Brewers 2016: Jonathan Lucroy

All signs point to the front office believing catcher Jonathan Lucroy will be with the Brewers come spring training and he could quietly have a bounce back season amidst the Brewers rebuilding phase. 

Apr 18, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) waits his turn in the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 18, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) waits his turn in the batting cage before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing with our previous season previews (Matt Garza and Ryan Braun) we are looking today at catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who has been the center of many talks over the winter.

The 29-year old catcher continues to be the center of trade rumor talks, optimism hopes he’ll be with the Brewers for another season or two. However, how he performs this season will ultimately prove just how long Lucroy stays with the Brewers.

With just two years left on his contract Jonathan Lucroy, and the fact that the Brewers are self-admittedly going through a rebuild, Lucroy has already expressed his desire to be traded to a team that’ll contend for the World Series.

2015 Recap

Jonathan Lucroy is coming off of a disappointing 2015 season. Hitting only .264/.326/.391 (95 OPS+) last season after hitting .301/.373/.465 (131 OPS+) in 2014, which earned him a fourth-place finish in the NL MVP voting. He battled a couple of injuries, including a concussion that plagued him and gave him a slow start behind the plate.

2016 Production

As long as Jonathan Lucroy remains with the Brewers he should be the only one behind home plate (granted there will be a day or two where he rests). FanGraphs Steamer predicts Lucroy will hit .237/.339/.417 with 12 HR, 61 Hits and 53 RBIs. Steamers also predict a .77+ OPS along with an offensive WAR of 2.7.  An above line average catcher, for the most part, in recent years, putting up .286/.345/.443 (114 OPS+) batting line in nearly 2,500 plate appearances. If he is right along the Steamers line this next season the then he’ll be below his production numbers before his injury and his trade value with go down.

Given that teams have already balked at the Brewers  asking price for Lucroy, a season like the one predicted would only hurt Jonathan Lucroy’s stock, so it would make sense for him to work to make 2015 his best, and given his expressed desire, it’s in his best interest to do so.

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