Taylor Jungmann (RHP)
Profile: With the Brewers in need of a fifth starter, they called upon Jungmann, who will make his major league debut with Milwaukee on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. Following a stellar 2011 season at the University of Texas, Milwaukee used their first of two first round draft picks that season to select Jungmann. After signing late, he didn’t make his pro debut until 2012, but the Brewers thought enough of the 6’6″ righty to jump him all the way to High-A Brevard County to begin his career. He made 26 starts for the Manatees that season, going 11-6 with a 3.53 ERA and earned a promotion to Double-A Huntsville the following year.
Jungmann made 26 more starts for the Brewers Double-A affiliate in 2013, compiling a record of 10-10 with a 4.33 earned run average. He returned to Huntsville to begin the 2014 season and posted an ERA of 2.77 in nine starts before getting bumped up to Triple-A Nashville. Jungmann pitched in 19 games after joining the Sounds, making 18 starts, and went 8-6 with a 3.98 ERA, striking out 101 batters in 101.2 innings of work.
Returning to Triple-A to begin the 2015 season, Jungmann struggled in the thin air of Colorado Springs. In eleven appearances, nine of them starts, Jungmann went 2-3 with a 6.37 earned run average. After a horrendous month of April, Jungmann righted the ship some recently, working in to the seventh inning in each of his last three starts prior to his promotion to Milwaukee.
Strengths: Jungmann’s arsenal features three pitches – a fastball, changeup and breaking ball – with his fastball being the best of the bunch. He throws it in the low 90’s and has good command with a late cut to it. Jungmann’s big and muscular frame allows him to handle the high effort of his delivery and he can eat innings and work deep in to games. He got outs despite allowing hitters to put the ball in play against him early in his career, but saw his strikeout numbers take a leap forward in 2014, striking out a batter per inning at Triple-A Nashville. Jungmann knows how to pitch in pressure situations having pitched in big games in the past and should be able to handle the spotlight of the big leagues.
Weaknesses: Walks have been an issue for Jungmann recently, allowing 4.4 per nine innings this season. There are a lot of moving parts in his delivery and when his mechanics aren’t on point it can lead to a loss of control. He can also try to get too fine at times and throw the perfect pitch, resulting in him throwing more pitches than necessary.
Future: Jungmann will get the start at Pittsburgh on Tuesday and how he performs will likely decide if he stays in the rotation for the time being, or heads back to Triple-A Colorado Springs following his start. While there are other pitchers with higher ceilings perhaps, Jungmann is considered a safe arm whose floor is that of a number four or number five starter who should be able to eat some innings and could have a long career at the back end of a big league rotation.