 games and banged out 70 HRs.

1B/DH Joey Meyer smacked 37 dingers to lead the Texas League and slashed 304/359/565 in 131 games. He played two years in the bigs, hitting 18 homers in 156 games.

HR: Joey Meyer (37)
RBI: Billy Jo Robidoux (132)
BA: Billy Jo Robidoux (.342)
SB: Edgar Diaz (21)

W: Dan Plesac (12)
ERA: Mark Ciardi (2.66)
SV: Jay Aldrich (12)
K: Chris Bosio (155)
WHIP: Mark Ciardi (1.005)

C: Dave Huppert
1B: Billy Jo Robidoux
2B: Daniel Purpura
3B: Jesus Alfaro
SS: Edgar Diaz
OF: Glenn Braggs
OF: Alan Cartwright
OF: Dave Klipstein
DH: Joey Meyer
SP: Chris Bosio
SP: Mike Birkbeck
SP: Dan Plesac
SP: Juan Nieves
SP: Scott Roberts
CL: Jay Aldrich


Tanner Joe Meyer was drafted in the 5th round of the 1983 June Amateur Draft but didn’t begin his pro career until 1984. He played in 128 games at Class A Beloit (Midwest), winning the Triple Crown (30/102/.320) and was named league MVP.

Next year at Class AA El Paso, he hit 37 home runs and drove in 123. His slash line of 304/359/565 was impressive for a second-year player.

In 1986 he moved up to Class AAA Vancouver and struggled a bit, but still hit 24 homers and knocked in 98 with a .255 batting average.

The following season at Class AAA Denver, he hit 29 home runs in only 296 at-bats while slashing 311/386/682 in the Mile High air before having his season ended in August with a pulled left hammy.

He broke spring training with the Brewers in 1988 and made his major league debut on April 4, getting into the last two innings of a 12-0 blowout over Baltimore. He got his first major league hit on April 17 with a home run off the Yankees’ John Candelaria. He also banged out a single and a double in that game for his first three-hit game.

Meyer ended the season with 11 homers in 103 games.

He split the 1989 season between Class AAA Denver and the parent club, hitting seven jacks for Milwaukee in 147 ABs.

He would not play in the majors again.

In 1990, Meyer played in Japan and hit 26 homers in 104 games for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales before returning to the United States.

He signed as a free agent with Pittsburgh and played 75 games at Class AAA Buffalo, hitting just six homers. He retired from pro ball after that season.

One of the highlights of the Hawaiian strongman was his 582-foot home run at Mile High Stadium in Denver in 1987.

Meyer lives in Hawaii and works in the landscaping business and also coaches youth baseball.