Milwaukee Brewers: Potential Outfield Starters in 2018
By Trevor Hooth
There are several starting caliber outfielders sitting on the Milwaukee Brewers roster for 2018. They will mix and match these players in order to fill the three spots.
It is tough to tell what will happen with this bunch though. There is a chance that the Milwaukee Brewers will trade one of them as well. The rumblings about Domingo Santana suggest he might move. Here at Reviewing the Brew, we tend to think Keon Broxton will be on the move.
The way it stands, nothing has changed. Broxton, Santana, Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, and Ryan Braun all could take a spot in the outfield. In order to even attempt to speculate who will fill the spots, there are a lot of moves to consider.
Even with only two potential moves hitting the rumor mill, there is a need to think about any of these who might move. That is the only way to get a complete speculation of the potential Brewer outfield.
Without a move before the start of the season there will be five MLB caliber players. To keep everyone on the same page, there are three spots to fill. That math complicates things, just a little bit.
In the scenario, the answer seems clear. From left to right: Santana, Broxton, and Phillips. Those three seem like the best combination to start the season. That way Braun can be a fourth outfielder. He can still hit a ton. However, he is fragile now. The part time playing will help him.
And of course that leaves Brinson. Because of his injury to end the year, his time would be better spent starting in Triple A. He doesn’t need to be there long, but starting the year it would be the best thing for the team. The Milwaukee Brewers would have the flexibility to do so.
If Broxton gets traded, then there will hopefully be a pitcher en route to Milwaukee. But, there will also be less speed in the outfield. Which is not a bad thing. There is enough talent to fill in the missing pieces.
Actually it is just one piece is needed. Brinson will be the centerfielder. It would be best to have the same outfield as if no one moves, with just the one replacement. From left to right, it would read Santana, Brinson, Phillips.
This is where it starts to get tricky. Santana is a key part to the lineup, especially if he can repeat 2017. So replacing him is not exactly easy to do. He brings a power to the outfield that the other players simply cannot compete with.
Because of the different tools that Santana can bring to a lineup, it is a different look for the outfield. Obviously Brinson is up. But he will be the fourth outfielder. Left to right: Braun, Broxton, Phillips. Braun slides in because he is the best shot to replace what is lost with Santana.
This is only happening in a trade for someone like Chris Archer. With Brinson’s ceiling, the return would be amazing. Beyond that, he will be a member of the Milwaukee Brewers for years to come.
From left to right: Santana, Broxton, Phillips. This is the same scenario as with no moves, except there is no worrying about Brinson. It is not bad. However, it just means the top prospect in the organization is playing somewhere else. It is not likely.
In every outfield to this point, Phillips is playing right field. This is for good reason too. He has an absolute cannon for an arm. So he should be playing in right field, and his excellent defense is going to shine best in that spot.
Without him, the outfield gets very hurt from a defensive standpoint. This is the toughest group to look at, but from left to right: Broxton, Brinson, Santana. With no Phillips, it clears the way for Santana to stay in right. Brinson will take over center because Broxton can play a better left field.
This is very unlikely to happen. Braun is fairly expensive, and that is just the start of it. As he ages, he is proving more and more to be made of glass. Oh, and his no trade clause makes things even more complicated.
But, without him things are not too complicated From left to right: Santana, Brinson, Phillips. I think that if Brinson is going to be on the MLB roster, he will be in the starting lineup. That is why Broxton fills in as a fourth outfielder in this situation.
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The fact that these five can mix and match says a lot about the future for the Milwaukee Brewers. There is a lot of talent there. It is a great thing to have this flexibility because there can be more talent brought in elsewhere on the field.