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Brewers 2021 Offense Thread

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Offline  Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#1

Posted: November 25, 2020, 2:20 AM Post
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There wasn't a thread yet for the 2021 offense & obviously we don't quite know who exactly all the players are going to be yet at this point, but one thing we do know is what has already happened.

Let's start with 2020 which was (tugs collar) well (checks notes) pretty (drumroll, please) offensive (rimshot!!). Brewers batters managed an 89 wRC+ (25th) & 4.2 WAR (24th), that's the bad news. The good news is that 2020 was only 60 games, our position players only got 2,188 plate appearances combined, ultimately pretty small samples in the grand scheme of baseball.

Now, Stearns & company have been here since 2016, which means that before 2020 they assembled offenses that played a total of 649 games & got 23,499 plate appearances, a much larger (like over 10x) sample. Of course most of those players are gone & those games happened farther in the past so they are of less relevance, but they still offer some degree of insight. Here's how each position fared for the last 60 games versus the first 649...

C 2020: 76 wRC+ (20th) 1.5 WAR (8th)
C 2016-19: 98 wRC+ (10th) 14.9 WAR (4th)

1B 2020: 101 wRC+ (18th) 0.3 WAR (22nd)
1B 2016-19: 119 wRC+ (8th) 9.1 WAR (10th)

2B 2020: 81 wRC+ (18th) 0.0 WAR (24th)
2B 2016-19: 99 wRC+ (12th) 7.4 WAR (20th)

3B 2020: 56 wRC+ (30th) -0.3 WAR (30th)
3B 2016-19: 98 wRC+ (24th) 8.9 WAR (21st)

SS 2020: 92 wRC+ (21st) 0.6 WAR (25th)
SS 2016-19: 77 wRC+ (27th) 1.9 WAR (29th)

LF 2020: 100 wRC+ (16th) 0.5 WAR (18th)
LF 2016-19: 116 wRC+ (2nd) 12.9 WAR (6th)

CF 2020: 89 wRC+ (20th) 0.8 WAR (19th)
CF 2016-19: 96 wRC+ (15th) 12.7 WAR (10th)

RF 2020: 117 wRC+ (11th) 0.9 WAR (18th)
RF 2016-19: 119 wRC+ (4th) 14.7 WAR (4th)

DH 2020: 82 wRC+ (21st) -0.4 WAR (21st)

Even before any moves are made, it seems like it should be pretty easy in 2021 to top our 2020 wRC+ marks at C, 2B, 3B, LF & DH (if it is back). 1B at 101 & CF at 89 seem like pushes, while the only positions I would currently peg for a lower wRC+ in 2021 than in 2020 are SS & RF.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#2

Posted: November 25, 2020, 8:31 AM Post
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Add Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera to play 1B and 3B, we'll be fine.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#3

Posted: November 25, 2020, 8:45 AM Post
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There better be major improvement at 2B/LF/3B or we are doomed. I don't see much change at the other positions. We may see some improvement at something like C and DH, but I would safely expect SS to see some notable regression and RF probably regresses a bit too. The offense depends on major bounce backs from Yelich/Hiura to give the offense something special in the middle...also can't afford a massive black hole like 3B again. That is where we have the opportunity to greatly improve on 2020.

The bad news is we aren't going to change this offense much externally (unless we make a trade). Unless Stearns gets lucky we aren't going to bring in some cheap trash heap scrub to be a 120 OPS+ player.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#4

Posted: November 25, 2020, 10:29 AM Post
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There probably won't be a lot of money available this offseason, so most of the improvement has to come internally or via trade.

They spend a large chunk of their payroll on their outfield ($41.75M), so the offense has to start there. Cain will hopefully be back, so they need a good season from him, and they need Yelich and Garcia to hit much better than they did in 2020.

For the infield, I don't see any "outside help" coming for 2B, SS or C. We need to see improvement from Hiura and Narvaez (assuming they hold onto him), and they will need to decide what to do with SS between Arcia and Urias. One should probably start at SS, and the other should be dangled in trade.

The corner IF positions are really the area Stearns needs to focus on. The Brewers don't have a strong farm, so any trade chips they're willing to use need to go to strengthen 1B and/or 3B.

So, most of our offense underperformed in 2020, and our biggest hope is that we see a "positive regression" from the guys we already have. Let's face it, if Yelich "lost it," we're going to be hurting for a long time. The good thing is that track records point in the Brewers' favor, and I think we should get much better results from most of these guys. That said, nabbing a young, talented 3B in trade would sure be nice.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#5

Posted: November 25, 2020, 11:07 AM Post
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monty57 said:

So, most of our offense underperformed in 2020, and our biggest hope is that we see a "positive regression" from the guys we already have. Let's face it, if Yelich "lost it," we're going to be hurting for a long time. The good thing is that track records point in the Brewers' favor, and I think we should get much better results from most of these guys. That said, nabbing a young, talented 3B in trade would sure be nice.


Excellent post. This is the bigger picture key. If Yelich is really a .205 hitter then this franchise is in a really bad position.

Not saying he needs to bat .326 with a .402 OBP like 2018. However, the crew needs Yelich to bat around .300 with an OBP around .400.

They crew is paying Yelich to be the face of the franchise. He must produce at All-Star levels or we are screwed.

It would be nice to complement Yelich with a bopper at 3B or 1B. However, we just have to be realistic that the Brewers are not going to spend big this offseason.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#6

Posted: November 25, 2020, 10:06 PM Post
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Hiura had the most hits for us in 2020, and he batted .212.......


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#7

Posted: November 25, 2020, 10:12 PM Post
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They will need to find players to play at the corners that will be a major need.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#8

Posted: November 26, 2020, 9:31 AM Post
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Wow below average war at every position besides catcher. And we might get rid of our catcher, haha.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#9

Posted: November 26, 2020, 11:26 AM Post
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The first thing that jumped out to me (and this can be contributed almost directly to Cain) is that our DH spot performed below replacement level. When the DH was announced, the Brewers (with Braun/Garcia, etc) were one of the most mentioned teams that were expected to benefit the most from it in the NL ... and it ended up hurting us. That is sad to see.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#10

Posted: November 26, 2020, 12:18 PM Post
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liveforoctober said:
The first thing that jumped out to me (and this can be contributed almost directly to Cain) is that our DH spot performed below replacement level. When the DH was announced, the Brewers (with Braun/Garcia, etc) were one of the most mentioned teams that were expected to benefit the most from it in the NL ... and it ended up hurting us. That is sad to see.


Garcia only DH'd 3 times because Cain opted out. Braun was awful as the DH (.180/.239) in 16 games. Morrison hit .179 in 6 games. Smoak in 4 games hit .ooo. Hiura hit .225 in 10 games. Yelich .259 in 7 games. Vogelbach did great as the DH and should have the job IF, I say IF MLB finally makes a decision.


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Offline  Re: Brewers 2021 Offense Thread
#11

Posted: November 26, 2020, 2:51 PM Post
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umphrey said:
Wow below average war at every position besides catcher. And we might get rid of our catcher, haha.


Yup, the Brewers offense was so bad in 2020 that the best thing about it was their catchers' defense.

Assuming they are all back, a big part of how the 2021 offense shakes out will come down to Christian, Keston, Avisail, Omar & Luis. Below I've listed each player's projected OPS+ entering 2020 followed by their actual OPS+ from the pandemic altered season.

What I'm curious about is just how much those hundred or two plate appearances from 2020 will impact their projections for 2021.

Player | 2020 ZiPS OPS+ | 2020 actual OPS + | 2021 ZiPS OPS+

Yelich | 149 | 111 | ???
Hiura | 115 | 88 | ???
Garcia | 107 | 79 | ???
Narvaez | 106 | 53 | ???
Urias | 95 | 64 | ???

My guesses are they will come in around 136 (Yelich), 104 (Hiura), 95 (Avisail), 91 (Omar) & 87 (Urias). My hope is that all five of them blow by those projections and end up closer to like 150 (Yelich), 120 (Hiura) & 110 (Avisail, Omar, Urias).


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