The Milwaukee Brewers have a lot of options to play second base. None of them are perfect, but they have a lot of them. Who is most likely to earn the majority of the playing time at second base for the Brew Crew in 2018?
The ideal solution is to find ‘All-Star X’ and insert him into the everyday lineup. The problem is that the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t found ‘All-Star X’ to play second base. Actually, they haven’t found him at a price a still rebuilding organization can afford. Brewers GM David Stearns has to solve the second base issue internally.
An Eric Sogard / Jonathan Villar Platoon
Platooning Eric Sogard and Jonathan Villar is one of the better internal options for the Milwaukee Brewers. There’s one problem. Neither one hits lefties particularly well. Sogard posted a competent .262/.340/.405 slash line against left-handers last year. Villar was much, much worse with a .214/.273/.333 slash line against lefties in 2017.
Sogard and Villar both have to face right-handers in order to be effective. Sogard is the better of the two options, but his career line against lefties is only .218/.297/.285. His 2017 season was an outlier, not the norm.
What about Hernan Perez?
Hernan Perez is a better platoon partner to pair with the two-header Sogard/Villar monster. Perez owns a .272/.291/.429 slash line in 415 plate appearances against lefties. Perez could work as a platoon partner as long as he doesn’t lead off or have to catch the ball.
His .291 OBP is actually worse than what Sogard has managed against lefties.
In his career, he’s played over 450 innings at second base and made five errors. All five came trying to field a ball, not on a throw. His -3.0 UZR is easily his lowest number at any position he’s spent time at.
Could Mauricio Dubon break through in 2018?
A natural shortstop with athleticism to spare, Mauricio Dubon can play just about anywhere in the infield. However, his path to the Majors is blocked by Orlando Arcia. With the everyday shortstop position locked down, a transition to second base will get Dubon to the Majors much faster. He can handle the defensive duties, but he needs more work at the plate before he can join the Major League roster.
Dubon still isn’t great against lefties, and his patience and pitch recognition are said to need work. A Dubon breakout would help the rebuild, but it’s not nearly as likely as the team looking elsewhere for help.
Who starts at second for the Brewers in 2018?
The Milwaukee Brewers have at least four internal options available to share time. Sogard, Villar, and Perez are locks to make the Opening Day roster in some capacity. However, none of the trio has earned the full-time second base job at this point. All three have concerns that aren’t going away any time soon. Mauricio Dubon may end up as the ‘second baseman of the future’, but the future isn’t here just yet.
Finding a trade that makes sense in the short term and long term for the Milwaukee Brewers is the ideal solution. There are options still on the market, but Stearns needs to make a decision before it’s made for him.