In 2022 Rowdy Tellez was a staple in the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup, his impressive power production was key to this success. Despite his low .219 batting average Tellez clubbed 35 home runs which was good for the 9th highest total in baseball.
This season is nearly half way complete and Tellez has only hit 12 home runs, and is slashing an abysmal .167/.207/.231 in the month of June. With this significant drop in production and the rest of Milwaukee’s offense struggling the question has been raised.
Is it time to press the panic button on Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez?
The changes in Rowdy Tellez's performance metrics show a decline in his overall production during the current season compared to the previous year. While pinpointing the exact reasons behind his struggles can be challenging, there are several factors to consider.
One notable change is Tellez's hard hit rate, which has significantly dropped from the 80th percentile in the 2022 season to the 35th percentile in 2023. As a result, his power numbers have suffered.
However, despite the decrease in hard hit rate, Tellez's BABIP has actually improved from .215 in 2022 to .241 in 2023. BABIP measures the percentage of balls put in play by a batter that result in hits. The increase in Tellez's BABIP along with the decreased hard hit rate suggests that he has been able to keep his batting average up because of some favorable bounces or defensive miscues, leading to more hits falling in for him. This could be a result of the shift rules in play, which might have created more openings for Tellez to find gaps in the defense and get on base.
Another concerning trend is Tellez's increased strikeout rate, which has worsened from the 55th percentile in 2022 (slightly above average) to the 35th percentile in 2023. It will be important for Tellez and the hitting coaches to analyze these trends further and work on addressing these underlying issues to improve his overall performance.
So is it time to press the panic button on Rowdy Tellez? In short, yes. Tellez’s struggles have gone on for the majority of this season and after digging into the numbers it’s clear there is probably more than one cause, thus it won’t be a simple fix.
The good news is the trade deadline is around the corner and there are multiple trade candidates that could be an upgrade at first base. If the Brewers do trade for a first baseman, this could be a pivotal moment in Tellez’s career. Will he continue to be an everyday player with a powerful bat or turn out to be another Travis Shaw? We will have to wait and see.