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MVBrewers #9: Christian Yelich

Despite still not returning to MVP form, Yelich proved himself as a leadoff hitter in the second half of 2022

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After naming Luis Urias as the 10th most valuable Brewer last week, we’re ready to unveil No. 9: former NL MVP Christian Yelich.

While Yelich was nowhere near as good as he was in his 2018 MVP season or his 2019 MVP runner-up season, he arguably had his best season since that time in 2022. He finished with a .252/.355/.383 slash line for a 111 OPS+ and 2.7 WAR — the fifth-best WAR among Brewers. He also managed to stay healthy for the entire year, playing in 154 games and totaling 19 stolen bases on 22 attempts.

He especially excelled as the leadoff hitter, a spot he was moved to about halfway through the season. In 88 starts in the leadoff spot, Yelich slashed .267/.378/.390 with eight homers, 30 RBIs, 14 doubles, and 12 stolen bases — all of which exceeded his totals from all other batting spots.

Yelich’s best performance in 2022 was his cycle against the Reds on May 11, the third such game of his career against Cincinnati. Despite a 14-11 loss, Yelich finished with three RBIs and two runs scored. He also had a strong game against the Cubs on Aug. 27, when he went 4-for-5 with three singles and a home run in the Brewers’ 7-0 win.

While it’s unlikely Yelich will ever return to his 2018 and 2019 form, the Brewers are hoping that he can continue to perform as a regular contributor on offense as he managed to do in 2022.

We’ll continue the rankings of the 10 most valuable Brewers each Monday into January. Come back next week to see who we have at No. 8.

  1. Christian Yelich
  2. Luis Urias