For a catcher, a hand injury may be the one thing that shakes up their entire season. Players have momentum and even though it may not be as apparent as it is in say football, it does exist in baseball. Jonathan Lucroy was on absolute tear before his hand was broken in late May and until he returned in late July, there were a lot of questions. How would he perform after a broken hand? Would his production be as good? Could he continue the hot streak that he was on? Lucroy must have taken those types of questions personally because he’s answered them emphatically.
2012 is Lucroy’s third year in the majors and aside from the obvious Buster Posey, Lucroy has established himself as one of the better young catchers in the game. He may not be the huge power hitter that Posey is, but Lucroy’s damage isn’t solely based on extra base hits. While he did hit two home runs in last night’s win, home runs aren’t something Lucroy is noted for. Lucroy is the clutch hitter in our line-up and he has a bat the Milwaukee Brewers will want to hold on to for as long as they can. He hits incredibly well with runners on as he’s batting .370 in those scenarios. With runners in scoring position, Lucroy is batting .434. That is incredible and for a guy who primarily bats in the heart of the order, it adds an intense punch alongside the bats of Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez.
Lucroy also has an impressive on base percentage at .379. While he doesn’t draw in a whole lot of walks, Lucroy is still a patient hitter. For example, in last night’s game, Lucroy had four at-bats (granted he was walked so technically it’s three) and saw a total of 17 pitches. The night before last, Lucroy had the same situation, four at-bats (one being a walk) and saw a total of 24 pitches. Lucroy isn’t the type of batter who swings at whatever he sees fit. He’s improved on waiting for his pitch and taking advantage of it when he sees that pitch. His current .323 batting average this season is the proof of that.
So while Lucroy will still fly under the radar in the MLB, we Brewer fans know how valuable he is to our team. He’s someone I hope going forward we can keep for a long time. His offensive production has been steadily rising since 2010. This season may very well prove that it will be his best season so far. Imagine if Lucroy had never been injured and what his production would have been like in those two months. Crazy huh?
Well, until next time, go Brew Crew.