On Tuesday, teams will have to decide which players they want to protect to the potential of the Rule V draft next month. As the current Milwaukee Brewers Roster stands at 37, which players outside the top-30 prospect list could make an impact on the 40-man roster?
Bubba Derby, RHP
One of the prospects in the Oakland A’s deal for Khris Davis, Bubba Derby has been steady for the Biloxi and Colorado Springs through the last two seasons. After going 7-1 with a 3.41 ERA in 30 games, Derby’s 2018 was less flashy with a 6-5 record, and a 4.94 ERA.
However his 96 strikeouts and 1.50 WHIP was the best among Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A pitchers, and earned him an invite to Arizona this fall. Derby pitched in seven games for the Peoria Javelinas. He went 1-1 with a 4.78 ERA, 18 strikeouts, and a 1.56 WHIP.
He isn’t overly big at 5’11’’, and isn’t going to overpower hitters, but he does own a nice change-up pitch and could make an interesting addition to the Brewers bullpen.
Jon Olczak, RHP
Jon Olczak is 25 years old, and has been with the Milwaukee Brewers since 2015. He moved the needle on the radar in 2018 when he went 10-3 in 44 games, while pitching in 58 1/3 innings with Carolina and Biloxi. Olczak had 63 strikeouts with a 0.98 WHIP and gave up just 38 hits, with most of his work being conducted in Double-A.
Olczak joined Derby in the Arizona Fall League, playing this fall with the Javelinas. He found success in 10 games, pitching in 12 innings, striking out 13 hitters, walking five, and owning a 1.08 WHIP.
As good as Olczak was in Biloxi and Arizona, do the Brewers see a fit for him in the bullpen at the major league level in 2019?
Blake Allemand, INF
Blake Allemand, like Derby, isn’t going to overpower the opposition with his stature. He stands 5’ 10”, and weighs 175 lbs., but the 26-year-old has been consistent for Double-A Biloxi over the last two seasons.
While with the Shuckers, he hit .257 with 12 home runs, 33 doubles, 3 triples and 60 runs batted in. He gained a little fame in Biloxi this past season when he broke a water pipe and flooded the batting cages at MGM Park.
Another long-time Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer, he might not be protected, but might not be selected by another team. There’s a good chance that he’ll return in 2019 in Texas with Triple-A San Antonio in 2019.
While these three may not gain a lot of attention, the Brewers will need to decide whether to protect or risk losing them to other teams looking for organizational depth.