The Brewers third base prospect is hitting well in May after a tough April.
In 2015, Jake Gatewood was given an advanced assignment to Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, jumping from rookie Arizona, where he had spent his 2014 season. He struggled in Wisconsin, striking out over 30 percent of the time and posting a 74 wRC+ (100 is league average).
The young slugger was subsequently sent down to Helena, where he performed more to his strengths, though he still posted high K rates. At the start of the 2016 season, Gatewood was again sent to Class-A Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, the first round pick struggled again in his early showing, striking out over 30 percent of the time, and posting a .528 OPS with no walks in the month of April.
However, Gatewood’s early showing in May has revitalized his offensive statistics, bumping his 2016 wRC+ to a 113, making him comfortably above-average in the run-suppressing Midwest League.
Gatewood also earned his first walk of the season yesterday, taking his slash line for May to .400/.419/.767 with three home runs and two doubles in eight games. His strikeout rate has also dropped in early May, sitting at a slightly more manageable 25.8 percent.
Other notes: Jon Perrin, who posted a 47:1 K:BB ratio in 36 innings as a Timber Rattler in 2016 was promoted to High-A Brevard County. The tall righty finished his time in Wisconsin with a 1.37 FIP.
Trent Clark joined the club yesterday from extended spring training, immediately slotting in at the leadoff position and playing CF. He is widely considered to be one of the Brewers top prospects. Clark doubled, walked twice, and struck out twice in his debut.
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OF Elvis Rubio joined High-A Brevard County last week after appearing in 17 games with the T-Rats.
RHP Devin Williams, also previously in extended spring training, will be joining the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for a second season beginning this week. In his 2015 season with the T-Rats, Williams tossed 89 innings in 22 games (13 starts), with a 3.44 ERA and one strikeout per inning.
He held opponents to a .226/.311/.316 slash and could easily have been sent to High-A to start the year by performance alone, though he is still just 21 years old and is coming off of a minor “shoulder issue.”
RHP Alex Farina joined the T-Rats on April 26. He threw 33 1/3 innings between the Brewers’ rookie leagues in 2015, striking out more than a batter per inning and holding opponents to a .612 OPS.