Off to a red-hot start, the Milwaukee Brewers currently sit just one game back of first place in the N.L Central with a 20-17 record! In all this excitement the Brewers have several contributors on offense, but who takes the title of current franchise player?
Normally we would have no doubt that Ryan Braun is the face of the Milwaukee Brewers. But with Braun on the DL, let’s consider a few other options.
There have been 14 different Brewers that have gone deep this season, and they have tallied 60 home runs to lead all of Major League Baseball.
Everyone knows that there is more to being a great player than hitting home runs, so who is the best all-around player in 2017 and on the team?
Hernan Perez: Age 26, 2017 stats .277/.327/.535, five home runs, 16 RBIs, 31 games played
Projected 2017 stats: .277/.327/.535, 22 home runs, 70 RBIs, 136 games played
Perez is easily the most valuable Brewer on the roster. With his versatility on defense, and his clutch hitting, he has become a must when it comes to the starting lineup. Normally being unable to play every day would earn Perez the label of a “bench player,” but he is making the most out of every opportunity given. At the rate, he is playing if given enough at-bats he can become a future 20-20 player. With every game, he plays the front office in Detroit cursing that they let Perez go for nothing.
Travis Shaw: Age 27, 2017 stats .281/.324/.548, eight home runs, 30 RBIs, 34 games played
Projected 2017 stats: .281/.319/.548, 35 home runs, 131 RBIs, 149 games played
Shaw, who ranks among the biggest steals of the off-season, has really come to make Milwaukee and most importantly Miller Park his home. In a series against his former team the Boston Red Sox, Shaw did enough damage to make GM Dave Dombrowski question trading him. In the three-game set, he hit .364/.417/.455. He looks to be on his way to having a career and hopefully an All-Star year. Has he proven that he could be the face of the Brewers? If he does come close to projections, he is easily in the conversation for the title of franchise player.
Eric Thames: Age 30, 2017 stats .320/.428/.713, 13 home runs, 25 RBIs, 34 games played
Projected 2017 stats: .315/.430/.702, 57 home runs, 109 RBIs, 153 games played
Possibly the biggest story in baseball, Thames has come back from overseas and taken the Majors by storm. He has overcome several obstacles and “drug tests” to post ridiculous numbers in his first few weeks in the Majors. In the process, he and his overpowering offensive production have put the Milwaukee Brewers back on the national stage.
He is Prince Fielder 2.0 with more patience and makes baseball fans wonder what if he was on their team. If he does finish near his projected stats, he would end with the greatest offensive season in Brewers history.
Who do you think is the best player on the Milwaukee Brewers this season? Hopefully, these guys keep it up and we can continue to accelerate this rebuild and reach the postseason.