We all have expectations of the Brewers’ players entering the season. I sure do, and I base my midseason grades off of those expectations. HEY! PAY ATTENTION! If you don’t base comments off of these parameters, you get a Please Read The Parameters (PRTP) response from me.
If a player meets my expectations, that’s a ‘C’. Exceeding expectations moves you towards an ‘A’; failing to reach them drops you towards an ‘F’. The expectations are mine, and I don’t write numbers down before the season so that I can justify the grades. They’re only grades, after all.
I’ve included players that made an actual impact on the team. A few might be omitted; I hope they don’t mind.
I’ll rate the pitchers tomorrow, and the management the next day. Feel free to tell me I’m an idiot. It’s not like I haven’t heard THAT before!
Jonathon Lucroy: (A-) We all hoped that Luc would bounce back and show that last season was due to injury and bad luck. Boy, has he. He has hit with power, he has hit for average, he has done well defensively, he has thrown out basestealers, he has been very Luc-ish. Why the minus? He hasn’t signed an extension, and he hasn’t been traded. It is possible that neither is his fault.
Martin Maldonado: (C) We have the quintessential back-up catcher in Maldy. He handles himself well behind the plate, and occasionally hits game winning homers. And he plays with panache.
Chris Carter: (C+) Carter has done almost exactly what Astro fans told us he would do, except he has a few more homers and RBI. That could very well be the difference between Minute Maid Park and Miller Park in left center to right center. His defense has been slightly better than I expected, but not enough to make a difference here.
Scooter Gennett: (B) Scoot has hit about where I hoped he would, but with a little more pop in his bat than expected. He gets a bump for his success against lefties, but his over-all numbers wouldn’t look much different if he weren’t hitting lefties, since he wouldn’t play against them.
Jonathan Villar: (B+) My toughest decision. Villar has shown more offensively than expected; he has complemented his OBP with some surprising pop. He leads the league in stolen bases...and in TOOTBLANs (that may be an unofficial stat). He has great range and a good arm, but makes errors at too high of a rate. He has made at least three ninth inning errors in games yet to be decided...though I’m not going back to check the accuracy of that statement. Villar has shown that he deserves to be considered seriously for a spot in the rebuild, at third, second, or utility. If it is at utility, then the Brewers should be exploring what he could bring them in a deal right now.
Aaron Hill: (A) Hill did everything we asked and more. Good luck in Boston, Aaron.
Hernan Perez: (C) Hernan is what he is. He shouldn’t be an outfielder; he is a utility infielder. The fact that he is playing in right is simply an extension of the injury to Domingo Santana. He’ll get some hits; he’ll play solid defense. There’s a place for this guy on a major league roster.
Yadiel Rivera: (C) Again, what we expected. His defense at all three positions has been very good; his hitting ia about what could be expected, though his hot spring probably had me a little over-positive. If he hits at all, he’s a better utility guy than Perez because he’s a much better defender. Actually, he’s a much better defender than any other infielder on the roster.
Will Middlebrooks: (C) I’m sure that this will be different at the end of the year. But he made the show, and that’s what we hoped for, so...
Of the rest, they are at best place holders until the youngins’ git up here. Oh, Colin Walsh...what could have been!
Ryan Braun: (A-) Braun has far exceeded my expectations at the plate. I thought his days as an elite hitter were past, but I was wrong. He has proven that, when healthy, he is fearsome at the plate. He is brought down a bit by his defensive work. I thought that when he was moved to left that it would be an upgrade for the defensive work in the outfield as a whole, but combined with the somewhat poor play of Domingo Santana, the only OK play of Ramon Flores, the only OK work in center of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, the surprisingly poor work from Keon Broxton, the ‘lost’ outfielder in Hernan Perez, and the below average work of the rest, this group is actually significantly worse than last year’s outfield defense.
I seem to have gotten a bit off topic there.
Domingo Santana: (D) Sunday has been a disappointment, and I can’t say that I wasn’t warned. Many of the BCB authors have said they don’t expect him to be a part of the rebuild. I may be swayed by the injuries, but his defense has been iffy, his power has been below what I expected, and his strikeouts have been many. His OBP is acceptable, but the right fielder for a contending team needs to be more than acceptable in one area. (He does seem to be good at GWRBI.)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis : (C) Meh. Occasional power. OK OBP. Below average center fielding (and I know I was spoiled by the last several years), low batting average, too many strikeouts - and all of this is what I expected.
Ramon Flores: (D) I had higher hopes for Ramon, but he hasn’t met them. His defense is average at best. His OBP is OK. But he doesn’t have any pop in his bat; his hits are soft, his outs are soft. He hit a homer...somehow. I don’t see him in the future.
Keon Broxton: (D+) I really didn’t think that Broxton was a part of the future, and boy, was I right. Keon was even worse than that. He gets a ‘plus’ for his homer off of Max Scherzer.
Alex Presley: (C) placeholder; he held a place.
A few more guys have been up and/or down. They mean nothing. Is that harsh?
Next up: the pitchers.