Welcome to the first installment of the 2012 series “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers”!
As a brief reminder of how this work, as we approach Opening Day on April 6, 2012 I will be reviewing/previewing players in the the Milwaukee Brewers organization that are either on the 40-man roster or have been given an invitation to Major League camp in Spring Training and have a legitimate chance to make the 25-man roster. It’s a way to focus on the individual members of this team sport.
Today is January 19, 2012 which leaves 78 days until Opening Day. Taylor Jungmann was invited to big league camp this spring and assigned jersey number 78. Therefore…
Today I take a look at Taylor Jungmann, a 6’6″, 220 lbs right-handed pitcher.
This will quite probably be the shortest post in the series. That’s not because of a lack of potential on Jungmann’s part. It’s mostly based on the fact that part of what I do in these posts is review the player’s previous season in professional baseball. Jungmann didn’t have a professional season in 2011.
After being drafted by Milwaukee with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Jungmann waited until the last day he could to sign his professional contract. Part of the reason for that is because he was still pitching in the College World Series for the University of Texas Longhorns and part of the reason is that there is the idea that waiting until the last possible minute to sign somehow leverages your contract value to its highest point.
Jungmann did have a bit of leverage in draft negotiations because he was drafted as a junior in college. He had the right to return to the Longhorns for his senior season and re-enter the draft in 2012. The Brewers got him signed to a contract, of course, which probably included an invitation to to big league camp for his first Spring Training. Putting a player in that position not only gives him a taste of what to expect in the future (if he’s successful in the minor leagues) but also can serve to fuel the player’s hunger to get back into a position to be back on the Major League side of things sooner rather than later.
Again, though, Taylor Jungmann did not throw a pitch for the Brewers’ organization after being drafted. This is probably a good thing because he was thrown often and long while playing for Texas.
Jungmann wore number 26 in college so don’t let the assigned jersey number throw you. 78 isn’t exactly something you normally see worn by a big league starting pitcher. The 70s are usually reserved for minor-leaguers that don’t have much chance at all of breaking camp with on the 25-man roster. (There are exceptions, of course, like once-again-Brewer Seth McClung who chooses to wear 73 on his back regardless of where he’s throwing.)
This is no different for Jungmann. He has a lot of potential that he will spend all of 2012 in the minor leagues refining. There have already been reports that he will bypass the Low-A level of the minor leagues and begin the 2012 season with the High-A Brevard County Manatees. There he will look to improve upon what scouts have labeled three “plus” pitches. A fastball with plus movement which has been thrown between 91-97 mph, even touching 98 mph, though tends to sit in the 93-95 MPH range. A curve, with a hard and tight 11-to-5 break. Along with a changeup. His command is usually considered average and he occasionally gets too much of the middle of the plate. Jungmann has demonstrated outstanding control though, throwing strikes and not hurting himself with walks.
Jungmann is the kind of college arm that could be on the relative fast track to the bigs, but he will have to prove himself along the way to realize that goal.
So keep an eye on Taylor Jungmann this spring. Just remember that while his results on the mound may or may not be very good, the experience is something that should only benefit him in the long run.
Next in the series: #77 Jed Bradley will be profiled on January 20, 2012.