Ethan Small recognized as Brewers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year

Former Mississippi State lefty made eight of 18 appearances with Biloxi in 2021

Former Biloxi Shuckers’ lefty Ethan Small has been named the 2021 Robin Yount Winner for the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization, recognizing the best pitcher in the Brewers’ minor league system, as announced by the Brewers on Thursday.

Small started the season on the Shuckers’ Opening Day roster and made eight starts with Biloxi, going 2-2 with a 1.96 ERA. Across 41.1 innings of work, Small allowed just nine earned runs and struck out 67 hitters while holding opponents to a .184 batting average against. The southpaw was promoted to Triple-A Nashville on June 22 and at the time of his promotion he led the Double-A South in strikeouts and was fourth in ERA and batting average against.

In his MGM Park debut on May 15, Small pitched five no-hit innings and struck out six as part of the first nine-inning no-hitter in Shuckers’ franchise history, combining with RHP Zach Vennaro, LHP Nathan Kirby and RHP Matt Hardy for a 1-0 shutout.

Small continued to dazzle while he was with Biloxi, going on a strikeout tear as the calendar turned to June. During his first outing of the month, Small struck out a then career-best 11 hitters on June 1 at Montgomery and allowed just one hit over five scoreless frames. In his next start on June 6, Small struck out eight more batters in 5.2 innings, giving him 19 strikeouts during the week to lead the Minor Leagues. He was recognized as the Double-A South Pitcher of the Week for his effort, not allowing a run across 10.2 innings and surrendering just three hits.

During his last start at MGM Park on June 12, Small racked up 12 strikeouts in 6.2 innings against the Mississippi Braves, tying the Shuckers’ franchise record for strikeouts in a single game, joining the likes of Freddy Peralta, Bowden Francis, Alec Bettinger and Taylor Jungmann in the record books.

The final time Small toed the slab for the Shuckers, the lefty went a career-high 7.0 innings against the Rocket City Trash Pandas on June 18, allowing just three hits and walking one while striking out nine. In his four starts with Biloxi in June, Small gave up just one run in 24.1 innings for a 0.37 ERA, compiling 40 strikeouts to only 11 hits in the month.

Following his promotion to Nashville, Small was named to the MLB All-Star Future’s Game. He missed time with a finger injury, but overall made nine appearances with Nashville and went 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA. Across three levels, the former SEC Pitcher of the Year went 4-2 with a 1.98 ERA, striking out 92 batters and holding opponents to a .203 batting average against.

Selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Mississippi State, Small is the eighth Shuckers’ player to be named a Robin Yount winner in the Brewers’ organization and the fifth pitcher in six seasons of baseball in Biloxi. The only season the Shuckers did not produce the Robin Yount Pitcher of the Year was in 2019 when LHP Aaron Ashby earned the award. RHP Jorge Lopez won the honor in the Shuckers’ inaugural year in 2015 before RHP Brandon Woodruff, RHP Corbin Burnes and RHP Zack Brown were tabbed as the Minor League Pitcher of the Year in the following three seasons. INF Orlando Arcia was named the Robin Yount Player of the Year in 2015 for his play with the Shuckers, OF Corey Ray earned the award for his Southern League MVP campaign in 2018 and OF Trent Grisham garnered the honor in 2019 after spending the first half of the season in Biloxi.

The 2022 Biloxi Shuckers schedule has been announced and Shuck Nation Memberships, Flex Plans and group outings are now available for the 2022 season. Event spaces at MGM Park can be booked for private events during the offseason by calling (228) 271-3486.

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Written by Biloxi Shuckers

The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. For more information please visit biloxishuckers.com and follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers.

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