Milwaukee Brewers: 2016 Outlook

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Outfielders

Apr 6, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) receives the Silver Slugger Award from general manager Doug Melvin before game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) receives the Silver Slugger Award from general manager Doug Melvin before game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

We are beginning with the Outfielders because that is by far the most crowded place in Miller Park right now. The position remains remarkably similar to how it was in 2015, but there are a few lingering question marks (from my point of view anyway).

Assuming that Ryan Braun is healthy expect to see plenty of him in Right Field, FanGraphs has him with the biggest WAR in RF at 2.0. The only other person predicted with a positive WAR is Domingo Santa (this is for RF before you blast me) at 0.1. With Shane Peterson DFA’d after the Liriano trade we could see Liriano there (who doesn’t have an MLB WAR prediction on Fangraphs), after all, Liriano has to make the 40 Man Roster or will be DFA’d himself.

Left Field will primarily be Khris Davis, who like Braun has by far the best WAR of his position, at 1.3. One interesting candidate for LF though would be Keon Braxton, who the Brewers acquired in a trade that sent Jason Rogers to the Pirates. Broxton hasn’t received much attention outside of Pittsburgh and when he was briefly promoted to PNC Park, it had people outside of Pittsburgh scratching their heads. Braxton was originally drafted in the third round in 2009 by the Dbacks. Many saw that he had strength and athleticism but still needed to close up some holes in his swing and fielding abilities.

Early on his was touted as promising but the results were mixed, hitting .228/.3.16/.360 in 2010. He managed to draw 65 walks and steal 21 times. In 2012, he tapped into that talent that many saw hitting .267/.326/.437 with 19 homers and 21 steals though it was evident his plate discipline still presented issues (40 walks, 135 SOs). He then followed that with a poor year in 2013 and was shipped to Pittsburgh.

Braxton can be one of the best athletes on the Diamond, but he is still vulnerable to strikeouts and hasn’t batted .300 over a broad sample. But his power and speed have value and he can provide quality glove work. I wouldn’t be surprised if he manages to further refine his skills and finds his way into Miller Park this season.

Domingo Santana provides the best WAR in Center Field at 1.6, and Shane Peterson is expected to provide a WAR of 0.2 (which was the next best) but as he was DFA’d I wouldn’t expect to see him very much (if at all) in Miller Park

Conclusion: Outfield is pretty crowded in Miller Park, but there are plenty of options to go with and given there’s plenty of room for competition I’d expect it to be exciting out there.

Next: Next: The Catchers

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