23. RHP Noah Zavolas
Noah Zavolas makes his initial appearance on our Brewers top prospects list after a very strong 2019 season with the Brewers. An 18th round pick in 2018 by the Mariners, Zavolas came to the Brewers along with Ben Gamel in the Domingo Santana trade.
Last season, spending the year with the High-A Carolina Mudcats, Zavolas started 22 games, posting a 2.98 ERA over 133 innings, striking out 102. He walked just 23 batters, which comes out to a miniscule 1.56 BB/9.
Zavolas went to Harvard University, the same school as Brent Suter and GM David Stearns, and as a more advanced college pitcher, he has a better chance to move quickly through the farm system and is likely to see time in Double-A Biloxi this season. Once you get to Double-A, you’re just a phone call away from the big leagues.
Zavolas possesses a four-pitch mix, throwing a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup, mixing and matching all four of them and throwing them for strikes. He doesn’t throw hard, topping out at 91 MPH with his fastball, which means he has success with deception and executing a strong game plan, which is pretty similar to Suter and his plan for success.
He also succeeds by keeping the baseball on the ground, getting ground balls on 47.5% of all balls put in play against him.
If Zavolas can continue this kind of success for a second consecutive season in 2020, he’s really going to jump up prospect lists and could find himself in Milwaukee in relatively short order. He has the arsenal to become a starter, but could find himself in relief in Milwaukee, at least to begin with.
After his strong 2019 campaign, Zavolas comes in at No. 23 in our preseason Top 25 Brewers prospects list.