Milwaukee Brewers: Brandon Woodruff’s time to shine

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 19: Brandon Woodruff
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 19: Brandon Woodruff /

I’m just going to state the obvious here folks, the Milwaukee Brewers STILL need pitching. With only 55 days remaining before pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training, things are sure to be interesting.

Milwaukee Brewers fans have been eager for general manager David Stearns to add a frontline starting pitcher. However, we’ve had to settle for Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo to this point. Lost amidst all of the trade chatter and free agent rumors, is a player poised to take on a heavier workload for The Crew in 2018.

How did Woodruff do in 2017?

Last season, Brandon Woodruff emerged as a future building block for the Milwaukee Brewers. After receiving his first big league call-up on June 13th, Woodruff promptly strained his hamstring warming up for his debut. That debut would have to wait until August 4th.

Making his first career MLB start, Woodruff worked 6 1/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and zero walks. That was only the beginning, as he helped Milwaukee weather injuries late in the season.

Woodruff was 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA across 43 innings down the stretch for the Brewers. While those numbers are from impressive, he is a presence on the mound that exudes confidence.

He throws three average or above pitches, and his fastball-slider combo will generate plenty of swings and misses. Woodruff works low in the zone, helping his chances in Miller Park, and isn’t afraid to attack the hitter.

What does the future hold for Woodruff?

Watching Woodruff pitch brings back memories of another hard throwing right-hander that took a couple years to develop. Very few thought that that Jimmy Nelson would ever pitch his way to ace status for the Brewers.

While Nelson is on the shelf, it’s all hands on deck for the Milwaukee Brewers rotation in ’18, and Woodruff is poised to benefit the most. He has shown that he can get outs at this level, and deserves to be in the opening day rotation.

With Nelson, Chase Anderson, and Zach Davies under control through 2020, the Brewers are set up well for the future. Woodruff projects as a middle of the rotation starter and will play a key role for Milwaukee in ’18, and beyond.

Next: Can Jonathan Villar Bounce Back in 2018?

Milwaukee is in a great place as an organization. For the first time in recent memory, the system has arms. For the Milwaukee Brewers to contend in 2018, they’ll need Woodruff to eat up some quality innings. Based on last season, he looks like he’s ready.