MVBrewers is a player-by-player look at the most valuable members of the 2012 Brewers, as voted on by you. Here's our top ten:
Honorable Mentions: Martin Maldonado, Rickie Weeks
The series now continues with Honorable Mentions, to cover some of the Brewers we've missed. This is the first installment in that segment. You can see all the player profiles in the Most Valuable Brewers 2012 section. The series continues tomorrow with the third Honorable Mention.
46 players put on a Brewer uniform this season, but it's possible none of them were discussed more than Rickie Weeks. A year after being an NL All Star in 2011 he got off to a dreadful start, posting a .575 OPS through his first 54 games.
Weeks bounced back from that rough start and hit .266/.348/.458 from June 9 through the end of the season, but nonetheless those 54 games to start the year have erased any good will he may have built up in many fans' minds. Which is a shame, because Weeks is still only a year removed from being an All Star second baseman and is probably still one of the top ten players in baseball at his position going forward.
Even the statistical measures are torn on Weeks' 2012 season. Baseball Reference's wins above replacement stat (rWAR) has Weeks at -0.6 wins this season, which would make him one of the worst regulars in baseball. FanGraphs, meanwhile, has him at 1.6 wins. That's baseball's 18th best total for a second baseman.
A few weeks ago I discussed Weeks in depth here. I won't re-hash those points today, but to summarize:
- Even when Weeks was struggling in the first half his tendency to get on base and have long at bats gave him some value.
- Weeks strikes out more than most of us would like, but also leads the Brewers in pitches seen per plate appearance, walks and HBP.
- Even during Weeks' worst stretches in 2012 he probably gave the Brewers their best chance to win.
- Despite Weeks' down year Brewer second basemen posted a .719 OPS in 2012, the tenth best mark in baseball.
Weeks' second half turnaround was in full force when the Brewers faced the Marlins on September 5. He was on base three times in the game, scored three runs and drove in four with a pair of home runs:
Even if you don't think Weeks will have a bounce-back season in 2013, he's going to be a Brewer for a long time. He's due $10 million in 2013 and $11 million in 2014 as part of his four year, $38.5 million deal and has a vesting option in his contract for 2015.