The crowded starting pitching scene – Part I
- Hiram Burgos || Age 29 || AAA stats: 3.98 ERA (319 IP) || Exceeded rookie limits in 2013
Burgos has had an interesting journey with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was the team’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012. Then Burgos was released just two years later, after struggles and injuries.
He was re-signed the next season, and has been steady– if unremarkable–since. If Burgos sees time with the Brewers in 2017, it’d be his first taste of the Majors in four seasons.
Burgos is one of those players you expect to see with the organization even after his playing days are over. He’s well-liked in the clubhouse, and is a story worth rooting for.
- Paolo Espino || Age 30 || AAA stats: 3.63 ERA (426.2 IP) || Prospect rank: no
Espino signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers back in November. He’s coming off of yet another good year in Triple-A (3.30 ERA in 152 2/3 innings), but still hasn’t pitched in a Major League game.
The journeyman consistently strikes out four times more batters than he walks, K’ing 253 and walking just 59 over his last two seasons. He’s clearly durable, and could serve as a the Brewers swingman if a spot opens up.
- Josh Hader (L) || Age 22 || AAA stats: 3.81 FIP (69 IP) || Prospect rank: 3
Hader is ranked as the top lefty prospect in the country by MLB.com, and it’s well-deserved. He has electric stuff, with a plus fastball and slider, a developing changeup, and deceptive delivery.
The keys to Hader’s future are the keys for many young pitchers: develop the changeup and tighten your command. If Hader does that, he’s a potential star in the Major Leagues.
If he fails to make either of those strides, he still has a great chance to be a dynamic back-end reliever.
- Taylor Jungmann || Age 27 || MLB stats: 4.50 ERA (146 IP) || Exceeded rookie limits in 2015
Jungmann is one of the few guys on this list who might make the Brewers roster out of Spring Training. If he does, it’ll be as a reliever, but his potential AAA role isn’t as clear. He was a solid Major League starter in 2015, but collapsed last season.
He walked 35 batters in 31 innings after a demotion to Triple-A, but pulled himself together in Double-A.