If there was any doubt that Jake Odorizzi is the top pitching prospect in the Brewers system entering tonight’s start against Cedar Rapids, it should be gone now. Odorizzi threw the first eight innings of a combined no hitter tonight for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, striking out 10 batters and walking one. Pitch count concerns led to Adrien Rosario replacing Odorizzi in the 9th, and Rosario finished the game, walking one but preserving the no hitter.
Odorizzi’s numbers with the Timber Rattlers are absolutely eye popping. In 116 innings pitched, Odorizzi has now struck out 130 batters, while walking only 37, and allowing only 7 home runs. This start should push his FIP below 3.00 and will move his ERA down to 3.34. Prior to the season, Baseball Prospectus prospect guru Kevin Goldstein (subscription required for full article) said the following about Odorizzi:
14. Jake Odorizzi, RHP: He has advanced command and control for his age, but Odorizzi’s stuff has yet to take the expected step forward.
Looks like the step forward is there. I’m not sure that Odorizzi can be an ace – it’s never smart to project that – but Odorizzi is certainly a pitcher to be excited about, and his rise this season is a much-needed boost to a relatively bare Milwaukee Brewers farm system.
As a side note, the Brewers played today. They lost 5-3. Dave Bush was bad. Casey McGehee was good.