Milwaukee Brewers: Taylor Jungmann Must Deliver

Milwaukee Brewers AAA prospects will no longer have Nashville as their backdrop. With the recent move to Colorado Springs, pitching will not be easy for anyone. But the conditions cannot be an excuse for any pitcher, especially Taylor Jungmann. After trading Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada this winter, depth in the rotation is gone. Because of this Jungmann will face the biggest season of his professional career and all eyes will be on him as he looks to prove that he belongs as a part of the Brewers’ future.

Moving through the minor leagues was supposed to be a breeze for Jungmann. After a dominant junior year at the University of Texas, he came to Milwaukee’s system with the highest of expectations. He was expected to simply fly through the system and be a quality member of the rotation very quickly, but he has failed to do so.

Instead of cruising through the organization, Jungmann’s career has been stuck in park. As a pitcher that relies on strong command, he battled control issues in his three minor league seasons. While has been good at times, he has struggled to be great and slid done the prospect ladder each year.

His worst season came in 2013. During that year, he not only walked nearly five batters per nine innings, but he had an ERA of 4.60. Years like this have made some wonder whether he will ever be good enough to be a major league starter.

Last season however, he began to turn things around. After a great start in AA Huntsville, Jungmann was promoted to AAA Nashville. Here he had initial struggles, but he was able to turn things around as the season wound down. During his last seven starts he not only was able to produce five quality outings, but he was also able to significantly lower his walk rate and ERA. He finished the year with a combined record of 12-10 with a 3.57 ERA. It is seasons like this that give hope that he can still be a reliable major league starter.

This year as the ace of the Sky Sox staff, these quality starts will go from a positive to a necessity. With very few other option on the major league roster, they need Jungmann to be great. Last season Mike Fiers and Jimmy Nelson were outstanding at the AAA level and gave the Brewers confidence to call them up at any time. Jungmann needs to be that counted on pitcher this season. Though he hasn’t gotten to Milwaukee as fast as once hoped, this season will have a giant impact on his role if and when he gets there. Every five days all eyes will be on the Sky Sox pitching line to see how Jungmann fared, and he has to deliver.