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Round 1, Region 1: Least Liked Brewers of the Last Decade Bracket

Check out the breakdown of what we’re doing, and start voting in the Sheffield Region.

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
Yuniesky Betancourt is the top seed in the Sheffield Region
Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Two of the best things about March is normally the Milwaukee Brewers prepping for Opening Day and the chaos that is March Madness and the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, this year is not off to the best start. So as a way to do my part in society, I will combine these two for the entertainment of the fans.

A number of years back, I ran a few tournament brackets involving the Brewers. The most recent tournament was “The Favorite Brewers of All Time,” but without Robin Yount or Paul Molitor in the field (for obvious reasons). Gorman Thomas won it, which was a bit of a surprise.

Before that, the two tourneys were titled, “The Most Despised Brewers of All Time.” Gary Sheffield was the “champion” of the first installment, while Jeff Suppan won the second crown. Those played out about how you would have expected, but there were always a number of “upsets” along the way.

So now with a new decade of Brewers baseball on hold, we are bringing back a version of the brackets today with “The Least Liked Brewers of the Last Decade.” These guys from 2010-2019 annoyed, irritated, angered, or just bothered a number of people in the fan base — sometimes for unfair or illogical reasons. But hey, you can dislike a player for whatever reason you want.

I did leave out a couple of former Brewers. Suppan, for example, did pitch in 2010, but since he won a previous version of this type of tournament, we left him out. Doug Davis also pitched in eight games in 2010 for Milwaukee, but that was after a solid four-year stint ending in 2006, so he gets a pass.

Other than that, there are guys you might not expect or remember or we may be missing some that you really did not like. Just have fun with it, get the juices flowing, and try to get your least liked Brewers into the next round. Each matchup in the first round will have a little info as to why the guys are there, then you can vote on the battles one round at a time.

Remember, you are voting for the player you want to advance because you like them the LEAST. It is not a prediction of who will be chosen as the least liked. We start things off with the Sheffield Region with Yuniesky Betancourt as the top seed; though don’t sleep on some of the mid-level guys in this region.

Enjoy!

It’s the Round of 64 of the Sheffield Region. Who will advance to the Round of 32?

#1 Yuniesky Betancourt vs. #16 Corey Hart

Diehard fans did not expect much from Yuni B. when he was acquired, but he still disappointed (will he fail as the #1 seed in the region?). In two seasons with the Brewers he owned a .258 OBP with a 69 OPS+ over 289 games. He never saw a pitch he didn’t like, walking only 30 times in almost 1,000 plate appearances. His questionable range, rock hands, and sporadic arm left much to be desired, helping him to a -2.4 bWAR in Milwaukee.

Hart played nine seasons in Milwaukee, posting an .824 OPS and making two All-Star teams. Still, his lumbering outfield play and propensity to dip into long, ugly slumps drew ire from the Brewers faithful. Plus, he made multiple negative comments about Brewers fans during his tenure, and as he was ready to take over at first base to fill the hole left by Prince Fielder, he got hurt and never recovered.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Yuniesky Betancourt
    (2113 votes)
  • 8%
    Corey Hart
    (190 votes)
2303 votes total Vote Now

#8 Mark Reynolds vs. #9 Chris Carter

A battle of similarly-skilled first basemen (mostly), Reynolds was first to Miller Park with the hopes his swing would flourish there. With a .196 average and .394 slugging, it was rough. He struck out 122 times in 130 games with plenty of helpless waves of the bat – and just 22 dingers. His defense at first was below-average, but the last straw was him losing track of the outs in a mid-September game in St. Louis. That led directly to the Brewers losing the lead and the game, and add to his huge role in the team’s 2014 collapse out of playoff contention.

Carter also brought an all-or-nothing strategy to the plate, whiffing a league-worst 206 times in 2016. “Sleepy” had a casual movement to his play, sometimes causing fans to question his effort. He did tie for the NL lead with 41 home runs to go with an .821 OPS; however, he was a negative-value defender, hit into 18 double plays, and was not offered a new contract by the Brewers — which was telling.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Mark Reynolds
    (1355 votes)
  • 39%
    Chris Carter
    (867 votes)
2222 votes total Vote Now

#5 Jody Gerut vs. #12 Tyler Saladino

Gerut was another example of the Brewers getting guys too late. A year-and-a-half prior, he had a 3.4 bWAR; in two years with Milwaukee: zero. His .224/.279/.371 slash line earned him a 72 OPS+ in two seasons and his supposedly-good defense was an afterthought by then. Plus, he did this ridiculous hip twist “dance” before some at-bats. The worst part may have been seeing him hit for the cycle in 2010, because he gets mentioned with Molitor, Yount, and Christian Yelich.

Saladino had a unique two-year run with the Brewers, but never took full advantage of his opportunities. As a utility man and part-time shortstop, Saladino owned a .265 OBP and .598 OPS. When Craig Counsell needed him to step up, he normally came up short — and did it with a cockiness he didn’t earn. He even somehow hit a grand slam on back-to-back days last season while posting an 8 OPS+.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Jody Gerut
    (1603 votes)
  • 27%
    Tyler Saladino
    (602 votes)
2205 votes total Vote Now

#4 Kirk Nieuwenhuis vs. #13 Jeff Bianchi

Despite a .385 slugging percentage and 133 strikeouts, Nieuwenhuis played in 125 games in 2016. He was so bad the next year (.115 average, 38 OPS+), that he played just 16 games and never played in the Majors again. Often starting in center field, his lack of quickness meant he had trouble getting to many balls and he was caught stealing more times (9) than he had stolen bases (8) in his two years. His starts over younger players with a future made fans pull their hair out on a regular basis.

Bianchi was just kind of “a guy,” otherwise he might have had a higher seed. Some probably don’t remember him, though he played parts of three seasons with the Brewers. Despite a .251 OBP and .283 slugging percentage overall for the Crew, Bianchi played in 100 games in 2013 out of necessity. He was a decent enough defender, but he didn’t own an elite skill and basically faded away into oblivion.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Kirk Nieuwenhuis
    (1405 votes)
  • 34%
    Jeff Bianchi
    (745 votes)
2150 votes total Vote Now

#6 Jonathan Broxton vs. #11 Keon Broxton

With career 3.41 ERA (121 ERA+), 10.1 K/9, 3.15 FIP, and 118 saves – you would think Broxton would help the Brewers. Nope! In parts of two seasons in Milwaukee, he posted a 5.55 ERA (72 ERA+). He came over in September of 2014 to help stop the bleeding, pitched well overall, but suffered a pair of bad blown saves on back-to-back nights for Brewers’ losses. Then he had a 5.89 ERA (68 ERA+) halfway through 2015, got traded to the Cardinals, then added insult to injury with a 2.66 ERA (149 ERA+) there.

In the battle of Broxtons, there was a lot to like about Keon with his speed, defensive gems, and flashes of power. Unfortunately, other than his 2016 campaign, it happened too far and too few between. After 2016, he never posted an OBP of .300 or better and he struck out 175 times in 2017 (40 walks) in 463 plate appearances. His speed made up for bad routes in the outfield and he could never be relied on to make contact when he needed it most.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    Jonathan Broxton
    (1837 votes)
  • 15%
    Keon Broxton
    (340 votes)
2177 votes total Vote Now

#3 Matt Albers vs. #14 Rickie Weeks

Albers showed a glimpse of success, but in two years with the Crew, it was mostly ugly. A 7.34 ERA and 6.31 FIP in 2018 was disastrous, which included a 2.6 HR/9 rate and 11.8 H/9, both the worst marks in his career. Then he got off to a nice start in 2019 before falling apart in July (6.30 ERA), August (7.20 ERA), and September (10.38). And though unfair, his out-of-shape stature gave fans another reason to express their displeasure, believing maybe it played a role in his struggles.

Despite some solid seasons (a couple before 2010), Weeks’ popularity suffered in part due to extreme expectations as the #2 overall pick, obvious defensive issues (-11.2 dWAR), and a ton of strikeouts – including 184 whiffs in 2010. He also dealt with a number of injuries in his career, keeping him out of the lineup at key points and sapping the quickness and strength form his legs and wrist. Beloved by many, he was also a scapegoat for percentage of fans who saw one All-Star appearance as a failure.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Matt Albers
    (1780 votes)
  • 19%
    Rickie Weeks
    (429 votes)
2209 votes total Vote Now

#7 Cesar Izturis vs. #10 Elian Herrera

Izturis “earned” his 53 OPS+ in 2012 with a .248 OBP and .333 slugging percentage. The light-hitting shortstop somehow grounded into 7 double plays in just 57 games while posting a -0.6 bWAR in his Milwaukee days. Despite signing as a free agent that season, the Brewers placed Izturis on waivers and he was claimed by Texas – thankfully ending his unproductive time in Milwaukee ASAP.

Switch-hitting utility man Elian Herrera played just four MLB seasons — half of them with the Brewers. Another “swing at everything” hitter (minus the power), Hererra had 108 strikeouts to just 21 walks in Milwaukee. His .253/.289/.376 slash line did little to help offensively, with his overall value dipping below zero with a -0.4 bWAR. After his 82 OPS+ for the Crew, Herrera became a free agent and never played in MLB again.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Cesar Izturis
    (1244 votes)
  • 40%
    Elian Herrera
    (837 votes)
2081 votes total Vote Now

#2 Alcides Escobar vs. #15 Martin Maldonado

Touted by Baseball America as the 12th-best prospect in all of affiliated ball in 2010, Escobar took over at shortstop for fan favorite J.J. Hardy. He then posted a .288 OBP and .326 slugging for a 66 OPS+. So much for top prospect status. With no power, you would hope for a lot of steals – only 10 of those, too. Escobar’s failures began the long, dark descent into Milwaukee’s struggles for a reliable, franchise shortstop. Expectations matter, so a .634 OPS and 0.9 bWAR in parts of 3 seasons is plenty to gripe about here. Not to mention, many rumors circulated about him abusing his wife and abandoning his child and family back home — adding to the fans’ disdain.

Maldy was the primary backup for most of his time with the Brewers. So while expectations were low (hence the low seeding), he was usually bad with the stick (2 seasons with an OPS under .600) and was slower than slow on the bases – even for a catcher. He had a cannon for an arm and handled the ball well overall, but Maldonado could do next to nothing offensively. Still, you can’t really dislike him too much.

Poll

Sheffield Region, Round 1: Who do you like least?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Alcides Escobar
    (1698 votes)
  • 21%
    Martin Maldonado
    (457 votes)
2155 votes total Vote Now

Be on the lookout for the rest of the bracket and future rounds. Check out the Gagne Region right now!