Big year in the books for pitching prospects

Big year in the books for pitching prospects

Big year in the books for pitching prospects
HOUSTON -- Martin Maldonado, the recently-promoted catcher, did not have to think very long when asked which pitchers impressed him at Triple-A Nashville.

"We've got two young guys who are really good," Maldonado said. "At some point, this year or next year, they will be here."

He was referring to 22-year-old Wily Peralta and 26-year-old Michael Fiers, right-handers who started the season at Double-A Huntsville but finished strong in Nashville. Peralta was 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in five Triple-A starts, with 40 strikeouts versus 11 walks in 31 innings. Fiers was 7-0 with a 1.21 ERA in seven starts and two relief appearances, with 65 strikeouts and 22 walks in 59 2/3 innings.

They attack hitters with contrasting styles -- Peralta features a power arsenal, while Fiers uses finesse. Maldonado said there were nights that Fiers' fastball sat in the 86-88-mph range, but he still carved through lineups. He throws his fastball, cutter and changeup from precisely the same slot, and hitters have trouble picking up the baseball.

"Very different pitchers," said Maldonado, who did think of one similarity: "They know how to throw."

General manager Doug Melvin said one of the pitchers was under consideration for a September callup after Nashville's season ends on Monday.

Peralta has the benefit of being on the 40-man roster, but the Brewers do have one open spot.

"You'd like them to come up if they have a chance to pitch a few innings, [not] just to be here," Melvin said. "The problem is, our games are all meaningful games. Teams that are out of the race, when [their affiliates] are done playing, they can get those guys."