Milwaukee Brewers: Picking the All-Decade Team of the 2010s
2017 Corey Knebel (2.8 fWAR)
Knebel broke out in 2017, taking over as Milwaukee’s closer that year and pitching to the highest fWAR of any Brewers reliever of the decade. He likely ends up being our All-Decade team’s closer as well as his 39 saves are easily the most of anyone on the squad.
Knebel’s 14.9 K/9 led all National League qualified relievers in 2017 and placed him third in all of MLB while his 39 saves tied for third in the NL. Meanwhile his K/9, ERA (1.78), and FIP (2.53) led all qualified Brewers pitchers for the year and his WHIP (1.158) was second just behind Anderson.
2018 Josh Hader (2.6 fWAR)
A huge part of the 2018 team’s success revolved around the three-headed monster at the end of the Brewer bullpen. The most effective of those relievers was the fireballer Hader, who burst on to the scene in his second year in the big leagues.
Hader blew away batters to the tune of 15.8 K/9, second best in the majors among qualified relievers, while finishing third among qualified relievers with a 0.811 WHIP. Combine that with a 6-1 record and a 2.43 ERA and you can see why Hader actually managed to finish seventh in the 2018 NL Cy Young voting.
2016 Tyler Thornburg (1.9 fWAR)
Just before he was traded to the Red Sox in the package that netted Milwaukee Travis Shaw among others, Thornburg had his best year as a Brewer. On a team that had multiple relievers with sub-2.00 ERAs, he led all of them at 2.15.
Thornburg also led all qualifying relievers on the team in FIP (2.83), WHIP (0.940), and K/9 (12.1). He was a jack-of-all-trades that year, finishing second on the team with 67 appearances and also picking up 13 saves, largely because he took over the closer’s role at the end of the year when regular closer Jeremy Jeffress was traded to the Rangers.
2018 Jeremy Jeffress (1.7 fWAR)
Jeffress joins Hader as the second All-Star member of the 2018 bullpen and the fourth player overall from that year’s playoff team to make the All-Decade squad. While some fans remember his unfortunately rough postseason, JJ’s regular season performance that season was outstanding.
Jeffress led the team with 73 appearances that season and even took over the closer’s role towards the end of the year after Knebel struggled and spent a short stint in Triple-A. He excelled in both roles and ended up finishing second in the league among qualified relievers with a 1.29 ERA while joining Hader with a sub-1.00 WHIP (0.991).