Spring training stats often times do not have a significant meaning to most players and fans, but for players who are on the bubble of either making the Brewers roster or winning a position battle, the stats are more meaningful.
In this article I will take a look at three Milwaukee Brewers players who have impressed so far through spring training and explain how this positively impacts the team heading into the regular season.
First up is RHP Freddy Peralta, who is forcing the Brewers to entertain the idea of returning him to the starting rotation.
The Brewers made it known early on that Peralta was going to be stretched out this spring. While this was not all that surprising given Peralta’s history, the shocking part has been just how well he has performed so far.
Peralta has pitched 8.1 innings so far that includes two separate impressive performances of: 2.2 IP with 7Ks and most recently 4.2 IP with 5K. Of his 25 outs, 15 outs having come via the strikeout, which is equivalent to a 16.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
While the strikeouts are impressive, he has been toying around with his newly gripped slider in spring training so far as well. He had first introduced a slider in 2020 but the training wheels were still on as he hardly ever threw it, but so far in Cactus League play he looks a lot more comfortable throwing his new weapon.
The addition of a third pitch that Peralta is comfortable throwing regularly could be the difference maker in him finding success in the starting rotation, if manager Craig Counsell decides to use him in that role.
Next is catcher Omar Narvaez, whom like many Brewers slumped in 2020, but has looked impressive at the plate so far.
The thought process after Yasmani Grandal left the ballclub was to replace him with another offensive oriented catcher and Omar Narvaez fit that bill. At that time Narvaez was coming off of a 22 home run and 55 RBI season with the Mariners, so from an offensive standpoint the move made sense.
Unfortunately 2020 brought a season in which Narvaez hit below the Mendoza line, so getting back on track during spring training was crucial for him. Thankfully he has done just that currently has an OPS of 1.080 in spring training.
In 24 at bats his .667 slugging percentage is made up of two home runs and three doubles with seven total hits. The remainder of his slash line is a .292 batting average and a .414 on base percentage.
Narvaez does have a track record of being a high .270s hitter throughout his major league career. If he can return to form in 2021, the Brewers will receive a great offensive boost from a position that is generally not expected to contribute as much from a run production standpoint.
Last up is the Brewers 2020 first round draft pick Garrett Mitchell, who has been turning heads with his play!
The Brewers drafted outfielder Garrett Mitchell with the 20th pick in the draft last June, but he was expected to go top 10. It is speculated that he fell in the draft due to being a type 1 diabetic, but per reports this has been well managed throughout his life.
Due to the uniqueness of the 2020 season, Mitchell did not get to make his professional baseball debut, so spring training has been our first live look at him and he has not disappointed. With 22 at bats so far, he has collected 10 hits with two of them going for extra bases.
He has collected six hits against against left handed pitchers, with StatCast measuring a few baseballs traveling well over 100MPH. On the base paths, his speed has been on full display to the tune of three stolen bases. But his speed pays dividends elsewhere too as there was a play this spring where he beat out a routine grounder to second base.
It has been very fun to see Mitchell in game action so far, but with no minor league baseball experience, he will begin the season somewhere in the minors. With the current crowded Brewers outfield, he likely will not make his MLB debut for a little while yet but will be one player to keep your eye on.
Spring training so far has provided plenty of reasons to be optimistic for not only this years team/players but for prospects as well! With nine games to to go until Opening Day stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew to stay up to date on the latest news and action.