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Milwaukee Brewers: 5 Bounceback Candidates For 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 29: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers takes the ball from pitcher Matt Albers #43 taking Albers out of the game against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the fifth inning at AT&T Park on July 29, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 29: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers takes the ball from pitcher Matt Albers #43 taking Albers out of the game against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the fifth inning at AT&T Park on July 29, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers
MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 20: Travis Shaw #21 of the Milwaukee Brewers turns a double play against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 20, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Brewers saw great performances from certain players in 2018. They also saw numerous players not perform at their best. Here are five players primed for bounceback years in 2019.

Even though a lot of the outside world believes everything went right for the Milwaukee Brewers last year for them to win the division, that team was not performing at 100% efficiency. There were a number of players that didn’t have a great years.

Just because they had bad years, at least for the most part, that doesn’t mean they’re bad players or that they can’t still be productive. These five players are set up perfectly for a better year in 2019 than they had in 2018.

3B Travis Shaw

If you look at Travis Shaw‘s 32 home runs last year, you may wonder how he had a down year at all, considering he set a new career high. His 119 OPS+ isn’t too shabby either.

But Shaw’s batting average dipped from .273 in 2017 down to .241 last season. That’s a huge drop, and the underlying cause in that drop: bad luck.

Shaw’s batting average on balls in play (BABIP) last year was .242, an incredibly low number given his career BABIP of .286. If his BABIP was anywhere close to his career average, Shaw’s batting average would’ve jumped way up and his OBP and RBI numbers would’ve jumped up as well.

Despite now having Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich hitting ahead of him in the order, Shaw had fewer RBIs than he did in 2017, bringing in just 86 runs as opposed to the 101 from 2017.

I would expect a similar amount of home runs from Shaw this year, but with more singles and doubles as well, with the rest of his numbers increasing with a more standard BABIP. He cut down on his strikeouts and drew more walks last season. If he can continue that trend and see his batting average and OBP increase, Shaw will become an even more dominating presence in the heart of the Brewers lineup.

He’ll be back at his normal position at third base this year, and with some better luck, Shaw’s going to be a scary hitter for opposing pitching staffs this year.

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