If you had to guess, where do you think the Brewers outfield will rank in the grand spectrum of all MLB outfields in 2014? How do Khrush Davis, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez stack up against Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Yasiel Puig? Or Mike Trout and whoever else the Angels want to throw in with him?
I suppose you don't get to guess if you read the headline. I guess I mucked that up for you. Third. Third is where the Brewers' outfield ranks.
At least, that's according to Beyond the Box Score. This is also the best all-around outfield, not the best outfield with one player absolutely killing it and two kinda cruddy players at the other two spots. In essence, what they did was took Baseball-Reference's WAR and weighted it by where the different players ranked.
The Brewers end up with a value of 9.9, a bit behind the Angels at 12.0 and the...the Marlins? at 13.2. Yes indeed, the Marlins surprising offensive outburst this season includes their outfield where Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton have been crushing it. Stanton, of course, is an MVP candidate this year while Ozuna and Yelich are holding their own with a 760 OPS each. They are all quite good defensively. Also, the oldest is Stanton at 24, which means they probably get at least one more year together before the Marlins trade them all.
The Brewers, meanwhile, are up there with the best of anyone offensively. Ryan Braun is still Ryan Braun, even in a pronounced down-year. Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez has taken up the mantle of being the team's MVP candidate in the outfield as well as one of the best defensive players in the National League. And Khris Davis? He (802 OPS) is hitting better than 2013 AL MVP candidate Chris Davis (749 OPS).
Where the Brewers are lacking, surely, is defensive ability. Though Gomez is up there with the best of them, Braun and Davis are average at best. Most would likely place them well-below average.
It is interesting to think that the Brewers' worst starting outfielder in 2014 is Braun. He's been debilitated by injuries all year, and that has really affected him at the plate. Even his OBP is at a career-worst .326. His 815 OPS is also easily a career-worst. Were it not for his shortened 2013, he would also be on pace for the lowest number of homers in his career.
But when Braun gets healthy, look out. If the Brewers measure third in outfield performance now, Braun hitting like we know he can could very easily elevate the team to first.
The Brewers may be fantastic, but the whole article at BtBS is worth a read-through as you also get some historical insight into team's performances. Besides, it's always nice to see Milwaukee rank in the top-3 of anything good.