Brewers Spotlight: Andruw Monasterio's Breakout Rookie Season

The surprise Brewers rookie is putting up some solid numbers

Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers
Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

In a season full of surprises, one of the biggest and best for the 2023 Milwaukee Brewers has come from Andruw Monasterio.

Going into this season, no one could have seen the impact the infielder would make on the team. Luis Urias had third base locked up with free agent signing Brian Anderson. Top prospect Brice Turang was called up to the majors to debut at second. Wisconsin native Owen Miller had made the team and was in the mix. You throw in Rowdy Tellez and Willy Adames, and you have a full infield already.

But life has a way of surprising you. The Brewers have been able to stay near or at the top of the NL Central all season despite a boatload of injuries. Luis Urias was injured, sent to the minors and eventually traded. Anderson hit the injured list. So did Tellez. Adames was hit in the face by a foul ball and also needed some days off. Miller has been sent to the minors, too. But Monasterio has been a positive infield addition, and now it would be foolish to keep him out of the lineup.

Andruw Monasterio's Major League Debut

The 26-year-old made his major league debut on May 28th, 2023. The Venezuela native signed with the Chicago Cubs organization when he was just 17. In 2018, he was traded to the Washington Nationals. Three months later, he was the "player to be named later" in a trade to the then Cleveland Indians. He would stay with the team until 2021 and elected free agency. 

Andrew signed a minor league contract with the Brewers in November of 2021. He would play for Double-A and Triple-A for almost 150 games before his actual debut. In 2023, he was batting .271 with four home runs, 19 RBIs, 38 hits and an OPS of .810 before his call to the majors.

Due to Adames' stint on the concussion list, Monasterio would be added to the 40-man roster on May 27th and debuted the next day. He was hitless in his debut, but got his first two career hits on May 30th, just two days later. His first home run would come during his sixth game. 

Andruw Monasterio's Breakout Rookie Season

His debut now seems ages ago. At this point, it would be silly to not have him in the Brewers everyday lineup. He has now played in 52 games for Milwaukee. For a team that needs a few more guys who can hit and get on base, it's hard not to celebrate what Monasterio has done for this team.

Monasterio currently has a .288 batting average, the second highest on the team for players who have played more than 20 games this year. His OPS is .779, the fourth highest qualifying. Along with his three home runs and 14 RBIs, his advanced stat categories are impressive as well. Monasterio's OPS+ is third overall on the team, and he has a 1.1 WAR. 

With all of the hype and build up of the incoming rookies, no one could have predicted that the utility infielder would become an everyday player as we make our way into September. The Brewers had a giant video series "The Freshman", which highlighted incoming top prospects Brice Turang, Garrett Mitchell, Joey Wiemer and Sal Frelick. Now some people may be wondering why Monasterio wasn't included.

He may be older, but right now he is the team's rookie of the year most likely. Turang spent a stint in the minors. Mitchell has been lost for most of the season. Frelick suffered a hand injury and just recently made his debut. Wiemer has been around the longest, but still trying to be more consistent at the plate. 

The rookie class have collectively made a huge impact, but Monasterio is becoming a breakout candidate if he can keep up the pace. For a team that couldn't hit a left-handed pitcher when the season began, players like Wiemer and Monasterio have been those guys. Wiemer has a .933 OPS against lefties, while Monasterio has an incredible .947 OPS going. Against righties, he is at a .720 OPS while Wiemer is only at .576. 

Andrew Monasterio's Role Going Forward

He might sit a few games here or there, but the rookie infielder has played his way into the starting lineup. Brian Anderson has been a decent player for the Brewers and filled in nicely in the infield and outfield. His arm is absolutely incredible, but this team needs hitters right now. Anderson is only hitting .227 with an OPS of .686. He does have nine home runs and 38 RBIs. It's not much of a competition when you have a player hitting almost .300 with more stolen bases and an almost .950 OPS against lefties.

In a season full of ups and downs and lots of frustrations, we also need to remember the pleasant surprises. Andruw Monasterio has to be one of the best, and could end up being a future infield piece as this young team emerges. It would be wise for Brewers fans to start learning how to spell his name by heart.