Milwaukee Brewers: Luis Ortiz
With over a third of the MLB regular season in the books, the Milwaukee Brewers are threatening to run away from the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. Not only do they lead their division, the Brew Crew has the best record in the National League. The big moves of hte offseason are paying off, and Milwaukee is proving everyone who deemed them at least another year away from toppling the Cubs flat-out wrong.
With Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, Matt Albers and a host of other talented relievers lead the major leagues in ERA . Milwaukee’s dominant bullpen group has held opposing hitters to a .206 batting average and has struck out 10.3 per nine. The Brewers bullpen has more than covered for a starting rotation that is in the bottom half of the league.
The scary thing for the rest of the league is the fact that the Brewers still have plenty of young arms that could be called up to help reinforce their bullpen. Freddy Peralta made two dominant appearances and struck out 18 in 9.2 innings of work. Right-hander Luis Ortiz is next in line to join the staff and has the type of arsenal that profiles well if converted to a relief role.
Ortiz can easily run his fastball up to 97 mph with a slider that can also be used as an out pitch. He has not had as much success developing his changeup and curveball, but if he is eased into the big leagues out of the bullpen, that won’t matter as much. Ortiz has no problem throwing strikes and avoiding walks. The Brewers may view him as a mid-rotation arm in the long run, but the 22-year-old is ready to be used as another weapon in the middle innings as soon as this season.