The 2021 MLB season could easily have an All-Star Game with multiple Milwaukee Brewers representing the National League.
Christian Yelich is a lock. Brandon Woodruff and Josh Hader have been there before, and will most likely be there again this year. Lorenzo Cain has been an All-Star. Avisail Garcia and Jackie Bradley Jr. have as well.
This Brewers team has a lot of good players. Their outfield is full of Gold Glove-winning players and former All-Stars already. Their infield has been upgraded defensively, and the corners have lots of potential. Milwaukee has one of the best bullpens in the Major Leagues.
So can the Brewers have one or two first-time All-Stars this year? It’s definitely possible. Here are four perfect candidates.
Keston Hiura’s 2021 spring has been impressive. The young and brand-new Brewers first baseman still hasn’t had a full big league season. He could easily be an All-Star.
We all know Hiura has an impressive bat and power. Defense has always been his weakness, but can that be erased over at first? Especially if Hiura is red hot when the season starts, he has a good chance to make the All-Star team.
You might not remember that Hiura only appeared in 84 games in 2019. He started the season in Triple-A and was brought up pretty early due to injuries. After Travis Shaw returned, Hiura was sent back down, which folks were not a fan of.
He didn’t spend much time off the Brewers roster. He was back up within a few weeks, and this time he stayed the rest of the season. He ended 2019 with a .303 batting average, 19 home runs, 49 RBIs and a .938 OPS.
In 2020, he played 59 out of the shortened-season 60 games. He only batted .212, but still had 13 home runs and 32 RBIs. His strike outs were up quite a bit, though.
This is a huge year for Hiura. He will finally be able to have a full season with the Brewers. First base is a brand new position for him, but keeps him in the every day line-up. And that shouldn’t affect his hitting, which his is superpower.
Keston can hit, and it’s definitely possible for him to reach the All-Star team on the bench if he has an explosive first half. First base is a pretty deep position in the NL but if someone like Freddie Freeman or Anthony Rizzo suffers a minor injury, Hiura is primed to slide in as an alternate at first.
This is no doubt that reigning NL Rookie of the Year Devin Williams would have been in the All-Star Game if 2020 had one. This coming year should be the year he makes his All-Star debut.
It’s highly unlikely Williams will have another season ERA of 0.33. An ERA under two should be possible, and just over one earned run is not out of the question either. Williams has had a great spring. Coming off of a spectacular and inhuman 2020 season, Williams already has a spotlight for an All-Star spot.
Williams ended his award-winning season with a record of 4-1, nine holds and one earned run over 22 games. After removing his sinker before the season and focusing on his deadly changeup and fastball combo, Williams went from 14 strikeouts in 2019 over 13 games to 53 Ks over 22.
The 2021 season will come with a spotlight for Williams. Expectations are pretty high, but he has looked fantastic in Spring Training and a good chance he only got better during the off-season. Williams and Hader should once again be a deadly eighth and ninth inning combo.
Corbin Burnes will be the number two starting pitcher this year for the Milwaukee Brewers. Can Burnes repeat his 2020 success and wind up on this year’s All-Star Team?
Burnes walked into Spring Training this year with confidence from the 2020 season and he has every right to be confident. Before a minor oblique injury near the end of the season, Burnes was in the Cy Young conversation. He ended with a 4-1 record, 2.11 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.
Burnes has already been named the number two starter this season for the Brewers. Watching him and Woodruff compete for the best Milwaukee starter this year is going to be a blast. The fact that the team’s best two starters came up from the farm system and are still young with years of control is a great thing for the Brewers.
Burnes’ stock can continue to go up after last year’s impressive performance. After a solid year in the bullpen in 2018 and a down year in 2019, 2021 is going to be a fun year for the California native. Keep the words “Corbin Burnes” and “Cy Young” close to your heart this season. There is a good chance they will combine after the 2021 season.
You might be shocked to hear this like I was when I first read it. Kolten Wong has never been an All-Star. Wait, what?
That doesn’t seem possible. He was third for NL Rookie of the Year in 2014. Wong‘s won Gold Gloves each of the last two seasons. He’s never had a super high batting average (.267), but he’s had his fair share of clutch moments and hits.
After looking at his competition, it’s easier to understand why he’s never been to an All-Star Game. The last five starters at second base have been Ketel Marte, Javier Baez, Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist and D.J. LeMahieu. None of those players are ones you would remove or say didn’t deserve it. It’s just crazy that he wasn’t a reserve player or a fill-in due to injury.
Wong will make his first All-Star appearance as a Brewer. He’s always hit well in Milwaukee. He has a career .308 batting average over 57 games. He also has a career-high OPS of .855 at American Family Field, which is the highest of any other park he’s played at.
He now gets to play 81 games at Am-Fam Field, and gets to return to his old home in St. Louis plenty of times. I see Wong’s average and numbers jump up this first half, and fully expect him to be at this year’s 2021 All-Star Game. It will be a crime if he never has the words “All-Star” next to his accomplishments.
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It’ll be even better that he reaches that accomplishment as a Milwaukee Brewer.