In 2011 as a junior at the University of Texas, Milwaukee Brewers right-handed starter Taylor Jungmann won the Dick Howser Trophy. That highly coveted award is presented to the best national collegiate player of the year. The award was one among many honors and accolades Jungmann earned during his days in Austin.
Jungmann was a dominant ace of the Longhorns' staff. He finished his collegiate career 32-9 with a 1.85 ERA in 45 games. Jungmann's efforts earned him a selection by the Brewers in the first round of the 2011 Draft.
Jungmann is a huge presence on the mound at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds. He relies more heavily on moving the ball in a downward plane than overpowering a hitter with high velocity.
Using a 92-94 mph four-seam fastball as an important pitch, Jungmann relies on a sinker with a tad less velocity. That two-seamer is crucial to his pitch sequencing. Jungmann mixes in an upper 70s curveball as another important weapon. Due to some variance in the velocity and movement on the pitch, there are times his curveball can actually be classified as a hybrid pitch. Some even think it's more a slider than a curve. Call it a "slurve." Jungmann also uses a less frequent changeup to complete his arsenal. I believe his changeup is worth throwing more often, as the pitch adds deception to his repertoire.
Pitching across his body most often, Jungmann does get good downhill movement on his pitches. As a result of the sink on his offerings, he has a high ground-ball rate. Jungmann uses his size and strength as allies in his usual pitch sequencing. Since Jungmann isn't overpowering, he pays a price when he gets the ball up in the zone. He's very dependent on late life on his fastball for success.
Jungmann does not always repeat his three-quarters arm slot delivery. His arm slot and release are a bit unconventional, and they can change from pitch to pitch. At times, it may take a batter or two to recover during those times Jungmann loses command and control and he has to regroup.
During Jungmann's starts after his Major League promotion, his mechanics have been fine and the results have been good.
Jungmann's sinker is a very good pitch that can miss bats or cause weak contact. When his sinker is working, his outing is usually a success. Jungmann is physically strong and can offer innings to his club.
The versatility of Jungmann's breaking ball makes his sinker and four-seam fastballs more effective. His curve can break both early or late, depending upon his release point. Jungmann can also fool a hitter by throwing the occasional changeup to alter the balance of the hitter.
Jungmann has recently improved his walk rate. That helped him win a promotion to Milwaukee's starting rotation in early June.
Jungmann really doesn't have an impact pitch that he can use time and again to finish hitters. Rather, he depends upon good pitch sequencing and adding deception from a delivery that appears to look awkward and herky-jerky to the hitter.
Jungmann can lose his release point and rhythm rather quickly. When his shoulder flies open and he doesn't finish his pitches, he loses control and elevates his pitches.
Jungmann isn't a "get the ball and throw it" type of pitcher. He appears pensive on the mound, thinking through his repertoire and giving the hitter time to collect his own thoughts and anticipate what pitch is coming.
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Jungmann came to the Brewers as a very highly touted, almost "can't miss" prospect with a remarkable collegiate background. He lost some luster and dropped in prospect rankings. However, Jungmann is pitching well at the big league level and is again gaining steam as a prospect. He is No. 12 on Milwaukee's Top 30 Prospect list.
If Jungmann continues his good outings, he can earn a permanent role in the Brewers' rotation.
Jungmann in a word
Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.