Making a successful jump to Double A from High A is “what separates the men from the boys” – and left-hander Brent Suter could ultimately be tested in 2014.
The Brewers’ 31st round pick in the 2012 Draft was recently among Milwaukee’s Organizational All-Stars.
The lanky Harvard graduate has demonstrated the ability to succeed at every level since making his professional debut with Pioneer League Helena in 2012.
Suter made an immediate impact in the Rocky Mountain environment of Montana striking out 42 batters and walking just eight in 43.2 innings for the Rookie League Brewers.
Additionally, he managed to keep his ERA below 4.00 in a league notorious for a high amount of runs per game.
Milwaukee opted to promote Suter to Single A Wisconsin at the tail end his first season and responded with eight strikeouts and three walks in 8.2 innings pitched for the Timber Rattlers.
Manatees’ teammate Tyler Cravy told Brewers Farm Report in August the 6’5” Suter fearlessly goes after hitters.
Suter started just three games for Single A Wisconsin in 2013 allowing three earned runs in 15 innings to give him a 1.80 ERA. He also struck out 15 batters and allowed just three walks in his three appearances before earning a rapid promotion to High A Brevard County.
Milwaukee’s Director of Player Development Reid Nichols had high regard for the Ivy League Pitcher and Cincinnati native.
“Brent Suter is a very smart pitcher,” Nichols said. “He knows how to read hitters and works the plate front to back.”
Suter had a scorching start to his Manatees career by winning seven of his first 11 starts including his first career complete game June 28 at Clearwater.
The Manatees needed all nine innings of Suter in the narrow 2-1 victory against the Threshers and the left-hander eventually claimed Florida State League’s Player of the Week July 1.
In the ensuing hot streak, he succumbed to a tough loss where he struck out 11 batters in seven innings but made one
mistake – allowing a solo blast to Dunedin’s Andy Burns in the fourth inning.
Brevard County could only muster two hits and were shutout 1-0 against an equally tough Austin Bibens-Drikx, who struck out ten batters in seven innings.
Suter produced a stellar strikeout-walk ratio during the initial 11 games with 51 strikeouts compared to 15 walks in 69.1 innings.
However, Suter was not the same pitcher after his complete game victory and went winless the remaining ten games for Brevard County.
Suter’s downturn during the later portion can be partially attributed to compiling a career high 139 total innings between Wisconsin and Brevard County, almost three times the amount of work he received in his first professional season.
Additionally, he led the Manatees with 124 innings pitched compared to second place finisher Chad Pierce who logged 108.2 innings.
Brevard County’s pitching staff was gutted due to a myriad of injuries and promotions to Double A Huntsville including David Goforth, Brooks Hall, Drew Gagnon and Kevin Shackleford.
Consequently, Suter and fellow starters Jacob Barnes and Pierce needed to shoulder a substantial workload.
However, he should be able to straighten out after an offseason of rest and likely additional workouts.