Another arm for the Brewers in their 60-man group, Zack Brown had a 2020-type year in 2019.
- Born: December 15, 1994
- B/T: Right/Right
- 6’1″, 199-lbs
- Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Kentucky
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
Just cruising along in 2017 and 2018 and — wait, a sec, what on Earth happened to Zack Brown in 2019?!
I’ll posit two factors:
- His first AAA exposure occurred in the horrific Pacific Coast League where pitchers go to die
- 2019 was the year the Happy Fun MLB ball was used in AAA, so there was that going against him.
You can see how that could get a fella down.
As it was, his ERA was almost identical against both righties and lefties, but he walked more lefties and struck out fewer lefties, so there’s that.
If lefties hit home runs against him, it was opposite field stuff. Otherwise it’s to all fields overall.
You see why the Brewers were excited going into 2019. He was just cruising along at a very nice level, and then he crashed. That 2019 gap? It wasn’t injury, it was the Brewers giving him a break to get his head straight. I think it worked too, for when he came back he steadily climbed the hole he put himself into earlier in the season.
You see why the team thinks he can be a starter, with three average or better offerings he has the stuff. He gets ground balls (until Happy Fun MLB ball in the PCL decided to bounce right out of the parks). His FB is a mid-90s pitch. His curve is his best pitch with late bite.
If the starting doesn’t work, that curve out of the pen would be nice, along with a presumably speedier fastball.
- Rotowire: Not on their Top 400.
- BaseballHQ: Not on their Top 100.
- Fangraphs: Not on their Top 120.
- Fantasy Six Pack: Not on their dynasty list.
- Prospects365: Not on Ray Butler’s Top 200.
- Imaginary Brick Wall: Not on the Top 487.
- Fantrax: Not on the Top 250.
He needs to prove 2019 was an aberration.
He needs to show he can get major league batters out.
He’s got the stuff to be a #4/#5 type starter for the Brewers, but this year is more likely to be a long arm out of the pen.
After last year’s disaster, it’s probably a good, low-pressure way to build his confidence back up.
2018 happened. It can happen again. He has the stuff.