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MVBrewers Honorable Mention: Jeremy Jeffress

An April minor league free agent pickup turned into a great asset for the 2014 Brewers.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In April Doug Melvin made a classic Doug Melvin under the radar move signing former Brewer Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal after he had been released by the Blue Jays. In about 55 major league innings at that point (including 10 with the Brewers in 2010), he had not been able to throw strikes and 2 franchises had given him away for nothing. Then he rejoined the Brewers organization. He dominated in 41 innings and became the closer at AAA, then was promoted back to the bigs as a last-ditch effort to improve the struggling bullpen on July 21st. He proceeded to become one of the most trusted options in the bullpen down the stretch, finally displaying the control needed to be an effective major leaguer. In previous stints in the majors, he walked 14%, 16%, 18%, and 12% of batters faced. With the Brewers this year he only walked 6%.

It's really, really tough to know if Jeffress has actually turned a corner or will start firing erratically at some point again next year. There's also a concern about his ability to get out lefties if he is used in high-leverage roles going forward. But with his stuff, it's possible that a year or two from now we will be thinking that Doug Melvin's biggest acquisition in 2014 was actually a minor league free agent who was picked off of the scrap heap.

Best Game

I am going to decline to actually pick a best game for Jeffress, because his signature achievement as a Brewer may have been his ability to avoid a bad game. In 29 games, the most runs allowed with he was charged with was 1. Regardless, enjoy a video of Jeffress striking out Buster Posey:

Contract Situation

The Brewers have control of Jeffress for likely as long as they want to retain his services. He has just over a year of Major League service time and his contract can be renewed for near the league minimum this spring.