Milwaukee Brewers: First Half Grades for the Infielders and Catchers

While the catchers have mostly performed well, the infielders have often left much to be desired.

Willy Adames, Milwaukee Brewers
Willy Adames, Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages
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SS Willy Adames

Since bursting on to the scene with the Brewers after joining them via trade in May of the 2021 season, Willy Adames has been one of the emotional leaders of the team. So it may be no surprise that much of Milwaukee's success this season has coincided with when Adames has been performing at his best.

Through April, Adames was slashing .240/.350/.430 with four doubles, five homers, and 15 RBI. At that point, the Brewers were 18-10. Then he went and slashed .175/.249/.331 in May and June, and of course the Brewers went just 25-29 over that span.

Adames has since become red hot in July, going 12-for-39 with five doubles, four homers, and 11 RBI as the Brewers won six of nine games going into the break. He's still hitting just .213 but has his OPS back up to .710 and leads the team with 16 homers and 46 RBI. There are improvements to be made, but he appears to be back on track.

Grade: B-

3B Brian Anderson

Offseason acquisition Brian Anderson seemed like a prime candidate for a bounceback season in 2023. Early on, it appeared as though that gamble was paying off perfectly. And though he's come back down to earth since then, his defense has helped make up for things.

Anderson is slashing .229/.317/.373 through 85 games so far on the season, not great but at least all up from his 2022 numbers in his final season with Miami. What might be more important is the strong defense he has provided at two different positions in 2023.

Anderson was originally expected to share third base duties with Luis Urias before the latter got injured on Opening Day. Then, when center fielder Garrett Mitchell suffered a major injury and rookie Joey Wiemer got shifted to his position, Anderson got worked into the right field mix as well. Lucky for the Brewers, he has provided a cannon arm and strong defense at both positions, which has helped the Crew stay competitive when their offense has struggled.

Grade: B-

C William Contreras

Possibly the most exciting part of the offseason for the Brewers was when they pulled off an absolute steal in trading for their catcher of the future, William Contreras, and two pitchers while giving up only outfield prospect Esteury Ruiz. Once the excitement wore off, all that was left was to see how the move would pay off once the season came around.

For the most part, Contreras has been as good as advertised. Through 71 games, the 25-year-old is slashing .262/.346/.427, down from last year but still much better production than the Brewers got out of the position last season, while also clubbing 14 doubles and nine homers and driving in 32. The even better surprise, though, has been his defense.

Like his predecessor, Contreras came in with a reputation as being offense first and needing work on defense. But Milwaukee's catching development team worked their wonders yet again and their newest project is 3rd in the NL in catcher framing runs at +5 and 2nd in the NL in blocks above average at +6, both per Baseball Savant.

Grade: A-