Lamontagne Vaults Into Brewers' Plans





MILWAUKEE—Righthander Andre Lamontagne vaulted three levels to Double-A in 2010, in the process going from Brewers organizational obscurity to near-ready pitching prospect.

An 11th-round pick from Oral Roberts in 2009, Lamontagne proved versatile as both a reliever and starter, going 7-6, 3.01 in making seven starts and 33 relief appearances. He struck out 79, walked 44 and allowed five home runs in 87 innings.

The 24-year-old began the season with low Class A Wisconsin, where he pitched out of the bullpen in deference to a slew of the organization's brightest prospects.

Lamontagne spent two months with the Timber Rattlers before a promotion to high Class A Brevard County, where he continued to pitch in relief with even greater success. In 11 appearances, he logged a 2.35 ERA to go with 14 strikeouts in 15 innings.

After a month with the Manatees, the Brewers elevated Lamontagne to Double-A Huntsville, where he returned to a starting role for seven of his 13 appearances. He went 4-3, 3.63 and struck out 39 hitters in 45 innings while also issuing 24 walks.

A bit older than much of the competition at the lower levels, Lamontagne spent two years at Long Beach State before attending ORU. But His three-tier performance put him on the organization's radar screen as a pitcher who might soon be able to help at the big league level in the near future.

"When he came out of college, he was mostly a fastball/cutter guy," minor league pitching coordinator Lee Tunnell said. "We got him to add a curveball, which he had stopped throwing in college.

"That gave him another look with an offspeed pitch, and it really helped him keep hitters off balance. Pitching out of the bullpen, his velocity kicked up to 93-95 (mph). He showed he could impact games as a relief pitcher. He really did a great job."

At 6-foot-5, 208 pounds, Lamontagne also worked on smoothing out his delivery, enabling him to throw on a downhill plane more consistently and hit the bottom of the strike zone.

MICROBREWS

• Outfielder Logan Schafer returned to the Arizona Fall League as a taxi squad player for Surprise. Continued discomfort in his right foot, broken during the season, initially forced Schafer to the sidelines.

• Second baseman Eric Farris, who missed two months at Triple-A Nashville with a knee injury, made up for lost time in the AFL, batting .398/.431/.463 through 12 games.