The Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A affiliate is considered the final step in the journey to the Majors. Who was the best pitcher for the San Antonio Missions in 2019? Their best hitter?
In 2019, the San Antonio Missions finished 80-60, but missed the playoffs. However, the Missions did fulfill their main goal which is to supply the Milwaukee Brewers with young talent. Trent Grisham and Keston Hiura both graduated from Triple-A to the Major League roster, and both will figure into the Brewers’ future. But who else had really good seasons for the Missions?
Who was the best hitter in Triple-A in 2019?
The Missions saw Hiura, Grisham, Travis Shaw, and Tyler Austin spend time on their roster and post an OPS over 1.000. However, of the group mentioned, only Hiura played more than 50 games with the Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A affiliate.
Catcher David Freitas was added to the Missions after Spring Training to give the organization greater depth at catcher. Freitas shredded Pacific Coast League pitching to the tune of a .387/.459/.571 slash line in 85 games. Freitas blasted 12 homers, drove in 76 runs, and scored 51 times.
He was the best hitter on the Missions for the majority of the season, and even earned a late season call up to the Majors. He’s a journeyman, not a prospect, but he did impress in Triple-A, and ended the year as the Missions best hitter.
Who was the best pitcher in Triple-A in 2019?
Pitching in the Pacific Coast League…is often a challenge. Warm weather and small ballparks often inflate ERAs. Josh Hader posted a 5.37 ERA in 52 innings in the PCL during the 2017 season.
Burch Smith dominated PCL hitters in 15 starts in Triple-A in 2019. Smith managed a 2.33 ERA in 77 1/3 innings. Smith struck out 85 and walked 37, but he wasn’t really the best pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A affiliate in 2019.
Deolis Guerra dominated out of the bullpen in 2019 for the San Antonio Missions. Guerra posted a 1.89 ERA in 45 games. Guerra worked 66 2/3 innings, struck out 88, only walked 16, and was tagged for five homers. Posting a sub-2.00 ERA in only 10 1/3 fewer innings than Smith earns Guerra the nod.
Guerra did earn a call up to the Majors in 2019, but only made one appearance for the Milwaukee Brewers and didn’t impress. He gave up four runs on six hits. Five of the hits allowed stayed in the ball park. Guerra is in his age-30 season, and doesn’t appear to have a long term future in the Majors with the Brewers.