One of the recent winter traditions for the Milwaukee Brewers organization has been a group of their prospects making the trip Down Under to take part in the Australian Winter League. That tradition has continued here in the 2023-24 offseason.
Like the other recent seasons, it's the Brisbane Bandits who are hosting Brewers prospects in this year's league. They began their season last Thursday and when they did, three players from the Milwaukee organization got their first taste of Australian winter ball.
Three Brewers prospects are playing for the Brisbane Bandits this winter down in Australian Winter League.
The Brewers trio playing for Brisbane includes just one position player, first baseman Tayden Hall. The 20-year-old, who was drafted by the Brewers in the ninth round of the 2022 draft, is the fourth youngest player on the Bandits' roster.
Hall had a solid 20-game run in his first season of pro ball in 2022, batting .309 with a .826 between the Arizona rookie league and High-A Wisconsin. 2023 saw him play primarily at Low-A Carolina and while his numbers came down somewhat, they were still decent at a .274 average and .739 OPS in 59 games. He has thus far been an on base machine, with a .414 OBP in his 79 combined games.
Hall has played in all three of the Bandits' games so far and has gone 1-for-3 in each of them, drawing a walk and hitting a double.
Joining Hall are two pitchers from the Brewers organization, one of which being Sam Gardner. Undrafted out of college in 2021, the 26-year-old played in the independent Frontier League for three years before Milwaukee signed him to a minor league contract early in the 2023 season.
Gardner had a good first season playing for High-A Wisconsin, pitching in 21 games of relief and going 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He was dominant in his Brisbane debut, striking out all six batters that he faced while throwing 20 of 29 pitches for strikes.
The other Brewers pitching prospect playing for the Bandits is 2022 10th rounder Brian Fitzpatrick. The southpaw has just 13 career minor league games under his belt after missing most of 2023 due to injury and is 1-2 with a 6.03 ERA. He started Brisbane's second game of the season and gave up four earned runs in three innings on three hits and two walks, striking out three.
The Bandits' season continues all the way through the third week of January, giving this trio of Brewers prospects ample time to get more quality development in Down Under.