Woodruff, Diaz win Brewers' Minors honors

Woodruff, Diaz win Brewers' Minors honors

MILWAUKEE -- Brandon Woodruff's scouting report requires an update after the right-hander rode an uptick in velocity to the Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year honor on Tuesday.

Coming off a season in which he led all of Minor League Baseball with 173 strikeouts, Woodruff was honored along with Isan Diaz, the 20-year-old middle infielder named Brewers Minor League Player of the Year. Since 2003, those awards have been called the "Robin Yount Performance Awards" after the Brewers' former first-round Draft pick and Hall of Famer.

"With Brandon, you kind of knew what you were going to get every night," said Double-A Biloxi pitching coach Chris Hook, who joined the Brewers' big league staff as an extra coach on Tuesday. "He's got really good stuff, he commands the baseball very well, and he competes like crazy. He's got a nice mix of all those attributes."

Woodruff ranks 25th on MLBPipeline.com's list of the Brewers' top prospects, with a report touting a low-90s fastball. But he threw much harder during a 2016 season split between Class A Advanced Brevard County and Biloxi, according to Hook.

"Last year he was 92, 93 [mph], but this year he was 94 and up, sometimes up to 99," Hook said. "I saw him in Birmingham one night, and in the first inning, he was 98, 99. So he can be that guy.

"I think he's an athletic guy, a big, strong, laid-back country boy. We were trying to get him a little quicker down the slope, and it really worked for him. He wanted to mosey through his delivery. So we didn't change his delivery, we just sped it up a touch. He really liked it. The idea was, let's be a little more aggressive."

Woodruff was 14-9 with a 2.68 ERA in 28 starts between Brevard County and Biloxi. After a mid-May promotion, he led the Southern League in WHIP (1.04), opponents' batting average (.211), strikeouts per nine innings (9.82), and was among the leaders in ERA (third, 3.01) and strikeouts (fourth, 124). He led the organization in starts and innings pitched.

Top Prospects: Diaz, MIL

Diaz spent his first season in the Brewers organization at Class A Wisconsin, hitting .264/.358/.469 with 34 doubles, five triples, 20 home runs, 75 RBIs, 72 walks and 11 stolen bases. He led the organization in games (135), doubles, home runs and RBIs, and was second in hits (134) and walks. 

The Brewers acquired him on Jan. 30 along with Chase Anderson and Aaron Hill in the trade that sent Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner to Arizona. Diaz ranks No. 9 on MLBPipeline.com's list of the top Brewers prospects.

"Brandon and Isan have made significant strides this season which resulted in outstanding results on the field, and we're very pleased to recognize their hard work with this honor," Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said in a statement.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.