Major League Baseball announced the rosters for this year’s All-Star Futures Game, which is a contest held annually during the All-Star break that pits top internationally-born prospects versus the best minor leaguers who were born in the USA. The Milwaukee Brewers will be represented by one lone player — who will suit up for Team USA — and he isn’t even someone currently ranked among their top-30 prospects by MLB Pipeline.
Congratulations to our own @DTrainn_23, who has been named to the 2019 @MLB All-Star #FuturesGame on July 7th! Devin is the lone representative for the Brewers this season in the Futures Game #ShuckYeah— Biloxi Shuckers (@BiloxiShuckers) June 28, 2019
- Mike Krebs pic.twitter.com/8bc6OOJ9hm
Devin Williams, 24, was Milwaukee’s top pick back in the 2013 MLB Draft. That was the year that the Brewers forfeited their first-round pick by signing Kyle Lohse as a free agent, and they took Williams in the second round at #54 overall. The right-hander was considered to be one of the team’s more well-regarded young arms during the early part of his career but his ascent to the big leagues came to a halt in 2017, when he suffered a torn UCL in his throwing elbow and missed the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Williams returned to action around mid-season in 2018 and started 14 games for the Carolina Mudcats, pitching in short bursts while tallying 34.0 innings. He was transitioned to the bullpen full-time prior to this season, though, and has taken quite well to his new role. There has been some wildness, but overall Williams owns a 2.70 ERA in 46.2 innings covering 25 appearances. He’s punched out 62 batters against 29 walks and has yielded only 3 home runs, with opponents batting a mere .195 against him. He’s produced a sturdy 3.37 FIP, however Deserved Run Average is less impressed with his work, tagging him with an essentially average 99 DRA-.
I am of the increasing strong opinion that Devin Williams pitches in the big leagues for the #Brewers this year.— Toby H (@YouKnowAndThat) April 18, 2019
He looks stronger, especially in the lower half, and that FB/SL/CH combo could be devastating out of the pen if he can continue to reign in his command. #Shuckers
Williams will be eligible for minor league free agency at the end of this season, but if he can continue to produce at the rate he’s been going, there is a chance he could convince Slingin’ David Stearns and the rest of Milwaukee’s brain trust that he’s worthy of a 40-man roster spot and a chance to pitch for the Cream City Nine later this year or next season.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus