Brewers Farm Report: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5/6-5/12


Each week throughout the regular season, the staff at Reviewing the Brew will be bringing you a comprehensive minor league report about each of the Brewers’ affiliates. There hasn’t been much to write home about up at the big league level this season for the Brewers (although they’ve been playing better lately), but Milwaukee does have plenty of exciting prospects playing well throughout their minor league system. The Brewers’ low-A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (who play about an hour and a half north of Milwaukee) are no exception.

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It’s been a tough season so far for the young Rattlers, who endured a winless week since our last update. Their losing streak has now reached 10 in a row as they have yet to win a game in the month of May. Sitting at just 8-23, the T-Rats are already 17 games back of the division leading Quad Cities River Bandits, and five games worse than their next closest competitor. Wisconsin posted a -23 run differential last week while getting swept by the River Bandits and the Cedar Rapids Kernals, and many of the Timber Rattlers’ young players have simply looked over matched against older competition this season.

Who’s Hot

3B Dustin DeMuth
DeMuth, a fifth round draft pick out of Indiana last year, has been among the most consistent performers for the Timber Rattlers this season, and last week was no different. He played in five games last week, collecting 19 plate appearances and slashing .231/.474/.462. Dustin clubbed his second home run of the season and walked three times, raising his season line to .265/.357/.357 and he now ranks third among regular players on the team with a .348 wOBA and a 121 wRC+. DeMuth has displayed solid glove work primarily at third base this season while also handling himself well enough at first and second base. At 23, Dustin is more than a year and a half older than average for the Midwest League, so the Brewers should look to promote him at some point soon if he can continue his hitting ways.

RHP Cy Sneed
Sneed took a loss in the only start he made last week, but continued his torrid start to the season by at least making sure it was a good one. In 6 innings against the River Bandits last Thursday, Sneed gave up just one earned run while yielding just three hits. With five strikeouts and just one walk, Cy raised his K:BB ratio to 4.00, and he has yet to give up a home run on the season. With a 1.30 ERA, a .940 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts through his first six appearances this year, the 22 year old Sneed (also a tad older than average for the Midwest League), could find himself in line for a promotion, as well.

Who’s Not

3B Sthervin Matos
Matos made his jump to the states for the first time last year after three seasons in the Dominican Summer League, and began this season in Appleton after a brief 11 game appearance there last season. Matos has displayed great power at times, but last week was a down one for him. Playing in four games, Sthervin collected just two hits and one walk in 16 plate appearances. He has struck out in almost 35% of his 78 plate appearances this season, a 15% jump from his whiff rate last year across three levels. Matos is still an intriguing talent, but he will need to cut down on the strikeouts if he looks to continue his ascension through the system.

LHP Kodi Medeiros
This is Medeiros’ second straight appearance on the “Who’s Not” list. Kodi made only one appearance last week, entering in relief against the River Bandits last Friday. Unfortunately, he continued his string of sub par performances, this time getting lit up for five runs (four earned) while collecting just four outs. Medeiros gave up three hits and walked four among the 12 batters he faced, generating ground balls on just three of nine balls put in play. That makes two straight appearances with four walks for the 19 year old lefty, who also struggled with his control in his brief professional debut last season.

RHP Victor Diaz
Diaz, a 21 year old righty, is in pitching in his second season for the Timber Rattlers after posting a 4.86 ERA in 87.0 innings pitched in 2014. On the surface, it appears that Diaz has been among Wisconsin’s best pitchers so far this season, posting just a 2.28 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched. However, Diaz has struck out just nine batter during that time while walking a whopping 16, posting a WHIP of 1.563 and just a 30.5% ground ball rate. Diaz is unlikely to be able to sustain the success he has had thus far this season, which is reflected in his 4.87 FIP, more than two runs higher than his current earned run average. It’s likely only a matter of time before Victor comes back down to earth.

What’s Next

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers started a four game set against the Clinton Lumberjacks (13-18) with an 8-3 loss yesterday, and they will continue their series against them through Thursday before starting a three game series with the Kane County Cougars (14-17). Hopefully the team can break out of their slump and get back on the winning track at home before starting an 11 game road trip next week. Being just a relatively short drive north of Milwaukee, I recommend visiting and getting tickets (as I already have) to catch some games for this exciting, young team this season.

Next: Timber Rattlers Farm Report 5/5