Does this one need any explanation? Knebel took over ninth innings duties part way through the year. And when he took the reigns, he did not let go and remained completely dominant throughout the year. Knebel is the only 2017 All-Star from the Milwaukee Brewers. He of course is a treat for the Crew.
Possibly the sweetest of treats in my opinion. Prior to losing his prospect status, Hader was the number one lefty pitching prospect in the league. There is a lot of excitement around this arm. The big question now is, will he start next year. I hope so, but as you can guess my word carries no weight in the rotation choices for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The issue for Hader is walks. That is something he proves year in and year out. In his 2017 appearances, he showed a 4.15 walks per nine innings. I admit, not a sparkling number for a starting arm. However, he did leave nearly 90 percent of runners on base. But, his walks don’t really kill him all too much.
Opposing hitters are hitting a pedestrian .154 off of Hader. They cannot touch him. Even more impressive is that his BABIP is in the low .200s. No one picks up on his release point and movement well enough to make any sort of consistent solid contact.
Yes, the walk rate poses an issue. But look at it this way, through 50 appearances he walked 22 batters. Then couple that with 68 strikeouts on the year. He can miss barrels and miss bats. The control will come as he throws more innings. And Derek Johnson does a very good job with the pitchers. He will be a huge help to Hader.
Hader graduated from prospect status in 2017. It is time for him to graduate from the bullpen in 2018.