As we head to the end of 2013, we can reflect back on this season and look at what exactly went wrong. Now knowing what it is that happened, we look ahead to 2014 and the endless possbilities it brings.
From now until the end of the year, I will look at four bold predictions I have for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014. Today we start with number one: The team will have five All-Stars next season.
It’s no surprise that the Brewers have copious amounts of talent, yet it’s hard to publicly display that when they sit at 74-88. Even in the younger players, the Brewers seemed to have blossom talent that will excite fans for the next few years. Mixing them in with the veterans of the team brings a healthy balance to a team that may have a shot at competing relatively soon.
In the building blocks to getting back to October, the Brewers will have some All-Star talent along the way. In fact, they already do as they had two representatives play in this past season’s All-Star Game at Citi Field. Next year, I believe we’ll be seeing five Brewers going to Target Field and those players are: Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett.
Perhaps people will want to shy away from Braun and the issues that had persisted since late July, but there’s no denying his talent. Even a clean Braun is still a dangerous hitter and a projection on FanGraphs has him as a .301/.377/.528 type player with a WAR of 4.8. Pretty hard to beat those odds and even if Braun isn’t a starter, I bet he’ll be on that All-Star team somewhere.
Lucroy is the inevitable snub in the National League, but in 2014 he’ll get his chance to shine. Aside from the obvious choices in Yadier Molina and Buster Posey, Lucroy is one of the top hitting catchers in the game currently and I believe he’ll continue that into next season. He’s a big part of the Brewers’ line-up and proved so this year when the likes of Braun, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez were out.
The last three, Gomez, Segura and Gennett, will all break through next season. We saw what a tremendous season Gomez had with his first All-Star appearance and first Gold Glove Award. Segura helped reassure Milwaukee fans that trading Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels wasn’t a bust and Gennett earned the job at second base by performing extremely well in his rookie season.
All five of these players have what it takes to be All-Stars and I believe they’ll make it next season. They’re a core group of guys that going forward will help this Brewers’ team continue to grow in the NL Central.