Among the seven players called up to the Milwaukee Brewers for the expanded rosters is pitcher Brandon Woodruff.
This is an exciting move for the Milwaukee Brewers as Woodruff is an anticipated young prospect. He joins four other pitchers, and two hitters on the move to the MLB roster. The pitching will help down the stretch. Especially with a name like Opening Day starter Junior Guerra. In addition to complete newbie Taylor Williams.
Woodruff is the number four prospect in the organization. He will be making his second stint with the Brewers. The first time around he started three games with an ERA of 1.62, while striking out 12. It is not a surprise to see him drop into the rotation, as he is slated to start against Washington a day after the news. Though the talented Nationals will provide a great test.
The 24 year old righty became a professional in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. Since the selection he worked to become the number 90 overall prospect in all of baseball. He features three pitches, a fastball, slider, and changeup. His consistent strikes, ability to create groundballs, and mid 90s fastball with sink culminate to MLB Pipeline projecting him as a middle of the rotation arm.
Through the minors this year, Woodruff lit up the strike zone. It is not common to see a young arm walk 25 and strikeout 70, however his arm seems mature in that way. However, his strikeout rate is not overpowering. He pitches to contact and creates a lot of ground balls.
While getting outs that way is not a problem, it does correlate to a higher amount of hits. But that is the nature of being a contact pitcher, sometimes the ball rolls the other way. Woodruff does a good job limiting that though.
That is just this year though. In 2016, Woodruff led the minor leagues in strikeouts with 173 on his way to earning pitcher of the year honors for Milwaukee. The breakout can be attributed to a change in his delivery. He was able to add more balance, making attacking the strike zone easier.
Anticipation to see the prospect on the Milwaukee Brewers has been building all year. Back in June, the anticipation appeared to be over. Unfortunately a hamstring injury derailed the call up. August 4th, the wait came to an end. He debut against the Tampa Bay Rays, going 6.1 innings without giving up a run. In addition, he struck out six.
Should Woodruff be able to keep up his string of success, he will be able to hold down a rotation spot. But the call up of Guerra and Brent Suter mean there are other guys with starting experience that can take some of the starts.
Having Woodruff up is a huge help to the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff. Being only three and a half games out of first, pitching will be a huge factor. A playoff push is very possible. And good young talent can act as a burst of energy that ignites it.