With an offense that ranks in the bottom third of the league in runs per game, the Brewers have some positions on the field that have specifically been black holes of offensive production. Right field has definitely been one of them.
Brewers right fielders have compiled a total fWAR of just 0.1 on the season, 5th worst in MLB, and a 72 wRC+, tied for 2nd worst. On top of that, they've hit .211, which is the worst combined batting average of any team's right fielders in the entire league.
Things don't appear to be getting any better either. Milwaukee is currently working with a rotation of Blake Perkins, Raimel Tapia, and Tyrone Taylor in right field, none of which are setting the world on fire at the plate. That's not quite the way that Brewers fans had envisioned the position at the beginning of the year.
The original hope was that exciting prospects Joey Wiemer and Sal Frelick would form some sort of rotation in right field not long after the 2023 season began. But while Wiemer got the call to The Show early (and then subsequently was primarily shifted to center after Garrett Mitchell's major injury), Frelick remained at Triple-A Nashville and has stayed there all season.
Frelick was a first round draft pick in 2021, is the Crew's No. 2 prospect, and the Brewers have a need in the outfield. Yet, he is still nowhere to be found on the team's 40-man and 26-man rosters. So what gives?
Why hasn't No. 2 Brewers prospect Sal Frelick been called up to the majors yet?
Simply put, after a very solid 2022 season at every level of the minors in which he played, Frelick has not put up very good numbers on offense with the Sounds this season. In 36 games there, he's hitting just .229 with a .619 OPS. Not the type of numbers you expect for a prospect with a hit tool as his calling card.
That said, it's a little hard to get your season off on the right foot if you're not on the field to do so. After a slow start to begin the season in April, Frelick hurt his thumb and missed close to two months with injury. Prior to the injury, he had been batting .232 with a .638 OPS but had shown signs of life going 4-for-8 with two doubles in his last two games before hitting the IL.
Finally back on the field for Nashville in mid-June, Frelick started off strong, collecting five hits and three walks in his first three games back. He would cool off significantly after that, unfortunately, finishing the month of June hitting .227 with a .624 OPS at Triple-A. And it's been even worse in July at a .194 average and .548 OPS.
Even for highly regarded prospects, the jump from the minors to the majors can be a tough transition, which is exactly what we saw from Wiemer who started the season off cold before adjusting. There's no point in forcing the issue with a different prospect who is still trying to get things going at the level he's currently at.
So while the Brewers can use some help at right field, that probably won't come in the form of Frelick. At this point, the soonest we might seem him could be as a September call up helping contribute toward a playoff push. And that would be totally fine.