The Milwaukee Brewers main concern this off-season has been about it’s starting rotation. Losing Jimmy Nelson hurts, but he is apparently close to begin a throwing program.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a very deep farm system and there is one pitcher who could surprise everyone in camp. His name Bowdien, aka Bubba, Derby.
As of right now, the rotation has Chase Anderson locked in as the ace of the staff, followed by the 17 game winner, Zach Davies and then newly acquired worm killer Jhoulys Chacin. The other two spots seem to be up in the air.
Can a non-top 30 prospect make this team over guys like Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, and Luis Ortiz? Well apparently, yes. Bowdien Derby one of the pieces acquired in the Khris Davis trade had a very great, but quiet season in 2017 between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The 5’11 185 pound right-hander posted a 7-1 win-loss to go along with a 3.26 ERA. He also struck out 95 batters in 113.1 innings. Those stats are impressive. Even though Derby is not a highly regarded prospect yet, he still has the edge over any of the other candidates.
Unlike Burnes, Ortiz, and Peralta, Derby has pitched in Colorado Springs. Derby pitched in 12 games for the highest minor league level and he went 5-0 with a 3.55 ERA.
Derby seemed to show the organization that he can do what some of the top prospects before him could not. And that is succeed in the high altitude pitching environment.
A fine example of Colorado Springs hurting a pitcher stats we can look at Josh Hader. In 2017, in 12 starts, the same as Derby, Hader posted a 3-4 record and an ERA of 5.37 while striking out 51 batters in 52 innings pitched.
Once Hader made the jump to MLB though, He did not disappoint Hader acted as Milwaukee’s most valuable bullpen piece and threw in 35 games to go along with a 2.08 ERA and he struck out 68 batters in 47 innings pitched.
As you can see that Derby if the success continues he could be a possible impact starter in the 2018 rotation.