The off-season is the best time to be a Brewer fan. Oh, the optimism! Best Case Scenario is an opportunity to dream in “what ifs” and see what happens when the Brew Crew catches all the breaks. This Brewer cocktail is made up of two parts dreaming big and one part reality. Feel free to shake your head and pour over ice.
Today, we look at the outfield. It’s amazing that I don’t even have to propose any fake trades or pipe dream free agent signings (remember when Josh Hamilton over Carlos Gomez was a thing?), the talent is already in Milwaukee.
Ryan Braun (RF) 2013 WAR 2.0, 2014 Projected WAR 6.0
It is difficult to predict or even discuss 2014 and Ryan Braun without injecting an opinion over his admitted substance use. I will try to avoid this by focusing on the years before (2010) and after (2012) his admitted use, when Braun (allegedly) did not use any PEDs.
Although doubtful in reality, I’m placing Braun in right field. Many believe it’s “the right thing to do” given the PED scandal and emergence of Khris Davis. I doubt Braun feels the same way. Players have egos, and in the case of Ryan Braun’s…
In 2010 Braun had a WAR of 5.8 and in 2012 a WAR of 7.0. With so much to prove I would imagine Braun will push too hard early on, leading to a rough start, but expect him to finish strong. This is based on his work before and after the 2011 season; so hard to predict without all the facts.
Carlos Gomez (CF) 2013 WAR 8.4, 2014 Projected WAR 7.0
Last year’s team MVP and recent Gold Glove winner will anchor the outfield again next season. Never mind Hamilton, remember when Nyjer Morgan over Carlos Gomez was a thing?
Khris Davis (LF) 2013 WAR 1.3 (56 games), 2014 Projected WAR 4.5
Here’s an even bigger leap of faith; in 2014 Khris Davis will break out (once Ryan Braun surrenders his position of course). With 13 Runs Above Replacement in 56 games and the potential to knock out 30 plus home runs in a full season, Davis rounds out the starting outfield for 2014 with my predictions of over 100 RBIs to go along with 32 dingers.
Norichika Aoki 2013 WAR 3.0
It’s rare for the Brewers to possess a “nice to have” player such as Aoki. As the fourth outfielder (in this scenario) on a team-friendly salary many would scream trade him, but I would rather not. Injuries occur, and remember, this is the Brewers so injuries will occur often, plug in Aoki and you lose very little. It’s good to have nice things once in a while.
So there you have it, a starting outfield netting 17 plus games, add that to 48 (starting number for a team of replacement players) and the Brewers are already at 65 wins for 2014. Not bad for a team that had only 74 wins in 2013. Stay tuned for best case scenarios covering the Brewer infield and pitching.
Always drink and dream.