Clearly, ‘Player Development’ is the most important thing about minor league baseball. Organizations will always prioritize doing what is best for the big-league club, and that’s getting players ready to contribute at that level. That said, Winning is not only fun, but it can be a part of player development. Yes, players work on their individual performances and skills, but it’s also good to learn how to come together as a team to win games and learn that competitive fire.
Last week, all four Brewers affiliates played all six of their games. Combined, they went 12-12 on the week, and that’s including an 0-6 by Biloxi. Wisconsin had another strong week thanks to some incredible pitching talent. Nashville remains in first place.
Before we jump into Week 5’s games, let’s take one more look back at Week 4. See how each affiliate did, which prospects performed, and what’s next. And, at the end, find out who the Brewer Fanatic choices for Hitter and Pitcher of the Week are.
Last week, the Brewers Designated Jose Urena for Assignment, making room on their 26-Man Roster and the Brewers' 40-Man Roster. On Monday, the team announced that Urena had cleared waivers and was outrighted to Nashville. However, Urena chose to become a free agent.
- Last week’s Week in Review (4/26-5/2): K is for Knarr
- Tuesday: Promotions and Releases and Retirements, oh My!
- Wednesday: Biloxi Loses Third Straight But Late Wins Abound Elsewhere
- Thursday: Nashville Wins on a Walkoff, but Blown Leads and Missed Chances Cost Other Affiliates
- Friday: Wild Walk-off for Wisconsin (Literally)
- Saturday: Sounds and Timber Rattlers Continue to Impress
- Sunday: Nashville Dominates. Three Stirring Comebacks Result in One More Affiliate Victory
WEEK IN REVIEW
Triple-A: Nashville Sounds :
Week: 4-2 hosting Norfolk
Season: 20-9 overall, 1st place in the International League West. They are 2 1/2 games ahead of Columbus and 4 1/2 games ahead of St. Paul.
In a completely random fact about Nashville’s week of games. They won four games. Also, four times, they scored exactly four runs in a game. They went 3-1 in those games. The Sounds' offense wasn’t great, but they did outscore Norfolk 22-18. That may have been closer, but the pitchers earned a 1-0 win on Saturday and a 4-0 win on Sunday. The pitching, and specifically the bullpen, was strong. The Sounds become the first International League team to win 20 games this season. They also are 5-for-5 in their series so far this season.
Jon Singleton found his way on base. He went 4-for-14 and hit .286/.565/.500 (1.065). He had one home run. However, in his six games, he walked nine times.
Jonathan Davis played in five games. He went 8-for-18 and hit .444/.542/.444 (.986). He had four walks and stole two bases.
David Dahl played in four games. He went 4-for-13 and hit .308/.471/.385 (.856) with a double and four walks.
Six relievers didn’t allow a run this week. Miguel Sanchez worked 3 1/3 innings over three games. He struck out five batters.
Dylan File went five shutout innings in his start. He gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out three batters.
What’s Next? The Sounds hit the road to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Pitching Probables (RHP Josh Lindblom, RHP Caleb Boushley, LHP Ethan Small, RHP Dylan File, RHP Jason Alexander, RHP Josh Lindblom)
Double-A: Biloxi Shuckers
Week: 0-6 hosting Montgomery
Season: 12-15 overall. A seven-game losing streak has moved the Shuckers from first place to being tied for 2nd place in the Southern League South Division with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 3.5 games behind Montgomery.
That is a rough week for the Shuckers. It has been a rarity around minor-league ball for a team to win - or lose - all six games of a series. But that’s what Biloxi did. While three of the six losses were by one run, and another was by two runs, the team was outscored 19-37 for the week. The addition of top prospect Sal Frelick to a Shuckers outfield that already included Joey Wiemer and Garrett Mitchell is undoubtedly exciting. However, none of the three really hit last week.
On the other side of that equation, several in the bullpen struggled. Robbie Hitt, Zach Vennaro, J.T. Hintzen, Nash Walters, and Taylor Floyd combined for nine appearances and 7 1/3 innings. They gave up 17 runs on 21 hits and five walks.
Tyler Herb made two starts. He worked ten innings and gave up one run on seven hits. He walked three and struck out 12 batters.
Along with the pitching not being really strong, the offense was not good either. Brent Diaz led the team for the week with a .795 OPS. He played three games and hit .182. However, his two hits were a double and a home run.
Freddy Zamora played in all six games. He went 8-for-25 and hit .320/.346/.400 (.746) with two doubles.
The story for the week was the promotion of outfielder Sal Frelick to Double-A. He played in all six games. He went 5-for-26 and hit .192/.192/.231 (.423) with a double.
High-A: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Week: 5-1, hosting Ft. Wayne
Season: 17-10 overall, 2nd place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games behind Cedar Rapids.
The Timber Rattler's pitching staff, led by pitching coach and former Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Patrick McGuff, has been unbelievable, and that remained true last week. They won the first two games of the week by scores of 9-0 and 4-0. Wisconsin pitchers allowed only 12 runs for the entire week. The Rattler bats scored 29 runs. However, three of the final four games of the series were decided by one run.
TJ Shook pitched twice and worked ten innings. He did not give up a run. He gave up eight hits, walked none, and struck out 12 batters.
Brandon Knarr tossed six shutout innings in his start. He gave up six hits, walked one, ten, and struck out six batters.
Antoine Kelly struck out ten batters in five shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and one walk.
Russell Smith went five scoreless innings in his start as well. He gave up just one hit, walked three, and struck out seven batters.
Justin Jarvis gave up one run in his start. In five innings, he gave up six hits and walked two batters.
Cam Robinson pitched twice and recorded two saves. In four innings, he did not allow a run or a hit. He walked two and struck out three.
Joe Gray led the offense. He played all six games and went 5-for-17. He hit .294/.480/529 (1.009) with a double and a home run. He also walked seven times and stole two bases.
Zavier Warren played in five games and went 4-for-16. He hit .250/.409/.375 (.784) with two doubles. He also had four walks.
Wes Clarke hit just .143 (2-for-14) on the week, but he walked ten times and posted an on-base percentage of .500.
Micah Bello had a great first month in Carolina. He was promoted to Wisconsin. In six games this weekend, he went 3-for-19 and hit .158/.200/.211 (.411) with a double and five RBI.
What’s Next? The Timber Rattlers will be traveling to Quad Cities to play at the beautiful Modern Woodmen Park. If you have seen the movie Sugar, it is the home field for the team.
Pitching Probables (LHP Brandon Knarr, LHP Antoine Kelly, RHP Justin Jarvis, LHP Russell Smith, RHP TJ Shook, LHP Brandon Knarr)
Low-A: Carolina Mudcats
Week: 3-3, hosting Augusta
Season: 14-13 overall, In 2nd place in the Carolina League North Division, 3.5 games behind Fredericksburg.
After winning the first two games of their series, the Mudcats lost three of the last four to split the week’s series. The offense performed. They scored 14 in the first game of the week and scored 40 runs for the whole week. The pitching staff gave up 33 runs. The big story, of course, was the full-season debut of 18-year-old Jackson Chourio.
Jackson Chourio played in his first six games and went 12-for-25. He hit .480/.519/.800 (1.319) with five doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He had two walks and two stolen bases.
Arbert Cipion played in just three games. He had a single, a triple, and a home run.
Oswel Leones played in four games. In 16 plate appearances, he hit .286/.375/.571 (.946) with a double and a home run.
Ryne Moore made one start. In six innings, he gave up only an unearned run. He gave up three hits, walked one, hit three and struck out seven batters.
What’s Next? The Mudcats will be traveling to Fayetteville to take on the Woodpeckers.
Pitching Probables (RHP Ryne Moore, RHP Israel Puello, RHP Alexander Cornielle, RHP Miguel Segura, RHP Brannon Jordan, RHP Ryne Moore)
This Prospect Summary shows our current Brewers Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (May 3 to May 9).
#1 - LHP Aaron Ashby (Milwaukee) - 2 G, 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 7 G, 3 GS, 23.1 IP, 14 R, 11 ER, 17 BB, 25 K, 0-3, 4.24 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, 9.6 K/9)
#2 - OF Joey Wiemer (Biloxi) - 6 G, 4-for-24 (.167), 3-2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 12 K (Season: 27 G, 29-for-105, .276/.345/.495 (.840), 11-2B, 4-HR, 19 RBI, 10 BB, 38 K)
#3 - OF Garrett Mitchell (Biloxi) - 5 G, 2-for-17 (.118), 1-2B, 0-HR, 4 BB, 7 K (Season: 26 G, 20-for-93, .215/.324/.333 (.657), 3-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 11 RBI, 12 BB, 37 K)
#4 - OF Sal Frelick (Wisconsin) - 6 G, 8-for-26 (.308), 1-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 21 G, 23-for-79, .291/.391/.456 (.847), 5-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 9 RBI, 6/9 SB, 13 BB, 14 K)
#4 - OF Sal Frelick (Biloxi) - Week/Season: 6 G, 5-for-26 (.192), 1-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K
#5 - LHP Ethan Small (Nashville) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 6 GS, 27.1 IP, 8 R, 6 ER, 13 H, 18 BB, 37 K, 2-1, 1.98 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 12.2 K/9)
#6 - SS Brice Turang (Nashville) - 5 G, 4-for-21 (.190), 0-2B, 0-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 25 G, 30-for-104, .289/.353/.433 (.786), 7-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 17 RBI, 11 BB, 25 K)
#7 - OF Hedbert Perez (Carolina) - 5 G, 1-for-19 (.053), 0-2B, 0-HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K (Season: 22 G, 14-for-89, .157/.211/.258 (.469), 3-2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4/4 SB, 6 BB, 36 K)
#8 - C Jeferson Quero (Carolina) - 4 G, 3-for-18 (.167), 2-2B, 1-HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K (Season: 21 G, 21-for-88, .239/.266/.375 (.641), 7-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 14 RBI, 4 BB, 23 K)
#9 - SS Freddy Zamora (Biloxi) - 6 G, 8-for-25 (.320), 2-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 22 G, 19-for-83), .229/.278/.313 (.591), 4-2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K)
#10 - 2B Tyler Black (Wisconsin) - 3 G, 0-for-8 (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K (Season: 13 G, 10-for-41 (.244/.404/.317 (.721), 3-2B, 0-HR, 10 RBI, 9 BB, 8 K)
#11 - 2B Felix Valerio (Biloxi) - 5 G, 3-for-17 (.176), 1-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 21 G, 19-for-73, .260/.341/.466 (.807), 4-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 13 RBI, 11 BB, 10 K)
#12 - OF Jackson Chourio (Carolina) - Week/Season: 6 G, 12-for-25, .480/.519/.800 (1.319), 5-2B, 1-HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K.
#13 - C Mario Feliciano (Nashville) - 2 G, 1-for-7 (.167), 0-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (Season: 18 G, 13-for-62, .210/.279/.274 (.554), 4-2B, 0-HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 19 K)
#13 - C Mario Feliciano (Milwaukee) - (Season: 1 G, 0-for-0, R, BB)
#14 - LHP Antoine Kelly (Wisconsin) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 10 K (Season: 5 GS, 21.2 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 14 BB, 33 K, 1-0, 2.49 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 5.8 BB/9, 13.7 K/9)
#15 - OF Joe Gray, Jr. (Wisconsin) - 6 G, 5-for-17 (.294), 1-2B, 1-HR, 7 BB, 4 K (Season: 27 G, 17-for-93, .183/.300/.333 (.633), 6-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 9 RBI, 7/7 SB, 16 BB, 40 K)
#16 - SS Eduardo Garcia (Carolina) - 6 G, 6-for-25 (.240), 1-2B, 0-HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 9 K (Season: 25 G, 31-103, 301/.330/.447 (.777), 7-2B, 1-3B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 3 BB, 41 K)
#17 - UTL Zavier Warren (Wisconsin) - 5 G, 4-for-16 (.250), 2-2B, 0-HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K (Season: 25 G, 22-for-88, .250/.337/.341 (.678), 8-2B, 0-HR, 9 RBI, 4/4 SB, 9 BB, 25 K)
#18 - RHP Abner Uribe (Biloxi) - IL (out for season)
#19 - OF Hendry Mendez (Carolina) - 5 G, 2-for-13 (.154), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K (Season: 22 G, 15-for-71, .211/.391/.282 (.673), 2-2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 20 BB, 21 K)
#20 - LHP Russell Smith (Wisconsin) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 5 GS, 20.0 IP, 13 R, 11 ER, 17 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 1-1, 4.95 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 9.9 K/9)
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Jackson Chourio, Carolina Mudcats
Less than a month into the season, the Brewers decided to make some significant minor-league transactions last Monday. Sal Frelick moved from Wisconsin to Biloxi. Micah Bello was promoted from Carolina to Wisconsin. And Jackson Chourio was sent to Carolina from the Complex.
Chourio played in all six games in his first week with the Mudcats. He went 12-for-25, and hit .480/.519/.800 (1.319) with five doubles and a home run. He also stole two bases. He made all 22 plays that came to him in centerfield.
Covid moved the international signing date from July 2nd to January 15th. On that day in 2021, the Brewers signed the shortstop to a $1.9 million deal out of Venezuela. Chourio has all the tools. He is touted for his power potential and his overall hit tool. While he could stay at shortstop with a strong arm and range, he also has the speed to play in center field. People also talk about his maturity. All this makes him incredibly exciting.
Chourio turned 18 in March and is currently the youngest player on any full-season affiliate's roster.
Pitcher of the Week: RHP TJ Shook, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Get a dice and assign each of the six sides to a Timber Rattlers starting pitcher. Roll said dice, and that is the pick for pitcher of the week. OK, that isn’t true. I don’t actually roll dice to make this pick. However, we have now done three Brewers Minor League Week in Reviews, and the choice for pitcher of the week has been a member of the Wisconsin pitching staff. The first week, the choice was lefty Antoine Kelly, Jr. Last week, it was lefty Brandon Knarr. This week, those two could have taken this honor again, but the choice was right-hander TJ Shook.
Shook has split time this season between starting and working in long relief. He has alternated between making a start and then, later in the week, working in long relief. That’s what he did this week too. On Monday, he tossed six shutout innings against Ft. Wayne to earn a win. On Sunday, he worked four innings in relief and did not give up a run. Combined, he gave up eight hits and didn’t walk anyone. He struck out 12 batters.
TJ Shook grew up in South Carolina. After being an All-State selection in 2015 and 2016 (junior and senior seasons), he went to the University of South Carolina. He redshirted in 2017. The following year he worked 21 games out of the bullpen. He moved into the rotation during the next season (2019). In 2020, he pitched in six games, and in 8 2/3 innings, he had two walks and 16 strikeouts when the season ended. He went undrafted in 2020, but as a redshirt junior, he decided to sign as a free agent with the Brewers.
Last year, he pitched in a couple of games in the rookie/complex league. He made six starts for Carolina and went 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA. He finished the season with five starts for Wisconsin. Combined in 2021, he went 5-2 with a 4.95 ERA. In 13 starts and 52 2/3 innings, he walked 28 and struck out 71 batters. Last year, he walked just over 12% of batters faced. This year, that number has dropped to 8%. At the same time, his strikeout rate has jumped from 26% to 35%
Shook stands tall, at 6-4 and about 220 pounds. He throws a fastball, a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup, and all four can be good pitches. He gets some same-side run on his two-seam fastball. He has been executing his pitches very well. Along with the improved control, he’s been able to show command of his pitches. He is also really smart, including on the mound, understanding what he wants and needs to do on the mound.
Your turn. Who would you have chosen for Hitter and Pitcher of the Week? Which prospects intrigue you the most? Which prospects have moved up (or down) your personal rankings so far this season? Let's discuss.
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