Brewers: Are 2021 Infield Stat Projections “Fair” or “Foul?”
Projection: .260/.343/.386 11 HR 54 RBI 61 R
Kolten Wong was one of the players that gave Brewers fans headaches every time the Brewers played the Cardinals. And not only did he dominate Milwaukee pitching, he did even better in Miller Park.
A slash line of .308/.373/.482 in 57 games is pretty impressive and while the name of the venue did change, everything else remains the same besides the jersey he’s sporting this year. With key pitchers like Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish leaving the division in the offseason, Wong could be a constant threat at the top of Counsell’s lineup card as the everyday second baseman.
Similar to most of the disputes I’ll have with these projections, I think these numbers are too low. Sure, nobody gets superhuman powers when playing at a place where they’ve had success in the past but Wong is coming off a pretty good year at the dish in 2020.
Baseball Reference says his numbers will drop in the area of .005 points for AVG and OBP, it predicts his SLG numbers to climb .040 points interestingly enough. I’d like to see his average climb instead of falling with my own projection around .272/.362/.379.
I think his home run numbers will be a little lower than projected just because 12 is the most he’s had in a season and that was in 2014. And with him being in the one or two spot in the lineup, I think the RBI opportunities won’t be there as much. I’ll guess 8 HR and 43 RBI for the new arrival. He could really excel in runs scored in if the hitters behind him produce like I think they can.
Projection: .235/.297/.367 13 HR 55 RBI 54 R
One of the longest tenured Brewers on the roster, Orlando Arcia will look to build off of a pretty good 2020 campaign. He had a .260 average with his best OBP since 2017 but Baseball Reference expects his hitting to drop fairly considerably.
It’s an important year for Arcia and the club as the two sides agreed to a 1 year $2MM deal in December. There is a pretty lengthy list of guys chomping at the bit behind him including second-ranked prospect, Brice Turang who’s having a solid Cactus League performance.
Whether he’s at third base or shortstop this season, these seem like realistic numbers as he’s hovered around league averages in most categories over the last few years. It seems as though the ceiling is getting lower and lower for the now 26 year old, but the clutch aspect of his game at the plate and the solid defensive play at shortstop over the years have helped keep him with the club despite a lack of eye-popping numbers.
If Luis Urías shows some comfortability at the dish this coming year, it might be difficult for Arcia to reach these numbers. We took a look at how Arcia stacked up against other shortstops around the division and MLB and it really was a solid showing in 2020 for him, but it’s hard to expect he’ll do much better.