A productive 2013 season between double-A Huntsville and triple-A Nashville earned Brewers prospect Jimmy Nelson a promotion to the big-league roster September 2. Now, he's receiving attention from scouts and minor league managers on a national scale.
Continuing its coverage of the top prospects from each minor league this off-season, Baseball America Tuesday morning released its top 20 list for the double-A Southern League. Nelson was included, coming in at No. 18 overall. Other notable prospects included in the list who were recalled to their respective teams this season included Miami's Christian Yelich (No. 5 overall) and Jake Marisnick (No. 10 overall), Seattle's Taijuan Walker (No. 4 overall) and Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig (No. 1 overall).
Over 12 starts with double-A Huntsville this season, Nelson went 5-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, striking out 72 batters in 69 innings -- enough for a 9.4 K/9 rate that ranked eighth-best in the league among pitchers with at least 60 innings.
Nelson said in January that he wanted to improve upon his strike-throwing abilities and consistency. Posting a strike rate of 64 percent with an average game score of 56 over his 12 double-A starts, according to Baseball Reference, that certainly was the case.
I showed in high-A Brevard county that I can stay in the strike zone for a whole game and do that for several outings," Nelson said. "But I also showed in double-A that I wasn't as consistent as I was in high-A. I know my stuff is there, I just have to be consistent in the zone, attack it and get ahead of hitters. Once I can do that from start-to-start, then I think that's when I'll take the next step."
In four relief appearances -- 10 innings -- with Milwaukee this season, Nelson allowed one earned run to cross home on two hits, striking out eight while walking five.