Former Timber Rattlers catcher returns to Grand Chute 4 years later as a pitcher

Parker Berberet advanced to Triple-A in the Brewers organization as a catcher, but this year decided to start over as a pitcher (WLUK).

GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) -- Former Milwaukee Brewers catching prospect Parker Berberet spent some time in Triple-A last season as a catcher. Now he's back on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, where he last played in 2013. This time he's taking the field as a pitcher.

"I love being behind the plate, I love calling a game, but my career wound up that I wasn't going to get a shot in the big leagues to do that," said Berberet.

He said picking up the craft came with being with just being around the game.

"Playing catch with pitchers all the time, being a catcher you pick up on stuff and grips and pitches and stuff like that," said Berberet. "Messing around with other catchers off the mound, but nothing too serious."

"He's pretty much taught himself," said Timber Rattlers pitching coach Steve Cline. "He throws the four basic pitches, he's been able to command those at this time in the strike zone, throws enough strikes. Some guys it takes a while and some guys grab a hold of it like Parker has."

Berberet has made the most of his opportunities so far. Coming out of the bullpen, he owns the lowest ERA on the team only allowing one run in fifteen-plus innings.

"I was thinking the other day like I've never had this much success hitting," Berberet said. "So it's kind of weird that I switch over to a new position and all the sudden I'm having more success than I've ever had in my career so it's been nice."

The 27-year-old Berberet is an elder statesman for Midwest League standards, but every time he picks up a ball and digs in on the mound he's learning a brand new trade just 60 feet 6 inches away from his old home.

"In terms of pitching he's more like an 18 or 19-year-old," said Cline. "Except he has that feeling of calling a game and knowing what works, what follows what and sequencing with your stuff."

Berberet said before last year he never really pitched before, but to see how quickly he's picked it up and the success that he's had it's hard to think he hasn't found a permanent home on the mound.

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