Our Brewers Top 25 prospect list continues with a trio of 2019 draftees who have all impressively kickstarted their professional careers. But we start with a player expected to bounce back from a fluke injury that sidelined him for all of last season.
20. RHP Bobby Wahl
Bobby Wahl was essentially the headliner in last year’s trade that sent Keon Broxton to the Mets and brought our No. 25 prospect Felix Valerio to Milwaukee. Hopes were that, even with just 14 games of MLB experience under his belt, he would be able to quickly contribute for the Brewers.
Those hopes evaporated early when Wahl tore his ACL during a Spring Training outing in 2019 and ended up sitting out the entire regular season. Now healthy, the hard-throwing right-hander gets a second try at making an Opening Day roster.
There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Wahl’s potential as a key back-end bullpen arm. Drafted in the 5th round in 2013 by Oakland, Wahl has racked up 292 strikeouts in 159 career innings of minor league action, good for a 16.53 K/9. That’s Josh Hader territory.
His finish to Arizona Fall League offers optimism as well. Wahl’s start in Arizona was rough (eight earned runs in a combined inning of work over two games), which wasn’t surprising considering it was his first game action in months. But for as bad as those first two games went, the final four went that much better as he gave up just a hit and a walk with no runs over four innings while striking out seven.
Stats aside, his pitch profile itself is what shows big potential as a quality setup man. Wahl’s dominant pitch is definitely his high-90s four-seam fastball. He does sprinkle in a slider, curveball, or change up randomly, but the fastball is clearly his bread and butter.
Wahl has one of the best chances of any player on our list of breaking through to the big league club this upcoming season, but it’s still possible he starts the season in Triple-A. For now, he enters our list at No. 20.