We’ve reached the mid-way point of the season. 81 games are in the books with 81 more to go in the regular season. How have the Brewers players performed? Let’s look at their report cards.
The Brewers hit the halfway point of the season with a 48-33 record and a six game lead in the NL Central over the Chicago Cubs. They’ve won eight straight games.
This season so far has been filled with a lot of ups and downs both for the team and for individual players. What grades do the Brewers players deserve for their first half performance?
Brewers Outfield Grades
Christian Yelich: B-
Christian Yelich missed over a month with a back injury. That certainly set back the Brewers offense in the early going of the year.
Since returning, Yelich has been slow to get back to the hitter that he was in 2018 and 2019. His .255/.411/.409 slash line isn’t horrible, and he’s still drawing plenty of walks and is still a feared hitter. But his batting average is lower than normal and his power hasn’t been there as much either, with just five home runs at this point in the season. Sure he’s only played in 47 games, but he played in 58 games last year and hit 12 home runs.
Yelich is starting to get back to his normal self, but it’s not been an immediate flip of the switch to his MVP form.
In 2018 he was putting up good, but not spectacular numbers in the first half before exploding in the second half of the season for an MVP award. Hopefully that happens again, but for now Yelich gets a B-minus.
Avisail Garcia: B
Avisail Garcia is the Brewers home run leader with 15 so far this season. He’s looked a lot better than he did in 2020, but his slash line still isn’t spectacular. He’s hitting .239/.307/.443 on the year.
Garcia has been hot and cold, going on a couple big hot streaks followed by a longer cold stretch, and he’s in a cold stretch right now.
He’s been better than last year, and he’s supplying the power, but in order to get an A, he’d need to be more consistent at the plate.
Jackie Bradley Jr: F
There’s no way around it. No amount of defensive prowess can improve Jackie Bradley Jr’s grade for the first half of the season. Yes, he’s providing solid defense with a strong throwing arm, but he’s certainly not been worth the contract he signed.
Bradley’s slash line of .159/.240/.274 is abysmal. He’s been known to be a slow starter, and he’s been known to be streaky, but he has not had a single hot streak all season long. At this point it’s beyond a slow start. We’re halfway through the season, it’s just a slow year for him.
Bradley has had poor luck, with a .217 BABIP, but his strikeout rate of 31.9% is a career high for him by far.
Lorenzo Cain: D
When he’s been healthy, Lorenzo Cain has been a somewhat decent contributor this year. He’s hitting over his weight at least, with a .223 average and a .672 OPS. He hasn’t provided the production that was expected of him at the plate, but he’s had strong defense as usual when out there, but that isn’t helping his grade too much.
Cain’s dealt with a couple of leg injuries this year that have kept him out of the lineup. Cain was looking to rebound after a tough 2019 season and an opt-out in 2020, but he just hasn’t been able to get going after dealing with constant injuries. Cain has just 103 plate appearances on the year.