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 this season, 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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The Timber Rattlers’ played a full weeks’ worth of games since our last update, and the results were decent, as they compiled a 3-4 record and outscored their opponents 29-28. They have also won their last three games in a row. The Timber Rattlers are still in the Midwest League Cellar, however, with a 28-54 record.
The Rattlers have gotten several new faces in the last week, as three players from the 2015 MLB Draft have been promoted to Appleton. SS Blake Allemand and RHPs Cody Ponce and Jon Perrin all made their Midwest League debuts last week after getting off to strong starts in the Pioneer League. These three will certainly be players to watch as the Brewers now seemingly have a wealth of talent throughout the lower levels of their minor league system. Khris Davis, on rehab assignment from Milwaukee, managed only a .302 OPS in 21 plate appearances in Appleton. He is set to rejoin the big league club this week.
C Carlos Leal
After his hot start to the season, Leal became one of the feel-good stories of the Midwest League. Things slowed down, however, as Leal slumped to a .682 OPS in 10 games in June and suffered an injury that kept him from appearing in the All-Star game. Since returning to the field, however, Leal has been red hot. In 18 plate appearances last week, Leal posted a .375/.444/.500 line with two doubles and two runs batted in. The soon to be 24 year old now leads the team with a .789 OPS while throwing out 30% of potential base runners this season.
RHP Devin Williams
I seemingly can’t stop gushing about Williams, who continued to lower his ERA with another terrific start last week. In his start against Beloit on July 2, Devin pitched 6.0 innings, allowing just two hits, two walks, and one earned run. He struck out eight batters in the game, and now owns a 2.92 ERA in 49.1 innings pitched on the season with a 47:20 walk to strikeout ratio, and he has allowed just one home run.
SS Blake Allemand
The Brewers made Allemand their fifth round selection in this year’s draft, and the 22 year old earned a quick promotion to the Rattlers after posting an .869 OPS in his 11 game stint in Helena. Since arriving in Appleton, however, things have been a struggle for Allemand. Through his first 28 plate appearances (covering six games), he has managed just three hits and one walk, posting a .120/.185/.160 batting line. Allemand is at least putting the ball in play, having struck out just three times, so hopefully we can see some hits start to fall.
RHP Angel Ventura
Ventura has been one of the Timber Rattlers’ best pitchers this season, compiling a 2.84 ERA in 63.1 innings this season. His last start, however, was definitely one to forget. Pitching against Beloit on the Fourth of July, the 22 year old allowed four runs in 5.0 innings pitched, giving up six hits and walking two. He did manage to strike out six batters, as well, but wasn’t very efficient as he needed 92 pitches to complete the first five innings. Ventura has posted a 3.42 ERA over his last five appearances, and he will look to bounce back in his next appearance.
Player to Watch
RHP Cody Ponce
Milwaukee made the 21 year old Ponce their second round selection in this year’s draft, and so far Ponce has not made them regret it. Cody struck out four with no walks in his two appearances in Helena, and was quickly promoted to Appleton to replace Cy Sneed. In his Midwest League debut, Ponce threw four shutout innings against Beloit on just 55 pitches, allowing only one hit, two walks, and getting three Ks. An imposing figure at 6’6″ and 240 lbs, Ponce features four pitches with the potential to be better than average at the MLB level. I think he’ll ascend quickly through Milwaukee’s system, and he will definitely be a player to keep your eye on this season.
The T-Rats will finish up their shirt four-game home stand later today against Kane County (46-33) as they look to continue their winning streak. The Rattlers will then take to the road for two more against the Cougars before heading to Beloit for a four game series with the in state rival Snappers (31-50). Being just a relatively short drive north of Milwaukee, I recommend visiting TimberRattlers.com and getting tickets (as I already have) to catch some games for this exciting, young team this season.