JEFFRESS, JEREMY

Position: Pitcher

DOB: September 21, 1987

Height: 6’0″ / Weight: 205

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

40-man roster: Yes

How acquired: Trade with Rangers (July 31, 2017)

Profile: Selected by the Brewers out of high school with the 16th overall pick in the first round in 2006, Jeffress signed with Milwaukee and started his career with their affiliate in the AZL that same season.  He began his climb up through the Brewers’ farm system, reaching Double-A Huntsville in 2008, but a pair of suspensions hindered his development.  Jeffress made his MLB debut with the Brewers in September of 2010, but was traded to the Kansas City Royals following the season in a deal that brought Zack Grienke to Milwaukee. Jeffress spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons bouncing between Kansas City and their minor league affiliates, then was traded again, this time to the Toronto Blue Jays.  He spent the 2013 season in Toronto’s system but was outrighted early in 2014, then signed a free agent deal with Milwaukee.  He worked his way back to the big leagues with the Brewers and was inserted into the closer’s role in 2016.  After turning in a dominant season, and with the Brewers out of the race, Milwaukee traded Jeffress to Texas at the deadline.  He finished out the 2016 season with the Rangers and opened 2017 with them as well, but after under-performing, the Rangers traded him back to Milwaukee a year later and he re-joined the Brewers’ bullpen once again.  A hard-thrower with a fastball that sits in the 95-97 mph range, Jeffress has experienced his ups and downs, but has done some of his best work as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, where he has turned himself into a valuable contributor on multiple occasions.

2006:  Drafted by Milwaukee in the first round, Jeffress signed to $1.55 million and made his way to Arizona to begin his career with the Brewers’ affiliate in the Arizona League.  He pitched in 13 games there, starting four of them, and went 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA.

2007:  Jeffress made the jump to full-season ball in 2007, as he was assigned to West Virginia, Milwaukee-s Low-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League.  He started all 18 games he worked in for the Power and went 9-5 with a 3.13 earned run average, striking out 95 batters in 86.1 innings.

2008:  After receiving a 50-game suspension following a positive test for marijuana, Jeffress split the 2008 season between High-A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville, going a combined 6-7 with a 4.53 ERA.  He was assigned to the Arizona Fall League following the season and made three more starts there with Peoria.

2009:  Jeffress again split time between Brevard County and Huntsville in 2009, going a combined 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 14 outings before again testing positive for marijuana.   This time he received a suspension of 100 games, ending his season early.

2010:  Still serving his suspension from the previous season, Jeffress got a late start to his 2010 season, but posted a 2.23 ERA between three levels once he returned to action.  That earned him a September call-up from the Brewers, where he went 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in ten big league outings, and a second trip to the Arizona Fall League.

2011:  Traded to Kansas City along with infielder Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Jake Odorizzi in exchange for pitcher Zack Greinke and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeffress bounced between the Royals and a pair of their minor league affiliates, then returned to the Arizona Fall League for a third time.

2012:  It was more of the same for Jeffress in 2012, as he against bounced between Kansas City and Triple-A Omaha with one appearance at Double-A Northwest Arkansas mixed in.  He was designated for assignment following the season and then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.

2013: Jeffress pitched in ten games for the Blue Jays in 2013, going 1-0 with an 0.87 ERA, but spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A Buffalo, putting up impressive numbers in 25 relief appearances, going 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA to go along with seven saves.

2014:  After making the big league roster out of Spring Training in 2014, Jeffress struggled in three relief appearances for the Blue Jays and was designated for assignment, then outrighted.  He elected free agency and signed a contract with the team that drafted him, returning to Milwaukee.  After a strong showing at Triple-A Nashville, Jeffress re-joined Milwaukee’s bullpen and posted a 1.88 ERA in 29 relief outings.

2015:  Jeffress spent all of 2015 with the Brewers, serving in a set-up role in front of closer Francisco Rodriguez.  He pitched in 72 games for Milwaukee, going 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA, striking out 67 batters over 68 innings of relief work.

2016:  Sliding into the role of closer with the Brewers, Jeffress made 47 appearances for Milwaukee in 2016, going 2-2 with a 2.22 ERA and converting on 27 of 28 save chances.  With the Brewers struggling, they traded Jeffress at the trade deadline, along with catcher Jonathan Lucroy, to the Texas Rangers in exchange for outfielder Lewis Brinson and Ryan Cordell and pitcher Luis Ortiz.

2017:  Working as a set-up man once again with the Rangers, Jeffress struggled in 39 appearances, going 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA.  This time with the roles reversed and the Rangers out of the playoff picture, Texas flipped Jeffress back to Milwaukee at the trade deadline in exchange for minor league reliever Tayler Scott.  He fared much better in 22 games with the Brewers following the trade, going 4-0 with a 3.65 ERA.