Following the 2017 draft, the Milwaukee Brewers decided to sign a righty pitcher into the organization. It turns out they made a great decision.
The Milwaukee Brewers found their next future present once all of the dust cleared after the draft, and his name is Gabe Friese. This is the second installment of this Christmas day segment. The first on Ronnie Gideon can be found here.
Friese is a product of Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and the 22 year old took advantage of his opportunity. He spent the year in both Rookie leagues, totaling just over 53 innings. Remember these are two half year leagues. But he shined in both.
In all, he pitched in 17 games, but he started in only six of those. On the Arizona Brewers, in the first half of the year, Friese’s 10 games were nearly flawless. The numbers show 22 strikeouts over 20 innings with a 3-0 record. The only blemishes are seven hits and two walks. Oh, and he did not give up a run.
With the Helena Brewers in the second half of the year, Friese looked just as good. But he did show that he isn’t bulletproof. In six starts over seven appearances, he surrendered 14 runs. That may seem high, howeverr, in the end it translates to an ERA of 3.82.
The strikeout numbers fell as well with Helena. In 33 innings, he struck out 26 batters. This is not a bad thing. It just means that he will progress quicker, and more successfully as a relief pitcher. It is not crazy to think he will transition back to the bullpen in 2018.
His move to starting games is no surprise either. If an undrafted pitcher does not give up a single run in 10 appearances, why not give him a chance to start? It is only logical. While being a reliever is not the flashiest, or easiest, way to come up, it is Friese’s best chance.
The future relief present is like opening up a surprise on Christmas Day. Clearly the Milwaukee Brewers saw something, but I am sure they did not expect what they got. That is the beauty of baseball. We can only hope he continues success, but that will be seen in the coming season.