Brewers Underrated Hero #2: Brad Boxberger
The pitcher that has appeared in the most games for the Milwaukee Brewers is reliever Brad Boxberger. Boxberger is second on the team in innings from the bullpen to Brent Suter, who is a former starter asked to eat innings at times in less stressful situations than Boxberger has faced. Boxberger has been impressive in July and August, giving up just two runs across 20.1 innings in 21 appearances.
Boxberger has maintained health, like others on this list, and has done a bit of everything for the Brewers; getting out of jams, holding leads, and even notching four saves. What makes Boxberger worthy of appearing on a list of underrated heroes is that there isn’t much glory in getting out of stressful situations in innings like the sixth or seventh.
That attention is relished by a player like Josh Hader who has racked up the saves this season almost at a perfect rate. However, getting out of situations with inherited runners and ending rallies is just as important of a job. That’s something Boxberger does very well but is overshadowed by the tremendous starting three in the rotation of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta. Even in the bullpen Boxberger is overshadowed often by late inning relievers Devin Williams and Josh Hader.
That being said, Brad Boxberger will be a major factor for the Milwaukee Brewers come playoff time as a de facto seventh inning reliever to hold leads after starters exit and before turning the ball over to Devin Williams and Josh Hader to shut down opponents.
Brewers Underrated Hero #1: Luis Urias
The Milwaukee Brewers made it clear early in the season that they were committed to finding out what they had with 23 year old Luis Urias with the trade of Orlando Arcia. However, in late May the Brewers acquired the loveable Willy Adames, throwing Urias’ role back into flux.
Urias found himself still playing mostly every day and he leads the Brewers in games played and has developed into a super-utility player capable of starting at second base, shortstop, or third base. Luis Urias put his versatility on full display in the recent series versus the Washington Nationals by playing all three positions in that series alone.
Throwing errors have plagued Luis Urias from time to time but Urias has not been shy about flashing the leather by making some truly impressive plays on the third base line and throwing batters out across the diamond from foul territory.
Maintaining health has been a key for Urias playing everyday has helped him as a hitter as Urias is second on the team in runs batted in with 57 and is tied with Willy Adames for second on the Brewers with 17 home runs, giving the Brewers the power you would hope to see from corner infielders.
His .243 batting average may not look sexy, but his .766 OPS and 105 OPS+ has him slightly above league average as a hitter, and there’s still more growth to come from the young Urias.
After losing the shortstop job, Urias could’ve tailed off and gotten worse, but he’s actually been better since then and has flourished in his new role.