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MVBrewers #1: William Contreras

Contreras made an immediate impact in year one with Milwaukee

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In year one with the Brewers, catcher William Contreras slots in at No. 1 in our MVBrewers rankings.

The 25-year-old backstop came over from the Braves in a three-team trade back in December 2022 after an All-Star season with Atlanta. Across 97 games with the Braves, Contreras turned in a solid .278/.354/.506 batting line with 20 homers and 45 RBIs across 97 games for an OPS+ of 136.

While his offense remained much the same with the Crew — slashing .289/.367/.457 with 17 homers and 78 RBIs across 141 games for an OPS+ of 125 — Contreras really took a step forward behind the plate. He finished with five defensive runs saved above average, per Baseball Reference, a major improvement after finishing at -7 in 2021 and -5 in 2022.

He also led the team with 44 multi-hit games, including six games with three hits.

All of this added together helped Contreras finish 11th in NL MVP voting while also earning the Silver Slugger at catcher. He also led the team in WAR, finishing at 3.8, just ahead of Christian Yelich (3.6) and Corbin Burnes (3.5).

Contreras will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2025 and he won’t be a free agent until age 30 in 2028, making him a cornerstone of Milwaukee’s team for seasons to come.

Contreras concludes our MVBrewers rankings for 2023 but be sure to check out the honorable mentions below.

  1. William Contreras
  2. Christian Yelich
  3. Corbin Burnes
  4. Devin Williams
  5. Freddy Peralta
  6. Brandon Woodruff
  7. Wade Miley
  8. Hoby Milner
  9. Mark Canha
  10. Willy Adames

Honorable Mentions (sorted by WAR): Joel Payamps (1.6 WAR); Bryse Wilson (1.5 WAR); Andruw Monasterio (1.3 WAR); Sal Frelick (1.2 WAR); Carlos Santana (1.1 WAR); Abner Uribe (1.0 WAR)