Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: a star player in his prime blows expectations out of the water, has drinks in his honor, nicknames thrown his way, and awards given based off exploits on the field. By all accounts, all signs point to a superstar being born in front of our very eyes. As for our story today, though, we are going a different route, one Brewers fans know all too personally.
After seeing yet another fastball down the middle result in a swing and a miss for our favorite left-handed power hitter, one question has to be asked.
Has Brewers outfielder and former MVP Christian Yelich, by crazy cartoon power, been Space Jammed?”
As with any injury, the best remedy is time, and for a Brewers offense so far missing the mark, it’s not an ideal time to have our superstar not living up to par. I can’t be the only one having flashbacks to 2018-2019 Christian Yelich blowing the opponent out of the water, and having the bat to back it up.
Now that we have the 2020-2021 version of Yelich, where do we turn to now, and is there some magical game we need to play on Yelich’s behalf to go and get his power back? Since the beginning of the 2020 season, he has had 335 Plate Appearances and a 31.6% strikeout rate, this from a player who never had one above 20.9% in any year prior.
While the strikeout rate has ballooned, a lot can be said for Yelich’s approach maintaining some level of normalcy as his OBP (On Base Percentage) has been set at .364 and his BB% (Walk Rate) has sat at 18.2% which specifically has been the key to Yelich getting on base since the start of the 2020 season.
With stats and a crazy Space Jam storyline to boot, is the Yelich we have today, the one the Brewers have locked under contract until potentially 2029, the one we will have tomorrow? Is it the one we can expect to have going forward?
For the entirety of his major league tenure, Yelich has shown a strong knack for hitting the ball, and hitting the ball well. Is the knee injury suffered in September of 2019 lingering in Yelich’s mind as a potential outcome every at bat, is the preparation by Haines and company not setting Yelich up for as much success as possible, or has our superstar sincerely had his powers zapped by some gross otherworldly Monstar?
It’s not a problem we have today, but we are walking towards having a potential question to ask at the end of the year. I would gladly chalk this up to overreaction and be drastically wrong come November.
As for the here and now, every at bat of Yelich’s is in must watch territory due to the special flare he brings to our beloved Brewers. I just hope it stays that way for the foreseeable future, and a silly question doesn’t start making borderline sense.