The Milwaukee Brewers have a history dating back almost 50 years now. Let’s take a look at the top players ever to play the hot corner for the Crew.
Finding a third baseman that could lock down the position for several years hasn’t been an easy thing to do for the Milwaukee Brewers. They’ve run through several in franchise history, with few lasting more than a couple years. And the ones that did stay, were pretty good in their time in Milwaukee.
This is a list of the best of the best that the Crew has ever played for them at third base. For this list, only the player’s statistics with the team will count. What they did with other teams in their career will not be considered when ranking the players.
Only five players can make the list. But there were some that were close to making it, but they just missed out on the top five. Here are the Honorable Mentions.
Years as a Brewer: 2009-2011
Casey McGehee had two really good years on some really forgettable teams in 2009 and 2010. He hit .301 with 16 homers and a 126 OPS+ in 2009 and really broke onto the scene in Milwaukee. He finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting.
In 2010, McGehee hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs and had an OPS+ of 114. It was the best year of his career.
McGehee was really good in the Ken Macha years, but when the Brewers needed him in 2011, he wasn’t able to contribute much and limped to a .626 OPS. He was traded to the Pirates the following offseason.
He had quickly become a fan favorite in Milwaukee and was a very likable guy. McGehee was very vocal about his son’s plight with cerebral palsy and he helped raise a lot of awareness and support for those with the disease in his short time with the Crew.
Years as a Brewer: 2004-2005, 2008
Who could ever forget Russell “The Muscle” Branyan. This dude had ridiculous power. He once hit a ball clean out of Miller Park, on the fly.
In three years in Milwaukee, Branyan hit .248 with 35 homers and a .526 SLG. He never played a ton, but his home runs were absolute moonshots.
What really prevented him from being a better player in his career was his high strike out rate. But back in early 2000s you could get away with a low average and a ton of strikeouts as long as you hit homers. I don’t think Branyan would’ve been able to succeed in today’s game. But he gave us some home runs to remember when he was here.
Years as a Brewer: 2017-Present
Travis Shaw has the potential to still climb up this list as he’s still an active member of the Brew Crew. But he’s only on his second season with the Brewers. While his first season was very good and his second season could be on that way as well, it’s not quite enough to put him in the Top 5.
If Shaw can repeat his 31 homer performance from last year and continue to hit 30+ homers for the next several years, he’ll work his way up this list. But for right now, he only receives an honorable mention.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 third basemen in Milwaukee Brewers franchise history.