The Milwaukee Brewers have an incredible 1-2 punch in their lineup, starring who else but Christian Yelich? But the other star in that punch is not Lorenzo Cain this year.
Mike Moustakas has emerged as the second punch to Christian Yelich. The Milwaukee Brewers have seen incredible production out of both this season and Moustakas, signed to a 1 year deal during spring training, is having a phenomenal season.
We knew the Brewers lineup would be stacked, and we knew that Moustakas would contribute, but he’s emerged far more than we expected.
The Yelich-Moustakas Combo
Although they don’t normally hit back-to-back in the lineup due to both being left handed hitters and Craig Counsell wanting to alternate lefties, these two have basically been a 1-2 punch that the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t seen in quite a while.
Yelich and Moose have been the clear cut best hitters on the Brewers this season. Let’s look at their stats:
Yelich: .340/.446/.745, 24 home runs, 53 RBIs, 39 BBs, 43 Ks, 14 stolen bases
Moustakas: .275/.337/.592, 20 home runs, 43 RBIs, 19 BBs, 48 Ks, 3 stolen bases
Moustakas only hit eight home runs in his two month cameo last season. But in just over two months this season, Moose has 20 home runs in just about 40 more at-bats in a Brewers uniform than last year.
Yelich is somehow keeping up with his second half pace from last year. He’s still mashing on an MVP level, and he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing.
Beating The Old 1-2 Punch
Just for comparison’s sake, let’s look at Braun’s and Fielder’s numbers from the first half in 2011:
Braun: .320/.402/.559, 16 home runs, 62 RBIs, 40 walks, 51 Ks, 19 stolen bases
Fielder: .297/.415/.575, 22 home runs, 72 RBIs, 59 BBs, 58 Ks, 0 stolen bases
Yelich and Moose compare pretty favorably to the numbers that Braun and Fielder put up in the first half of the NL Central winning season of 2011. But keep in mind the 2019 first half isn’t completed yet. We still have a month to go until the All Star Break.
If you compare it to June 10th, Braun would only have 14 home runs and Fielder would have 17 long balls. So some of the counting numbers on the first half are skewed for Braun and Fielder, but Yelich and Moustakas still have them beat in home runs, and there’s still another month until the All-Star game.
Sure they may have some catching up to do with walks and RBIs, but it’s at a comparable level. Yelich is getting on base at an extremely high level, while Moustakas has lacked in that category for awhile. That’s the one downfall of the comparison, but the OPS is still strong.
Yelich’s 1.191 OPS and Moose’s .930 OPS gives the Brewers a combined 2.121 OPS through the first half, while Braun’s .961 first half OPS in 2011 and Fielder’s .990 OPS gives them a combined 1.951 OPS. The Yelich-Moose combo has an OPS 170 points higher than Braun-Fielder in 2011.
While Moose has a slash line solidly below where Braun and Fielder were in 2011, his high slugging helps make up for it, along with the utter domination from Yelich carrying them.
The power surge is real, and both Yelich and Moose are creating a 1-2 punch that may perhaps be better than Braun and Fielder were in 2011. It’s certainly been exciting to watch for Milwaukee Brewers fans.
Somehow Yelich has gotten even better and Moose is right behind him with his improvements at the plate, turning into everything GM David Stearns imagined when he brought Moose back.