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Round 1, Region 3: Least Liked Brewers of the Last Decade Bracket

The Hammonds Region has an interesting mix of guys vying for votes.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks
Jonathan Villar felt the ire of many fans. Will that continue as the top seed in the Hammonds Region?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On to the Jeffrey Hammonds Region, giving you 48 of the 64 participants in the “Least Liked Brewers of the Last Decade” tournament bracket. There has been some controversy over the seeding in the previous two regions, but the votes are all that count. And truly, many factors go into the committee’s decisions, including fan vitriol, postseason performance, recency bias, expectations vs. reality, and so on, and so on.

Among the 16 Milwaukee Brewers here, the number one seed in the Hammonds Region is Jonathan Villar; however, there may be some other seeds ready to make a run before it’s all said and done. Vote for your (least) favorites and root for them to “succeed” this time around. And don’t forget to check out the Sheffield Region and the Gagne Region.

Reminder: 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. Have some fun with it and spread the word!

Which Brewers were less liked, despised, or worse in the Hammonds Region?

#1 Jonathan Villar vs. #16 Josh Hader

Villar looked like a diamond his 1st year with the Brewers (.369 OBP, 117 OPS+, 62 steals), but the shine wore off quickly. He seemed to wilt when there were expectations or pressure. As Milwaukee pushed for a playoff spot in 2017, Villar had a .241/.293/.372 slash (72 OPS+), played shoddy defense at second base, and saw his strikeout-to-walk rate go from 2.2 to 4.4 – a significant spike. He also made plenty of bone-headed base running decisions that killed innings and drove fans nuts. For all his speed, he ranked 44th in FanGraphs BsR (base running) all-encompassing stat from 2017-2018 (min. 500 plate appearances). His struggles at the dish in 2018 led to a trade to Baltimore for Jonathan Schoop, which may have made people dislike Villar even more.

Hader has been the most dominant relief pitcher in MLB the past two seasons with an insane 16.1 K/9 rate, a 169 ERA+, 0.81 WHIP and 49 saves in that span. However, just about everyone has their flaws fans pick on. Hader gave up home runs at an alarming 1.8 HR/9 rate last season, leading to 7 blown saves and 5 losses. Not to mention, he coughed up the lead in the Brewers’ Wild Card game that sent the packing. Add in the frustration of him being often unavailable and those who stopped liking him after inappropriate remarks came out from his high school days, and he is going to have his detractors.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    #1 Jonathan Villar
    (1640 votes)
  • 7%
    #16 Josh Hader
    (126 votes)
1766 votes total Vote Now

#8 Marco Estrada vs. #9 Juan Francisco

It’s not that Marco Estrada was ever the worst pitcher on the Brewers’ staff, but he would show just enough positives to put him in the rotation or important spots in the bullpen. The issue was, you never knew when the gopher ball was coming. In 2014 he gave up a league-worst 29 dingers in 150.2 innings – that’s 1.7 HR/9. His strikeouts kept decreasing and walks increasing, making him a risky option as time went on. After a mediocre 23-25 record and 4.11 ERA in Milwaukee, Estrada’s first two seasons in Toronto were great: 3.30 ERA, 127 ERA+, 1.08 WHIP. Just makes it more frustrating.

There were many Twitter conversations about Francisco and his potential value. In the end, his .221/.300/.433 slash line just wasn’t good enough for the butcher he was at first base, leading to a -0.7 bWAR in his lone season in Milwaukee. The big swinger whiffed 95 times to 25 walks, but you’d expect more than 13 long balls at that rate. His hands were brick, his range was next to nothing, and you couldn’t trust him to scoop ice cream, let alone a short hop.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    #8 Marco Estrada
    (380 votes)
  • 77%
    #9 Juan Francisco
    (1325 votes)
1705 votes total Vote Now

#4 Orlando Arcia vs. #13 Carlos Gomez

How do you react when a former top prospect at shortstop owns a .292 OBP and .360 SLG (70 OPS+) in his four-year career? Worse still, Arcia was the worst qualified hitter in all of MLB in 2019 by wRC+ (57) and among the worst “regulars” in Brewers’ history. To add to the misery, the supposed stud defensive player has ranked in the lower half of baseball in the field the last two seasons, to the point where Craig Counsell was benching him at times for Hernan Perez and Tyler Saladino. With a career bWAR of just 2.6 in 479 games, Arcia has been one of the biggest teases and is almost out of time to show up.

Gomez was just as frustrating at the start of his Brewers’ tenure, and some things still bothered the fans. His two All-Star years were huge, posting an 128 and 129 OPS+. He has the 3rd-highest bWAR in a season at 7.6 (in 2013), had 3 straight seasons with 34+ steals, and played elite defense for a stretch. However, he got on the nerves of some fans with his various antics, including certain celebrations, dumb base running, and at least one occasion watching “home run ball” that didn’t leave the park. He also had a cannon for an arm, but often threw to the wrong base and airmailed the tosses. His 13-seed is because he was loved by many; however, quite a few would say they didn’t like him so much.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    #4 Orlando Arcia
    (1304 votes)
  • 24%
    #13 Carlos Gomez
    (422 votes)
1726 votes total Vote Now

#5 Randy Wolf vs. #12 Jean Segura

Wolf seemed like a good dude (maybe), and as a pitcher he was kind of, “eh.” He owned a 4.37 ERA (92 ERA+) in Milwaukee, saving his best year for 2011. But the other two seasons weren’t so fun. His walks, FIP, WHIP, and ERA were worse in 2010 – and far uglier in 2012, a major reason the Brewers struggled so much early in the year, which led to trades and a lost season. Plus, Wolf was making $9.5 million his last season, making the 5.69 ERA (72 ERA+), 1.57 WHIP, and 11.3 H/9 (worst of his career) beyond unacceptable. He was given his outright release in August of 2012 as another bad finish to a contract.

Segura made a great first impression with a 4.1 bWAR, 44 steals, and an All-Star appearance in his first full season with the Crew. He turned down a 6-year, $38 million deal after that season and then failed to produce. Two straight years of sub-.290 OBP and a combined OPS+ of 69. And for a speed guy, seeing 93 strikeouts compared to just 13 walks in 2015 – a greater than 7-to-1 ratio – that was beyond frustrating. The Brewers cut bait after that season, happy they weren’t stuck with that contract and they received, among others, Isan Diaz in the trade (a key piece of the Christian Yelich acquisition).

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    #5 Randy Wolf
    (1186 votes)
  • 31%
    #12 Jean Segura
    (534 votes)
1720 votes total Vote Now

#6 Jett Bandy vs. #11 Casey McGehee

Was Bandy the worst offensive catcher in a long line of bad Brewers’ catchers? A .202/.282/.326 slash over two years (60 OPS+), which included a .266 SLG and 44 OPS+ in 2018. Many were touting how his great defense would counteract the poor offense — well, despite some solid skills, they were nowhere near enough. He owned a -1.0 bWAR and may have been the slowest player in team history (maybe Johnny Estrada gives him a run). One other factoid: In 2018 he had more strikeouts (23) than total bases (17).

Many wondered if McGehee would be the long-term answer at third after a solid two-year stretch. But his numbers dipped each year from 2009-2011. Was it the pressure of being “the guy” at third or of a playoff race? For whatever reason, McGehee fell to .223/.280/.358 (69 OPS+) with just 13 home runs in 600 plate appearances in 2011. It was so bad, he only got 6 plate appearances (0 starts) in Milwaukee’s 11 postseason games. He supposedly improved his defense that season, but that wasn’t pretty, either.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    #6 Jett Bandy
    (1328 votes)
  • 22%
    #11 Casey McGehee
    (379 votes)
1707 votes total Vote Now

#3 Alex Gonzalez vs. #14 Trent Grisham

Fans suffered through Gonzalez’s .211/.256/.325 (56 OPS+) line over two seasons. He thankfully only played in 65 games, but they were hard to watch. No one is sure what the Brewers saw in him, so his .452 OPS (19 OPS+) in 2013 had to look even worse than it was (and that is hard to do). Milwaukee actually released him in June of that year and no one picked him up. His defense had declined at that point, too, with Milwaukee giving him time at shortstop, third base, and first base for some odd reason. Very forgettable and regrettable.

Look…he only played 51 games for the Brewers and did some good things; however, recency bias plays a role in the real NCAA brackets, too, so Grisham makes an appearance – as postseason play weighs heavily (like strength of schedule, maybe). Some fans blamed him, in part, for the Wild Card loss. The ball certainly took a funny bounce, but he foolishly was trying to scoop and throw a guy out when he had no shot. He was 0-for-3 (1 walk) at the top of the order with 2 strikeouts, including leaving a man in scoring position. Thirteen seeds aren’t meant to win, so take it for what it’s worth.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    #3 Alex Gonzalez
    (1337 votes)
  • 21%
    #14 Trent Grisham
    (365 votes)
1702 votes total Vote Now

#7 Nyjer Morgan vs. #10 Ron Roenicke

There was often a love-hate relationship when it came to Morgan (aka Tony Plush). Exuberant, exciting, annoying, brash, fun, and sometimes clutch — lots of emotions flowed both ways. He owned a .357 OBP (111 OPS+) and played a big role for the 2011 club, including the memorable NLDS Game 5 walk-off hit. However, he was blamed for inciting the Cardinals’ run to the playoffs and victory over Milwaukee for his feud with Albert Pujols. He wore out his welcome in 2012 with more erratic behavior and a major dip in production .239/.302/.308 (63 OPS+), and he was granted free agency.

Runnin’ Ron Roenicke managed one the best teams in franchise history, but his small ball style and suspect decision-making in the 2011 playoffs caused many to sour on him quickly. The stolen bases were mostly positive, but the Brewers were among the league’s worst in outs on the bases in 2011 and 2012, including outs at third and home. Plus, they led MLB in sacrifice bunt attempts — with a potent lineup featuring Braun and Fielder. The most egregious part of his tenure was the decision to continue starting Shaun Marcum in the postseason when he was awful (14.90 ERA), and starting Mark Kotsay in center field over Gomez and Morgan. Both decisions were instrumental in costing the Brewers a World Series appearance.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    #7 Nyjer Morgan
    (290 votes)
  • 83%
    #10 Ron Roenicke
    (1420 votes)
1710 votes total Vote Now

#2 Wily Peralta vs. #15 Freddy Peralta

He was Baseball America’s top-rated Brewers prospect in 2012 and 2013, but Wily Peralta peaked at 25 and quickly descended to fan punching bag. His 17-11 record and 3.53 ERA 2014 season showed promise before a 5.39 ERA (78 ERA+) in the next 3 years combined. In his last year in Milwaukee, Peralta ballooned to a 7.85 ERA having lost his starters’ job (56 ERA+, 1.83 WHIP, 11.5 H/9, 1.6 HR/9, and 5.0 BB/9). It was an implosion of epic proportions. The bullpen seemed like it would be a good place for him, but in his last 7 appearances (11 IP), he allowed 20 ER (16.36 ERA) with 13 K and 12 BB while allowing a 1.237 OPS to opponents. He was designated for assignment at the end of July and gone after the season.

Fastball Freddy looks to have a decent ceiling as well, having shown flashes of brilliance both as a starter and a reliever. His overall numbers don’t do much for you after 2 seasons (4.79 ERA, 89 ERA+, 1.3 WHIP), though the 12.2 K/9 rate last season is encouraging. The problem remains his inconsistency game-to-game and even each inning. Plus, last year he allowed 1.6 HR/9 and 9.2 H/9, displaying his stuff is rather hittable if he doesn’t develop a quality third pitch. The Brewers are banking on this Peralta by signing him to a 5-year, $15.5 million contract; however, he is sporadic enough to possibly make them regret it.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    #2 Wily Peralta
    (1623 votes)
  • 5%
    #15 Freddy Peralta
    (90 votes)
1713 votes total Vote Now

We’re moving along, now 3 of the 4 regions revealed. Who will be among the final 16 Brewers to round out the bracket? Keep on voting and sharing the tournament — it will only get more interesting as we pare down the field!