September 7, 2017 - New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL)
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - Former Keene Swamp Bat star Taylor Williams made his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Brewers tonight. It is two days after another Swamp Bat, Artie Lewicki, of the 2012 Keene team, made his Major League debut with the Detroit Tigers. Lewicki started on Labor Day against the Kansas City Royals.
The two become the 12th and 13th New England League graduates to debut this season. There have been 144 NECBL alumni to reach the Big Leagues and 55 to play in the Majors in 2017.
Williams was a second team All-NECBL pick in his summer at Keene. He led the NECBL in wins, with six, and posted a 2.18 ERA. The Kent Stater struck out 41, the seventh best in the New England League, and had a WHIP of barely 1.00. Williams played a pivotal role in leading Keene to the Fay Vincent, Sr. Cup and NECBL title.
A fourth round pick of the Brewers in the 2013 Draft, Vancouver, Washington product Williams sparkled at Class A Wisconsin in 2014. A Midwest League All-Star, Williams had a 2.36 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 107 innings. He missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to Tommy John surgery, but had a 3.09 ERA in 46.2 innings for Double-A Biloxi at the time of his call up. Williams fanned 57 this season at Biloxi.
Lewicki pitched in the summer where virtually every NECBL offensive record was set. Despite the onslaught, he still posted a 4.28 ERA over six starts for a 29-13 Swamp Bat squad. The University of Virginia's Lewicki went 2-0 with 26 strikeouts in 27.1 innings for Keene.
The Tigers selected Lewicki, a Ridgewood, NJ product, in the eighth round of the 2014 Draft. He posted a 2.28 ERA in his first professional season. Lewicki showed remarkable consistency in 2015 and 2016 as he rose from Class A to Double-A; he posted an ERA between 3.32 and 3.52 at all three levels. He won the International League Pitcher of the Week on August 27th for Triple-A Toledo, just prior to his call up. Lewicki had a 2.03 ERA and averaged over a strikeout per inning in his five Triple-A starts.
The NECBL congratulates Taylor and Artie on these significant achievements.