Abner Uribe has impressed with the velocity, routinely hitting 99 and 100 MPH on the radar guns. He’s also struck out 14 batters in just 7 innings of work. That’s an 18.0 K/9. That’s the good part.
The bad part is, he’s allowed 9 walks and 8 runs in those 7 innings of work, giving him a 10.29 ERA.
For the most part, the book on him hasn’t changed from his performance in Low-A Carolina this season. He’s a high-powered arm that throws gas, but he doesn’t have great control over it, gives up a lot of walks, and gives up a lot of damage despite his powerful stuff.
He’s just 21 years old and spent all of this season in Low-A. He still needs to sharpen his stuff and improve his command. He missed some time later in the year with an injury, which is probably part of the reason why the Brewers sent him here, to make up for lost innings.
Another relief pitcher in the Brewers system that’s struggling in the AFL is J.T. Hintzen. Hintzen has pitched in five games. In those five games, he’s gone 4.1 IP, with a 12.46 ERA, 4 walks allowed, and just 3 strikeouts.
Hintzen had a solid season in Double-A Biloxi as a 25 year old this year. He could be a bullpen option in Milwaukee as early as next year, but if Hintzen is going to inspire more confidence in that possibility, showing some improvements in the second half of the AFL season would go a long way.
The youngest of the Brewers AFL participants, Lun Zhao is a 20 year old pitcher Milwaukee signed out of China a few years ago. He spent 2020 recovering from TJS and pitched just 8.2 IP in the Arizona Complex League this year. He’s performed well in his limited innings so far in his pro career.
Zhao has made three appearances for Salt River this fall, covering 4.0 IP, with one hit allowed, one strikeout, and three walks to go with a 2.25 ERA.
Justin Jarvis has made a couple of starts in the AFL this year, and has covered 7.0 IP. He has just a 1.29 ERA in those innings, which is great to see after he posted a 5.40 ERA in 17 starts with High-A Wisconsin this season.
However, Jarvis has just three strikeouts and has allowed six walks. Jarvis isn’t a highly touted starting pitcher prospect, and may end up as a reliever long-term, but his success in limiting runs so far in the AFL is very nice to see.
Taylor Floyd has also put his name on the “future Brewers reliever” radar with a strong 2021 season. The 23 year old performed well in High-A and Double-A this year, putting up a 2.89 ERA in 40 appearances and 84 strikeouts in 56 IP.
So far in the AFL, Floyd has six appearances out the bullpen, with 5.2 IP, a 1.59 ERA, 8 strikeouts, but also 4 walks.
To be fair to Floyd and the other Brewers pitching prospects, there have been a lot of walks in the AFL this year as they test out a Robo Ump system to call balls and strikes. This has led to a massive uptick in walks across the entire AFL, so it’s not just a Floyd or Uribe or Hintzen or Jarvis or Zhao issue.
Milwaukee doesn’t have any top tier pitching prospects in the AFL this year, but the ones that are there are having varying degrees of success.