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Brewers' Freddy Zamora Strives To Be A Complete Player



Shortstop Freddy Zamora had surgery early in his junior year at Miami after tearing ligaments in his right knee.

But it wasn’t until halfway through last season that the 2020 second-rounder truly felt confident in his base.

“In the beginning it was, I wouldn’t say tough, but it was definitely bothering me here and there, just thinking about it,” Zamora said. "But once I got used to the grind and (my knee) felt better, I was able to go from there.”

The numbers bear that out: Zamora put up a .643 OPS in his first 28 games with Low-A Carolina, then finished with a .905 OPS surge in his final 64 games. That performance earned him a promotion to High-A Wisconsin on Aug. 25.

In 92 total games, Zamora hit .300/.404/.421 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases while also flashing a tremendous glove in the field.

“The finish to his season was incredible," said Joe Ayrault, Zamora’s manager at Carolina. ". . . How he adjusted himself to pitching, playing defense, leadership on the field—very good.”

Zamora’s power production is something both he and the Brewers believe can improve.

To that end, Zamora reported to Milwaukee’s minor league "build-up camp" in late February having gained between 10-15 pounds thanks to an improved diet and increased work in the gym.

“I’m looking at this year to just show who I am as a player,” Zamora said. “I feel I’m ready to do that. I put on some weight this offseason to help me swing for some more power, so hopefully this year I’ll be able to show that I’m that full player.”

The 23-year-old Zamora believes having his first full season under his belt has helped his preparation. He said he has a better understanding of his body and what it takes to play every day.

Bigger, more experienced and fully confident in his knee, Zamora should begin 2022 at Wisconsin—where Ayrault is now managing—with the potential to rise to Double-A Biloxi if all goes according to plan.

MICROBREWS

— Lefthander Ethan Small received a large vote of confidence from Brewers manager Craig Counsell early in Milwaukee's major league camp.

Ethan Small is going to make starts for us this year,” Counsell said. “The way he's going right now, he’s going to make starts for us. You have to earn your way into that conversation. And he has done that."

— Righthander Logan Henderson, a 2021 fourth-round pick out of McLennan (Texas) JC, had what the organization termed “non-Tommy John” elbow surgery on March 17. Milwaukee still expects the 20-year-old to pitch in games later this season.

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