Stearns wrapped up his second draft in the Brewers front office last week. Selecting Keston Hiura ninth overall looks like a great pick on paper, as the UC Irvine product led the nation in batting average (.442) and on-base percentage (.567). But the rise in Stearns’ stock isn’t just draft related. No one expected the Brewers to be leading the NL Central in late June, especially when the division contains the defending champions (who will remain nameless). Milwaukee entered the season with the lowest payroll in the big leagues -- by over $6 million. It’s been a fun spring at Miller Park, and it’s time David Stearns sees that reflected in the stock report.
Troy Fumagalli (↑ UP)
Fumagalli is basking in the national spotlight as college football season quietly sneaks up on us. The 6-foot-6 tight end was named a preseason All-American list by Athlon Sports on Wednesday. After leading the Badgers with 47 receptions and finishing second on the team with 580 receiving yards last season, Fumagalli is expected to make another step forward as a redshirt senior. He could rise to become the best tight end in the Big Ten and possibly the nation as one of quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s favorite targets.
Tim HeitmanTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Nelson (↑ UP)
Nelson dazzled the San Diego Padres on Sunday, recording his first career complete game in a 2-1 win. He threw 118 pitches and surrendered just six hits and one unearned run. Nelson lowered his ERA to 3.28, which amazingly ranks third on the team. Junior Guerra (2.84) and Chase Anderson (2.92) have a lower ERA.
Eric Thames ( --> NEUTRAL)
The highs for Thames have been incredibly high and the lows have been remarkably low all season long for Thames, battling through his first MLB season since 2012. Thames homered in his fourth consecutive game Saturday, which boosted him to second in the National League with 20 home runs. But since then, Thames has reached base just once in 13 plate appearances. He struck out four times Tuesday night and left seven men on base in a 7-3 loss to the Pirates.
Wily Peralta (↓ DOWN)
The struggles that haunted Peralta as a started have followed him into the bullpen. He allowed four runs in the seventh inning during an 8-1 loss to the Pirates on Monday, which inflated his ERA as a reliever to 10.54. Peralta has given up at least one run in his last seven appearances out of the bullpen.