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Aug 4, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) goes after the ball bunted by Washington Nationals pitcher Taylor Jordan (not pictured) for an error in the 2nd inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Grading the Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy

Aside from the two All-Stars on the team, the one bright spot in a downtrodden 2013 was none other than catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Even though he wasn’t an All-Star this year, Lucroy did well enough to build a huge case as one of the premier Brewers.

What kind of a grade will Lucroy earn from his efforts this season?

Jonathan Lucroy has become one of the better parts of the line-up Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Lucroy’s impact on the Brewers this season may have been overshadowed by the production from Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez, but here we take all players into account. This season, Lucroy solidified his role as one of the crucial Brewers and going forward, he’s definitely a player that this team will want to hold onto for dear life after his current contract. It’s not everyday you get a catcher who can not only field well (and be versatile at that), but can hit the ball while maintaining productive numbers.

At the plate this year, Lucroy hit a slash line of .280/.340/.455 alongside smacking 18 homers, 82 RBIs and scored 59 runs. Unlike 2012 where he hit over .300 for the season, Lucroy played in 51 more games this season so some of his numbers won’t be exactly the same. For instance, he had a solid ISO (isolated power) of .193 last year, but in more games played this year, he still managed a great rating of .175.

The presence Lucroy brings to a line-up is incredible, especially when that line-up lacks Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and a healthy Aramis Ramirez. Lucroy’s ability to produce not only in the middle of the order, but in the clutch (an average of .290 or above with runners on) makes his bat all the more lethal for opposing teams.

Defensively Lucroy runs into some problems, but not too many. Behind the plate, Lucroy hosted a fielding percentage of .991, but allowed seven passed balls and committed eight errors. He also only threw out .216 percent (22-for-80) of the runners attempting to steal on him. That aside, Lucroy did help turn five double plays and had 56 assists. Lucroy did well at first base in the 14 games played there, showing off his versatility.

Will Lucroy be an All-Star next year? I don’t know, but it’s certainly a possibility. Even if he doesn’t make it again, we still know how valuable he is to the Brewers. As a catcher, it’s not easy to maintain a high batting average to keep an offense going, but somehow Lucroy does. It’s simply incredible the level of professionalism he brings not only on the field, but off the field with his charities and donations. Plus, Lucroy is just a likable guy, so he has that going for him.

Lucroy’s final grade: A-

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