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Tyler Thornburg

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Tyler Michael Thornburg

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[edit] Biographical Information

Tyler Thornburg was a member of the United States team at the 2011 Futures Game. He made his major league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012.

[edit] Amateur Career

Thornburg was 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 86 K in 62 IP as a high school senior, while hitting .551 with 10 homers and a 1.275 slugging percentage. As a freshman, he hit .276/.331/.455 as a regular outfielder, while posting a 2-5, 7.04 record on the hill. As a sophomore, he hit even better (.292/.336/.547, 12 HR, 49 RBI in 53 G) while making good progress as a pitcher (4-4, Sv, 3.73, 35 K, 24 BB, .223 opponent average in 31 1/3 IP). He was 5th in the Big South Conference in home runs. He had 8 saves and a 2.60 ERA for the Brewster Whitecaps that summer and was third in the Cape Cod League in saves. In 2010, the junior produced at a .252/.378/.441 clip and went 5-4 with a 4.14 ERA. Opponents hit .212 and he fanned 88 in 78 1/3 innings, but he walked 34 and threw 11 wild pitches. He was 5th in the Big South in Ks and was second-team All-Conference.

[edit] Minors

The Milwaukee Brewers took him in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft; the scout was Ryan Robinson. The 96th pick, he went one slot before Addison Reed and he was the first 2010 Brewer draftee to make the majors. He signed for a $351,900 bonus. Debuting with the Helena Brewers, he was 1-0 with a save and a 1.93 ERA, striking out 38 in 23 1/3 IP. In 2011, he excelled for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (7-0, 1.57, 76 K in 68 2/3 IP) before faring worse for the Brevard County Manatees (3-6, 3.57, 84 K in 68 IP). Overall, he allowed a .195 average. Baseball America rated him as the #18 Midwest League prospect (between Garrett Gould and Derek Dietrich) and as the 13th-best Florida State League prospect (between Drew Hutchison and Oswaldo Arcia) as well as the 4th-best Milwaukee prospect (after fellow hurlers Wily Peralta, Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley). He led Brewers farmhands in strikeouts and tied for third in wins. In the minors, he ranked 5th in lowest average after Brad Peacock, Matt Moore, Julio Rodriguez and Keyvius Sampson. In the 2011 Futures Game, he relieved Moore to open the 5th with a 2-0 US lead. He retired Wilin Rosario and Hak-ju Lee on grounders. Starling Marte singled but Jose Altuve flew out. In the 6th, he was replaced by Drew Pomeranz. The USA went on to win, 6-4. With the Peoria Javelinas that fall.

Thornburg began 2012 as a star for the Huntsville Stars - he began 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, while hitting .278/.316/.500. He was tied with Danny Hultzen for the Southern League win lead and was tied with Tim Crabbe for third in strikeouts. He was then called up to the majors to replace the injured Shaun Marcum.

[edit] Majors

In his big league debut, he started in a 10-9 Brewers loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He faced the minimum number of batters in the first two innings but then unraveled and gave up four home runs (to Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion). After the last three hit back-to-back dingers, Thornburg was yanked in the 6th, replaced by Tim Dillard with a 4-4 tie (thankfully, all the home runs were solo shots). The former college outfielder fared better at the plate, doubling off Jesse Chavez in his first major league at-bat and then scoring on a two-bagger by Carlos Gomez.

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