Milwaukee Brewers: The 12 Days Of Crew-mas

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 1: Manager Craig Counsell
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 1: Manager Craig Counsell /

Christmas time is finally here. It’s time for us to sit around the fireplace, drink hot chocolate, and listen to Christmas music. One of the all-time best Christmas songs is “The 12 Days of Christmas”. With that said, here are the 12 days of “Crew-mas” for the Milwaukee Brewers.

On the first day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… One game away from the playoffs.

The Brewers finished just one game out of the Wild Card. In what was supposed to be another mediocre season on the field while the team rebuilt, these Milwaukee Brewers stayed in contention all the way until the penultimate game of the season. This playoff push was the gift that kept on giving in 2017.

On the second day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Two frontline starters.

Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson broke out in a big way this year. Nelson finally solved his control issues and his walk rate went down while his strikeout rate went up. Anderson was phenomenal the entire season and pitched to a sub-3.00 ERA for the first time in his career. Anderson turned this performance into a contract extension and Nelson is in line for one as well.

On the third day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Three prospect call ups.

In the span of about two weeks during the summer, the Milwaukee Brewers called up Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Lewis Brinson. Hader was able to stick and didn’t go back to the minors the rest of the season. Phillips and Brinson achieved little success in their first stints in the big leagues but Phillips was able to catch on later in the year. Calling up these top prospects marked a big step forward for the Brewers this year, especially in the midst of their playoff push.

On the fourth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Four Bobblehead Giveaways.

In 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers will have all-fan giveaways for four different bobbleheads. The Eric Thames Bobble will be given away on April 22. The Travis Shaw “Mayor of Ding Dong City” Bobble giveaway is on May 27. A Gauntlet bobble mimicking the Crew’s home run celebrations will be on June 24. A fourth, to be determined, bobblehead will be given to all fans coming to the game on August 26.

On the fifth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Five Walk-off Wins.

The Milwaukee Brewers had some big walk off wins this year. They beat the Cubs back in April on a walk-off wild pitch. Eric Thames walked off the Padres and then had his shirt ripped off. A walk off against the Reds in August helped end a six game losing streak. Keon Broxton‘s home run robbery isn’t exactly a walk-off but it almost served as one. None were bigger than Travis Shaw‘s homer against the Cubs in September, however. That one was certainly the most memorable.

On the sixth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me…Six-ty Days in First Place.

Throughout the season, the Milwaukee Brewers played and were in first place in the NL Central for 60 days. That’s about 60 more than most of us expected this season. Including off-days, the Brewers were in first place for 69 days in 2017. Each day the Crew was in first place this season was a gift. The last day the team was in first was on July 25th.

On the seventh day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Seven Top 100 Prospects.

After the mid-season update, the Milwaukee Brewers had seven of their prospects listed in the Top 100 for all of baseball. Brinson topped the list again and is in the top 15 overall. Also, Corey Ray, Luis Ortiz, and Isan Diaz remained among the best. There were also some newcomers to the list in Brandon Woodruff, first round pick Keston Hiura, and rising star Corbin Burnes.

On the eighth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Eight Major League Debuts

The Brewers had eight players on their team that made their major league debuts this year. Some were hot shot prospects Josh Hader, Brinson, and Phillips while others like Paolo Espino and Taylor Williams were just looking for a taste of the big leagues. With a young team, debuts like this happen on a regular basis.

On the ninth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Nine players with double-digit homers.

The Milwaukee Brewers finished the season with nine players hitting at least ten home runs in 2017. Three of them, Thames, Travis Shaw, and Domingo Santana, hit 30 home runs. Broxton added another 20 home runs. Ryan Braun, Jesus Aguilar, Orlando Arcia, Hernan Perez, and Jonathan Villar also reached double digit totals. The amount of power on display gave this team the nickname of “Craig’s Crushers”.

On the tenth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Ten Games Over .500

The Crew ended the 2017 season with an 86-76 record, finishing ten games above a .500 record. The most they were at all year was 11 games over .500. The last time they were below .500 was on May 6, with a record of 15-16. The Brewers had an incredible season, keeping a winning record for almost the entire season. The Crew was only below .500 for 14 games all season long. Nine of those games were the first nine to start the season. Considering the low expectations heading in to this season, that stat is nothing short of remarkable.

On the eleventh day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Eleven April Homers.

Thames announced his return to the Major Leagues with a bang, eleven of them to be exact. In the month of April, Thames knocked 11 home runs. Not much was known about how Thames would adjust returning from Korea, but he got off to a blazing start. That hot start was mostly at the expense of the Reds with eight of those 11 homers coming against Cincinnati. It was truly remarkable watching Thames demolish those baseballs one after another.

On the twelfth day of Crew-mas, the Brewers gave to me… Twelve starting outfielders.

My goodness, do the Brewers have enough outfielders in this system? There are three outfield spots with the Milwaukee Brewers. The organization also has nine outfielders in their Top 30 prospects list. That makes twelve players that will be capable of producing at a high level. Phillips and Brinson are just about ready, and it makes sense that David Stearns would be shopping Domingo Santana.

Next: What's on David Stearns' Christmas list?

Hopefully the 2018 season has even more in store for the Milwaukee Brewers. If David Stearns gets everything on his Christmas List for Santa, the Brewers should be well on their way to building off their success of this year.