This is the fourth and final installment of the series reviewing the first half performance of the Milwaukee Brewers’ Minor League affiliates. We’ve already covered Triple-A, Double-A and High-A. That leaves one team: the Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
The first half of the season was less than stellar for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. They weren’t the worst team in the league, but their 31-38 record left them 8 1/2 games back of first place in the Western Division of the Midwest League. That said, there were some notable individual performances prior to the All-Star break.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: All-Stars
The Timber Rattlers managed to get three players named to the Western Division All-Star team. The most notable selection was outfield prospect Demi Orimoloye. The Nigerian batted a modest .260 in the first half, but he tallied five home runs and 15 stolen bases to go with it. This strong performance helped him garner a promotion to High-A Carolina for the second half.
Catcher Payton Henry also received an All-Star nod. He is impressing in his first year of full-season ball. He’s batting .290 with five home runs to date. His defense has also been top-notch, as he has yet to commit an error behind the dish this year. He also already caught 26 players stealing during the first half.
The T-Rats final All-Star was starting pitcher Dylan File. His numbers aren’t overwhelming, but he certainly did his job in the first half. Across 12 starts, File logged a 3.67 ERA and a solid 55:14 K:BB ratio. He struggles to keep the ball in the park though. He’s already been stung for 11 round trippers this season.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: Other Notable Hitters
Due to an early promotion, Joantgel Segovia was not a Midwest League All-Star. However, his performance with the Timber Rattlers certainly warrants accolades. In 50 games with the T-Rats, the Venezuelan product hit .347 with 14 extra-base hits and 12 stolen bases. He’s struggling a bit in his first taste of action with High-A Carolina though. He’s produced just a .230/.284/.361 slash line with the Milwaukee Brewers’ High-A affiliate so far.
Another player who earned a midseason promotion is first baseman Pat McInerney. He led the team in the first half with 10 home runs, 25 RBIs and 32 runs scored. His .230 batting average is less than stellar, but he made up for it by walking over 10-percent of the time. This brought his on-base percentage all the way up to a .362 clip.
One final position player to watch is outfielder Tristen Lutz, the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2017 Competitive Balance A pick. He’s only 19 years old, but he’s playing well in the Midwest League. He’s second on the team with six home runs, 24 RBIs, and 28 runs scored. He has more strikeouts than hits this season, so he may need a little more time to develop in the lower levels of the Minor Leagues.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: Other Notable Pitchers
As far as arms go, nobody really jumps off the page.
Alec Bettinger posted similar numbers to File. However, instead of an All-Star nod, Bettinger leveraged his 3.73 ERA and 50:17 K:BB in 62 2/3 innings pitched into a promotion to High-A Carolina. Christian Taugner was right there with his numbers as well, posting a 3.82 ERA and a 60:9 K:BB in 77 2/3 frames. Needless to say, control is the name of the game with the Wisconsin starters.
Straying from this philosophy is the team’s top reliever: Rodrigo Benoit. He leads the team in saves with seven while producing a 3.62 ERA. He also struck out 43 hitters in 27 1/3 innings pitched. He’s also walked 11 in that span.
The Timber Rattlers didn’t find much success in terms of wins and losses, but there are some glimpses of hope in the individual performances. Even with the midseason promotions, Wisconsin should be a fun team to watch this summer. Their success bodes well for the future of the Milwaukee Brewers.