Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Sogard vs. DJ LeMahieu
Closer Corey Knebel will be the lone Milwaukee Brewer on the National League All-Star team. Should other players have been selected as well? Let’s take a look at the case of Eric Sogard compared to Colorado Rockies second baseman, DJ LeMahieu.
The Numbers At The Plate
Despite only appearing in about half the games that DJ LeMahieu has, Eric Sogard has compiled an impressive resume. In 42 games played, Sogard owns a .949 OPS with 24 runs scored, 14 RBIs, three homers and three stolen bases. His weighted on-base average sits at .412, aided by his 14.1% walk rate.
In 80 games played, LeMaheiu owns a .741 OPS with 43 runs scored, three homers, 38 RBIs, and four stolen bases. His production is slightly inflated by playing at Coors Field where he owns a .766 OPS. His weighted on-base average is only .327, almost 100 points lower than Sogard’s.
Despite his limited playing time, Sogard has outproduced LeMaheiu in almost every key aspect except the counting stats. While LeMaheiu has the track record and the name value, Eric Sogard has helped the Milwaukee Brewers’ offense more in a smaller sample size.
The Numbers In The Field
DJ LeMaheiu has stepped up his game in the field after a fairly mediocre 2016, but he’s not quite as good as Eric Sogard. LeMaheiu’s UZR at second base is a solid 4.4, good for second place among qualified second basemen in the National League. In 676 1/3 innings at second base, LeMaheiu has only made three errors. His 5.6 fielding and positional adjustment is keeping his WAR above replacement level. LeMaheiu’s glove has made up for his mediocre season at the plate.
Milwaukee Brewers infielder Eric Sogard has spent the majority of the season at second base. So far Sogard has played flawlessly. He’s committed zero errors at second, and he owns a 0.8 UZR, but his UZR/150, runs saved above average per 150 defensive games, is 16.0. LeMaheiu’s UZR/150 is only 7.0. Meaning, if both players continue to play the same way the have over 150 games, Sogard will have saved more runs.
LeMaheiu has the shine of a batting title, but Eric Sogard is a social media darling and just missed winning The Face of MLB contest a few years ago. LeMaheiu has the more recognizable name, while Sogard was in Triple-A as recently as May.
Next: Just How Awesome Is Brewers Closer Corey Knebel?
If Eric Sogard had15 more games under his belt, he would have a better case for inclusion. As it sits, Sogard has been the better player in almost every key aspect, but LeMaheiu has a batting title and a starting job on Opening Day. There’s clearly a case for Sogard over LeMaheiu, but it’s not enough to really call it a snub.
The Milwaukee Brewers have found an unlikely offensive catalyst in Sogard. While he’s played very well and earned a starting job for the immediate future, he needs a longer track record to earn an a spot on an All-Star roster.