Milwaukee Brewers: Taylor Williams Outlook For 2018

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 09: Taylor Williams
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 09: Taylor Williams /

Last September, the Milwaukee Brewers might have found a reliable piece of their 2018 bullpen.

Though the rumors are such that Taylor Williams will start the year in the minors, he is not a candidate to stay there. During his time with the Milwaukee Brewers, as short as it may have been, his ERA sat below two. That is solid.

Prior to the time in the MLB, Williams had not seen competition above Double A. That originally would be enough to make me question him. However, I went to game 162 of the 2017 season against the St. Louis Cardinals. Williams walked one, but struck out two in his inning of work.  Seeing him throw live is a pretty convincing argument.

His numbers alone should be able to make the argument without having to see him. Even in Biloxi, through 22 games as both a starter and reliever, Williams threw for an ERA just over three. 57 strikeouts in 46 innings is also nothing to scoff at, especially when factoring in only 21 walks. His three seasons total up to a K/BB ratio of 236/66.

With all the positivity in his arm, Williams did meet a massive bump in the road. His three seasons should be more. However, he encountered elbow issues that eventually became big. After 132 innings in 2014, injury set in, causing the now 26 year old to miss two whole seasons, meaning 2017 was his first year back.

The culprit when all was said and done was a torn UCL, meaning he needed Tommy John surgery. It was a long recovery, but Williams finally made it back to the game he loves. And by all appearances he did not miss a beat.

It is the arm injuries that make Williams an excellent candidate to hold down a bullpen spot for years to come. He does start in the minors, however his success in the bullpen is what will be useful to the Milwaukee Brewers.

There is a lot to like about Williams. His mid 90’s fastball will do well in the MLB, and he adds in a good slider. The FIP mark during his time in the MLB is sub three, which is consistent with his time in Double A as well. His xFIP of 3.49 says he over performing. But even if he performs as expected he is productive.

I truly believe Williams should be in the bullpen to start the 2018 season. And he might depending on how his Spring goes.

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Regardless, Williams will be back on the Milwaukee Brewers before the season is out. If he continues to pitch at the level he did in September, there is no doubt in my mind he will become a mainstay in the bullpen.