Headlined by superstar Christian Yelich, entering the 2021 season the Brewers outfield consisting also of Avisail Garcia, Lorenzo Cain, and Jackie Bradley Jr., was supposed to be one of the best and deepest groups in the league.
There were some questions regarding the signing of the fourth outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr back in March. While the increased depth has proven to be beneficial given the injuries that the Brewers have endured so far this season, they have not exactly been lighting the world on fire with their play.
On paper this Brewers outfield group should indeed be one of the best. With almost two months of the season completed, lets evaluate how this group has performed so far.
With using fWAR, Avisail Garcia is the Brewers outfield leader at 0.8. Garcia has been good offensively in May and on the season he has the team’s most home runs (8) and is second in runs batted in (25). When compared across the MLB, Garcia is ranked 24th among quailed outfielders in fWAR with Nick Castellanos being the leader at 2.7.
Despite missing substantial time with a back injury, Christian Yelich has been the Brewer next best outfielder. The smaller sample size gives him a 0.2 fWAR but he does have a 107 wRC+ on the season. Of course Yelich’s wRC+ in his 2018 MVP season was167 and 175 in 2019, but this should continue to climb as he gets more at bats under his belt.
Lorenzo Cain has put together a solid defensive season so far. His 2.2 defensive runs saved is 13th best in the league. Unfortunately, his offense has been less than desirable. He has a .207 batting average and his wRC+ is just 80. To the naked eye, one would think he is barreling up a lot of pitches but just getting unlucky results. Sadly his Statcast numbers do not back this up as he is near the bottom third of the league in barrels, average exit velocity, and hard hit percentage.
Similar to Cain, Jackie Bradley Jr has 2.5 defensive runs saved this year (8th best) but has been even worse offensively. Despite contributing four home runs, he is sporting a .155 batting average and a 31.5% strikeout rate.
All of this goes to prove to see that this outfield group has performed quite well defensively but offensively they have not lived up to expectations.
With 50 games complete on the season there is still over 100 games to go. This gives these hitters plenty of time to turn it around. How much success the Brewers have the remainder of the season depends heavily upon these guys turning things around from an offensive standpoint.