There are only three games left in the 2023 regular season, and that means award season is nearly upon us. It's time to start looking at which players have been the best at their respective positions, and who could be in line to bring home some hardware this November.
When assessing the landscape of the league, there were four Brewers who have played well enough to merit consideration for some individual awards.
Player #1: Christian Yelich - Gold Glove
Christian Yelich is no stranger to the Gold Glove conversation. He has one Gold Glove Award under his belt, which came back in 2014 with the Miami Marlins. Since then, Yelich has been a finalists for the award in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2022, but he has failed to come away with the hardware in any of those four seasons.
This year, Christian Yelich has continued to flash his leather in left field and could be a Gold Glove finalist for the second season in a row.
In 2023, Yelich's four Outs Above Average (OAA) leads all National League left fielders, according to Baseball Savant. Despite having one of the worst arm values in baseball (per Baseball Savant), Yelich makes up for it with his quick outfielder jump, impressive routes, and reliability with his glove.
Yelich still flashes his great speed in the outfield, and it has translated to valuable defense for the Brewers.
One important metric used to evaluate a player's defensive value is Ultimate Zone Rating, or UZR. UZR puts a value to a player's defense by aggregating several defensive performance metrics in an attempt to quantify how many runs a player has saved or allowed through their defensive performance.
Christian Yelich ranks third in the National League in this category. Fangraphs' Defensive Runs Above Average category (DEF) takes that UZR rating and gives it a positional adjustment in an attempt to quantify their defensive value compared to other positions. Yelich ranks second among NL left fielders in this category.
The left field position in the National League is one of the weaker positions when it comes to Gold Glove candidates. With there being a lack of any one standout defender at the position, Yelich's strong numbers across the board coupled with the several flashy plays that he has made should be enough to warrant consideration for another Gold Glove award this season.