The Brewers are warming up in Arizona as the regular season is just two weeks away.
As Spring Training progresses, here are six familiar players that fans should keep an eye on to get a glimpse of how the 2022 season will look:
Brewers to watch at spring training: Freddy Peralta
Though he straddled the border between starter and reliever during his first three seasons, Freddy Peralta emerged as the #3 starter in the Brewers’ phenomenal 2021 rotation. Peralta struggled to succeed on a consistent basis in those early years, but he did show sparks of the talent that we witnessed last year.
In 2021, Freddy’s ERA fell to 2.81 from previous best of 3.99 in the shortened 2020 season. At the same time, his number of innings pitched reached 144.1, nearly doubling his previous high mark of 85.0 in 2019.
As his responsibilities increase, it’s important to remember that, at 25 years old, Freddy is still a fairly young starting pitcher. His youth, combined with his early inconsistency indicate that he could fall into a slump if things don’t go well at the start of the season. This makes him an important player to watch as Spring Training continues in order to see if he can repeat his 2021 accomplishments. Fortunately, Freddy appeared completely confident during his first exhibition appearance on Sunday.
Brewers to watch at spring training: Hunter Renfroe
New addition Hunter Renfroe is another Brewer coming off a strong season following struggles in previous years. Renfroe slashed a career-best .259/.315/.501 in 2021 and hit 31 home runs. If he can repeat or build on this success in 2022, the Brewers will have no problems replacing Avisáil Garcia’s offensive production from last season.
However, his batting averages of .216 and .156 in 2019 and 2020 respectively could be a cause for concern. His strikeout rates were much higher in these years than last year. Brewers fans, therefore, should watch Renfroe’s spring training at-bats to see if he is able to put balls in play again this year.
Additionally, fans should pay attention while Renfroe is in the outfield to see if his powerful arm comes into play. Brewers fans have yet to benefit from Renfroe’s throwing arm and it would be exciting for them to see an example of his power before the regular season.