Milwaukee Brewers: Who is Tyler Gillies?

(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Brewers have added another right-hander from the independent leagues. It’s Tyler Gillies. Which leaves us asking, “Who, exactly, is Tyler Gillies?”

Known for scouring the independent leagues for talent, the Milwaukee Brewers have added another arm from a league no one has heard of. Tyler Gillies has a Minor League deal with the Brewers, so he must be awesome, right?

What has Gillies done as a professional?

Gillies started his professional career in 2017 with the Quebec Capitals of the Can-Am League. He worked 11 innings and managed a 5.73 ERA. He racked up 10 strikeouts, while walking four and giving up two homers.

Gillies spent last year with the Brantford Red Sox of the Intercounty Baseball League in Canada. He racked up six saves while appearing in 17 of the Red Sox’ 36 games. He posted a 3.60 ERA with 28 strikeouts and only six walks.

He was set to return to the Capitals for the 2019 season before the Milwaukee Brewers offered him a contract.

Who else have the Brewers added from the independent leagues?

Well, they signed reliever Chris Dula and infielder Skyler Ewing as recently as this off-season. Junior Guerra spent a few seasons in the indy leagues before achieving success at the Major League level. They’ve also added several players from the Australian League in the past few years.

How did Gillies get signed?

He appeared at a recent Driveline showcase, and turned a few heads…

Gillies boasts a fastball that sits in the 92-to-93 MPH range, and tops out around 94 MPH. He also has a solid slider and capable curve.

It’s great to see Gillies get a chance at affiliated baseball for the first time, but he’s a long way from appearing in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform. The good news is that he’s only 23 years old, and has several years to develop his craft and work his way through the Brewers’ system. It makes sense for him to start the season in High-A, but his assignment depends on how he looks this Spring and where the Brewers think he can succeed. There’s a non-zero chance that he has stick around in extended Spring Training for a few weeks.

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Gillies is just the latest example of a pitcher who earned a Major League contract through the Driveline performance center. It makes sense to start keeping an eye on what goes on there, especially during the off season. However, it doesn’t make sense to get too excited about these guys. There’s usually a reason why a pitcher has to work his way through Canadian independent baseball, and it’s not because he’s Major League ready. Added a ‘diamond in the rough’ like Gillies is cool, but he’s a long way from making an impact.