I like the attempt at a positive roster DS is making. In the below snippets there are a few stretches to think how a Crew player will improve, but overall, all our players surely will 'improve' in their 2016 campaigns vs their 2015. Some improve because their 2015 was just silly bad for them. Most improve simply because they are younger guys who you expect to improve based on age and experience.
So, with my Brewer goggles firmly on, I can convince anyone the 2016 Crew will be not so bad AND fun to watch AND give us glimpses of hope for the future. I mean we cannot just have a team with only two players (Arcia and Phillips) in a couple of years. Here is why the following 20 men who will be on our 25 man roster will be better in 2016.
Zach Davis: minor league career A to AAA shows 3.55 era with whip of 1.21, always young for his level, improved era EVERY year from A to AAA, 22 years old, first MLB go 3.71 era over 6 starts, whip of 1.30; HE WILL BE BETTER IN 2016 than past years through normal improvement
Matt Garza: a horror 5.63 era last year after 8 years of solid mostly mid 3s era; you need to choose between he is done with MLB or his 2016 will be better than his 2015; HE WILL BE BETTER IN 2016 than 2015
Jeremy Jeffress: last two years eras of 2.81 and 2.65; now age 28; at his peak now; HE SHOULD BE A UNDER 3 ERA late inning guy; there is no reason for him to not keep his performance or even improve
Zach Jones: minors career era of 2.82 with 186 k in 130 innings; and not a wild man, with a palatable 73 walks only (compared to k’s); 25 years old; he has much more chance to stick than our Korean dance star (who did stick); he has no MLB past to improve on, but 25 year olds that throw high 90’s are fun to watch
Taylor Jungmann: ran out of gas (last few starts not good) to put up a MLB half year 3.77 era with 1.28 whip; a grand, successful start to a MLB career; 26 years old, so there is reason to think he naturally improves, certainly no reason to think he goes backward; his 2016 should be good based up past performance and age and experience improvement
Corey Knebel: a very brief minors career (91 inn) produced a 2.18 era and 1.27 whip; his first fullish MLB season 3.22 era with a 1.32 whip and 58k in 50 innings, and at age 24 one can only expect that 2016 will show continued improvement based on age
Jimmy Nelson: his 2015 showed improvement in most categories over his 2014; era better, whip better, k rate better, only walks worse; he is only 26 years old and should continue natural improvement based on age and historical trend to improvement
Wiley Peralta: his 2015 was an injury shortened shocker compared to 2014; he just pitched worse; he is only 26 years old; surely his 2014 was not his peak MLB year; one would surely expect Wiley to be more like his 2014 – a mid 3s solid starter
Will Smith: one of the top left hand relievers in baseball; improved every year over the last 3 years; only 26 years old; he is a lock to put up another crazy good set of stats out of the bullpen; last two years much better pre all star break than post; just don’t overwork the guy and you may have a sub 2 era late inning guy
Jonathan Lucroy: his .717 OPS of 2015 looked nothing like the previous three years .881, .795, .837; all logic points to his 2015 being a down year; his 2016 will be much better than 2015 (unless he was finished as a MLB guy at age 28, which makes no sense)
Chris Carter: similar to Luc, his 2015 .734 looks not like the previous three years of .864, .770, .799; if the Las Vegas line is .734, then any gambler will plonk heaps on the overs; surely his 2016 will improve over his 2015
Garin Cecchini: I don’t believe elite talents forget how to play baseball at age 23 or similar have their peak year at age 22 (mind you, you can tell me about the mysterious Ike Davis, who pretty much did that!); Ike Davis aside, Cecchini’s 2012 A ball .827 OPS was followed by a 2013 .915 across A+ and AA; his 2014 was a down .714 AAA line; in 2015 he forgot how to play baseball; do you believe that; at age 24 he is the most primed bounce back candidate on the Crew in 2016
Scooter Gennett: another age 25 year old bounce back candidate; two MLB years of OPS .834 and .754, followed by a 2015 .675; that does not make sense; a betting man says his 2016 will surely be back to the mid .700s; if Scooter does another sub .700, he will be out of baseball; but surely he must be plus .700 this year; surely he will… will he?
Jean Segura: it is amazing how he and Scooter parallel; how can Jean go from a rookie all star to a .614, .616 OPS over the next two years; the guy is 25 years old; was his first year a mirage; surely the Brewers have not cornered the market on 23 year old flash in the pans; surely the Brewers are not cursed with some curse that mean youngsters go backward and not forward; I will take the overs re .616 on Jean’s 2016; but the bar sure is low; like Scooter, Jean can be out of baseball post 2016; is that enough incentive for him to play well again; my money is on a big improvement, but the money is scared on this guy; it is half scared on Scooter and ¾ scared on Jean
Villar and Walsh seem to give us a younger, more upside back up infielders better than our past backup infielders; both have improved their stat lines as they moved higher in the minors; the is some hope they could improve more; but, in any case, our 2016 backup fielders appear better than our 2015 version
Ryan Braun: OK, the guy PED’ed to cover ongoing injuries; do people boo Cruz and Peralta (the Cardinal one) each time they step to the plate; but let us just compare Braun’s 2016 to 2015; 2015 showed with the thumb managed, he can be nearly Braun of old; one can only assume with the year of how to manage under the belt, and Ryan knowing he can play again, his 2016 will be at least as good as 2015
Keon Broxton: what a good pick up; he has improved as he progressed up the minors to be a mid 800s OPS guy at AA, and a .770 OPS guys at AAA, whilst playing true CF defense and speed on the bases; as a 25 year old he deserves his crack at a MLB CF job; now the Brewer CF 2016 stats will not be as go-go good as 2015; but we have a 25 year old who is surely on the improve and may be go-go-lite in 2016, he has 75 home runs and 150 stolen bases in his minors career; what a good pick up
Khris Davis: a classic, late developing home run guy; his .890 minors OPS career shows this is not unexpected; he translated that to an .800+ MLB OPS, and if he can stay healthy all year surely will approach 40 home runs; he just needs to keep doing what he has been doing for the last three years; he just needs to do it for 150+ games; he is only 28, and can easily be one of these guys that goes home run crazy from ages 28 to early/mid 30s; his 2016 will be better than 2015 just by being on the field
Probably the Crew will approach 110 wins if the guys just improve as expected and/or put the down years behind them. In any case, I am leaving my goggles on at least for the the first half of the season.