Brewers: 3 Surprise Hitters Who Performed Better Than Expected in 2023

These three hitters have stepped up in a huge way for the Brewers this season
Washington Nationals v Milwaukee Brewers
Washington Nationals v Milwaukee Brewers / Kayla Wolf/GettyImages
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There are less than two weeks left in the regular season, the Brewers are on the cusp of securing their third division title since 2018, giving them their fifth playoff berth in the last six years.

They've received necessary contributions from key players on the roster, such as Christian Yelich, William Contreras, and their three-headed monster at the top of the starting rotation. Yet, a large reason why the Brewers have seen so much success this year has been the contributions they've received from some unexpected players.

There have been several players who have stepped-up and contributed for the Brewers this year, and it's played a major role in Milwaukee holding onto a division lead for a majority of the 2023 season.

Here are three hitters who have surpassed expectations this season, and who have been key players in Milwaukee's journey to another division title.

The following stats were taken prior to play on September 21st.

Player #1: OF Mark Canha

Mark Canha has been exceptional for the Brewers since coming over from the New York Mets. He was a player who wasn't expected to bring much pop to the lineup, but instead bring a sound approach to the plate as a guy who has been successful at getting on-base over the course of his career. In his short tenure with the Brewers, Canha has done just that and more.

In 303 plate appearances with the Mets this season, Canha slashed .245/.343/.381 for an OPS of .724. He got on-base at an efficient rate, but he hit just 15 doubles and six home runs in 89 games for the Mets. However, since switching teams at the trade deadline, Canha has managed to continue to work counts and put up quality at-bats while boosting his power output as well.

Since coming to the Brewers at the August 1st trade deadline, Canha is slashing .309/.388/.463 for an OPS over .850 in 170 plate appearances. He has 13 extra-base hits, including eight doubles and five home runs, and he already has more RBIs with the Brewers (30) than he had with the Mets this year (29), and he has done so in 46 fewer games.

In fact, since August 1st, Canha has been one of, if not the best, hitter on the Brewers. Since that date, Canha leads the Brewers in wRC+ (132), batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, and he is second in slugging percentage (min. 150 PA).

In addition to his boost in power numbers, Canha has continued to demonstrate a great approach at the plate. He is posting an impressive strikeout rate of just 15.9% on the year, which is in the 86th percentile according to Baseball Savant.

Canha's success at putting the ball in play is fueled by his disciplined eye coupled with strong bat-to-ball skills. His chase rate of 23.3% is in the top 20 percent of baseball, and his whiff rate of 18.3% has decreased nearly four percent from a season ago. Even further, Canha is posting the best zone contact rate of his career at 88.7%, which is a 7.1% increase from 2022.

Mark Canha's has been able to impact Milwaukee's lineup in more ways than one. His ability to work pitch counts has a positive affect on those around him in the batting order, and Canha's impact on the Brewers' lineup has exceeded any expectation that was set for him when he came over from The Big Apple.