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Looking Back on 2017: Best Milwaukee Brewers Defensive Plays

Keon Broxton, Orlando Arcia and Brett Phillips are really, really fun

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers haven't exactly been known as a great defensive team over the years, but that doesn't mean they aren't capable of some memorable plays. Since we looked at some of the team's most impressive offensive feats the other day, here's a look at some of the best defensive plays we saw from the Brewers in 2017.

Keon Broxton - May 1st, 2017

With the Brewers leading 2-0 in the bottom of the 3rd, Broxton fully extended to make a diving catch in left-center field after coming from right-center to rob the lefty-swinging Matt Carpenter of at least a base hit. With a runner at first, if the ball gets into the gap, it could've also scored a run. The Brewers eventually won the game 7-5.

Keon Broxton - June 2nd, 2017

Take the Broxton play from above and flip it, with added stakes -- with the Brewers tied with the Dodgers in extra innings, Broxton comes from left-center to make a leaping grab to rob Corey Seager of extra bases and end the top of the 10th. The Brewers eventually lost 2-1 in 12 innings, but Broxton's catch kept a runner out of scoring position and extended the game.

Brett Phillips - June 5th, 2017

Talk about a big Major League debut. Phillips didn't waste any time showing the hometown fans at Miller Park what he could do -- leading off the top of the 3rd, Denard Span dumped a ball into left center field and tried to stretch it to a double. Phillips was running on a dead sprint after starting the play in right-center field as part of a shift, stopped and planted on a dime, and fired a perfectly-placed bullet to Jonathan Villar to get Span at second.

Orlando Arcia - June 16th, 2017

Phillips isn't the only one on the team with elite arm strength. Tied with the Padres in extra innings, Arcia ended the 10th inning by ranging far to his right, going down to his knees to pick the ball in the shallow left field grass, and firing a rocket to first to get Hunter Renfroe after a nice pick from Eric Thames -- who would later hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the inning and get his jersey ripped off in the mob at home plate.

Orlando Arcia - June 21st, 2017

Less than a week later, Arcia makes another game-saving play. With two outs in the 9th inning and the tying run on second base, Arcia ranges well over the middle to not only keep a ball hit by John Jaso in the infield, but uncork a spinning dart of a throw to first to end the game.

Keon Broxton - July 19th, 2017

Poor John Jaso couldn't catch a break against the Brewers for awhile this year. After being the victim of the Arcia play above, Jaso thought he had at least a leadoff double off the wall against Corey Knebel in the bottom of the 9th, with the Brewers clinging to a 2-1 lead. Broxton had other ideas, and Jaso's reaction is pretty classic. Unfortunately, Knebel eventually did give up the tying run, and the Brewers lost in 10 innings as part of the four-game sweep in Pittsburgh that started the team's month-plus long slide.

Keon Broxton - August 3rd, 2017

While the robbing of Jaso was against the wall, this one was headed over the wall before Keon pulled it back, stealing a home run from Jose Martinez and keeping the Cardinals off the board early. Despite only being in the 2nd inning, it ended up being a huge play as the Brewers held on to win, 2-1.

Keon Broxton - August 30th, 2017

After starting the month with a home run robbery, Broxton ended August with a walkoff grab, also against the Cardinals. This time, Randal Grichuk was the victim.

Brett Phillips - September 13th, 2017

The legend of Phillips' arm continued to grow with this play. After catching a liner to center, he uncorked a 104 mph throw to get David Freese at the plate for an inning-ending double play. That throw was enough to get MLB Pipeline to upgrade his arm grade to an 80, albeit after a little Twitter campaigning from Phillips himself.

Eric Sogard - September 15th, 2017

A mini version of the famous Willie Mays catch, maybe. A blooper hit by Dee Gordon with runners on the corners and two outs threatened to put the Marlins head, but Sogard made the improbable sliding grab with his back turned to the plate to end the inning. Nerd Power.

Brett Phillips - September 19th, 2017

It didn't lead to a spectacular play at the plate like the throw he uncorked less than a week earlier, but Phillips thought he'd show off that new 80 grade with a reminder of what he can do. Statcast measured this throw home at 104.7 mph, the hardest thrown ball by anyone in baseball in 2017. The next time the Brewers need a position player to pitch, I nominate Maverick.