The Milwaukee Brewers sent four pitcher to this year’s Arizona Fall League. All of them have made appearances already. Let’s take a look at how the Brewers pitching prospects are doing in the AFL.
Bubba Derby, Daniel Brown, Jon Olczak, and Miguel Sanchez have already put in innings for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League. Are they showing the progress that the Milwaukee Brewers expected when they were sent?
Derby has made four starts and worked 13 1/3 innings for the Javelinas. He owns a 5.40 ERA with 10 strikeouts and six walks.
Derby spent all of 2018 with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in Triple-A. Derby isn’t overpowering, but he did well in the thin Colorado air.
He posted a 4.49 ERA in 118 1/3 innings in Colorado Springs. He also struck out 96 and walked 50. Derby did manage to limit his homers allowed to only nine.
Derby will turn 25 before the start of the 2019 season, and he’s entering a crowded field for rotations spots. Unless he can make the switch to a full-time relief role, it’s hard to envision Derby cracking the 25-man roster in 2019.
Brown spent all of 2018 with the Carolina Mudcats in High-A. He was taken in the seventh round of the 2016 Amatuer Draft, and has made steady progress through the Milwaukee Brewers system. He managed a 4.20 ERA in 64 1/3 innings with the Mudcats in 2018. He struck out 61 and walked 34 while giving up only three homers.
With the Peoria Javelinas in the AFL, Brown has been perfect. He owns a 0.00 ERA in 7 2/3 innings spread over five appearances in relief. He’s struck out 11, walked three, hit two batters, and picked up one save.
Brown will turn 24 before Opening Day 2019, and he should make his way to Double-A in 2019. He could also start creeping up the Brewers top-30 prospects list, if he’s able to show the command that he’s flashed in the AFL.
Olczak was selected in the 21st round of the 2015 Amateur Draft, and he’ll turn 25 in a few weeks. He spent most of the 2018 season in Double-A with the Biloxi Shuckers. He’s managed impressive strikeout numbers at almost every level he’s worked at, and could work his way into a relief role with the Milwaukee Brewers in the not-too-distant future.
Olcazk threw 56 1/3 innings in Double-A and posted a 1.44 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 18 walks.
He’s thrown six innings in five appearances for the Peoria Javelinas. He owns a 1.50 ERA with five strikeouts and three walks.
The Peoria Javelinas are the fourth team Sanchez has been with in 2018. He started the year in High-A, and ended the season in Triple-A. Sanchez will turn 25 before Opening Day 2019, but it wouldn’t come as a huge shock to see Sanchez find his way to the Major League roster.
In 64 1/3 innings, across three levels, Sanchez posted a 2.52 ERA with 95(!) strikeouts and 22 walks.
He’s only made three appearances for the Javelinas, and owns a 2.25 ERA in four innings with three strikeouts and zero walks.
The Milwaukee Brewers didn’t send any of their top prospects to the AFL this year. Most of the current crop of pitching prospects were either just drafted, or logged a lot of innings. It made sense to allow them a real off-season to gear up for the 2019 campaign.
The Brewers sent an interesting group to the AFL, but they don’t have the ceiling that top prospects have. Derby and Sanchez are closest to the Majors, but they’re looking more likely to get a first cup of coffee with the Brewers than to contribute regularly.