Christian Yelich is having a great first year with the Milwaukee Brewers, but how does it stack up against some of the best individual seasons in team history?
Since 1970 the Milwaukee Brewers have had many great individual statistical seasons, but for the sake of this comparison we’ll be comparing Christian Yelich‘s 2018 season to the MVP seasons of Robin Yount and Ryan Braun.
Robin Yount’s MVP seasons
In 1982, Yount had a statistical line that was very impressive across the board. That year he hit 29 homers, and had 114 RBI’s. In addition to that, he also showed good speed, stealing 14 bases. His batting average was .331, his OBP was .379 and his OPS .957. He led all of baseball in hits, total bases, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage. He was also the leader of a MIlwaukee Brewers team that reached the World Series.
In 1989, Yount had another very impressive statistical season even though it wasn’t as impressive as his 1982 campaign. That year he hit 21 home runs, and 103 RBI’s. He continued to show good speed on the basepaths with 19 stolen bases. Hs batting average was .318 with an OBP of .384 and an OPS of .896. Yount didn’t lead baseball in any of the major individual statistical categories that year.
Ryan Braun’s MVP season
In 2011, Braun had eye-popping statistics which led the Milwaukee Brewers to a division championship and a visit to the NLCS. He had 33 homers, and 111 RBI’s. In addition, he showed great speed on the bases, stealing 33 bases. Braun’s average was .332, his OBP was .397 and his OPS was .994.
As impressive as these stats are, he also did not lead baseball in any of the major individual statistical categories. By the way, his stats were just as good, even better in some areas, in 2012.
Many will argue that these stats are tainted because of his alleged use of PED’s but the purpose here is not to judge the legitimacy of these stats, but to look at the stats as they are.
Christian Yelich’s 2018 so far
Through 125 games played, Yelich has hit 27 homers, and has 85 RBI’s. At this pace he should hit over 30 home runs and get close to 100 RBI’s. Like Yount and Braun, he has also shown the ability to steal bases, with 16. His batting average is .316, his OBP is .380 and his OPS is .936.
Even though he has an impressive statistical line across the board, he is in the top five in only one major statistical category in the NL. He is in second place in batting average behind former Milwaukee Brewer Scooter Gennett.
Milwaukee Brewers fans need to appreciate what Yelich is doing this year because when you look at his stats this year compared to the MVP years of Yount and Braun, there is no question he is having one of the best statistical years in team history. He should finish the year as one of the top candidates for National League MVP honors.