The Milwaukee Brewers 25th ranked prospect Zack Brown is making his top prospect debut.
Brown made the jump from unranked to sitting at number 25 after two seasons in the minors. The Milwaukee Brewers 2016 fifth-round selection finished last season with 25 innings for the Carolina Mudcats.
At 23 years old, Brown is among the older players on the list. Though he has not thrown a pitch above Advanced A ball, his is estimated to see time in the majors in 2019. One thing to love about the righty is that he thinks well on the mound. If the situation calls for more velocity, he can reach back. However when he needs a groundball, he is known to turn the ball over slightly to get sink.
He does project as a starter according to his profile, although there are some that believe he will become a reliever as his career progresses. That will all depend on what happens over the next year or so.
So far, his play is good. Brown spent the greater part of his first professional season in 2016 playing for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers with an ERA of three. Last year, Brown threw well in both starting and relief roles for Wisconsin. Late in the season, he started four games for Carolina, ending with 25 innings and a 2.16 ERA.
There is a lot to like about Brown’s performance thus far. He shows good control by not walking a lot of guys, and he averages just under a strikeout per inning. His FIP during his time in Carolina is in the low twos as well.
How Does He Project?
This is a very interesting question. One of the main reasons he might project better in a relief role is his delivery is described as ‘high-effort’ in his profile. Because of that, he might succeed more in shorter stints. It will also allow Brown’s fastball to sit in the upper echelon of his range, which is 95 at the highest.
Right now, his best pitch is his curve. Combining the speed with the movement is boding well in a starting role so far. Brown does flash a changeup, but it still is not the best. The development of that pitch might be the difference between starting and relieving.
The Milwaukee Brewers took a chance on Brown because of the potential he flashed in college. It seems as if the development team is doing good things for the pitcher, and that could be good for the future. Personally, I believe he will wind up in a late inning bullpen role. He has the velocity and secondary pitch to find the most success in shorter stints.