Scouting Report: Mike Fiers, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Right-hander Mike Fiers in the Milwaukee Brewers system has emerged as an interesting sleeper prospect this year. I saw him pitch for Triple-A Nashville yesterday, and here is a report on what I observed.
First, some background. Fiers was drafted by the Brewers in the 22nd round in 2009, from Nova Southeastern University. He was quite successful in college, posting a 2.65 ERA with a 145/19 K/BB in 109 innings that year, but his status as a senior and the level of competition hurt his draft stock. He was brilliant in relief after signing (posting a 35/1 K/BB in 21 innings for Helena), then had a solid 2010 season split between High-A and Double-A.
Fiers began this year with Huntsville, going 5-3, 2.64 with a 63/13 K/BB in 61 innings, with 42 hits allowed. Promoted to Nashville, he's remained effective in the Pacific Coast League, with a 1.44 ERA and a 46/21 K/BB in 44 innings. Overall this year, he is 10-3, 2.14 with a 109/35 K/BB in 105 innings with 74 hits allowed.
Fiers is 6-3, 200 pounds, and an older prospect at age 26. He has a pronounced over-the-top delivery. His fastball is average at 88-92 MPH, but it has unusual movement. He mixes in an average, at times flat, slider in the low-80s, along with a mid-70s slow curve. He has an outstanding changeup with tailing action in the mid-upper-70s. All four pitchers are delivered from exactly the same angle and tempo, making his stuff play up.
Fiers was having trouble with his location in Sunday's game. Although he fanned three and allowed just one unearned run in 5.2 innings with two hits, he walked four men. However, he worked out of the jams, and overall I saw enough positive stuff out of him that I think he can contribute in the majors as a fifth starter or long relief type.