Playoff Power Outage Shows The Brewers Desperately Need to Add an Impact Bat

The Brewers continual early postseason exits have shown a need to add more impact bats

Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Two / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

For the past six seasons, the Brewers have been able to remain competitve in the Central Division in large part because of the depth accumulated in the system. Contributors such as Andruw Monasterio, Jace Peterson, and Ben Gamel have supplemented the lineup and have been invaluable players off the bench.

While every winning team needs to have players like that, there is something the Brewers are missing to take the next step and avoid the early October exit: impact bats in the lineup.

The Brewers have been successful enough where just making the playoffs cannot be the goal any longer, they have to win postseason games now, and to win games, they need more bats.

The Brewers have had a bad team offense for several years now, only once in the last 5 seasons has the team wRC+ been over 100, that was in 2022 when it was 103.

The 2023 season showed that relying on rookies to provide offensive punch is not a guarantee for success. The only rookie who had at or above league average offensive production was Garrett Mitchell who had a 103 wRC+ in only 73 PA. Even veterans like Mark Canha (120 wRC+), Carlos Santana (107 wRC+) and Tyrone Taylor (88) provided punches, but not enough to supplement the offense when it mattered the most.

This season the Brewers had two qualified hitters who had a wRC+ above 100 (min. 502 PA), Christian Yelich and William Contreras. Looking at the eight teams that are playing in the Division Series, the Twins are the only team to have had fewer players (0, Carlos Correa was the only qualified batter for Minnesota). Houston had two qualified hitters with a wRC+ above 100, but one elite hitter in Yordan Alvarez (170 wRC+ in 496 PA) and one great hitter in Chas McCormick (133 wRC+ in 457 PA) just missed the qualified cut off.

Christian Yelich and William Contreras are locked in on the team moving forward. They were the only starters to be above league average with their offensive output. That is simply not enough for a team to make a deep playoff run. Maybe this years' rookies such as Garrett Mitchell, Sal Frelick, Joey Wiemer, and Brice Turang will take steps forward and be closer to league average with their output in their sophomore seasons. Maybe.

Relying on young players was a major part of the 2023 season, opting for Joey Wiemer over Hunter Renfroe and Brice Turang over Kolten Wong in the offseason. These are talented players and this is not meant to diminish them or the growth they will undergo as they spend more time in the Majors, but running it back and only expecting something to change would not be enough.

The Front Office will have numerous opportunities to improve the offense this season. The past five years of early exits have shown the current roster construction of elite pitching and just enough offense is not enough, the offense does not need to be elite, it just needs to be better.

The 2023-2024 offseason seems to be an inflection point in the trajectory of the Brewers. The roster could look radically different the next time the Brewers play competitive baseball in New York in March. If the Brewers are serious about contending in 2024 (they should) Matt Arnold needs to add at least one more impact bat to add to the offensive core of Christian Yelich, William Contreras, and Willy Adames .