Brewers manager tabs former top prospect as Crew's Opening Day second baseman

One Brewers spring training camp battle has been decided

Sep 29, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Brice Turang (2) completes
Sep 29, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Brice Turang (2) completes / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

That didn't take long. With a couple weeks still to go in spring training, one of the Brewers spring training camp battles has been decided.

According to skipper Pat Murphy, second year player and 2018 first round pick Brice Turang has won the starting second base job.

Now, this isn't exactly a surprise. Turang was the Crew's primary second baseman last season and should've been at least a finalist for the Gold Glove. While he struggled at the plate most of the year, he showed some improvement late last season and Murphy believes Turang is primed to make a "quantum leap" in his second season.

The Brewers have brought in a lot of competition in the infield this spring, so a starting spot wasn't guaranteed for Turang. Newcomers Joey Ortiz, Oliver Dunn, and Christian Arroyo have all been making noise in camp, plus returning players Owen Miller and Andruw Monasterio have experience there, Sal Frelick has been getting infield experience, and prospect Tyler Black could play there as well.

Despite a crowded field, the presumptive favorite Turang emerged victorious and has won the starting job.

Milwaukee is going to need big things from Turang in 2024. He struggled to an overall .218/.285/.300 slash line with a 62 OPS+. He stole 26 bases and can be a threat on the basepaths, but he needs to get there more often. The hitting ability is Turang's offensive calling card and the Brewers believe after a full year of learning in the big leagues, he's poised to make the adjustments necessary to unlock his hitting prowess at the big league level.

Turang isn't a power hitter, with just six home runs last year, so hitting for a higher average and getting on base more often will be his priority.

Turang was part of the vaunted group of "Freshmen" who spent their first full seasons in the majors last year, alongside outfielders Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer, and Sal Frelick. Turang and Mitchell were the only two who made last year's Opening Day roster, while Wiemer was added the day after Opening Day. All of them had their issues, with Mitchell and Frelick suffering injuries while Turang and Wiemer struggled at the plate in their first year.

The Brewers will be hoping that all four of them can remain healthy in 2024 and make big leaps in offensive production in year two. The outfield picture with all three of the other Freshmen remains muddy, but Turang will be the Brewers starting second baseman and they'll be looking for him to take a big step forward in 2024.