This is the third installment of the series discussing the first-half performance of the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor-league affiliates. We’ve already discussed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and the Biloxi Shuckers. Next up: the High-A Carolina Mudcats.
The Carolina Mudcats had a tough go of it in the first half of the season. Their 34-36 record is by no means terrible, but it was nowhere near good enough to grab the first-half Southern Division crown. Despite the middling record, their were some individual performances worth noting.
Carolina Mudcats: All-Star Hitters
The Milwaukee Brewers’ High-A affiliate was fortunate enough to get six players named to the All-Star team. Three of these selections were hitters, headlined by top prospect Keston Hiura. In 50 games with the Mudcats, Hiura produced a .320/.382/.529 slash line. He also added seven homers, 23 RBI and four stolen bases. He was unable to partake in the All-Star game due to a promotion to Double-A, however.
Another Mudcat infielder made the All-Star team: Tucker Neuhaus. He’s hitting a lowly .231 on the season, but his 31 RBI leads the team. His 23 extra-base hits also tops the team now that Hiura is out of town.
Rounding out the All-Star hitters is catcher Max McDowell. His bat certainly doesn’t warrant many accolades: he mustered just a .231 batting average in the first half. However, he’s a stellar receiver behind the dish. Additionally, he threw out over half of would-be base stealers this season and has also recently been promoted to Double-A.
Carolina Mudcats: All-Star Pitchers
Three Mudcat hurlers were also named to the All-Star team. One of these selections was the top arm for Carolina in the first half, Cameron Roegner. He led the team in innings pitched (76.1), and although he struck out only 53 hitters, he walked just 17. This helped him produce a 1.65 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
The other two All-Star pitchers were also starters. Trey Supak had numbers very similar to Roegner (1.76 ERA, 1.04 WHIP), but he was unable to participate in the mid-summer classic due to a promotion to Double-A. Marcos Diplan also got an All-Star nod thanks to a 3.52 ERA while striking out nearly a batter per inning.
Carolina Mudcats: Other Notable Hitters
After Hiura, there’s a pretty big drop-off in batting average. The next closest player is shortstop Luis Aviles Jr., who’s hitting at a .256 clip. However, Aviles impacts games in a different way anyway: his speed is his most valuable asset. He currently leads the team with 16 steals, and he’s only been caught four times.
One other hitter to watch is Weston Wilson. He’s a pretty similar case to the aforementioned Neuhaus. Wilson is batting just .223, but he is the team leader in roundtrippers with seven. He also has 31 RBI and four stolen bases as an added bonus.
Carolina Mudcats: Other Notable Pitchers
Though he didn’t make the All-Star team, Luke Barker is having an excellent season out of the bullpen. In 35.1 frames of work, Barker has a 1.53 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP to go with a team-leading six saves. He also possesses a stellar 38:9 K:BB in that span.
Another arm to keep an eye on during the second half is Devin Williams. Williams used to be a top pitching prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers, but injuries have derailed his career thus far. He finally returned to the mound earlier in June, but only has 4.2 innings to his name at this point. It’s promising to see that he holds an 8:1 K:BB in that stretch, though. As he stretches out, it will be interesting to see if he can keep that up and get back to his pre-injury form.
Losing two of the team’s best players certainly doesn’t bode well for the Mudcats heading into the second half. However, there’s plenty of other talent on the roster, so perhaps some new players could break out and help the Milwaukee Brewers’ High-A affiliate to a strong second half showing.