Our series grading the 2018 seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers players continues, this time taking a look at outfielder Christian Yelich.
Talk about a first impression. After being acquired from the Miami Marlins on January 25th for a package of four prospects headlined by Lewis Brinson, Christian Yelich put up a phenomenal first season with the Milwaukee Brewers.
In what should be an MVP season for Yelich, he captured all the headlines and attention although he may not have wanted it, it was for all the right reasons.
Regular Season: A++
You can’t say enough about what Christian Yelich did for the Brewers in the regular season. His final line looked like this:
- .326/.402/.598/1.000, 118 Runs scored, 34 doubles, 7 triples, 36 homers, 110 RBI, 22 stolen bases, 164 OPS+
Yelich lead the National League in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, and Total Bases.
He was a couple home runs and RBIs shy of winning the first NL Triple Crown since 1937. Number like that clearly earn a high letter grade for the season.
After a seemingly normal first half, Yelich kicked everything into high gear after the All-Star Break. He carried this Milwaukee Brewers team since July and it’s because of him that the Brewers won the NL Central for the first time since 2011. In the second half, Yelich hit .367 with a 1.219 OPS and 25 home runs. That’s the epitome of putting a team on your back.
Yelich will ride that strong second half into an NL MVP award that will be presented on November 15th. It’s not official that he won yet, but no one else could really make this close after what Yelich did in the month of September. Also, he could end up winning a Gold Glove for his defense this year as well.
Winning the MVP of the league is obviously deserving of a high grade and Yelich earns the first and only A-plus-plus grade for the Brewers this season.
Although Yelich did draw 11 walks because opposing pitchers were afraid of facing Yelich, he did more damage because of his reputation than he actually did swinging the bat.
After a sustained hot stretch in the second half, Yelich finally fell into a slump and it happened at the worst possible time, in the postseason.
Yelich hit just .194/.383/.389 in the 2018 postseason with just seven hits in 10 games. Two of those hits were home runs, however, and they came in the first, and last games of the playoffs for the Brewers. He went deep in Game 1 against the Rockies and did so again to start off Game 7 against the Dodgers.
It would’ve been nice to see Yelich continue his hot stretch at the plate into the postseason, but he cooled off and that played a major role into why the Brewers were eliminated. But you really can’t ask much more of a player after he carried the team practically by himself for a solid two-and-a-half months.
2018 was a tremendous season for Christian Yelich and it’s only a sign of good things to come. Can he hit .326 with 36 home runs again next year? I doubt it. I doubt we’ll ever see a stretch like his second half again in the near future. But he’s still young and just entering his prime.
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The Milwaukee Brewers are set up well for next season as Christian Yelich looks primed to become one of MLB’s next big superstars with his tremendous 2018 campaign.