By Chad Quates @chadquates on April 28, 2014
The Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system is currently ranked among the lowest in all of MLB. However, despite the organization’s lack of both top-tier talent and overall depth, there are some interesting young arms worth keeping an eye on at all levels of the system, including one that could make an impact very soon.
With this in mind, here is a quick look at the Brewers’ top five pitching prospects down on the farm.
Unfortunately for Hellweg and the Brewers, the 25-year-old right-hander was recently diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow, an injury that will likely require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This is a tough break for Hellweg, who has great stuff but struggled badly with his control in a brief stint with the Brewers last season and at Triple-A Nashville in the early part of this season.
Goforth was drafted back in 2011, and was a starter until last year’s transition to the bullpen. Goforth possesses an impressive fastball, hovering in the mid-90’s, as well as a nice cutter. The 25-year-old right-hander did well as a closer in the Arizona Fall League, and it appears the Brewers are grooming him for such a role. Goforth is currently at Double-A Huntsville, but could find his way to the Milwaukee bullpen by the end of the season.
The Brewers selected Williams with their first pick of the 2013 draft, which was in the second round. Williams has a lot of potential and arguably the most upside of any current Brewers’ prospect. The young right-hander is only 19 years of age, so there is time for further physical development, as well as improvement of an already formidable arsenal that includes a slider and changeup which complement a fastball already clocking in the low 90’s.
A first-round selection by the Brewers in 2011, Jungmann has not enjoyed the rapid ascent through the system that many anticipated. He is back in Double-A Huntsville to start 2014 after experiencing some control issues at the same level last year. However, Jungmann is off to a good start this season with only eight walks in 27.2 innings, along with 28 strikeouts. Jungmann should eventually find his way to the back of the Brewers’ rotation.
Nelson is currently at Triple-A Nashville where he has been lights-out in five starts, posting a 1.97 ERA and averaging almost one strikeout per inning. Nelson fared well in his time with the big club last year, and should arrive in Milwaukee for good sometime this season. Nelson has the potential to become a permanent fixture in the Brewers’ rotation for years to come, although his stuff may play better in the bullpen.
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