As the All-Star break continues, so does our series where we give out grades to the Milwaukee Brewers players for their first half performances in 2023. Here, we move on to the outfielders and designated hitters.
2023 was supposed to be that a former MVP, a trio of young and promising prospects, and as prime a bounceback candidate as any combined to carry the Brewers offense. Only part of that has come true, unfortunately, though some unlikely players have emerged along the way to add some timely contributions.
Here are our 2023 first half grades for the Milwaukee Brewers outfielders and designated hitters.
OF Christian Yelich
Finally! After years of wondering when the Brewers' former NL MVP would return back to form, Christian Yelich has looked much more like his old self here in 2023. And considering how the team's offense has struggled at times, one can only imagine where Milwaukee would be without him.
Heading into the All-Star break, Yelich is slashing .284/.378/.456 through 87 games with 11 homers and a team-leading 46 RBI. His 21.5% strikeout rate is his lowest since he almost won a second straight NL MVP in 2019 and his 128 OPS+ is his highest since that year as well. Oh, and he's also 21-for-23 in stolen base attempts on the year.
His numbers at this point also happen to be largely on pace with his 2018 MVP season through the same amount of games, though he'd have to go on a similar ridiculous tear in the second half to match that actual feat for the whole season.
Yelich was even in the running to grab an All-Star spot for the NL team, though he ultimately got arguably snubbed from that honor. In the end, maybe that's for the best, because if he can come storming out of the gates in the second half performing like he did in the first, it'll go a long way toward securing a playoff spot. Either way, welcome back Yeli!