Exceptional Debuts: Reprise for Jungmann | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

Like clockwork, the Brewers recalled yet another organizational starter to pitch in place of Wily Peralta, and once again, that replacement worked an exceptional debut. In fact, for all the fuss about Tyler Cravy‘s debut, which was arguably the best Brewers SP debut of the century and Top Five in the 2015 MLB, Jungmann’s was even better. To Cravy’s game score of 69, Jungmann accomplished a 71, which should not be surprising given that both worked through the seventh inning and allowed one run. The devil’s in the details, though, and even if Cravy struck out one more batter without allowing a homer, he also allowed one more hit and walked one more batter, too. Anyway, these debuts are quite similar:

Debut Starts IP H R K / BB / HR HBP
Tyler Cravy 7 4 1 6 / 2 / 0
Taylor Jungmann 7 3 1 5 / 1 / 1 1

In fact, since Cravy’s debut, only Joe Ross (Nationals) and Jon Moscot (Reds) debuted at the age of 25-or-younger, and both were comparatively shelled. So, as it stands, Cravy’s debut start game score is now 5th in the 2015 MLB, and Jungmann’s is fourth best.

Jungmann’s Fastball
There were two interesting features to Jungmann’s fastball on Tuesday night.

  • The righty began throwing his pitch between 93-94 MPH, and closed the night closer to 90-91 MPH.
  • From GameDay pitch f/x, the fastball did not appear to be Jungmann’s advertised sinker.
Jungmann Fastball 90 91 92 93 94
First Inning 1 4 3
Second Inning 2 7 4 2
Third Inning 4 4 3 1
Fourth Inning 2 3 2 1
Fifth Inning 4 2 1
Sixth Inning 1 3 3 1
Seventh Inning 3 7 1
TOTAL 4 18 23 16 7

According to MLB GameDay, Jungmann’s fastball broke into righties less than his earlier fastballs, and “rose” even more than previous fastballs, which should take away an idea that Jungmann simply changed over to a sinker (at least via GameDay data, that would be the conclusion). Video also suggests that Jungmann was not throwing a sinker, which means that if the pitch was a “moving” variety, it was a riding fastball instead of a sinking fastball.

This is interesting precisely because the scouting narrative on Jungmann states that the right surrendered his big four-seam, traditional fastball, in favor of a sinker (sometime around 2013). However, Jungmann definitely appeared to be a different pitcher than his scouting report on Tuesday, which raises questions about how he might proceed at the MLB level: will he return to the sinker-style he threw in the high minors (as scouted by publications like BaseballAmerica), and return squarely to that 90-91 MPH sinker range? Or will he be able to recoup his big fastball (at least somewhat), and begin work as a two-fastball (sinker / rising) or even one-fastball pitcher?

It remains to be seen if mechanical issues or fatigue caused the fastball changes, or if Jungmann simply made a conscientious decision to change his approach. At the minimum, the righty showed the best of his abilities in his first start, which leaves the same great question marks about overall impact and “ceiling” that fans can ask about Cravy, too.

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