The minor league season has seen teams reaching their 40 game point. At this time we are releasing our second edition of The Cycle where we check out some top performers of 2014 whom we have featured here on chasingmlbdreams.com. The cycle honors the top performers at the plate, on the mound and in the bullpen. This week we take a look at 4 top performers who take the ball every 5th day.
Brewers prospect Jimmy Nelson has been electric all season long. In his nine starts with Nashville this season, Nelson went 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA. In his 58 innings of work for the Sounds, Nelson struck out 58 batters while only allowing free passes to 17. Nelson held his opponents to a .180 average in his nine starts as he knocked loudly on the door to the major leagues.
Due to an injury to Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers recalled Nelson this past weekend to fill his spot in the rotation. Nelson faced-off against the Florida Marlins and picked up his first major league win of his career. Nelson kept the Marlins off the board in his 5.2 innings of work. He allowed five hits and three walks while logging six strikeouts. His day was cut short due to a high pitch count, Nelson threw 107 pitches over his span of work.
As a jack of all trades in the Nationals system, Tatusko has done whatever he has been called upon to do. Primarily a starter early in his minor league career, Tatusko has seen time as more of a swing man in recent years with the Syracuse Chiefs. As the 2014 season got underway Tatusko was given a chance to be apart of the Chiefs five man rotation and he hasn’t looked back. The Indiana State product has a 2-5 record in his 10 starts with the Chiefs. His record is not indicative of how well the right hander has pitched this season. In 56.2 innings pitched, Tatusko has an era of 2.22 and has kept runners off the base paths boasting a whip of .971. Tatusko is knocking at the door and could earn his first big league opportunity at some point in 2014.
After working his way up to AAA with the Texas Rangers last season, Brigham signed with the Pirates organization during the off-season. During his 2013 campaign, Brigham saw time in the bullpen to start the season and was dominant in the relief role. Over the course of the season Brigham was moved into the starting rotation and compiled 18 starts at Round Rock. This season with the Indianapolis Indians, Brigham has been used primarily as a starter. In eight starts and one relief outing, Brigham has logged 50.1 innings and has struck out 48 batters. On the year he is 1-3 with a 3.40 ERA. Whether it’s in the rotation or out of the bullpen, if Brigham continues to put together a solid season he could get an opportunity in Pittsburgh.