Jeremy Jeffress had high expectations when the Milwaukee Brewers selected him with the 16th pick of the 2006 draft. With a blazing fastball and excellent movement, he was projected to be a top of the rotation starter. But as he struggled through poor play and drug-related suspensions, he never was able to play a big role on the Brewers staff. Later he was packaged in the Zack Greinke trade with the Kansas City Royals and continued to under-perform in the American League.
This season, however, Jeffress been outstanding upon re-signing with the Brewers. In 30 outings with the Nashville Sounds, Jeffress has a 1.51 ERA and averaged over a strikeout per inning. Perhaps the best stat is that he has limited opposing hitters to zero home runs all season, something that the current Brewers bullpen has struggled to limit.
These outstanding numbers have helped Jeffress earn a promotion to the major league roster. This move is just what the bullpen needs. While lefties Will Smith and Zach Duke have excelled all season, the Brewers have not had a reliable right-handed arm in the bullpen other than Francisco Rodriguez since Tyler Thornburg went down with injury.
In Jeffress, the Brewers not only add a right-handed pitcher who has been consistent all season, but they add a pitcher with a power fastball that can provide uncomfortable at bats for hitters. Jeffress addition makes the bullpen deeper and more formidable than it has been all year. Many times at this point general managers need to go outside of the organization and make a move to help the club upgrade, but Jeffress allows the club to not have to make such a move. He will be an arm that the Brewers can count on the rest of the way.
While he could not live up to expectations before, the 26-year-old Jeffress is in the right place at the right time this year. With plenty of years left in his young arm, this is his shot to find stability with a major league team. His live arm that still possesses electric stuff, and I wouldn’t bet against him succeeding and being a reliable member of the bullpen for a long time.