Batting 2nd: Willy Adames, SS
Willy Adames joined the Brewers on May 22nd last year and he pretty quickly laid claim to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He sparked this team, brought energy, fun, and most of all, offensive production. He made some changes to his swing in Milwaukee and that made all the difference.
Adames went from hitting .197 with Tampa Bay to hitting .285 with the Brewers. He was able to tap into his raw power with ease, slugging 20 homers in a Brewers uniform last year. After years of struggling to find a shortstop that can provide offensively, Milwaukee finally got their guy in Adames.
The spark that Adames brought to the Brewers last year earned him some down-ballot MVP votes, ultimately finishing 16th in the balloting.
With the left-handed hitting Wong batting leadoff, it makes sense to put the right-handed hitting Adames right behind him in the No. 2 spot. That sets up a great 1-2 punch ahead of the heavy hitters in this Brewers lineup.
Batting 3rd: An improved Christian Yelich, LF
An ideal 2022 Brewers lineup includes the MVP-level version of Christian Yelich, not whatever version we saw of him in 2021.
The Brewers have him under contract for the next seven years, so he’s going to be in the lineup as long as he’s healthy, and he’s going to be hitting somewhere in the top few spots in the batting order. For this next season, he’s likely to be hitting in the No. 3 spot. With the left-handed hitting Wong entrenched as the leadoff batter, Counsell is likely to alternate handedness and keep Yelich batting third in 2022.
It’s clear Yelich needs to adjust something and find a way to get back to the production he was putting up in 2018 and 2019. That’s what led the Brewers to success in those years and that’s why they signed him to the big contract extension.
This offense getting to the levels of success they need to be at in order to achieve their goals and win the World Series are dependent on Yelich finding himself again. Fans can demand they sign more players and make other moves and additions all they want, but Yelich is going to be here and he’s now eating up $26MM worth of salary every year. That makes it very tough to add anyone else at the level that Yelich can be at. He needs to produce.
Counsell will give Yelich every opportunity to find himself again and swing his way back into MVP production. He’s the No. 3 hitter in our dream Opening Day lineup.