Brewers: Rowdy Tellez Giving Much Needed Production At First Base

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Apr 13, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Rowdy Tellez (44) rounds second base after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the fifth inning at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Rowdy Tellez (44) rounds second base after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the fifth inning at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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First base has been a black hole for the Brewers since Prince Fielder left in 2012. Hopes were high for Keston Hiura entering the season, but he has been unable to find his stroke. Daniel Vogelbach was playing well before going to the IL with a hamstring injury. The Brewers have turned to Rowdy Tellez, and he has not disappointed in his time in Milwaukee.

Since coming over in the trade with Toronto, Tellez is slashing .357/.440/.690 with 4 home runs, driving in 12 runs in that time in his 11 starts with the Brewers, with a 194 wRC+, and timely hits. During that time he has endeared himself to the fans of Milwaukee.

Rowdy Tellez has been red-hot since coming over to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this month. He has been able to provide an additional spark to the Brewers offense.

Part of Tellez’ success comes from his ability to make contact. He has made contact on 96% of the pitches he has swung at that are in the strike zone. In Toronto this season, he made contact on 87.4% of pitches in the zone that he swung at. Considering only about 39% of the pitches he sees are in the zone are strikes, maximizing his swings and making contact is important to his success.

To put how well Tellez has been in Milwaukee in perspective: in his 151 plate appearances with Toronto he accumulated -0.5 fWAR and hit four home runs, in his 50 plate appearances with Milwaukee he has accumulated 0.8 fWAR and hit four home runs.

The Brewers acquired Tellez in part because of his immense power, in 2020 he finished in the 99th percentile for Max Exit Velocity, and in the 81st percentile for Hard Hit%. In 2021, he is in the 94th percentile for Max Exit Velocity.

It hasn’t been fully announced how the Brewers plan to use new switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar, but Escobar will see time at first base setting up a platoon of sorts presumably.

Rowdy Tellez likely won’t be able to maintain the clip he is currently hitting, but he has already accumulated more fWAR than Keston Hiura (-0.7), Travis Shaw (-0.2), and Daniel Vogelbach (-0.1) combined.

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If the Brewers intend to make a deep postseason run, they will need production out of first base. In a small sample size, Rowdy Tellez has thrived, should he continue to produce Milwaukee appears primed to go deep and compete for a World Series title, something he stated when he was first acquired.

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