There's a saying around baseball, often abbreviated as TINSTAAPP: "There is no such thing as a pitching prospect." So many things can happen to a young pitcher before they reach the majors, the argument goes, that counting on a young pitcher to develop is akin to counting your proverbial eggs before they've hatched.
The Brewers lent a little evidence to that philosophy today when they released Canadian right hander Nick Bucci, just a few weeks after releasing fellow former 40-man pitcher Cody Scarpetta. Bucci is 23 years old and has appeared in just eleven professional games since Opening Day 2012.
The Brewers selected Bucci out of high school in the 18th round of the 2008 draft and pushed him pretty hard up the organizational ladder, allowing him to make his professional debut in his age 17 season in 2008 and continuing to elevate him one level per season through 2011, when he pitched a career-high 150 innings for Brevard County at age 20 and posted a 3.84 ERA.
Bucci was also active in international tournaments, pitching for Canada in the 2009 and 2011 Baseball World Cups and the 2011 Pan American Games. In fact, those last two tournaments may have marked the beginning of the end of his Brewers tenure.
Both tournaments were played in October of 2011, immediately following the longest season of Bucci's young career. He was added to the 40-man roster that winter but was unable to pitch in camp the following spring and appeared in just ten games for the AZL Brewers and Brevard County that season. He also missed nearly all of the 2013 season, recording just two outs in his lone AZL appearance.