4. INF/OF Daniel Robertson
One of the more talked about names of this offseason once he was acquired was Daniel Robertson, and some of the things said about him might not be fair. When he was signed on January 12th, it was pretty well thought that he’d be one of the Crew’s infield utility men. He is a solid defensive player all around the diamond and has been trending upwards in the hitting department after slashing.333/.417/.333 in 13 games with the Giants last year.
But the lack of moves done to address the third base position put Robertson in an awkward spot. Fans were complaining about him being the potential starter at the hot corner. Now don’t get me wrong, Robertson could very well have a breakout season with Milwaukee this year, but he won’t begin the year as the day-in-and-out starter anywhere on the infield more than likely. He’s one of those guys that the Brewers cherish as an interchangeable piece.
Robertson was a first round pick in the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft but has yet to really live up to the hype that comes with being selected so early. The flashes he showed last year were enough to get him a non-guaranteed big league deal and this year could be a turning point in his career as he’s only on a one-year agreement with the Brewers.
He’ll get plenty of playing time as it’s safe to assume that more reps would only benefit the one-time highly touted prospect.
3. 3B Travis Shaw
The Mayor of Ding Dong City has inked a return to the place where he flourished and had some of his best years. On February 16th, Travis Shaw and the Brewers agreed to a non-guaranteed deal worth $1.5MM with another potential $1.5MM in incentives if he earns a roster spot. There’s also an opt-out option included that goes into effect on March 15th. The Brewers finally signed a third baseman just a couple weeks before the start of Cactus League games.
Similar to the players before him on this list, Shaw is looking to prove something with Milwaukee in 2021. While he’s had a tough last couple seasons, a reunion with the team that he hit over 30 home runs with in consecutive seasons may be the spark both sides need. In terms of pure production 2019 and 2020, Shaw would be more towards the back of the list, but given the fact that it’s a position of desperate need and Brewer fans have seen what he can do in Milwaukee, it’s a clever signing for David Stearns.
Travis Shaw had a horrendous 2019 season. It was an ugly ending for who many thought would be the starting 3B for the Brewers for the foreseeable future. But he did have a nice rebound year in Toronto last season. He hit .082 points higher and had more hits in 36 less games last year for the Blue Jays with one less home run. The strikeouts will always be an issue for Shaw, but if he can counteract those strikeouts with extra base hits, he could have a real impact on this team.
The competition at third base is already an interesting one as Craig Counsell has said multiple times that Orlando Arcia will be getting some time there with Luis Urias at shortstop. The problem is Arcia just doesn’t profile there as well, but the Brewers have become accustomed to not worrying about who “fits” where.. In two games down in Arizona, Shaw has gone 1-3 with two walks and an RBI to his name.
Don’t expect 2017/2018 Travis Shaw to just pop out of nowhere, but this was a very intelligent signing by the man that acquired him from the Red Sox in the first place.