Getting to Know New Brewers Pitchers Joel Payamps and Justin Yeager
There have been a lot of new external additions to the Brewers 40-man roster so this offseason, 11 different players to be exact. The most recent additions were Joel Payamps, who was previously with Oakland and William Contreras from Atlanta. Justin Yeager came over from Atlanta as well but is not yet on the 40 man.
William Contreras is being viewed as the Brewers catcher of the future and is under club control through the 2027 season. The consensus surrounding the Brewers package is that Matt Arnold absolutely fleeced the Braves and Athletics in this three-team mega trade.
Contreras is the big headline of the package for the Brewers. However, Payamps and Yeager both have intriguing upside that could make them valuable members of the 2023 season and beyond.
Let's take a further look at the Brewers two newest pitching additions, Joel Payamps and Justin Yeager.
Joel Payamps is a 28 year right-handed reliever. He made his big league debut in 2019 with the Diamondbacks and has since played for a total of four different teams (excluding the Brewers). He will be arbitration eligible next offseason and has no minor league options remaining.
On the mound, Payamps throws a slider, four-seam fastball, sinker, and change up. Velocity-wise he sits in the mid 90s. He does not strike a lot of batters out, but has had success at the big league level. In 113 career innings, he has a 3.35 ERA. He most likely fits a middle relief role in the bullpen and gives Milwaukee yet another intriguing option back there.
On the other hand, Justin Yeager has a ton of strikeout potential. Throughout his career, he has a 13.9 K:9 ratio. His fastball sits in the 96-99MPH range but can touch triple digits. He has a filthy splitter and slider as well. Controlling these pitches has been his biggest issue, but his stuff should play at the major league level.
The former 33rd pick has worked his way quickly through the Braves minor league organization and had a solid season at the AA level in 2022. It's very possible that he makes his big league debut for the Brew Crew in 2023 if he harnesses his command. Yeager was nearing the back end of the Braves Top 30 prospect list, although their farm system isn't highly rated at the moment due to a number of recent graduations. He'll fit a bit lower on the Brewers prospect rankings list but Yeager is a name to keep an eye on.
There is a lot to be excited about regarding Payamps and Yeager. They may not be highly regarded prospects, but they will now have a chance to make a name for themselves in the Brewers organization, which has been great at getting the most out of pitchers.