Brewers: 3 Brewers Players Who Will Be Better In 2023 and 2 Who Won't
Brewer who will be better in 2023 #2: 1B Rowdy Tellez
Rowdy Tellez had a pretty good year in 2022. He finally got an opportunity to be the everyday first baseman and he did well. Tellez slugged 35 homers with a 15 OPS+, but he also hit just .219 with a .306 OBP.
While Tellez's power output may still improve slightly, as there were several deep fly balls he hit that died on the warning track and perhaps should've been homers, the bigger help for Rowdy is the ban on extreme shifts.
Last season, Tellez was shifted on more than 78% of his ABs, with the second baseman routinely playing in shallow right field, robbing him of several would-be hits. With the second baseman now having to play on the dirt and only two infielders on either side of second base at a time, more of Tellez's batted balls will find a way to sneak through. That increases his batting average, his on-base percentage, and slugging. Everything is helped by taking away that shift.
Tellez had a .318 wOBA against the shift in 2022. Without the shift, he had a .338 wOBA. That's a pretty solid increase that's to be expected from Tellez over the course of a whole season.
The shift ban won't affect his power numbers, which will still likely be quite good. But Tellez is likely to get on base a lot more often in 2023, which only means good things for the Brewers.
Rowdy's always been able to hit for decently high averages before. He even hit .283 in the shortened 2020 season, albeit in just 113 ABs. He's a career .236 hitter and his .219 mark in 2022 was the lowest of his big league career. All signs point to Tellez being better in 2023.