It wouldn’t come as a complete shock if Noah Zavolas ends up as a the prize in the Domingo Santana deal. Ben Gamel is a capable fourth outfielder, but it’s clear that the Milwaukee Brewers targeted Zavolas for a reason. They believe they can nurture him into a Major League pitcher.
After getting selected out of Harvard University in the 18th round of the 2018 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners, Zavolas looked fantastic in his professional debut. Zavolas tossed 38 2/3 innings across two levels of the Mariners lower Minors and posted a 3.03 ERA. He struck out 41, walked only 11, and was tagged for three homers.
He doesn’t overpower hitters, in fact his fastball sits in the 88-to-91 MPH range, but he has proven that his intelligence goes beyond the classroom. His change-up is his best pitch, but he also has two breaking balls that need work.
Zavolas will turn 23-years old in May, and the clock is starting to tick on his professional career. He’ll likely start the season in Low-A or High-A, but he could work his way through the Brewers system quickly if he posts results.
The Milwaukee Brewers also have a proven track record when it comes to plucking other team’s pitching prospects. Hader, Corey Knebel, Freddy Peralta, and Trey Supak were all acquired in trades. Hader, Knebel, and Peralta are already in Milwaukee. Supak could arrive soon. Zavolas isn’t the second coming of Hader, but the fact that the Brewers were interested in him should inspire confidence.