Tag Archives: Taylor Jungmann

Zack Greinke: Blunt talent evaluator

Posted by Steve

I’m taking a break from the Ryan Braun stuff, mainly because it’s been exhausted by blogs, national writers, etc., and I just don’t really think there’s anything left to say that hasn’t been said a hundred times elsewhere.

Again I read a small piece about Zack Greinke, and again I laughed. Here’s a post about Greinke that’s actually interesting: he’s showing a knack for evaluating amateur pitchers.

And of course, no Greinke story would be complete without a brutally honest quote.

“It’s just more fun for me. It’s not anything taken too seriously at the moment. I liked a lot of guys in last year’s draft but the absolute amazing ones all got drafted before we got a chance.”

Uh, Zach…. You realize Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, both players the Brewers selected in the top 15 last year, are in big league camp?

Top draft picks sign

Posted by Steve

This has been a pretty interesting situation. As of 12:01 ET, the deadline to sign draft picks, most first rounders were yet to be announced. Most likely the deals were being signed at the last minute and the announcements were slow to come out. At any rate, the Brewers got their guys, although they did pay quite a bit to do so.

Jungmann got a healthy bonus of $2.525 million, which was over slot. I was right about Jed Bradley having leverage. He got 500k over slot, for a total of $2 mil. Good for them, but at least the Brewers got it done.

There was some animosity directed toward these players for waiting this long to sign, but the reality is that their college teams gave them plenty of innings–they pretty much pitched full seasons already. They aren’t losing much by signing this late. Jungmann’s velocity was even down a bit in the College World Series from what the reports were, so he may have had a tired arm anyway. I’m not concerned about them missing time at all.

The funny thing about at least having attempted to work in baseball is many of the friends I made are still in the business. One of them shall made a report on both Jungmann and Bradley, and was nice enough to share that with me. Here’s what he said.

Taylor Jungmann

-Excellent control of his fastball
-Very good sink on fastball
-Average slider
-Poor change-up
- Struggles against lefties

My response: Wow… To me that sounds like Kameron Loe.

His reaction: Yeah, but he has room to get much better. If he can develop a change, he could be really good.

Jed Bradley

-Good control of his fastball
-Not good sink
-Average change-up that can improve
-Below average slider
-Loses his “stuff” out of the stretch

Neither sounds particularly exciting right now, but my feel is that he was looking at what he saw right now. Both of these are obviously young pitchers and haven’t even received any coaching from the Brewers yet. He likes Bradley’s potential to develop a good change, and he thinks Jungmann needs one to be effective against lefties.

You may recall I wasn’t thrilled with either selection, but once they were made, I just hoped they got both signed. These guys give the Brewers some impact arms that hopefully aren’t too far away from the big leagues.

… And continue to roll

Posted by Steve

The Brewers seemingly cannot lose.

It’s easy to think back to the terrible teams, or even the teams under Ned Yost, and remember how they used to seem to find ways to lose. This team is finding ways to win.

The only aspect of the team that has been great over this incredible run is the pitching. The defense has been just as bad as it has all year, and the offense is up and down. Over their last two games and 19 innings, they’ve scored three runs… And still managed to win both!

They are 19 games over .500 and have a 5-game lead. They have won 16 of 18 games. This is so surreal that I cannot express my many thoughts in one standard post. We’re going to need a cornucopia of thoughts.

————

This has gotten me in trouble before, but I’m addicted to Baseball Prospectus’ Playoff Odds Report. As of Sunday morning, the Brewers had an 87.6% chance to make the playoffs, and it will be even higher after they won Sunday. That’s a big number. We’re approaching the point where if they don’t win the division, it would have to be considered a choke. Maybe it’s not quite there yet, but anything over 90% and then missing is a choke in my book.

It’s worth noting that this streak has pulled them even with the Braves, who lead the wildcard. They’re now tied for the second-best record in the NL. Soon the secondary goal of finishing ahead of the NL West team (and avoiding the Phillies in the first round) will come into play. 

————

The starting pitching has been the story all year, and it has been very good lately. However, it’s not like any one starter has been completely dominant–it’s more like they’ve been consistently good, something to the tune of 6-7 innings, 1-3 runs allowed on most nights.

The area that has been dominant, however, is the bullpen. The bullpen has been number 1 in xFIP in the NL in August, and in the last 30 days, it’s 3.28.

John Axford is simply overpowering–he is the best Brewer reliever I can remember. The most important part of the K-Rod trade wasn’t adding K-Rod himself (more on this in a moment); it was bumping down guys like LaTroy Hawkins and Kameron Loe. When you have those guys pitching the sixth and seventh instead of the eighth, your bullpen is going to be in better shape. It’s the deepest pen they’ve had in years, and the haven’t even acquired a lefty reliever yet (fingers crossed). I think the bullpen is the biggest reason for their incredible run the last three weeks.

————

K-Rod is a pretty good reliever. That said, I hate watching him pitch. He’s like Claudio Vargas–guys are always on base. You always feel like he’s teetering on the edge of blowing the game. His walk rate is too high, and his strikeout rate isn’t enough to make up for it. 

This isn’t to say he sucks. He’s just not what he was in his early/mid-twenties, and I would love it if Ron Roenicke would stop automatically using him in the eighth inning. In fact, K-Rod is third or fourth on my list of relievers I’d like to see in a high-leverage situation. Takashi Saito has been great lately, and he’s been a superior pitcher to K-Rod the last few seasons–he just doesn’t have the big name. LaTroy Hawkins has done a very good job as well, and when Kameron Loe is used correctly, he’s an asset.

So basically, I just want to see K-Rod utilized for what he is instead of what he was. He was a dominant closer; he is a solid but not great reliever.

————

It’s time for the Felipe Lopez experiment to end. It was worth a shot when Rickie Weeks went down, but Flip just doesn’t have the 2009 magic in him. His bat speed is gone, so his laziness on the field isn’t worth it anymore. It’s time to get Taylor Green up. For the love of God, it is time to get Taylor Green up. To be eligible for the playoff roster, he needs to be called up before September. DFA Lopez and call up Green.

————

Speaking of Weeks, that studmuffin is already taking ground balls, not even three weeks after that hideous ankle injury. It sound like he may be back ahead of the six-week timetable, which would obviously be a huge lift. It’s incredible that the Brewers have been able to win so much without him, so getting him back ahead of time just seems like a cherry on top of the sundae.

————

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said something along the lines of , “Hey Steve, how about your boy Yuni now! You have to eat some crow!” I’d have, like, six nickels. Still, there is sentiment that Yuni is somewhat making up for his abysmal first half.

He isn’t. Hitting for a few weeks won’t make up for the fact that he was one of the five worst regulars in baseball for three months. Secondly, while I’ve never been a fan of his offensive game, that’s always been my secondary concern. To anyone who gives me a little crap about Betancourt, I just point to his defense. It’s still terrible and hurting the team.

————

I want more Jerry Hairston! Okay, it’s not like he’s a world-beater, but he’s being used like he’s a right-handed Craig Counsell. He’s currently a better option than what the Brewers have at second base, shortstop, and third when you factor in both offense and defense. Yet, he really only starts against lefties. He also hasn’t played an inning at shortstop, which is incidentally where he should be spending most of his time.

————

Tomorrow is a huge day for the Brewers, and it has nothing to do with starting a series against the Dodgers. It is the deadline to sign draft picks. Both of their first round picks, Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, remain unsigned. All indications are that they will be signed, but it’s still a little unsettling–particularly when you think back to just last year, when they were all set to sign Dylan Covey.

Jed Bradley is the one who is particularly concerning, because the Brewers used the comp pick from Covey to select him. If they don’t sign Bradley, they don’t get another comp pick next year–that pick is lost. No doubt Bradley is using that as leverage, and it’s likely the Brewers will have to pay him more than they’d like because of it.

Still, it will be inexcusable if they don’t sign both of these pitchers. They realize the need to get impact arms in the organization, though, and I’d be very surprised if both do not sign tomorrow.

————

Back to the big league team. There is no reason to expect the hot streak to end. Their next four series are against teams under .500, so they should keep rolling. They’ll need to, because the Cardinals also have their next four series against losing teams too.

Welp

Posted by Steve

Meh.

Of course you can only tell so much at this time, but I am really disappointed in the way the first round played out for the Brewers. I really wanted Javier Baez or Francisco Lindor, and both were gone before the Brewers’ first pick.

They ended up taking Taylor Jungmann with the 12th pick. I was fairly high on him writing my post yesterday, but then I read last night that in his last start he got knocked around and topped out at 88 mph. Ugh.

Then with the 15th pick, I really wanted C.J. Cron, or maybe Taylor Guerreri or Sonny Gray. Instead they took Jed Bradley, who will really surprise me if he is more than a #4 or 5 starter. It’s one thing to take college pitchers hoping they’ll help quickly, but if their ceiling is limited, it’s not much of a help.

The Bradley pick is especially questionable following the Jungmann pick. If they had taken a high school player at 12, I could see going for a safer pick. But taking two safe picks isn’t a great way to rebuild the worst farm system in baseball.

Remember Jack Z’s theory that your first rounder has to have at least one A grade for a tool? Best fastball, best curveball, best power hitter, etc? These guys aren’t close to that.

Who knows how it will turn out, but right now I’m less than thrilled.

MLB Draft

Posted by Steve

Interesting game today, to say the least. The Brewers are on fire, they have Greinke going for the sweep tomorrow, and best of all…

OMG THE MLB DRAFT IS TOMORROW!!@$@!

One of my favorite days of the year… And I’ll actually be able to watch! This is a particularly exciting draft this year, for two main reasons: this is considered a particularly deep draft, and the Brewers have two high picks–12 and 15 (comp pick for not signing Dylan Covey last season).

This first round is deep in college pitching, but I’m actually not sure that’s the route the Brewers will go. As I say every year I do this entry, check out Brewerfan.net for outstanding free draft coverage. It’s where I start my reading on the draft every year. Anyway, here are a few names being thrown around for the Brewers at 12 and 15.

Francisco Lindor, High School Shortstop

Lindor is a plus defender at shortstop with good speed and athleticism. He’s a switch hitter–another big plus. He even profiles as a leadoff hitter, as he has been praised for his contact ability and plate discipline. He’s probably the number one ranked high school position player.

Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt has sure graduated some top pitching prospects in the last few years, from Casey Weathers to David Price to Mike Minor. Sonny Gray is another one who will go in the first round. Gray is a shorter pitcher at 5’11″, which of course has led to comparisons to Tim Lincecum, another college pitcher.

Now here’s the exciting part. For the first time in this blog’s history, I can claim to have something of some inside information. A buddy of mine works with the Vandy baseball team, and he was talking to me about Gray. Even though everything I’ve read profiles Gray as a starter, he sees Gray as a future reliever. Gray only has two good pitches at this point, which is what probably led him the reliever projection. If that’s the case, I’m less interested in Gray.

Interestingly enough, my friend spoke even higher of another Vanderbilt pitcher, Grayson Garvin. Garvin is a 6’6″ lefty, and after looking at his numbers, I don’t understand why he’s not projected to go in the first round. He has 89 ks to just 21 BBs this season, a better ratio than Gray’s 115 ks to 39 BBs. His report on Garvin: “I think he would fly through the system. The coach says he is better than Mike Minor at this point in their careers.”

Garvin is projected to go in round 2 or maybe the supplemental round. You (probably) heard it here first: Here’s hoping the Brewers can get Grayson Garvin in round 2.

Taylor Jungmann, University of Texas RHP

Another big college right-hander at 6’6″ and 220 pounds, Jungmann will be taken somewhere in the first half of the first round. He’s got pretty stats to go with the frame as well: 128.1 innings, 119 strikeouts, 29 walks. He’s not as flashy as top 5 picks like Gerrit Cole and Danny Hultzen, but Jungmann looks like he could be a workhorse 2/3 starter. I’m a sucker for control pitchers, so I’d be pleased with Jungmann at either 12 or 15.

Archie Bradley, High School RHP

Listing him here may even be a stretch, as it seems he is moving up boards in the last week or so. Bradley is a big right-hander who throws hard and has a power curve. Both his fastball and curveball project to be plus pitches. The Brewers haven’t had a ton of luck drafting high school pitching (or pitching in general), but Bradley is considered a better prospect than Dylan Covey was last year. He’d instantly become their number one pitching prospect.

George Springer, CF, UConn

Springer is considered maybe the only 5-tool player in college baseball. He plays a good center field, and he projects to have plus big league power. He’d be an exciting pick, but I’d be a little surprised if he was still around at pick 12.

Javier Baez, High School Shortstop

Unlike with Francisco Lindor, scouts question whether Baez can stay at short; many project a move to third base is in his future. Either way, his bat should play at either position. He’s been putting on shows in batting practice, and he projects as an above average offensive third baseman with a competent glove. Despite the lack of pitching in the Brewers’ system, I’d be plenty happy if they came away with Lindor and Baez in the first round: two players who project to be good defenders and above average offensively at their positions.

Taylor Guerreri, High School RHP

Guerreri is another good high school pitcher who might not be around for pick number 12 in many years. His fastball is supposedly 92-97 mph, and he throws a curve, changeup and cutter.

C.J. Cron, 1B/C, Utah

Cron catches some, but he projects to be a first baseman in the majors. He has great power and plate discipline, as shown by his hilarious 1.320 OPS. Picking him would be pretty identical to their selection of Matt LaPorta a few years ago, and that worked out just fine for the Brewers. They sold him at his highest value, although LaPorta is doing pretty well with Cleveland this year. Cron would be a logical heir apparent for Fielder, though obviously not for a few years.

Other possibilities:

Matt Barnes, RHP, UConn

6’4″ right-hander with impressive numbers. Potential frontline starter.

Alex Meyer, RHP, University of Kentucky

Meyer has had an impressive season after struggling his first two years, which fits the profile of Eric Arnett, a first rounder from a couple years ago who’s looking more and more like a bust. It will be interesting to see if the Brewers shy away from him for this reason. If they do take him, I’m pretty sure Brewerfan.net will collapse on itself and disappear from the internet.

Daniel Norris, High School LHP

Norris is considered the best prep lefty.

Mikie Mahtook, CF, LSU

One of the best college OFs, Mahtook can probably stick in CF.

Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech

He’s considered the second best lefty behind sure-to-be-off-the-board Danny Hultzen of Virginia.

Prediction?

It’s obviously very tough to project, but I’ll rank the players in order of their likelihood to be drafted by the Brewers at either 12 or 15.

1. Javier Baez
2. Taylor Guerreri
3. Taylor Jungmann
4. Francisco Lindor
5. Sonny Gray
6. Archie Bradley
7. C.J. Cron
8. Jed Bradley

Remember, that’s what I think will happen, not necessarily what I’m hoping for. I’d be thrilled to get two of George Springer, Archie Bradley, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Taylor Jungmann,  Taylor Guerreri, and C.J. Cron. Cron doesn’t fit as big of a need, but I’d probably develop a mancrush on him similar to LaPorta. And remember, gimme Grayson Garvin in the second round.

With all that said, the Brewers have had much better luck developing offensive players from the first and second rounds over the last several years. I’d be plenty happy drafting hitters in the first round or two, then stocking up on pitchers over the next several rounds and hoping you find one or two who stick.

That’s all I’ve got. Happy draft day, everyone!