Top Hitters in Milwaukee Brewers Minor League History: #17 Brad Komminsk, 1987 Denver
Brad Komminsk was the fourth overall pick in the 1979 MLB Draft, selected from Shawnee High School in Lima, Ohio by the Atlanta Braves. Hall of Famer Hank Aaron called him a ‘can’t-miss’ major leaguer.
Unfortunately for Komminsk, it didn’t quite work out that way.
He played nearly five full seasons in the minors before getting called up to Atlanta in mid-August of 1983. Komminsk batted just .222 (8-for-36) in his first cup of joe at the big-league level.
After bouncing back-and-forth between AAA Richmond and Atlanta the next three years, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in January 1987.
That year, Komminsk would put together one of the top seasons for hitters in Brewers minor league history.
#17 Brad Komminsk, 1987 Denver (AAA)
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Komminsk, 26 at the time, was about the same age as the league average (25.9) in the American Association that year. As to be expected, Komminsk lost ranking points for playing at Mile High Stadium, although not as many as usual due to the fact that a few other stadiums in the league ‘played small’ that year.
The slugging outfielder didn’t even have the best season on the team that year–we’ll see Steve Stanicek later in the Top Hitters in Milwaukee Brewers Minor League History.
Komminsk led the league in home runs (32), was second in runs scored (110), and tied for third with 95 runs batted in. Amazingly, he was not named to the American Association All-Star team that year.
After helping the Zephyrs to the league championship series–where they lost to Indianapolis, four games to one–Komminsk was called up to the Brewers in late-September.
In seven games and 17 plate appearances, Komminsk slashed a miserable .067/.125/.067 with a 1-for-15 performance.
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The strapping right-handed hitter (6’2″, 205#) returned to Denver the following season but only played in 105 games, hitting .239/.338/.435 in 406 trips to the plate, including 37 extra-base hits, a mere shadow of his previous season in Denver.
After the season, he was granted free agency and would be picked up by Cleveland just before Thanksgiving. He went on to play parts of seasons in the bigs for the next three years for four teams (Indians, Giants, Orioles, and Athletics), playing in 149 games.
Komminsk played four more years in the minors before retiring in 1997.
He went on to manage for six years in the Indians organization at three levels and at AA in the Baltimore organization for three years.
Brad Komminsk was a great player in high school and the minors, but just could not translate that success to the big-league level. He wasn’t the first and won’t be the last.