It's time for everyone to begin making their New Year's resolutions. 2024 is set to begin and we all have things we'd like to change or do differently in our lives and the Milwaukee Brewers are no different.
The Brewers fell short of their ultimate goal once again in 2023, meaning there is plenty for them to improve upon for 2024 in order to get to the World Series and win it.
How can they get there? If they follow through on these resolutions in 2024, they'll be well on their way.
Brewers New Year's Resolution #1: Hit more homers
You can't win if you don't slug. While the Brewers success in recent years has been predicated on pitching and defense, the offense needs to provide some firepower in order to consistently win games, especially in the postseason.
In 2023, the Brewers offense ranked t-24th in the league with just 165 home runs. They were 25th in the league in slugging. They were in the company of teams like the A's, White Sox, Nationals, and Royals, rebuilding clubs with no hope for the playoffs. If the Brewers are going to repeat as NL Central champs in 2024, they'll need to add some punch to their lineup.
Willy Adames led the team in homers with 24 this past season. He was the only player to reach 20 home runs. Christian Yelich was second on the team with 19. Not too long ago, the Brewers regularly had multiple hitters with 30+ homers in their lineup. Simply put, they need more thump in their lineup.
Where exactly that thump will come from is hard to tell right now. The corner infield spots remain wide open and the Brewers haven't done much for offensive improvements just yet this offseason. Regardless of potential outside additions, the Brewers will need internal improvements from players such as Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, and if Christian Yelich could make power a more consistent part of his game, that would be huge. Jackson Chourio has plus power and if he lives up to expectations, he'll provide plenty of thump.
Brewers New Year's Resolution #2: Let the kids play
The Brewers find themselves in a transition between cores in 2024. The old core of Corbin Burnes, Willy Adames, Devin Williams, Adrian Houser, and Brandon Woodruff are on their way out, with two of them already gone. The next core is on it's way in, led by Jackson Chourio, Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, Brice Turang, and Abner Uribe.
Each of the Brewers top seven prospects on MLB Pipeline are in the upper levels of the minors and all could reasonably make their MLB debuts in 2024. Chourio, Jeferson Quero, Jacob Misiorowski, Tyler Black, Robert Gasser, Carlos F. Rodriguez, and Brock Wilken make up that list and we'll likely see four or five of them at a minimum in 2024.
Chourio, having signed his contract extension, is the favorite for the starting centerfield job out of the gate. Black is competing for a starting corner infield spot on Opening Day as well. The starting pitching depth is thin right now in proven options as the Brewers are likely leaving space open for their young arms in Misiorowski, Gasser, and Rodriguez. Gasser is likely to get the first look of the three, but all three of them are likely to see big league time this year.
Quero is the 3rd catcher on the 40 man roster, meaning he'll get the call up if anything happens to the top two options, William Contreras and Eric Haase. Wilken was just drafted in 2023, but he has moved up quickly and if he continues to hit, he could join the big league roster fairly soon since he plays a position of need in the corner infield.
For the future of the franchise, it's important for the young kids to get opportunities to play in 2024 and show whether or not they belong as pieces of the next core of the Milwaukee Brewers.
New Year's Resolution #3: Win a freaking playoff game
The Brewers are 1-9 in their last 10 playoff games. That is a horrendous record. They've gotten their bites at the apple but they somehow always seem to get the bite that has a worm in it. They've been eliminated in the first round in each of their last four postseasons.
Their resolution needs to be to change that. Just getting there isn't good enough anymore, there needs to be some advancement in the postseason. The Brewers got swept at home in a best of three series in 2023, they lost three straight after winning Game 1 of the NLDS in 2021, got swept in 2020, and lost the one and done wild card game in 2019.
Milwaukee's postseason ineptitude needs to end in 2024, for the sanity of the team, players, and fans alike.
Before we get too caught up in winning the World Series, let's focus on winning a game at a time. It takes a lot of wins in October to win the World Series. Take it one game at a time and just get off the schneid of this five game playoff losing streak. Get in the win column in October and move forward from there.