As we close in on the 2022 regular season, we continue the countdown of the top 10 Milwaukee Brewers players on the roster.
We’ve gone through the a large chunk of the list, with newcomer Hunter Renfroe, third baseman Luis Urias, setup man Devin Williams, second baseman Kolten Wong, shortstop Willy Adames, and starter Freddy Peralta.
Now we turn our attention to the no. 4 player on this list.
As we head into the 2022 season, which players make up the “top” of this roster? Here at Reviewing the Brew over the next few weeks we will rank the top 10 Brewers players right now one by one.
Top 10 Brewers players right now: No. 4 Christian Yelich
Not too long ago, it would be unthinkable to place Christian Yelich as only the 4th best player on the Brewers roster. Now, you could almost make the argument that he deserves to be lower on this list.
The Brewers famously acquired Christian Yelich from the Marlins in a blockbuster trade on the afternoon of January 25th, 2018. Milwaukee sent prospects Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, and Jordan Yamamoto to Miami in exchange. All four prospects flamed out for the Marlins.
Yelich, meanwhile, went on to win the 2018 NL MVP. He was on pace to win the 2019 MVP as well and put up even better overall numbers in 2019 than what he did in 2018 with a .329 average and 1.100 OPS, but ended up falling short of the award after his season came to an early end after he fouled a pitch off his knee, fracturing his kneecap.
Since that play, Yelich hasn’t been the same. In the shortened 2020 season, Yelich hit just .205 with 12 homers and a .786 OPS. It was a massive drop, but the odd circumstances of the season threw a lot of players for a loop. But then in 2021, Yelich’s downward trend continued, hitting .248 with a .736 OPS and nine homers.
The Brewers have already signed Yelich to a massive extension and he’s going to be the centerpiece of this team for the long-term future. So it would be really nice if he could find that form he had in 2018 and 2019 again.
2022 will be a big year for Yelich as he enters his age-30 season. He’s dealt with injuries and injuries aren’t going to become less frequent as he ages. The Brewers are counting on Yelich to bounce back and become that consistent, productive hitter they saw for his first two seasons in a Milwaukee uniform.
Even if he doesn’t become a 40 HR in a season hitter again, at least returning to his production level with the Marlins, where he was consistently hitting in the .280-.300 range would be something that the Brewers would still be happy with and that might be a more realistic expectation.
Because of the potential that Yelich still has, he stays in the top five and comes in at number four on this countdown of the top 10 Brewers players right now.