2018 is upon us and with the coming of a new year comes a fresh set of New Year’s Resolutions. While some of us will be attempting to go to the gym more often, the Milwaukee Brewers players should have some different resolutions in mind.
No player on this team had a perfect season and each of them have plenty to strive for in the new year. Some may have more to strive for than others. Without a doubt, these are the New Year’s resolutions each Milwaukee Brewers player should have for 2018.
- Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
- Cut down on the K’s
Eric Thames was blazing hot in the month of April. He was ice cold in May and June. Thames heated up again in July but cooled off hard in August before getting hot again in September. He needs to find consistency and cut down on his 163 strikeouts that he had in 2017. He had a tremendous walk rate of 13.6% but struck out in 29.6% of his plate appearances.
- Get. On. Base!
- Make zero outs on the basepaths
- Have a plus DRS
When Jonathan Villar had his productive 2016 campaign, his OBP was at .369. In 2017 it was at .293 which is atrocious for a “leadoff hitter.” He’s known for his mistakes running the bases and if he can avoid being picked off at all, it will be a major help. He’s also known for poor defense, but he should resolve to post a positive defensive runs saved in 2018.
- Find more of that Nerd Power
Eric Sogard was a good defender, hit for the best batting average of his career, and walked more than he struck out. But if his nickname is going to stay “Nerd Power”, he needs to bring more of it. His .378 slugging percentage was lower than his OBP. His three homers were a career high, but it would be nice to see that slugging percentage climb into the .400s.
- Cut down on Errors
- Hit near the top of the lineup
Orlando Arcia had 20 errors in his first full season in the big leagues. With how gifted a defender he’s shown himself to be, that stat is likely an anomaly. He should cut those errors in half in 2018. He also came on strong at the plate this year despite hitting at the bottom of the lineup. Scouting reports suggest his long term home is at the top of the lineup. He should strive to find a regular role hitting either first or second in the order in 2018.
- Repeat 2017 success
Travis Shaw proved the Boston Red Sox wrong. They didn’t think he could succeed outside of a platoon situation. He didn’t need that at all with the Milwaukee Brewers and had an amazing season all around. He knocked 31 homers and drove in 101 RBIs while hitting .273 in 2017. Shaw needs to do it again and if he can even show improvement in some categories, even better. If he does that he’s well on his way to a contract extension.
- Draw more walks
- Convince Counsell to let you play all nine positions in a game
Hernan Perez only drew 20 walks all of 2017. His OBP dropped to .289 because of it. Since he doesn’t hit for a very high average, finishing the year with a .259 batting average, it’s important for the Milwaukee Brewers Swiss Army Knife to find more ways to get on base and get himself in the lineup more often. Perez’s goal of playing all nine positions in a game has been there for a while now. He should resolve that this be the year he convinces Craig Counsell to let that happen.
- Take advantage of every opportunity to play
Jesus Aguilar did not put together a bad season. In his limited role, he managed to hit .265 with 16 homers in 279 ABs. With Thames entrenched as the starter, Aguilar needs to produce every chance he can get. He did well as a pinch hitter but making the most of his starts will be vital to his long term success. The future for him may not be with the Milwaukee Brewers, but a strong showing could give him a chance to start someplace in the future.