2022 was a year filled with many ups and downs for the Brewers outfield group.
Prior to the season starting, David Stearns pulled off a last second trade with the Boston Red Sox on the eve of the lockout starting. This deal got the Brewers off the hook of a bad Jackie Bradley Jr contract of which he severely under-performed during his one season with the Crew. It also brought in Hunter Renfroe, who at the time had two years of club control remaining.
The Brewers’ big free agent signing over the offseason was Andrew McCutchen. While he did serve primarily as the designated hitter, his alternative position was in the outfield. Due to this, he will factor into the outfield season report card.
Returning in the outfield to begin the 2022 season was Christian Yelich, Tyrone Taylor, and Lorenzo Cain. Unfortunately Lorenzo Cain did not finish the year playing baseball as he was designated for assignment on the day he reached 10 years of MLB service time. He was scuffling at the plate through 43 games played and because of his early departure from the club he will not receive a 2022 report card grade.
As the 2022 season rolled along, we did get to see a few new faces in the outfield. Jonathan Davis was brought up to play center field following the departure of Cain. We also got to see two outfield prospects debut. Garrett Mitchell saw the most substantial amount of playing time as he spent the final month of the season in the big leagues. Esteury Ruiz, who was acquired in the Josh Hader trade, made just three appearances, so he will not factor into this year’s outfield grade.
In this article, we will give a report card grade on each of these Brewers outfielders’ seasons.
1) Garrett Mitchell 2022 Season Grade: B+
Mitchell’s MLB career got off to a rip-roaring start. He collected two RBIs with his first major league hit on August 28. A day later, he hit his first career home run that came in the late innings and sparked a come from behind victory against the Pirates.
Following that home run, he struggled mightily over his next 25 at-bats in which he collected just two hits and struck out 13 times. Then, from September 16 to the end of the season he slashed .469/.500/.625/1.125 over 35 at bats. This impressive stretch of games began on the day he collected his first career walk-off hit that occurred against the Yankees.
Overall, Mitchell finished the year with a .311 batting average, an .832 OPS, a 41% strikeout rate, and eight stolen bases. For a prospect to be thrust into the mist of a playoff race, he performed quite well.
He was not allowed any time to settle in as every at-bat and defensive play was being watched very closely and had playoff implications. There are areas that he can improve upon next season, such as the strikeout rate, but his speed should continue to make him an asset on the basepaths and in the outfield.