Milwaukee Brewers Land 3 Young Pitchers in Phelps’ Trade

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 04: General manager David Stearns of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on during summer workouts at Miller Park on July 04, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 04: General manager David Stearns of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on during summer workouts at Miller Park on July 04, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Just before the trade deadline hit, the Milwaukee Brewers sent David Phelps to the Phillies for three young pitchers in return. Here’s what you need to know.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been playing better baseball as of late after getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates about a week ago. However, they still sit on the outside looking in at the NL playoff picture, and as a result, prior to the trade deadline, nobody knew for certain whether they would-be buyers or sellers.

There were, of course, rumors surrounding Josh Hader as well as Orlando Arcia, but it was, in fact, relief pitcher David Phelps who the Brewers decided to trade to Philadelphia. In his short time with the Crew, Phelps was excellent out of the pen. Over 13 innings, he would record a 2.77 ERA, a 2.75 FIP, a WHIP of 0.692, along with 13.8 strikeouts per nine.

Yet, in what was a very David Stearns-esque move, he trades a player that is here on a team-friendly one-year deal with a second-year club-option from a position of strength for three young and controllable pitchers.

In return for Phelps, the Brewers would land 20-year old and right-handed pitcher, Brandon Ramey. Along with two right-handed 19-year olds in Israel Puello and Juan Geraldo. So let’s take a quick look at the newest members of the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization.

Brandon Ramey

Ramey has spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons in the Gulf Coast League playing with the Phillies Rookie ball affiliate. As an 18-year-old in 2018, Ramey made four appearances, all in relief, and over nine innings, allowed six earned runs on seven hits. He also allowed four walks, a home run, and struck out seven.

In his most recent season in 2019, Ramey saw considerable improvement as he was moved to a starting role, making seven starts and covering 22.2 innings. During that span, he would allow 11  hits, seven earned runs, one home run, and six walks. However, where he really improved was in striking hitters out, as he recorded 30 with 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

Here is what Brad Ford of Brew Crew Ball had to say about Ramey’s game:

"“At 6’3” and 170 lbs., there’s plenty of room for growth for Ramey. He’s got a lower arm slot and a changeup that could be “very good” that sits 82-84 mph. His fastball currently peaks at 94 mph. He pairs those two with a high-70s curveball.”"

Israel Puello

Puello’s first two seasons have come in the Dominican Summer League with the Phillies’ team affiliate. Similar to Ramey, Puello took some lumps during his first 2018 season but improved considerably in 2019.

During that first season, Puello would cover 65.2 innings and recorded a 4.52 ERA with 60 strikeouts, 37 walks, a WHIP of 1.218; however, he allowed just three home runs. The following year, in the same amount of innings, Puello’s ERA dropped to 1.92, he struck out 83 batters instead of 60, and he walked only 19 instead of 37.

For a closer look at Puello’s game, here is what Ford had to say:

"“Although he’s still 19, Puello has a relatively filled out frame. At 17, he walked around at 200 lbs. and standing 6’3’, already hucking 92 mph with his fastball and a solid slider. He understands how to miss bats and could definitely be a power arm when he fully develops.”"

Juan Geraldo

Geraldo spent his 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League alongside Puello, and in 2019, he joined the Gulf Coast League. In the Summer League, Geraldo would pitch in 61 innings, logging 52 strikeouts along with 20 walks, and totaling a 4.43 ERA. He also posted a WHIP of 1.311 and allowed only three home runs.

I’m sure by now, you can sense a theme between years one and two for each of these players, and Geraldo is no different. Although with a smaller sample size of only 25 innings in the Gulf Coast League, Geraldo’s strikeouts per nine went from 7.7 to 11.9, his walks per nine went from 3.0 to 2.5, and both his ERA and WHIP dropped as well.

Now, for one more look, Ford had this to say about Geraldo’s game:

"“Geraldo’s fastball will top 93 mph. He pairs it with an 85 mph changeup and low-80s curveball. His frame isn’t maxed out and he definitely sports a classic delivery.”"

With this trade, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to land three young pitchers who are all currently ascending. While it’s certainly too early to tell whether any will make an impact at the big league level, keep in mind that at one time, the Brewers received a young Freddy Peralta as part of the Adam Lind deal with Seattle. The point is, you never know.