Milwaukee Brewers: April Minor League Affiliate Recap
By Matt Carroll
Brewers Double-A Affiliate: Biloxi Shuckers (12-9, 1st in Southern League South)
To say the Shuckers started the season hot would be an understatement. Biloxi rattled off a seven-game win streak to begin the 2022 season while also winning eight of their first nine contests.
Things have since cooled off a bit down south, but the Shuckers still find themselves with a 2.5-game division lead. And though they have the third best record in the Southern League as a whole, their +12 run differential places second in the league.
As Biloxi’s record has leveled off, so too has their offense. Their .680 OPS and 92 runs scored each rank as the second worst in the Southern League while their .220 batting average and 18 homers are both dead last.
But like Nashville, Biloxi has also gotten strong pitching performances to start the season. They have a 3.11 staff ERA that is tops in the Southern League, a .237 batting average against that ranks third, and have issued just 71 walks, which is the second least in the league.
The Shuckers offense has been led by a pair of highly-ranked prospects, outfielder Joey Wiemer (No. 2) and infielder Felix Valerio (No. 11). Both have an identical .904 OPS and three home runs with the former also leading the team in doubles (8) and RBIs (17).
Though he’s only played in 11 games, catcher Jakson Reetz, another offseason minor league free agent signing by the Brewers, has looked strong as well. He has a .316 batting average and a 1.041 OPS with three doubles and three homers so far in 2022.
After a somewhat rough 2021 season, right-hander Victor Castaneda (No. 25) has bounced back well this year. He leads the rotation with a 1.77 ERA and 0.934 WHIP and sports the team’s only complete game of the season.
Also similar to the Sounds, the Shuckers have their own starting rotation that gives opposing batters fits. Tyler Herb (1.96 ERA), Carlos Luna (2.12), and Andy Otero (3.09) have each impressed early.
In the bullpen, Harold Chirino (0.93) and Zach Vennaro (0.96, 2 saves) have done well to limit runs in the early going. The same could be said about intriguing pitching prospect Abner Uribe (No. 19) who had given up two hits and four walks with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings before unfortunately being shut down for the season.