The Milwaukee Brewers finally made the move that fans have been begging for, bringing in a big first base upgrade and signing free agent Rhys Hoskins to a two-year, $34MM contract with an opt out after the first year.
After the departures of Rowdy Tellez, Mark Canha, and Carlos Santana this offseason, the Brewers had been left rather thin at first base. Just Owen Miller and trade addition Jake Bauers were on the depth chart. Now, they've added Hoskins to that group, the top free agent first baseman on the market.
With Hoskins now in a Brewers uniform, what does the Brewers lineup look like?
Brewers projected starting lineup after signing Rhys Hoskins
1. LF Christian Yelich
2. C William Contreras
3. CF Jackson Chourio
4. 1B Rhys Hoskins
5. RF Sal Frelick
6. SS Willy Adames
7. 3B Tyler Black
8. 2B Brice Turang
9. DH Garrett Mitchell
Overall, that's a much improved looking lineup. A Yelich-Contreras-Chourio-Hoskins quartet atop the lineup is a very strong top four that can compete with any lineup's top four in baseball. While the Brewers may want to ease Jackson Chourio into the middle of the order, if he ends up being as good as he's expected to be, it won't be long until Chourio is hitting third. Hoskins would be the ideal protection behind him in the order.
Following the top guys, Sal Frelick is likely to settle into that 5th spot with Willy Adames dropping to sixth. Hoskins is a better fit in the middle of the order than the spot Adames was in most of last year.
After that, the final three spots go to the kids. I'll project Tyler Black earning the starting third base job over Andruw Monasterio simply because his bat has a much higher ceiling. Brice Turang and Garrett Mitchell can be the leadoff type hitters at the bottom of the order getting on base for Yelich and Contreras, stealing bases, and scoring when those two guys get up and allows the offense to roll.
This is a lineup without much for weak spots if these young hitters perform or improve as expected. Turang struggled his rookie year, but was better in the second half and should improve in his second season. Garrett Mitchell missed most of the year with an injury but performed well when healthy. Frelick showed flashes of his massive potential and should continue to get better in 2024 as well.
Obviously, much will be depending on Chourio, whom the Brewers invested $82MM in guaranteed money this offseason even though he's yet to make his MLB debut. He's a special player by all accounts, and adding him to the lineup along with Hoskins are two massive improvements to the heart of the order over Rowdy Tellez and Mark Canha.