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Manatees' Jungmann settling into pros

Brewers prospect allows three hits over six scoreless frames
April 26, 2012
Despite coming in as the Brewers' first-round pick -- the 12th overall -- from last year's Draft, Taylor Jungmann didn't feel any pressure coming into the 2012 season.

"Not at all," Jungmann said. "I always say pressure's something you put on yourself. If you don't worry about it, it won't become an issue."

Instead, the adjustment from his college days at the University of Texas to his professional career in the Milwaukee system made the right-handed pitcher uncomfortable in the early going. The day-to-day schedule of the professional ranks. The travel, the facilities, the list goes on and on.

But after Thursday's outing -- Jungmann's fourth of the season -- it appears that the 22-year-old right-hander is finally over that phase of his Minor League career. The Brewers' No. 3 prospect allowed three hits and a walk and struck out five over 6 2/3 shutout frames in Class A Advanced Brevard County's 2-1 win over Tampa in 11 innings. Except for the innings totals, each of those numbers represented career bests.

The 2011 Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year dominated mostly by getting ground balls. Of the 20 outs Jungmann recorded, 10 came on the ground. Five were via the strikeout and four through the air. He contributed that to the effectiveness of his running two-seam fastball.

"It's my bread and butter," Jungmann said. "For sure, it's my go-to pitch. Whether I'm trying to lead off an at-bat or trying to come back after being behind in the count, it's what I use. I just let it work, let it move across the plate. It's basically my whole game plan."

Jungmann was 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA over his first four outings -- his ERA stands at 2.45 after Thursday -- and had allowed only between one and three earned runs in each of those outings. However, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was not spectacular at 14-9, and he was holding opponents to a .244 batting average. Numbers like the latter two had the former Longhorn not pleased with his early performance.

"I've struggled the first few starts," Jungmann said. "I know the stats don't look bad, but I've had a tough time getting comfortable. I'm still trying to settle into the lifestyle of the Minors, to be honest. It's not any one thing. There's not too big of a difference [to college], but there's some different things."

One variation that may work to Jungmann's favor, however, harkens back to his ability to handle any perceived stress.

"Back [in Texas], I was pitching in front of 9,000 people a night," he said. "Here, it's like 500 or 600 maybe. They are different pressure situations, that's for sure."

Brevard County reliever Alan Williams blew his second save of the season after allowing a run in the ninth. In the bottom of the 11th, third baseman Michael Walker drove in Cody Hawn with a single to center field to win it for the Manatees, who snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Yankees starter Michael O'Brien allowed just one run on five hits and struck out seven over six innings.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to