Brewers High-A Affiliate: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (12-9, T-2nd in Midwest League West)
The Timber Rattlers are yet another affiliate who started the year off strong before simmering down. Wisconsin won their first three series of the 2022 season before dropping five of six in their most recent set of games on the road against the Peoria Chiefs.
Despite the recent swoon, the Timber Rattlers still see themselves sporting a winning record heading into the beginning of May. That conflicts a bit with the fact that they have a -15 run differential, though two losses by a combined 27 runs this season contribute to that quite a bit.
The offense has for the most part been just below league average so far in 2022. Of the 12 Midwest League teams, Wisconsin is 7th in runs scored (88) and batting average (.224), 8th in OPS (.686) and 9th in homers (15). They do sport the 2nd most steals (35) in the league, however.
The pitching staff has been ok at limiting hits so far in 2022 with a .223 batting average against that ranks 6th lowest in the league, but not so much at limiting runs with a 4.68 ERA that is 3rd highest. Again, two blowout losses don’t exactly help in that regard.
The Timber Rattler offense is largely being led by 2021 draft picks. Outfielder Sal Frelick, the team’s first-round draft pick from last year and No. 1 prospect overall, is second on the team with a .847 OPS, third with a .291 average, and is tied for the team lead with 12 runs scored.
He is joined by last year’s Competitive Balance A pick, second baseman Tyler Black (No. 6) and seventh rounder Tristan Peters. The former has a .303 average and .804 OPS with just three strikeouts in 10 games, while the latter has a .304 average and .825 OPS.
Don’t forget about catcher Darien Miller, though, a ninth rounder from the 2019 draft. In 17 games, he leads the team with his .876 OPS and three home runs and is the one tied with Frelick for the team lead with 12 runs scored.
The Wisconsin pitching staff features two standouts in TJ Shook and Brandon Knarr. Both were signed by the Brewers as minor league free agents in the summer of 2020, when, as most will remember, there was no minor league season.
Shook is 1-1 on the season in four games (two starts) and leads the team with a 1.37 ERA and team-leading .125 batting average against. Knarr, meanwhile, is 2-1 in his four games (all starts) with a 1.61 ERA and team-leading 0.851 WHIP. They each have 27 strikeouts on the season.