Taylor Jungmann: Brewers 2015 Newcomer of the Year


Sep 24, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Taylor Jungmann (41) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The voting season is upon us, and this year at Reviewing the Brew, we will cover non-pitcher Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year. Unlike last year, we will not feature a Comeback Player of the Year, due to lack of players that fall under that distinction.

This year, we had nine voters, consisting of Reviewing the Brew’s current and former staff members. You can find links to their Twitter accounts at the end of the article. They are great follows for Brewers news and insights. Let’s get on to the voting results!

Taylor Jungmann     Total Votes: 13    First Place: 5

Adam Lind                 Total Votes: 8     First Place:3

Domingo Santana    Total Votes: 4     First Place: 1

Zach Davies               Total Votes: 1      First Place: 0

Jason Rogers             Total Votes: 1      First Place: 0

Taylor Jungmann was originally selected by the Brewers old scouting regime in the first round of the 2011 draft. He was seen as a higher-floor, lower-ceiling candidate than many other first round picks, meaning that he would hopefully cruise to the Major Leagues and plug into the back end of the rotation.

And it’s true that Jungmann chugged his way steadily toward the Bigs, even if it took him a little longer than the Brewers had hoped. However, that progress seemed to stall in the start of the 2015 season, when Jungmann posted a 6.37 ERA over 59 1/3 innings with the AAA Sky Sox.

But the Brewers must have looked a little deeper, because Junmann was also sporting a 3.89 FIP, meaning he had had some terrible luck in the minors. So they called Jungmann up and here he is winning a fake award. He’s truly made it!

In the Majors, Jungmann saw his luck jump all the way up to neutral or even a little positive with the Crew, and his numbers reflect it. Jungman went 9-8 in 21 starts (119.1 innings) with a 3.77 ERA, 3.92 FIP, and a K:BB ratio of 107:47. The tall righty ranked first among Brewers pitchers in rWAR and third in fWAR, despite spending a chunk of the season with Colorado Springs.

Interestingly, Jungmann was only a tick above league average in groundball percentage, a quality that has always been exaggerated for him in the minors. In his time with the Brewers, his GB% was around 46%, about ten percent less often than his minor league average.

Jungmann’s off-speed pitches seem to be as good if not better than advertised, with his curveball being a noteworthy strength. His spinner sports an above average swing-and-miss rate, and he showed the ability to throw the pitch where he pleased. Just check out his curveball heat map versus his fellow righties, courtesy of Brooks Baseball:

It’s a similar story of command against lefties, though Jungmann mixed up locations a little more in those instances. He also showed solid control of his changeup, though hitters didn’t bite as often as one would hope.

Noteworthy is that Jungmann beat out Lind for the title of Newcomer of the Year, as the veteran first baseman topped Jungmann in both rWAR and fWAR, while leading the team in walk rate and slugging 20 home runs. But Jungmann had less time to accumulate WAR and total statistics in the Majors. So who do you side with, the Brewers best new pitcher or hitter?

Special thanks to our voters: Editor Pete Schwichtenberg, staff writer Michael Trzinski, former editors Kyle Lesniewski, Bill Berg, Justin Schultz, Benjamin Orr, and former staff writers Andrew Vrchota and Dave Radcliffe.