We continue our ranking of the top 10 Milwaukee Brewers players on the roster right now.
As we head into the 2022 season, which players make up the “top” of this roster? Here at Reviewing the Brew over the next few weeks we will rank the top 10 Brewers players right now one by one.
Top 10 Brewers Right Now: No. 8 Devin Williams
The Brewers drafted Devin Williams in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of high school. He was their first pick that year because they forfeited their first round selection when they signed Kyle Lohse that offseason.
Williams slowly made his way through the minor league system working primarily as a starter but not seeing much success. He also missed the entire 2017 season due to injury. But in 2019 he made the full time move to the bullpen, and that has been the best move of his career.
Williams dominated out of the bullpen in 2019, forcing his way onto the big league roster at the end of the year. Then, in 2020, Williams broke out in a huge way, showcasing his electric upper 90s fastball and his wicked changeup that has been termed by Pitching Ninja as “The Airbender”.
Williams posted a 0.33 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 22 games in that shortened 2020 season, dominating his way to a Reliever of the Year award and the Rookie of the Year award.
In 2021, he backed up that performance, pitching to a 2.50 ERA in 58 games with 87 strikeouts. He has settled in as the eighth inning setup man ahead of Josh Hader, giving the Brewers a frightening combo to finish out games.
Hitters can know that Williams’ changeup is coming and they still can’t hit it. It moves so much that they can’t square it up or even make contact at all. Even if they do look for it and adjust to it, he can just blow them away with a 98 MPH fastball and the hitter has no chance.
Williams’ dominance over the last two seasons has vaulted him from nearly forgotten prospect, to one of the most important players on the team. Ahead of the 2022 season, he ranks eighth. As far as a setup man goes, that’s pretty high on the list for a playoff team.
The Brewers have Williams under contract for the next four seasons and he’s already become a star reliever.