Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Eric Sogard had a breakthrough season in 2017. This year, not so much. Should the team look for answers at second base from their Minor League system or outside the organization?
Eric Sogard added plate discipline and solid defensive work to the Milwaukee Brewers last year. This year? Sogard has struggled. He has a .352 OPS in 57 plate appearances so far this season. That’s a .352 OPS. Not on-base percentage. Not slugging percentage. But OBP + SLG.
Is Sogard really that bad at the plate?
So far he is, yes. The plate discipline that lead to a .393 OBP last year hasn’t been there in 2018. Sogard has a 7.0% walk rate and a 26.3% strikeout rate this year. His walk rate is down from 15.1% last year, while his strikeout rate is up from 12.4%. Sogard has more extra base hits, three, than runs scored, two. Sogard is already at a -0.4 WAR for the 2018 season.
What about his defense?
Sogard has actually spent more time at short stop than he has at second base. That’s due to Orlando Arcia‘s recent ankle injury. Sogard recently made a key error in the sixth inning on April 27th that allowed the go-ahead run to score. He hasn’t been a disaster in the field this year, but if he’s not producing at the plate, he needs to be awesome in the field. Sogard hasn’t been awesome.
Who could the Brewers try at second?
Milwaukee Brewers prospect Mauricio Dubon will get called up at some point this year. While he looks like the second baseman of the future, Dubon still needs more experience before he makes his Major League debut.
Dubon recently drew his first walk of the season, and he’s spent the majority of the season at shortstop. He needs to improve his strike zone judgement, and spend more time at second base before he gets the call.
28-year old Nate Orf is making most of the starts at second base with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Orf actually has a similar profile to Sogard. He doesn’t offer much power, but he has a .317/.453/.450 slash line with a 14.3% walk rate in Triple-A. He also has only one error in over 70 innings at second base.
Orf isn’t an ideal option. but he could provide similar versatility and plate discipline to Sogard from last year. If the Milwaukee Brewers decide to move on from Sogard, Orf is more likely to get a phone call than Dubon at this point.