The Colorado Springs Sky Sox finished up their season earlier in September. How did the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate fare in 2018?
2018 marked the final time the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate will reside in Colorado Springs. They did their best to make the final season in the thin air a good one, finishing just 1 1/2 games out of first place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern division. This kept the Sky Sox out of the playoffs, but there were plenty of exciting individual performances.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox Hitters
One of the top bats on the Sky Sox is also one of the team’s top prospects. Mauricio Dubon hit .343 with four homers and six stolen bases. However, he was limited to just 27 games due to a torn ACL. He figures to compete for a spot on the big-league roster next spring.
Fan favorite Nate Orf also had an excellent year for Colorado Springs. Orf led players with at least 150 at-bats on the squad with a .298 batting average to go with 55 RBI, 67 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. He spent a bit of time in the big leagues, otherwise he may have been able to improve on these numbers even further.
Christian Bethancourt also excelled in the hitter-friendly environment. After transitioning back to being a full-time catcher, he slashed .297/.328/.506 with 20 home runs and 71 RBI. His early season performance earned him a Pacific Coast League All-Star nod, as referenced in our midseason review. However, he continued to produce in the second half as well.
There are a few other names worth mentioning on the offensive side of things.
Catching prospect Jacob Nottingham continued to improve at the plate, hitting .281 with 10 home runs en route to a pair of promotions to the big leagues. Domingo Santana also got his bat back on track at Colorado Springs, producing an .888 OPS in 55 games with the team. Finally, some former prospect outfielders also excelled in Colorado Springs. Tyrone Taylor tied for the team lead in home runs with 20 while batting .278. Clint Coulter received his first taste of Triple-A this season and clubbed four extra-base hits in 41 at-bats. Keon Broxton led the team with 27 stolen bases and shined on defense. Rymer Liriano returned to the Milwaukee Brewers organization and added 20 homers of his own. Needless to say, there was a lot to get excited about in terms of offense.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox Pitchers
Naturally, Colorado Springs did not treat too many of the Sky Sox’s pitchers kindly. However, it did offer some intrigue. Corbin Burnes‘ 5.15 ERA seems unsightly, but he struck out over a batter per inning and earned a call up to the Majors, where he’s been a stellar relief arm ever since. Freddy Peralta saw more success in his numbers, making him a staple of the Brewers’ rotation for much of the summer.
It wasn’t all about the top prospect pitchers, though. Aaron Wilkerson shined at Triple-A with a 2.49 ERA despite shuttling between Triple-A and the Majors throughout the year. Brandon Woodruff struck out nearly a batter per inning for the Sky Sox, which earned him a call up as well.
The bullpen surprisingly saw more success than the starters despite having less prospect shine. Mike Zagurski struggled in the majors, but he managed to produce a 3.20 ERA with a 66:17 K:BB in 45 innings of work at Triple-A. Fellow southpaw Tyler Webb also saw a lot of success, sporting a 2.16 ERA and a 49:12 K:BB in just 3.1 fewer frames. Additionally, Jon Perrin and Quintin Torres-Costa didn’t start the season with the Sky Sox, but they pitched well down the stretch to keep the team in playoff contention to the bitter end. It’s tough pitching in Colorado Springs, but there’s plenty to like about the group of hurlers they had.
The Sky Sox couldn’t quite earn a spot in the Triple-A playoffs, but based off player development and individual accomplishments, the final season in Colorado Springs was a success. It’s unclear where the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate will reside next season, but if any of these players stick around Triple-A next season, the local fans will have some promising players to cheer for.