I’m a Brewers fan. That’s why I write here, and that’s why I always remain upbeat and make predictions for success. Maybe not World Championship success just yet, but soon...soon.
Domingo Santana will not be a Brewer by the end of the year
This is NOT a negative, darn it! The Brewers are top-heavy in outfield prospects, and at some point will need to make room for Lewis Brinson, Corey Ray, etc. So Santana will have a good start to this season at the plate, and one of the youngsters will be tearing it up in the minors. This will lead to a deal that brings back a pitching prospect for Sunday, and a promotion for the guy with the highest tearing-it-up rating.
It will also ease the logjam at first base, allowing Eric Thames and his hot bat to take some time in right because...
Jesus Aguilar will hit 30 homers for the Brewers this season
Aguilar has a career OPS of .802 in his minor league career, but has not succeeded in a very small sample size big league stint. At all.
But his hot spring with the Brewers will force the club to give him significant at-bats to start the season, and he will hit well enough for the team to continue giving him PT. A 30 homer, .800+ OPS will solidify his place on the roster, and give the Brewers two more options at first base than they have had most seasons since Prince Fielder took his talents elsewhere. And one more option than they had last year.
Travis Shaw will be an All-Star in 2017
Shaw had a great spring for the Brewers and a good first half for the Boston Red Sox last year (.269/.332/.456; OPS of .788). He is a good defender, and will get the bulk of the starts at third (unless he implodes and Hernan Perez takes over, in which case you can feel free to not remember this prediction).
Shaw had 26 doubles and 9 homers in 305 at-bats in the first half for the Bosox last year. Hitting in Miller Park should increase his homers, and I’m hoping he hits second ahead of Ryan Braun this year so will get pitches to hit...I’m counting on a first half of .310/.375/.550 slash. Mostly because I like good hitting, left-handed batting, good fielding third basemen. And because I’d love to see the Brewers and David Stearns absolutely kill in the trade that netted them not only Shaw, but prospects Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington, and a PTBNL for Tyler Thornburg.
Special, Bonus, No Extra-Charge Prediction
The Ghost at Third Base will still beckon Jonathan Villar, and they will combine for more Tootblans this year.