Once he finally got his chance in the big leagues, former Mississippi State standout Brandon Woodruff did not disappoint. His numbers weren’t eye-popping – 2-3, 4.81 ERA in eight games last summer – but the touted prospect displayed some mettle for a Milwaukee team that was in a playoff race. “He made eight starts last year, and all of them were what we would all consider really big starts in big moments,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said in a recent mlb.com article. “I think he handled himself well.” Woodruff is currently battling as many as five other pitchers for two jobs on the Brewers’ opening day roster. He has made two Cactus League appearances, allowing two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. The Brewers are aiming to be a contender again in 2018. P.S. Tyler Moore, the former Northwest Rankin High, Meridian Community College and MSU standout, has been in the Florida camp for MLB free agents and played in Tuesday’s exhibition game against a Japanese amateur team. First baseman/outfielder Moore, 31, hit .230 with six homers in 101 games for Miami last season. He has spent parts of five seasons in the majors. … A scoring change erased a two-run single by Petal High product Anthony Alford in Toronto’s Wednesday exhibition game (see previous post). Alford is 4-for-11 in five games this spring.
Brandon Woodruff was slated to make his big league debut today for Milwaukee, but cbssports.com has reported that the former Mississippi State star was scratched with right hamstring tightness. Ouch. Woodruff, a highly rated prospect in his fourth pro season, was 6-4 with a 4.12 ERA at Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Wheeler High product pitched for the Biloxi Shuckers last year, going 10-8, 3.01 and earning minor league pitcher of the year honors in the Brewers’ system (see previous posts).
Whenever the Milwaukee Brewers feel the need for a new arm in their rotation, Brandon Woodruff looks more than ready. Woodruff, the former Mississippi State standout from Wheeler, is 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs, 4-0, 1.54 at home, which is not a pitcher-friendly place. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound right-hander, who relies primarily on a mid-90s fastball, has 30 strikeouts and seven walks in 34 1/3 innings. “(Y)ou talk about mound presence, his is way up there,” Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet, a former Jackson Generals skipper, told The Gazette of Colorado Springs. “When he gets on the mound he’s got control of the game.” Woodruff, 24, was an 11th-round pick by the Brewers in 2014. He emerged as a top prospect last season, when he went 4-1, 1.83 at Class A Brevard County and 10-8, 3.01 at Double-A Biloxi, earning the organization’s pitcher of the year honors. Woodruff got a brief look with the big club in spring training this year. His next opportunity can’t be far off.
Brandon Woodruff, the ex-Mississippi State star from Wheeler, made a trip to Milwaukee’s Miller Park in September to be honored as the Brewers’ minor league pitcher of the year. “This wouldn’t be a bad job to come to every day,” Woodruff said in an mlb.com story. It’ll be his office soon enough. Woodruff, also named the Brewers’ minor league pitcher of the year by MLBPipeline, likely will go to spring training with a chance at winning a job in Milwaukee’s rotation. The right-hander, who’ll turn 24 in February, is currently rated the Brewers’ No. 25 prospect by mlb.com – and he should be rising on that chart. Woodruff started 2016 at high Class A Brevard County and finished it with Double-A Biloxi, going 14-9 with a 2.68 ERA and leading all of the minors with 173 strikeouts. He also overcame the emotional toll of his brother Blake’s death in a four-wheeler accident in late July. In his first start after the funeral, Woodruff threw six near-perfect innings and hit a home run for the Shuckers. Woodruff had an uneven career at State, dogged by injuries and command issues. Milwaukee took him in the 11th round in 2014, and his pro career took off this season at Brevard County. He was 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA before earning a promotion to Biloxi, where he was almost as good. Woodruff beat the Mississippi Braves twice in big games down the stretch as both clubs battled for a Southern League postseason berth. P.S. Itawamba Community College alum Tim Dillard has re-signed with Milwaukee on a minor league contract. The 2017 season will be Dillard’s 15th in pro ball, including parts of four years in the majors. He spent some time with the Brewers last September as part of the club’s social media team (see previous post). Dillard had a 5.13 ERA at Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Brewers’ system in 2016 but reportedly is throwing harder than ever.
Under the category of Gutsiest Performance of the Year, enter the name of Brandon Woodruff. Having buried his older brother just six days before, Woodruff, a former Mississippi State standout, threw six near-perfect innings and hit a home run for Biloxi in a 1-0 win over Pensacola on Sunday in the Southern League. Blake Woodruff died July 15 from injuries sustained in a four-wheeler accident near Wheeler, where both he and Brandon played high school ball. Brandon Woodruff was on leave from the Shuckers for eight days before taking the mound at Pensacola. Hard to imagine how difficult that must have been. A Pensacola player on Twitter called it “the most gutsy thing I’ve ever seen on a baseball field.” The 23-year-old right-hander is 5-6 with a 3.65 ERA for the Shuckers, Milwaukee’s Double-A club. P.S. Here’s hoping Ole Miss alum Mike Mayers, who has a 60.75 ERA attached to his name, gets another opportunity in the big leagues. In his debut with St. Louis on Sunday, Mayers was rocked for nine runs in 1 1/3 innings by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has been sent back to Triple-A Memphis, where he had pitched well. … Former Southern Miss star Scott Copeland has re-signed with Toronto and is now at Triple-A Buffalo. He had been pitching in Korea, where he was 2-3 with a 5.54 ERA.