Brewers: Are 2021 Infield Stat Projections “Fair” or “Foul?”

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 16: Keston Hiura #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during game one of a doubleheader at Miller Park on September 16, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 16: Keston Hiura #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during game one of a doubleheader at Miller Park on September 16, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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GLENDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 16: Luis Urias #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of the MLB game on March 16, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Luis Urías

Projection: .238/.326/.370 9 HR 42 RBI 45 R

Ruling: Fair

Let me start off by saying I so badly want to dispute this projection. With the recent struggles of Eric Lauer paired with the slow start for Luis Urías, immediate analysis appears as though the Padres fleeced the Brewers in the trade that sent Trent Grisham and Zach Davies away.

In his MLB career, he’s struggled at the plate, but in the minor leagues and foreign ball he’s been a consistent hitter. He has the capability to hit above .275 but we just haven’t seen enough from him yet to say this prediction is wrong.

As mentioned above, the success of Urías sort of depends on the success of Orlando Arcia and vice versa. Whichever of the two encounters early season struggles, the other might be able to cement themselves as the everyday starter.

I would expect to see Urías in the seven or eight hole most of the time he plays, so there could be plenty of chances to score runs. 341 at-bats would be the most of his career in the big leagues so maybe there’s a chance he sees a consistent amount of plate appearances that his comfort level will grow.

Travis Shaw

Projection: .219/.316/.400 19 HR 53 RBI 52 R

Ruling: Fair

This may be the toughest hitter’s projection out of all, in my opinion. I wish I was joking when I say the range of outcomes for Travis Shaw could be as one of the best run producers in the Brewers’ upward trending lineup or that he could hit circa .170 and lose a starting spot.

Last season was a bit of a rebound after the awful 2019 slump he encountered and if he can put up similar numbers for a full 162-game season, he will more than likely stay snug at the hot corner.

Shaw was actually in the 78th percentile in hard hit percentage and the 82nd percentile in exit velocity last year according to Baseball Savant, but was rather average to below average in every other category. Last year, he would have been on pace to hit just under 20 home runs over a full season in Toronto.

The long ball might not be as prominent as usual for a Brewer ballclub this season as three out of their top six home run hitters from a season ago are no longer on the team and recent additions besides Shaw aren’t really known for their power.

I find it hard to believe ‘The Mayor’ will hit .020 points lower this year than last but I also didn’t anticipate it dropping .080 points from 2018-2019. It’s been a bit of a slow start in Cactus League play for Shaw, but if anything, I think this projection is a tad low. He’s just been too inconsistent in the last handful of years to be too confident.

Next. Travis Shaw Added to 40-Man Roster, Mathias to IL. dark

In today’s projection dissection, there are a lot of fair balls mainly because of the unknowns that surround this position unit. It would be nice though, to look back and see that these predictions were too low. But for now, we’ll wait and see.

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