For at least the last six years or so, the Milwaukee Brewers have been a home-run-happy ball club. And even with Prince Fielder, arguably the most powerful hitter in franchise history, long gone from Milwaukee, the Brewers have still managed to slam pitches over walls at a mind-blowing rate.
Since 2008, no National League team has hit more home runs than the Brewers. They have the sixth-most home runs overall during that span, trailing only the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers, Red Sox and White Sox.
And while it’s known that Miller Park is hitter friendly, Doug Melvin and Co. also encourage free swingers. But free swingers usually means strikeouts, and the Brewers are aware that with the teams they’ve assembled over the last few seasons, they won’t be drawing many walks but will strike out plenty. In fact, since 2008, Milwaukee is in the bottom half of MLB in walks and in the top half in strikeouts.
But that’s okay. Right now the Brewers recipe for success is to see the ball and hit the ball, and be extremely aggressive. And guess what? That recipe is working for them. Entering Saturday, the Brewers are 11 games over .500 and have a four-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Plus, being aggressive is exactly what turned around the career of Carlos Gomez. Once he told the Brewers he wasn’t going to try to hit the ball on the ground any more, his bat exploded with power. Gomez’s 54 home runs over the last 2 1/3 seasons are big part of why the Brewers are considered a dynamic offense.
So far this season, the Crew are seventh in MLB with 57 home runs, and that’s mainly without Aramis Ramirez who has been on the disabled list since May 13. Mark Reynolds is leading the way with 12 dingers, with Gomez close behind at 11.
Not only are the Brewers hitting their fair share of home runs, they are also up there in line-drive percentage and extra base hits. Milwaukee is fourth in doubles (108), thanks to Jonathan Lucroy‘s 21, and have an isolated power (which measures how good a player is at hitting for extra bases) of .158 — sixth highest.
Milwaukee’s offense can be lackluster at times (see April 30-May 9), but can also rack up the hits and runs, as they did on Friday against the Cubs when they scored 11 runs on 16 hits. Oddly enough though, they hit just one home run.
With the way the lineup is constructed, a team who draws walks and works pitch counts just wouldn’t result in success. It’d be silly to try and tame free swingers like Carlos Gomez and Mark Reynolds. The truth is, the Brewers have massive power, and kudos to Ron Roenicke for not attempting to contain it because, if he had, his team would not be sitting atop the NL Central.