Milwaukee Brewers Roundtable: The Ideal Future Outfield
By David Gasper
In a perfect world, the Brewers would be able to send out an outfield of Domingo Santana, Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips in the outfield from left to right. Is this totally feasible? Perhaps not, especially if the Milwaukee Brewers hope to land an impact starter this offseason. However, this is an outfield alignment that is downright lethal if all of them live up to their potential.
Starting with left field, Santana seems like a good fit if Phillips is around to take over in right field. Sure, some may think that Santana reached his peak last season with a 30-homer season, making it seem like now is the optimal time to trade him in case a regression is on the horizon. I see it differently, though.
Even if Santana is unable to replicate his 2017 season in the coming years, his floor in my mind is roughly 25 home runs and a .260 batting average. This may be a bit underwhelming to some given his lofty expectations, but i will gladly take this production in the middle of the order.
Other options in left field could be Ryan Braun or even Monte Harrison further down the line. But I think having a relatively proven young outfielder in the lineup would bode well. Better yet, I’m a big believer in team chemistry, and I think Santana’s connection with Phillips back to their time in Houston could bode well in the big leagues.
For center field, I honestly struggle to decide whether Lewis Brinson should be traded. I’ve discussed scenarios for Keon Broxton to be kept in the past, and after struggling in his first taste of the majors, maybe it’s a good idea to trade him before his stock drops. However, I think Brinson’s potential is too high to trade away before we’re completely ready to compete.
As David mentioned earlier, the former Rangers prospect has the looks of a 30-30 player, and that may not even be his peak. In my opinion, we can scrape by with less expensive starters if Brinson can get anywhere near his extremely high ceiling.
Finally, right field screams Phillips to me. He came out and hit well in the majors last season, earning a starting role in the big leagues in my mind. His defense and arm are a great fit for right field. Between him, Brinson and Santana, there may be a new outfield known as a “no fly zone”.
General Manager David Stearns has a lot of options this offseason, but hanging onto Santana, Brinson and Phillips seems like the best bet to me. They all have so much potential and plenty of team control, which is just the thing to vault the Brewers into the conversation for a division crown and perhaps even a National League pennant for many years to come.