Trevor Seidenberger grew up in the land of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ but the only sport he has on his mind is baseball. While the FNL character Matt Saracen was a wizard throwing footballs and leading his fictional Dillon Panthers team, Seidenberger excels at throwing baseballs past hitters on his journey to the major league.
Seidenberger is not the most-heralded prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, but the left-handed pitcher has performed very well in his first two and one-half seasons, moving from Rookie ball to Double A in that time-frame.
Although the 12th round pick of the Brewers in 2013 was sent back from Biloxi to Brevard County this season after a brief stint in AA, he has been one of the better relief pitchers this year in the lower-to-mid levels for the Brewers.
Seidenberger attended Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas before moving on to Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas. After two years at the junior college, Seidenberger began play at Texas Christian University, graduating in 2013.
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Seidenberger was selected out of TCU in the June draft two years ago and it was a happy moment in his life.
“Out of all the players in the United States and the world, I am fortunate to play and have a job in professional baseball,” Seidenberger said in a recent e-mail interview. “All I’m going to do is continue to work hard and play hard so I can one day play in the big leagues.”
The southpaw has done well thus far, moving steadily up from Rookie ball to Double A before returning to Class A Advanced Brevard County after a month at the higher level.
In Seidenberger’s rookie season, he struggled a bit at Rookie level Helena, compiling a 0-1 record in ten games, with an ERA of 6.75.
When asked about his less-than-stellar first year, Seidenberger commented that “the biggest change from college ball to pro ball is that you come into it playing the best 1,200 guys that are drafted in your draft class or guys that have been in pro ball a couple of years.”
As with many that are disappointed with their opening seasons, they find a way to improve the second year. Seidenberger was no different.
He spent three months at Class A Wisconsin in 2014, appearing in 18 games—mostly as a long reliever—while going 6-1 with one save. That earned him a call-up to Advanced A Brevard County, where he pitched well in his first game, but then had a quartet of bad outings before a pair of solid games righted the ship.
After getting rocked in two of four games, he bumped back down to Wisconsin. He pitched in two games there, ending his season with a combined two-level record of 6-2 in 31 games, also earning one save. He whiffed 9.2 batters per nine innings and had a solid 1.222 WHIP.
Seidenberger credited his trainer with a great season at Class A Wisconsin.
“During the off-season I had a great trainer (Scott Lando) that knows what he is doing and studies the game of baseball,” commented Seidenberger. “I was in the weight room every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday working out and getting better for the next season.”
And the games at Advanced A Brevard County?
“When I got my promotion to Brevard County, I tried to do too much. In my mind there was better competition so I believed I had to be better and I tried to make my pitches better, which caused my pitches to be worse and not effective, instead of staying within myself and pitching like I did in Wisconsin.”
In 2015, Seidenberger began the season at Brevard County and pitched very well in his first 11 outings (2-0, four saves) and earned a June promotion to AA Biloxi. He didn’t fare so well in his first seven outings, but allowed one hit and struck out one in a two-inning Fourth of July contest before returning to Brevard County.
Seidenberger pitched in 11 games upon his return, going 2-2 with one save. At the lower level he pitched in 22 games and went 4-2 with five saves. At Biloxi had made eight appearances, but struggled with an ERA of 6.75.
The 6’2”, 200 pound lefty has stuff that is hard to hit and strikes out a lot of batters, but is a little on the wild side.
In 71 career minor league appearances, Seidenberger has a 1.33 WHIP, walking four batters per nine, while allowing only eight hits/nine while striking out 8.5/nine.
He should start at AA Biloxi next year and if he can harness his control, could pitch for the Brewers in a couple years.
His numbers show him to be a reverse-platoon guy, allowing a slash of .172/302/.293 against RHB against a slash of .262/.318/.311 against lefty-handed hitters.
Seidenberger might not be a top prospect, be he has shown that he can perform well and needs a couple more years before he gets a chance at pitching in the bigs.
But whenever that might be, the Texas native is realistic.
“Whenever that time may be I’m going to take advantage of it. For right now I’m going to keep doing my job as a reliever and hopefully I get my opportunity.”
Seidenberger shows that he knows he needs to work harder and be better than he thinks he can be.
“One quote that has stuck with me throughout the years of playing ball is one that got told to me while playing at Blinn Junior College by one of my coaches: Don’t arrive at death safely.
“For me it means when you think you are good, you can always be better.”
Trevor Seidenberger is good, but watch for him to be better than you think.