MILWAUKEE -- They looked like safe bets in the summer of 2011, when the Brewers dipped into a pair of premier college baseball programs to draft University of Texas right-hander Taylor Jungmann and Georgia Tech left-hander Jed Bradley in the top half of the first round. Instead, Jungmann and Bradley turned into examples of the challenges inherent in developing pitchers.
About a year and a half after selling Bradley's rights to the Braves, the Brewers cut ties with Jungmann on Wednesday. Milwaukee released the once-promising starter so he could pursue an undisclosed opportunity in Japan.
The Brewers needed the spot on their full 40-man roster for lefty reliever Boone Logan after finalizing a one-year contract with a club option for 2019.
"Anytime you have talented players and talented people, it's tough to let go," general manager David Stearns said of Jungmann. "In this case, we worked with Taylor and his representation to try to find a good situation for him."
There was a time not long ago that it appeared Jungmann would reach his potential with the Brewers. He was sensational after breaking into the Majors in 2015, going 9-5 with a 2.42 ERA in his first 16 big league starts while keeping hitters off-balance with a trademark crossfire delivery.
But Jungmann faded down the stretch that season with 9.53 ERA in his final five starts. After breaking camp in 2016 as the No. 3 starter, he went 0-4 with a 9.15 ERA and was demoted back to the Minor Leagues.
In 2017, Jungmann made the Opening Day roster again as a reliever but pitched just once before another demotion. He put together a solid season between Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Colorado Springs, including posting a 2.59 ERA in 90 1/3 innings in touch pitching conditions at the Brewers' top affiliate, but it was clear club officials were ready to move on when they did not extend Jungmann a September callup.
"Taylor performed well at Triple-A last year, never got an opportunity at the Major League level, was coming back to Spring Training as an out-of-options player," Stearns said. "At this point, he had real interest in pursuing something overseas. That opportunity was presented to him, so we worked with him and his representatives to try and make it happen."
The Brewers will receive compensation from Jungmann's new team once he formally signs in Asia.