The Sky Sox finished out the 2017 season with a record of 80-57, earning the top spot in the Pacific Coast League Northern Division, a full ten games in front of the second place Oklahoma City Dodgers. The Sky Sox .584 winning percentage was second to only the Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals), who ultimately eliminated them during the PCL Playoffs.
A total of 24 players who suited up for Colorado Springs also saw big league action with Milwaukee, including top pitching prospects Josh Hader and Brandon Woodruff and outfielder Brett Phillips who all proved to be key contributors down the stretch for the Brewers.
Colorado Springs started off the season with three consecutive wins and aslo added a six-game win streak later in the month as they finished April with a record of 13-6. The Sky Sox played a game over .500 in May, going 16-15, then turned in a phenomenal month of June, going 20-10, finishing the month with another six-game winning streak. Colorado Springs went 15-12 in July and 14-13 in August before splitting their final four regular season games in September. They took on the Memphis Redbirds in the PCL Playoffs and took the series to five games, before falling, three games-to-two.
The offense was paced by top outfield prospects Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips and Ryan Cordell, who combined with utility players such as Yadiel Rivera, Nate Orf and Ivan De Jesus, Jr. to provide plenty of thunder in the high altitude of Colorado. First baseman Garrett Cooper also played a key role for the Sky Sox, turning in an outstanding season in the heart of the order, before being traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for pitcher Tyler Webb at mid-season.
The pitching staff featured a strong mix of veterans and young players with plenty of moving parts as arms came and went, moving up and down throughout the Brewers’ system. At the end of the day, Rick Sweet, Fred Dabney and company made it all work as they all came together, handling an extremely tough pitching situation with relative ease.
The Sky Sox had just one player named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team in first baseman Garrett Cooper. Cooper got the starting nod at first base and went 1-for-3 as the PCL topped the International League by a score of 6-4.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LEWIS BRINSON: Brinson bounced up and down between Milwaukee and Colorado Springs and spent some time on the disabled list in 2017, but when he was on the field, he was the best player on the baseball diamond. In 76 games for the Sky Sox, Brinson wound up hitting .331/.400/.526. An all-around player who provided exceptional defense, Brinson finished the year with 22 doubles, four triples and 13 home runs to go along with 11 stolen bases and 66 runs scored.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
TAYLOR JUNGMANN: A forgotten man among Brewers pitching options, Jungmann did his best to make everyone remember him by turning in an excellent season in one of te toughest pitching environments in baseball. The former first-round pick out of Texas started 15 of the 17 games he played in, going 9-2 with a 2.59 earned run average while holding PCL hitters to a .216 batting average against him.
Games Played: Kyle Wren (128), Nate Orf (125), Ivan De Jesus, Jr. (112)
Runs: Nate Orf (103), Kyle Wren (80), Brett Phillips (79)
Hits: Ivan De Jesus, Jr. (142), Nate Orf (139), Kyle Wren (136)
Doubles: Nate Orf (32), Ivan De Jesus, Jr. (30), Garrett Cooper (29)
Triples: Nate Orf (11), Brett Phillips (10), Kyle Wren (10)
Home Runs: Brett Phillips (19), Garrett Cooper (17), Lewis Brinson (13)
RBI: Garrett Cooper (82), Brett Phillips (78), Nate Orf (65)
Walks: Kyle Wren (54), Nate Orf (54), Brett Phillips (45)
Stolen Bases: Kyle Wren (26), Lewis Brinson (11), Brett Phillips (9)
Batting Average: Garrett Cooper (.366), Ren Garcia (.347), I. De Jesus, Jr. (.345)
On Base %: Garrett Cooper (.428), Ivan De Jesus, Jr. (.407), Lewis Brinson (.400)
Slugging %: Garrett Cooper (.652), Brett Phillips (.567), Lewis Brinson (.562)
OPS: Garrett Cooper (1.080), JLewis Brinson (.962), Brett Phillips (.944)
Wins: Taylor Jungmann (9), Andrew Barbosa (7), Tristan Archer (7)
ERA: Rob Scahill (1.40), Wei-Chung Wang (2.05), Taylor Jungmann (2.59)
Appearances: David Goforth (48), Wei-Chung Wang (47), Tristan Archer (44)
Saves: Rob Scahill (10), David Goforth (5), Damien Magnifico (4)
Innings Pitched: Taylor Jungmann (90.1), Michael Blazek (85.0), P. Espino (78.2)
Strikeouts: Taylor Jungmann (82), Paolo Espino (77), Brandon Woodruff (70)
WHIP: Rob Scahill (1.09), Forrest Snow (1.15), Taylor Jungmann (1.20)
TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Lewis Brinson (OF)
2. Brandon Woodruff (RHP)
3. Brett Phillips (OF)
4. Mauricio Dubon (2B/SS)
5. Kyle Wren (OF)
6. Bubba Derby (RHP)
7. Angel Ventura (RHP)
8. Tristan Archer (RHP)
9. Tyler Webb (LHP)
10. Tyler Heineman (C)