Milwaukee Brewers: Checking in on Andrew Susac
Only 23 days remain before the start of Spring Training. The Milwaukee Brewers are finalizing their roster as we speak. Are they set on bringing Manny Pina and Stephen Vogt north, or is there another catcher in the mix?
One of the players who is sure to appear in Spring Training is catcher Andrew Susac. The Milwaukee Brewers stumbled upon a gem with Manny Piña last season, but Susac is just as important.
Acquired from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Will Smith, Susac was able to get his feet wet with the Brewers a year ago. However, he struggled through injuries and his future remains a mystery.
Susac appeared in only eight games for the Brewers last season batting an abysmal. 083. The former Giants top prospect is mostly thought of as an offense-first catcher. However, since joining Milwaukee he has had little success with the bat.
Susac appeared in only 58 games in the Minors during the 2017 season. He hit only .213 with nine home runs and 37 runs batted in. His nine home runs in only 210 plate appearances show he has enough pop to succeed.
Susac also walked a respectable 27 times, giving him a .314 OBP. When an on-base percentage is 100 points higher than your average, it shows a player with good plate discipline. Susac has the make-up of a Major Leaguer, now it’s time for him to put it all together.
What to expect in 2018
For Susac to have an impact with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018 he will need to rediscover his swing. His defense is no better than his closest competition, Stephen Vogt and Jett Bandy, so Susac doesn’t have that to fall back on. He will need to show more at the plate in order to break camp with the big league club.
Piña looks like the real deal for Milwaukee. With Vogt and Bandy ahead of Susac on the depth chart, he has his work cut out for him. Milwaukee traded well-respected Martin Maldonado to acquire Bandy last off-season and resigned Vogt this winter. They obviously like both of these players and that complicates things for Susac.
It will be an uphill battle for Susac to make the Opening Day roster in 2018. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect to see him in Milwaukee this season. If he is able to start hitting again he could have a huge impact on this season for the Brewers.
Catcher is one of the most important positions on the diamond. Milwaukee is in the enviable position of having two legit Major League catchers on the roster. They also have two more on their way in Bandy and Susac.
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It’s almost a certainty Susac will open the season in Triple-A. However, with the rate of attrition so high at catcher, he could see significant playing time if an injury occurs. An organization can never have too many catchers. With the quartet the Brewers have, this pitching staff is in good hands.