Tag Archives: Jed Bradley

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.