The Biloxi Shuckers completed their season yesterday, losing 4-2 to the Chattanooga Lookouts in the final game of the Southern League Championship series. The loss is a disappointing way to end an otherwise successful season but we still congratulate the team on their outstanding second place finish, especially in light of their long road trip to start the season. @BrewerNation reported that six Shuckers would be promoted to the big leagues following the completion of their season, and this morning the Brewers confirmed that report by making the following announcement:
The Brewers needed to add four of those players to the 40 man roster, and to clear space announced that they had placed pitchers Jimmy Nelson and Michael Blazek on the 60 day disabled list. Here is the scoop on Milwaukee’s six newest big leaguers:
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RHP Tyler Wagner
Wagner made his debut in Milwaukee earlier this season, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing five earned runs in his lone start against the Diamondbacks on May 31st. Wagner was much better for Biloxi, winning the league ERA title by posting a 2.25 mark in 152.1 innings pitched. He struck out 120 batters against 45 walks, allowed just 0.4 HR/9 with a 63% ground ball rate, threw two complete games and allowed just a 1.15 WHIP. He’s ranked as the Brewers’ number 15 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
INF Yadiel Rivera
Rivera is a versatile infielder posted who posted a .253/.298/.331 line in 133 games split AA and AAA, and he performed much better in Biloxi (.720 OPS) than he did in Colorado Springs (.570 OPS). Rivera is a versatile infielder known more for his glove than his bat, and he can play plus defense at second, third, and shortstop. He could fit into the organization’s future as future utility player off the bench and/or potential a platoon partner at second base with Scooter Gennett. He’s ranked as the Brewers’ 18th best prospect.
RHP Yhonathan Barrios
The Brewers picked up Barrios in the Aramis Ramirez trade with Pittsburgh, and he needed to be added to the 40 man roster this fall or be exposed to minor league free agency. A converted infielder, Barrios can hit triple digits with his fastball and improved his ground ball rate, strikeout rate, and walk rate after being assigned to Biloxi. Barrios picked up six saves while pitching 20.0 innings for the Shuckers, posting a 3.15 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five walks.
RHP Adrian Houser
Houser came to the Brewers from Houston prior to this year’s deadline, and he experienced tremendous success while pitching in Biloxi. In seven starts following the trade, Houser pitched 37.0 innings and notched a 2.92 ERA. He struck out 32 hitters while allowing just six walks, and he posted an excellent 55% ground ball rate this season. Houser is ranked as the Brewers’ 27th best prospect.
RHP Jorge Lopez
Lopez was named as the Southern League’s best pitcher and was the Brewers’ minor league pitcher of the year, and it’s not hard to see why. After finally developing his third pitch, Lopez posted a 2.26 ERA inn 24 starts this season, covering 143.1 innings. He struck out 137 batters against 52 walks, allowed just 0.6 HR/9 with a 54% ground ball rate, and posted a 1.095 WHIP on the year. Lopez is ranked as the Brewers number 8 prospect, and has been called a top 50 prospect by Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs. You can read more about his breakout season here.
OF Michael Reed
Reed has long been lauded for his on base ability, but he finally demonstrated some decent power this season and posted a .269/.371/.410 slash in 131 games between AA and AAA this year. He slugged a career high 45 extra base hits in addition to drawing 73 walks and stealing 26 bases. Reed profiles best as a corner outfielder, but he also played some center field this year and could certainly fill-in there in a pinch. He’s ranked as the Brewers’ 17th best prospect. You can read more about his breakout season here.