Brewers 2018 Grades: Outfield Where MVP’s Roamed
With the Milwaukee Brewers season now being over, it’s time for the 2018 grades of the team. It’s been a great season. There are countless memories from this bunch. It’s probably the most likable Brewers team of my lifetime. They’ll be remembered. Just like the 2011 team. The 2018 team will be always seen in high regard. The hope is that this isn’t a one-time thing like 2011 and 2008 were for Milwaukee. They have a lot to look forward to including the outfield which featured the National League MVP.
Christian Yelich – When the Brewers traded for Christian Yelich, I couldn’t have been more excited. I knew something special started with him and Lorenzo Cain in the mix. He did everything you wanted and then some this season. The second half Yelich put together was legendary. I’m not sure I’ll ever see something quite like it again. He’s the MVP and the face of the Brewers franchise. GRADE: A+
Lorenzo Cain – It’s weird to see a player return to a team that drafted him, and it’s not a retread situation. Cain came back on his own terms and for big money. He paid off the first year of his deal with a phenomenal season. The usual stats might not show it, but Cain had a wonderful year as the leadoff hitter for the Brewers. He deserves a Gold Glove too. GRADE: A
Ryan Braun – This is the first year in a long time where I felt good about Ryan Braun and the future of him as a ballplayer. He has three full years left on his contract, but he’s the veteran leader of this team. Braun played enough games to have an amazing finishing kick to the season. He might not be the same player he once was but he can still deliver in the big moments. Forever a Brewer and hopefully, his number 8 gets retired. GRADE: B
Curtis Granderson – I did enjoy the Curtis Granderson experience for a month. Brewers have an interesting scenario for a fourth or fifth outfielder next year. I assume they would love the idea of Granderson platooning with Braun and moving Yelich over to left field when Braun is out of the lineup. Interested to see if Granderson comes back to the team. GRADE: B-
Domingo Santana – If not for September and October, Santana would likely have the worst grade of all the outfielders. But he became the most valuable pinch hitter Milwaukee had down the stretch, and Santana provided many clutch hits in that role. What’s next for him is a great unknown. He could be a dynamite pinch hitter coupled with a fourth outfielder, or the last two months might make a team bite if the Brewers threw him in a trade. GRADE: C
Keon Broxton – I like Keon, but the time is likely over with him in a Brewers uniform. He plays a good centerfield defense, but he does not have enough power to match the strikeouts. In a way, he’s a poor man’s Carlos Gomez. Broxton isn’t as quick as Gomez, doesn’t have as much power and doesn’t play that good of defense. Brewers have team control next year on whether to bring him back or not. GRADE: C-
2019 outlook: Brewers outfield looks pretty set with Yelich, Cain and Braun. The interesting part is the fourth and maybe fifth outfield position. Does Granderson or Santana get that spot? What about the Double A star Corey Ray or Troy Strokes Jr.? There are a lot of questions about the fourth and fifth spot in the outfield.