Jul 12, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielderCarlos Gomez
(27), catcherJonathan Lucroy
(20), third basemanAramis Ramirez
(16), and pitcherFrancisco Rodriguez
(57) show their National League All-Star uniforms before game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Losing streaks are not fun, but thank God for the All-Star break and the series ending win over the Cardinals. Not only do Brewers finish the first-half of the season ten games over .500, but also have a one game lead in the Central Division. Not many (if anyone) saw that coming! Let’s take a look at the players that have the Brewers eyeing a pennant race the second half of the season.
1 (1a): Carlos Gomez
Gomez deservingly represents the Brew Crew at the All-Star game after batting .304 with 14 dingers, 48 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. His WAR is already 3.7, good for second best on the team.
2 (1b): Jonathan Lucroy
Who has the highest WAR? That would be Mr. Lucroy, the All-Star catcher with a WAR of 4.1 and .315 batting average. You want to put Lucroy in the number one spot? How about 1a and 1b?
Hold on, here me out. Reynolds has a WAR of 1.0 so far and 14 dingers. His play at first has been far superior to last year’s group that posted a negative WAR and his fill-in work at third for Ramirez has been a blessing. Reynolds is not the greatest solution, but he has stopped the bleeding. Had the Brewers rolled out a similar group as last year they would not be in first place.
After finding their short-stop last season it appears the Brewers have secured their second baseman of the future. Gennett is proving to be an everyday second baseman despite his drop-off (but improving) production against lefties. Gennett’s .309 average isn’t shocking given last year’s preview, but the 7 dingers have been a nice surprise.
5: Francisco Rodriguez
With 27 saves Rodriguez is the Brewers third All-Star and (for better or worse) is expecting to be the closer through the end of the season. If you like exciting ninth innings you are in luck!
6: Zach Duke
Will Smith drops out of the power rankings, but Zach Duke keeps the middle relievers rolling, 4-0 and an ERA of 1.18 through 36 innings.
Despite some current inconsistencies this group is the key. After the break there should be some interesting decisions related to Marco Estrada (“Home Run God” is not a good nickname for a pitcher), Jimmy Nelson (organization clearly doesn’t want to rush up) and other free agent pitchers.
8: Khris Davis
After a slow start, the last few weeks have been kind to Davis, now hitting .252 with a team leading 15 dingers and 49 RBIs.
9: Aramis Ramirez
The fourth Brewer representing at the All-Star game, the numbers are good for Ramirez (.288 average, 11 dingers, 43 RBIs), but most importantly he is staying in the lineup (majority of the time anyway).
10: Ryan Braun
His numbers are down (any ideas why internet?), but he is still posting a WAR of 2.0 that puts the starting outfield with a WAR over 7 games for the first half of the season. I believe the Brewers are okay with this.
There’s my “rankings”, what’s yours? Feel free to comment below and let us know.