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The continuing evolution of Jimmy Nelson

May 17th, 2017 at 8:09 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Like Wily Peralta before him, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson arrived in the big leagues with expectations to fulfill. The 2010 2nd-round pick methodically ascended his way through the minor leagues and up top prospect lists, culminating in the #38 overall ranking by Baseball America in the 2014 Midseason edition of their Top-50 list. A sturdy build, mid-90s fastball, and sharp slider had fans and scouts alike dreaming of a sturdy and dependable presence near the front of a big league rotation.

Similarly to Peralta, however, Nelson still has yet to find the consistent success that was hoped for him when he debuted in the big leagues. Jimmy provided glimpses of what he could be during a solid 2015 season that saw him post a 4.11 ERA/4.10 FIP across 177.1 innings, but he could not carry that success over into last year. He fought his mechanics throughout the season while leading the league with 86 walks and 17 hit batters en route to a 4.62 ERA/5.12 FIP in 179.1 innings. He was particularly awful in the second half, authoring a 6.10 ERA during his final 14 starts of the season while issuing nearly five free passes per nine innings, allowing a .287 batting average against, and serving up 1.62 HR/9.

Nelson’s woeful finish to 2016 cast significant doubt on his future. He’s no longer young (he’ll turn 28 next month) and had seemingly regressed since arriving in the majors. It seemed likely that Nelson would be given one more chance out of spring training to try and stick in the starting rotation, but with young starters like Josh Hader, Brandon Woodruff, and Jorge Lopez knocking on the door for an opportunity, the leash would presumably become much …

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Tags: Unfortunately, this is the real Wily Peralta

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