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2018 #1 Most Valuable Brewer: Christian Yelich

Like you expected anyone else.

League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Seven Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images


Thanks for reading!

...alright, for some reason, the higher-ups need a little bit more out of me for this, so let’s run through why the voters on Brew Crew Ball made Christian Yelich their clear Most Valuable Brewer.

These are just some the statistics in which Yelich led all Brewers hitters:

- Plate appearances (651)
- Home Runs (36)- Batting Average (.326)
- BABIP (.373)- On-base Percentage (.402)
- Slugging Percentage (.598)
- On-base plus Slugging (1.000)
- Line Drive Percentage (24.7%)
- Hard-hit Percentage (47.6%)
- Weighted On-Base Average (.422)
- Weighted Runs Created Plus (166)
- Wins Above Replacement (7.6)
- Win Probability Added (5.34)

The crazy thing? Through the first half, Yelich was having a good-but-not-great season, hitting .292/.364/.459 with 11 home runs in 82 games. That .823 OPS was enough to get him to the All-Star Game as a reserve, but if we’re being totally honest, if he was left out, there wouldn’t have been a ton of outcry.

But Yelich would hit a home run in the All-Star Game, and from there would set out to burn down everything in his path on what turned out to be a historic second half.

In 65 games, Yelich hit .367/.449/.770 with 25 home runs, 18 doubles, and 5 triples. He drove in 67 runs. He hit for the cycle -- twice. Plenty of nights, it felt like he was the entire Brewers’ offense, with many of those home runs or his baserunning ultimately proving to be the deciding factor in games. Considering the Brewers needed every win they could get just to force a Game 163 tiebreaker, each of those moments in September were huge.

Without that, it’s likely another second-half offensive collapse for the Brewers and a second straight year of narrowly missing out on a playoff spot. Instead, they wound up one game away from their first World Series appearance since 1982.

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs