Players can wait around in June for the phone to ring. They ache to hear the general manager of a any team telling them they are wanted. Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitcher Aaron Wilkerson’s phone never rang. It was silent as a church mouse, only lighting up for the apologetic texts of friends and family.
It is a tough pill to swallow, and some players see it as the end of the line. Others find another way to reach their dream. In 2013 Wilkerson signed on with an independent league. Through 2014, he found himself in a trio of them.
Finally, the long awaited chance with an MLB organization. It was the Boston Red Sox who signed the right handed pitcher to their short season Single A team, the Lowell Spinners. In eight starts he won five games and boasted a sub-two ERA.
By the year 2016 Wilkerson had worked his way up to Triple A Pawtucket. However, all of his solid work was not unnoticed. The Milwaukee Brewers saw something in him. Enough to acquire him in the Aaron Hill trade.
He finished out 2016 with Colorado Springs, the Brewers Triple A affiliate. The transition was less than kind to Wilkerson. Let’s just say other teams liked to see him on the mound after that trade, given his ERA sat above six.
Needless to say, Wilkerson was sent back down to Double A Biloxi for 2017. Yet another road block. It was there the stage got set for a date with history. And he answered the call.
Fast forward to July 23rd, 2017. Biloxi travels to take in the Mississippi Braves, and Wilkerson is toeing the rubber. Eight innings come and go, Biloxi has scored seven runs, Mississippi has yet to push a run across. A scoreless top of the ninth brings the Braves back to the plate to try and make a miraculous comeback.
Running out there to shut the door is none other than the man who started it. Wilkerson has a chance for a complete game shutout. He does it. For the first time in his professional career, he has kept a team off the scoreboard for nine innings. However, he showed more than the ability to keep the opposition from rounding the bases in this game.
Wilkerson allowed only two hits and a walk, while striking out seven batters. It was quite the game for the Minor League veteran.
Not only was this a great moment for Wilkerson, it marks the first complete game shutout in Biloxi Shuckers history.
A true scouting report on the Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer can be found here. Essentially what is says is that this is not the start of anything. At most, Wilkerson is projected as an emergency spot starter. These ceilings can be broken, but it is highly unlikely that he will. His stuff is not overly dominating game in and game out. In addition, he is already 28 years old. That is not ideal for a Double A pitcher hoping to break into the Big Leagues.
Even if it looks as though his career may not make it out of the minors, he will be remembered forever in Biloxi Shuckers lore. But don’t count him out as a future Milwaukee Brewers pitcher, he has overcome these odds before.