Since being assigned to the Minor Leagues as a first year member of the Brewers Bar team out of Spring training I’ve decided to add a new feature to my coverage of the farm system and I’m calling it the Monday Minor League Breakdown. Each Monday throughout the season I won’t be giving you the usual Morning Box Scores. Instead I will be giving you a look at the week that just was for each of the teams in the Brewers farm system as well as some individual player highlights and lowlights for that week and the season. I hope you’ll find this information useful in your search for the next great Brewers star. Hey, who knows if I do well enough I just may get a September call up, huh?
So, here goes nothing as we bring you our first team…. the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers!
There won’t be a game tonight in Appleton and for any of you in Northeast Wisconsin it should be pretty obvious as to why. It’s going to be brutally cold (20’s), possibly snowy, oh and wind gusts north of 40MPH. YIKES!!
So they will play two games tomorrow with the first starting at 5:05. It’ll also be a pair of seven inning games as well, not full 9 inning games.
This past week the T-Rats went 4-3, starting the week off with a win against the Burlington Bees, but they dropped the overall series 2-1 to the Bees. (W 6-2, L 1-5, L 2-3). Things changed big time once they faced the Peoria Chiefs at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Wisconsin started the four game series off with three straight victories but they couldn’t get the job done yesterday in a 5-3 loss to the Chiefs.
Going into the games in the Midwest League tonight Wisconsin has a 5-5 record and is just 1 game out of the Western Division lead that is held by the trio of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Kane County Cougars, and the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Relief pitcher Chad Pierce, a Fond du Lac native, had one heck of a week and nearly took home our Minor League Player of the Week award given out yesterday. Pierce went out for two games of relief work and pitched 7 innings of scoreless baseball in total. He gave up only 3 hits and 4 walks and struck out 10 batters. As a result he sits with a 0.00 ERA and a pretty damn good WHIP of 1.00 as well.
On the starting pitching side Drew Gagnon has been very good through his first two starts this season, but has no wins to show for it, getting no decisions in each of his starts so far this year. He’s pitched a total of 9 innings so far and given up 2 runs, both earned, off of just 7 hits and only 2 walks. The most impressive part of his start to this season is his 13 strikeouts. He also has a decent 2.00 ERA as well and the 2011 3rd round pick could very well be on his way to moving up the ladder quickly if these performances continue.
Hitting wise their haven’t been a lot of standout performances as could be expected at this level in the organization, but three players have stood out head and shoulders above the rest in 1B Jason Rogers, CF Chadwin Stang, and SS Yadiel Rivera. Rogers leads the team in nearly every batting category as he has a line of .333/.556/.984. In fact he’s only behind lead-off hitter Chadwin Stang in slugging percentage (.588) and is tied with him in the HR lead at 2. Stang is third on the list at this point as he’s really cooled off after a hot start to the season. Rogers has driven in a team best 8 runs as well.
Yadiel Rivera is 9-for-29 so far this season (.310avg) as the 8th hitter for the T-Rats and he’s got 2 RBI’s as well as 2 doubles in those 9 hits. He’s also got a very good OPS of .816, which bodes well for one of the most intriguing infield prospects in the Brewers system. He does need to prove he can be consistently this good through this season, but we could be looking at someone with Major League skills written all over him. Defensively he’s been his usual steady self and is clearly above most players at this level in the games that I have been able to catch this year.
And with that stay tuned as we bring you the other three teams throughout the day/night ahead!