Milwaukee Brewers: Low-A April Update

Jun 22, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A bat rests inside a baseball glove at an MLB game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 22, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A bat rests inside a baseball glove at an MLB game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports /

The Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a fine April, with some noteworthy hot–and cold– streaks on offense. Let’s learn more about some of the future Milwaukee Brewers, and a few players who weren’t so lucky.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers went 10-11 in April, performing below league average at the plate and on the mound. Of course, they still have several noteworthy prospects succeeding early. Offensively, they seem to have players either crushing the ball or struggling mightily.

The Timber-Rattlers’ four-game series in Burlington was rained out to end April, allowing this article to come out early.

Who’s Hot For The Timber Rattlers?

On offense, no one’s hitting better than outfielder Monte Harrison. The former second round pick is excelling in his second career stint in Appleton, slashing .315/.375/.630 in 80 plate appearances. He also has six home runs, which ties him for first in the Brewers lower levels and the Midwest League. His 1.005 OPS also tops the Brewers’ Minor League system.

Harrison stumbled after an advanced placement to Appleton last year, slashing .221/.294/.337 with a 32.6% strikeout rate in 298 plate appearances. This year, his strikeout rate is down to 25%. Additionally, in a short sample this month, his isolated power is at .315, versus just .116 last year.

Another former second rounder, Tucker Neuhaus is also showing solid pop with the T-Rats, in what is technically his third season with the team. The second baseman seems like he’s been around forever, despite being just 21 years old.  Now healthy once again, he’s nearly doubled his career Minor League home run total with six this season in just 86 plate appearances.

He missed nearly the whole year in 2016 after an early season injury, made especially frustrating as he was hitting .370 at the time. Neuhaus looks like he’s picking up where he left off, and could be ready for a mid-season promotion.

Catcher Mario Feliciano is handling an aggressive assignment well thus far. He was drafted in the (I swear this is a coincidence) second round of the 2016 draft and reported to the Arizona Brewers at the Rookie level. The 18-year old has since bypassed the Rookie Helena Brewers, and is slashing .292/.347/.431 with the T-Rats.

On the pitching end of things, starter Trey Supak is having a great start to his season. Supak is throwing strikes 66% of the time, while maintaining impressive strikeout numbers 10 K per 9 innings, in 19 1/3 innings pitched thus far.

Supak was involved in the Jason RogersKeon Broxton trade, and he’s consistently pitched well in the Brewers’ system after he was drafted in the second round by the Pirates. Supak has a big arm with a promising curveball and developing changeup.

Who’s Struggling For The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers?

So four former second round picks are hot for the Timber Rattlers right now. But who’s not? Outfielder Joantgel Segovia is one of the most intriguing players in the Brewers’ system, but he’s currently having a rough time at the plate.

A high average hitter, Segovia has a remarkable ability to get on-base (.393 career OBP), and a remarkably low power output (19 XBH in 610 ABs, no homers).

Unfortunately, the hits haven’t come yet this season, and the power still doesn’t exist. Segovia is slashing .175/.217/.175 in 60 PA this year. Still, the Venezuelan is just 20 years old, and owns a .323 career batting average.

Gilbert Lara has a sky-high potential. He signed with the Brewers as a kid out of the Dominican Republic, and despite being in his third professional season, is still a teenager.

Lara showed surprising promise at shortstop last year, delaying a presumed move to the hot corner. His bat has been the bigger disappointment thus far, with Lara slashing .236/.280/.312 in his career.

He’s off to a slow start this year as well, with a .154 batting average in 55 plate appearances.

Other notes

Parker Berberet was a catcher in the Brewers’ system for six years before transitioning to pitching for the 2017 season. It’s not yet clear what his repertoire entails, but the 27-year-old righty is shutting down hitters  with a 1.04 ERA  and a .476 OPS against so far this year.

Obviously he’s old for the level, but he’s young in pitching experience, and shouldn’t have as much wear on his arm. It’s honestly incredible that he’s thrown 68% of his pitches for strikes given his inexperience at the position.

Next: Is It Time To Call Up Lewis Brinson?

Do you have any Timber Rattlers that you want to learn more about? Let the team at Reviewing the Brew know who you want to see featured in the comments section below!