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  • Brewers Minor League Week in Review (4/26-5/2): K is for Knarr


    Seth Stohs

    The Brewers are in first place. Entering game action this week, the Triple-A Nashville Sounds and Double-A Biloxi Shuckers are also in first place. High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Low-A Carolina are currently in second place. The Brewers farm system is strong. Find out who performed well throughout the system over the past week. 

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    It was a busy week for the four Brewers affiliates. Nashville was in St. Paul and fought the rains over the weekend, but they were able to increase their lead in the division. Biloxi split their series against Pensacola and remains in first place. Wisconsin had a rough week, winning just one game, but their overall record remains strong. And the Mudcats didn't score many runs but found ways to keep winning. 

    There were a couple of solid hitting performances individually, but several very strong pitching performances were in the Brewers' system. Several were considered for pitcher of the week, and really, you could do a coin flip to pick between the top two. The windy, circuitous route to pro baseball for this week's choice is fascinating, and his story should be told. 

    TRANSACTIONS 
    While no official transactions have been made on Monday, we hear that transactions are coming.  

     

    RESULTS

    WEEK IN REVIEW 
    Triple-A: Nashville Sounds
    Week: 3-2 at St. Paul  
    Season: 16-7 overall, 1st place in the International League West. They are 1/2  game ahead of Columbus and 2 1/2 games ahead of Memphis. 

    It was a weird week in St. Paul, but the Sounds were able to increase their lead in the division. After two tight losses to start the week, the Sounds good a win, and then the rains came. They started a game on Friday and finished it on Saturday, but the regularly scheduled game was suspended. Sunday’s game was simply postponed.  

    Seven Sounds relievers threw a combined 8 2/3 innings with just one unearned run allowed.

    • Josh Lindblom had a fantastic start. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out eight Saints batters. 

    • Caleb Boushley gave up one run on four hits and a walk over five innings in his start. He struck out three batters.  

    • Ethan Small struck out seven over five innings of one-run ball. He gave up two hits, though he did walk four batters. 

    Despite the rainy conditions, a couple of Sounds hitters had big weeks. Here are the highlights: 

    • Weston Wilson played in five games. He went 5-for-14 and hit .357/.500/.857 (1.357) with a double. He also had a two-home run game. He also walked four times and stole two bases. 

    • Brice Turang played in five games as well. He went 7-for-20, hitting .350/.435/.750 (1.185) with two doubles and two home runs. 

    What’s Next? The Sounds return home to face Norfolk, who is 12-12 on the season.   

    Pitching Probables (RHP Luis Perdomo, RHP Josh Lindblom, RHP Caleb Boushley, LHP Ethan Small, RHP Dylan File, RHP Jason Alexander

    Double-A: Biloxi Shuckers  
    Week: 3-3 vs. Pensacola   
    Season: 12-9 overall, 1st place in the Southern League South Division. They have a 2 1/2 game lead over Montgomery. 

    The Shuckers split their home series against the Blue Wahoos. The series began with a loss. Then Shuckers pitchers tossed two consecutive shutouts before being shut out on Friday.  

    Let’s start with the pitching because they were really good. 

    • Tyler Herb made one start and tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked none, and struck out eight batters. 

    • Victor Castaneda went 5 1/3 innings in his start. He gave up no runs on three hits. He walked two and struck out five batters. 

    • Zach Vennaro pitched three times and finished three games. He gave up just one hit and struck out two batters in 2 1/3 innings.

    • Harold Chirino, Matt Hardy, Robbie Hitt, and Nash Walters each pitched twice without allowing a run.   

    There were a few solid Shuckers' offensive performances, but just three of 13 batters hit over .200 for the week.  

    • Jakson Reetz played three games and went 3-for-9 (.333) with a double and a walk. (.944 OPS)

    • Joey Wiemer played all six games; he went 6-for-22 and hit .273/.360/.545 (.905) with three doubles and a home run. 

    • Cam Devanney played in five games and went 4-for-13 (.308) with a walk and a home run. 

    What’s Next? The Shuckers will be playing host to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.  

    Pitching Probables (RHP Tyler Herb, RHP Victor Castaneda, LHP Nick Bennett, RHP Carlos Luna, LHP Andy Otero, RHP Tyler Herb)   

    High-A: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers  
    Week: 1-5 at Peoria
    Season: 12-9 overall, Tied for 2nd place in the Midwest League West Division with Peoria, 3.0 games behind Cedar Rapids. 

    It was a rough week for the Timber Rattlers. They had a 6-2 win on Thursday, but they were outscored 19-39 over the other five games. There was one blowout, but the other losses were by three runs or less.

    • Darrien Miller played in five games. He went 6-for-17, hitting .353/.500/.588 (1.089) with a double, a homer, and four walks. 

    • Zavier Warren went 7-for-22 over six games last week. He hit .318/.375/.500 (.875) with four doubles. 

    • Carlos Rodriguez hit .313/.400/.500 (.900) with a homer and three walks. 

    • Sal Frelick played all six games. He went 8-for-26, hitting .308/.357/.538 (.895) with a double, a triple, a homer, and two walks. 

    It was a rough week for the starting pitchers, the whole Timber Rattles pitching staff. Except for one guy…. 

    • Lefty Brandon Knarr went six innings during his start. He gave up two hits and a walk but no runs, and he struck out seven batters. 

    • Max Lazar made a start and gave up only an unearned run over 3 1/3 innings. 

    What’s Next? The TimberRattlers will be hosting Fort Wayne. 

    Pitching Probables (RHP TJ Shook, LHP Brandon Knarr, LHP Antoine Kelly, RHP Justin Jarvis, LHP Russell Smith, RHP TJ Shook)

    Low-A: Carolina Mudcats 
    Week: 4-2 at Down East 
    Season: 11-10 overall, Tied for 2nd place with Lynchburg in the Carolina League North Division, 3.0 games behind Fredericksburg. 

    It was a closely-contested series Down East last week. Over six games, the Mudcats outscored their opponent 26-24 thanks to their Sunday, 6-4 win.

    It was a slow week for the Mudcats' offense. Just one batter posted an OPS over .700. 

    • Eduardo Garcia played in five games. He went 8-for-21 and hit .381/.391/.714 (1.105) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and eight RBI. 

    The pitching wasn’t really strong either.  

    • Alexander Cornielle tossed five innings during his start. He gave up two unearned runs in five innings despite allowing four hits and walking five batters.  

    • Michele Vassalotti pitched twice. He gave up three runs (1 earned) over 4 2/3 innings. 

    • Ryan Moore gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out nine batters. 

    • Trevor Tietz pitched twice and recorded two saves. In two innings, he walked one and struck out three. No runs. No hits. 

    What’s Next? The Mudcats will be back home to face Augusta for six games.

    Pitching Probables (RHP Brannon Jordan, RHP Ryne Moore, RHP Edwin Jimenez, LHP Alexander Cornielle, RHP Carlos Rodriguez, RHP Brannon Jordan) 

    PROSPECT SUMMARY
    This Prospect Summary shows our current Brewers' Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 26 - May 1). 

    #1 - LHP Aaron Ashby (Milwaukee) - 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 5 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 2 GS, 17.0 IP, 8 R, 5 ER, 13 BB, 19 K, 0-2, 2.65 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 6.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9)  

    #2 - OF Joey Wiemer (Biloxi) - 6 G, 6-for-22 (.273), 3-2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 21 G, 25-for-81, .309/.385/.519 (.903), 8-2B, 3-HR, 17 RBI, 9 BB, 26 K)

    #3 - OF Garrett Mitchell (Biloxi) - 6 G, 2-for-22 (.091), 3 BB, 9 K (Season: 21 G, 18-for-76, .237/.326/.368 (.694), 2-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 9 RBI, 8 BB, 30 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)   

    #5 - LHP Ethan Small (Nashville) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 7 K (Season: 5 GS, 23.1 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 9 H, 16 BB, 31 K, 2-0, 0.77 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 6.2 BB/9, 12.0 K/9)

    #6 - SS Brice Turang (Nashville) - 5 G, 7-for-20 (.350), 2-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K (Season: 20 G, 26-for-83, .313/.380/.494 (.874), 7-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 20 K)  

    #7 - OF Hedbert Perez (Carolina) - 5 G, 5-for-19 (.263), 1-2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K (Season: 17 G, 13-for-70, .186/.230/.314 (.544), 3-2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3/3 SB, 4 BB, 28 K) 

    #8 - C Jeferson Quero (Carolina) - 5 G, 3-for-23 (.130), 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 17 G, 18-for-70, .257/.290/.357 (.647), 5-2B, 1-3B, 0-HR, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 18 K) 

    #9 - SS Freddy Zamora (Biloxi) - 5 G, 2-for-16 (.125), 1-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 16 G, 11-for-58), .190/.250/.276 (.526), 2-2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 17 K)

    #10 - 2B Tyler Black (Wisconsin) -   (Season: 10 G, 10-for-33 (.303/.410/.394 (.804), 3-2B, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 3 K)  

    #11 - 2B Felix Valerio (Biloxi) - 2 G, 1-for-7 (.143), 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (Season: 16 G, 16-for-56, .286/.368/.536 (.903), 3-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 5 K) 

    #12 - OF Jackson Chourio (Complex) - 

    #13 - C Mario Feliciano (Nashville) - 4 G, 3-for-14 (.214), 2-2B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 K (Season: 16 G, 12-for-56, .214/.279/.286 (.564), 4-2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 17 K)

    #13 - C Mario Feliciano (Milwaukee) - (Season: 1 G, 0-for-0, R, BB)

    #14 - LHP Antoine Kelly (Wisconsin) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 4 GS, 16.2 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 8 H, 13 BB, 23 K, 1-0, 3.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.0 BB/9, 12.4 K/9)  

    #15 - OF Joe Gray, Jr. (Wisconsin) - 6 G, 3-for-25 (.120), 2-2B, 1 BB, 13 K (Season: 21 G, 12-for-76, .158/.247/.290 (.537), 5-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 6 RBI, 5/5 SB, 9 BB, 36 K) 

    #16 - SS Eduardo Garcia (Carolina) - 5 G, 8-for-21 (.381), 2-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 19 G, 25-78, 321/.357/.500 (.857), 6-2B, 1-3B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 3 BB, 32 K)  

    #17 - UTL Zavier Warren (Wisconsin) - 6 G, 7-for-22 (.318), 4-2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 20 G, 18-for-72, .250/.317/.333 (.650), 6-2B, 5 RBI, 3/3 SB, 5 BB, 20 K)  

    #18 - RHP Abner Uribe (Biloxi) - IL (out for season)

    #19 - OF Hendry Mendez (Carolina) - 5 G, 3-for-18 (.167), 2B, 2-RBI, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 17 G, 13-for-58, .224/.384/.310 (.694), 2-2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 15 BB, 16 K) 

    #20 - LHP Russell Smith (Wisconsin) - 2 GS, 8.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 7 BB, 8 K (Season: 4 GS, 15.0 IP, 13 R, 11 ER, 16 H, 10 BB, 15 K, 0-1, 6.60 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 6.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) 

    PLAYERS OF THE WEEK 
    Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Weston Wilson, Nashville Sounds  
     

    Weston Wilson had a really strong week last week in St. Paul. He hit .357/500/.857 (1.357) in five games with a double and two homers. Both homers came in the same game on Thursday night at CHS Field. 

    Wilson has been in the organization for quite a while. The 27-year-old Clemson alumnus was taken in the 17th round of the 2016 draft. He has progressed through the organization quite consistently. In 2017, he started in Low-A but spent the final four months of the season at High-A. In 2018, he played 105 games in Carolina before ending the season with a few weeks in Double-A Biloxi. He began the 2019 season with the Shuckers, where he hit 19 doubles and 19 homers in 127 games. Like others, he missed the 2020 season. When he returned in 2021, he played 70 games for Nashville. He hit .267/.354/.548 (.902) with 11 doubles and 16 homers. He also stole eight bases in 10 attempts. He struck out 23% of the time, which isn’t bad, but he also walked over 11.4%of his plate appearances. 

    Wilson is big and strong with a lot of power. He’s also a good athlete and can play all over the diamond. He’s played eight games at third base, six at left field, and then at first base, second base, and right field. In 2021, he even played quite a bit at shortstop. Wilson is not currently on the Brewers' 40-man roster, but that could be possible sometime in 2022.   

    Pitcher of the Week: LHP Brandon Knarr, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 
    If you want to tell me that Tyler Herb should have won this for the week, you aren’t going to get an argument from me. 

    • Tyler Herb – 6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K

    • Brandon Knarr – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K

    They both went six innings and didn’t give up a run. They both had three base runners. Call it a tie? Maybe I should have. But after looking at each, I went with Brandon Knarr because if we had named a Brewer Fanatic Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month, it would have been Knarr. On the season, the 23-year-old has made four starts. He is 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. In 22 1/3 innings, he walked six and struck out 27 batters. 

    Knarr’s path to pro ball has taken many turns. The Pennsylvania native put up some crazy strikeout numbers at Eastern York High School. He went to Notre Dame as a freshman and pitched in 12 games. He transferred to the College of Central Florida and went 6-1 for head coach Marty Smith. In 65 2/3 innings, he had 86 strikeouts. From there, he went to the Division 2 baseball powerhouse at the University of Tampa. In six starts before the season was shut down, he went 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA. He had 64 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings (16.3 K/9). Knarr went undrafted in the Covid-shortened, five-round 2020 MLB draft. As you recall, teams were able to sign non-drafted players for up to $20,000. Knarr had many options, but the Brewers offered the opportunity to work as a starter. He signed and has taken advantage. 

    Last year in Carolina, he went 7-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 75 innings. He struck out 103 batters (12.4 K/9). He ended the season with five starts in Wisconsin, where he struggled some but also struck out more than a batter per inning. 

    Knarr has fought to get this far in his career. He stands less than 6-0 tall. He isn’t a flamethrower, but he is incredibly competitive. His fastball sits between 88 and 91 mph. He has a split-finger pitch that is sitting in the 72-76 mph range. He’s got two breaking balls, a slider in the low-80s and a slower curveball in the mid-70s. He works fast and really commands the zone. He’s known to ask questions and always working to learn more about his craft.

    Feel free to discuss the Brewers' prospects and their affiliates in the COMMENTS below. 

     

     

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    Julio Muchacho
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    Agreed on Knarr(ly). If you haven't seen him pitch, his 12-6 curve is nasty. It is an incredibly effective pitch at the High-A level. I am eager to see him bump up in competition to see how it fairs in higher levels. He had another six punch-outs of scoreless ball tonight versus Fort Wayne (5/4). I would say he is one of our more enjoyable young pitchers to watch. He attacks hitters with an advanced blend of pitches. 

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