Getting his second shot with the Milwaukee Brewers this season, Freezer Man hopes to freeze out major league hitters soon.
After pitching spectacularly for the Triple-A San Antonio Missions, Aaron Wilkerson got his call to the major leagues last weekend by the Milwaukee Brewers.
The former Midway pitcher went from a starter for the Missions to a reliever for the Brewers. In his first appearance Tuesday, he allowed two hits, two walks and a run in two innings against the Seattle Mariners.
But if he can pitch anywhere near the level that he did for the Missions, he’ll be a valuable asset.
Wilkerson was one of the best pitchers in Triple-A as he went 6-1with a 1.79 ERA in 10 games. In 50.1 innings, the right-hander allowed just 31 hits and 17 walks while amassing 52 strikeouts.
“Just controlling the strike zone, attacking hitters,” Wilkerson said. “We’ve had a lot of game plans that have worked, so just going through and being able to execute the game plan has been pretty key for me.”
Undrafted out of Cumberland (Tenn.) University where he graduated in 2012, Wilkerson worked the night shift in the frozen foods section at a H-E-B in Waco for six months following Tommy John surgery.
His agent, Burton Rocks, nicknamed Wilkerson Freezer Man.
“I unloaded the truck, stocked the shelves,” Wilkerson told the New York Post. “My supervisor got another position, and they needed someone to come in and fill that spot. It was a 10-cent (per hour) increase. They said, ‘This whole section is yours if you want it.’”
Wilkerson also worked for a flooring company and did some work for Chip and Joanna Gaines.
He got a shot to play baseball for the Southshore RailCats of the independent American Association. After pitching for several more independent teams, the Boston Red Sox signed him in 2014 and assigned him to Class A Lowell, where he was the oldest pitcher on the team at 25 years old.
By 2016, he reached Triple-A Pawtucket before he was traded to the Brewers that season. Wilkerson pitched in three major league games in 2017, going 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 10.1 innings. He took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 1, 2017, in the Brewers’ 6-1 win.
Wilkerson burned the Cardinals again on April 17 this season when he crushed his first major league homer, a two-run shot over the left-field fence off Michael Wacha.
“I’m pretty sure my eyes were closed when I swung the bat,” said Wilkerson after the game.
Kent using finesse instead of power
Matt Kent doesn’t blow away hitters with his speed, but he’s certainly effective.
Pitching for the Double-A Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs, the former Midway pitcher has gone 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in 10 appearances. Opponents are hitting just .217 in 50.1 innings against the left-hander, who rarely hits 88 mph with his fastball.
Kent threw a season-high 110 pitches in seven innings in the Sea Dogs’ 8-4 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Monday night.
“I’m going to look and find ways to exploit your weaknesses or use your strengths against you,” Kent told the Portland Press Herald. “When it comes to powerful hitters, I can mix speeds or change locations, change arm angles.” The Boston Red Sox picked Kent in the 13th round of the 2015 draft out of Texas A&M.
Muncy goes yard twice
Former Baylor star Max Muncy delivered one of his most prolific power displays in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 12-8 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
Muncy crushed a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run shot in the seventh at Coors Field to give him 19 for the season.
Muncy came into the game with just one hit in his previous 12 at-bats, so his two homers were a welcome sight.
Orf delivering for Missions
Nate Orf is putting together a solid season for the San Antonio Missions. The 29-year-old ex- Baylor player is hitting .292 with seven homers and 27 RBIs for the Triple-A farm team for the Brewers. The second baseman has been especially hot in the last 10 games by hitting .385 with a homer, eight runs and seven RBIs.
CENTRAL TEXAS PRO BASEBALL STATISTICS
|Braxton Ashcraft||Robinson||West Virginia (Pitt.)||A||0-3||5.27||13.2||9||4|
|Nate Bertness||MCC||Inland Empire (LAA)||A+||2-2||5.72||28.1||37||14|
|Daniel Castano||Baylor||Jacksonville (Mia.)||AA||0-2||3.57||17.2||15||5|
|Kyle Hill||Baylor||West Virginia (Sea.)||A||1-0||6.23||4.1||5||1|
|Matt Kent||Midway||Portland (Bos.)||AA||3-2||2.68||50.1||25||17|
|Brad Kuntz||Baylor||San Antonio (Mil.)||AAA||0-2||20.25||4||2||5|
|Ryan Merritt||MCC||Durham (TB)||AAA||3-4||6.70||49.2||43||12|
|Logan Ondrusek||MCC||Harrisburg (Wash.)||AA||0-0||5.14||7||4||2|
|Alex Phillips||Baylor||Fort Myers (Minn.)||A+||3-2||0.84||32||43||8|
|West Tunnell||Baylor||Visalia (Ariz.)||A+||0-0||1.54||22||35||16|
|Logan Verrett||Baylor||Midland (Tex.)||AA||1-0||3.93||34.1||33||4|
|Tyler Watson||MCC||Kannapolis (CHW)||A||0-1||7.00||9||9||3|
|#Josh Breaux||MCC||Charleston (NYY)||A||.295||12||7||30||0|
|Kameron Esthay||Baylor||River City||Ind.||.275||26||3||25||2|
|Brandon Grudzielanek||MCC||New Hampshire (Tor.)||AA||.156||5||0||1||0|
|#Zac Law||Robinson||Charlotte (TB)||A+||.154||4||0||3||1|
|Nic Motley||MCC||Boise (Col.)||A||.083||1||0||2||0|
|Max Muncy||Baylor||L.A. Dodgers||MLB||.281||51||19||52||3|
|#Dimas Ojeda||MCC||Modesto (Sea.)||A+||—||—||—||—||—|
|Nate Orf||Baylor||San Antonio (Mil.)||AAA||.292||46||7||27||8|
|Kramer Robertson||Midway||Memphis (StL.)||AAA||.266||19||4||18||1|
|Chris Roller||MCC||Great Lakes (LAD)||A||.276||26||4||17||3|
|Brendan Venter||MCC||Rome (Atl)||A||.177||12||3||17||0|