The Mayor of Ding Dong City for lack of a better word, has been awful to this point in the 2019 MLB season. Before being sent down to the minors on June 28th, Shaw had 212 plate appearances for the Brewers and was hitting just .164 with an OPS of .568. He only had 30 hits and just wasn’t seeing the ball well. He seemed to be swinging right through it. All of his struggles made him good for a -0.8 WAR. Shaw’s struggles have been tough to watch considering he’s been a staple in the middle of Milwaukee’s order for the last two years. In the last two, he has averaged a .258 BA, .844 OPS, 134 hits, 32 home runs and 94 RBIs. It is very rare to see a hitter as good as Travis Shaw to go as cold as he has and stay cold as long as he has.
However, Travis Shaw’s luck may be beginning to change. Since being sent down, he seems to be finding himself more and more at the plate with every at-bat. In Triple-A, he has played in 13 games, has had 40 at bats and has generated 13 hits which is good for a .325 BA. Also, The Mayor of DDC has added 5 home runs, 1 double, 8 runs, and 15 RBIs. Especially in his last 7, he has been on fire. Shaw has had 22 at-bats, gotten 9 hits (.409 BA) with 3 of them being homers and 1 double. These hits have also given him 12 RBIs.
Even though Shaw is doing well, the Brewers would be making the worst move of the year calling him up and sending Keston Hiura back down. I’m very happy Shaw is starting to produce but calling him up would not be justified with Hiura doing as well as he has. Since being called up when Shaw was sent down, Hiura has played in 16 games and is hitting .367 with an OPS of 1.125. He has also added 5 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 home runs. Since July 7th, he has been on a 7 game hit streak and is batting .556 in 31 plate appearances with an OPS 1.761. Hiura may be the hottest hitter in baseball at the moment and is actually putting himself in the NL Rookie of the Year conversation.
If Travis Shaw continues to hit well throughout the rest of the season, he could become a valuable addition to a Milwaukee playoff team when the roster goes to 40. He would be a solid option as a backup first, second, and third baseman. He would also provide value as a pinch hitter. The only way I could see Shaw playing another regular season game for the Brewers is if Moose, Hiura, Aguilar or Thames suffer from an injury. Even though Shaw might not see action outside of the minors for a while, him starting to hit the way Brewer fans are used to is a good sign for his future in Milwaukee.
*Stats accurate as of 7/18/19 at 4:15 p.m.*
*Stats found on fangraphs.com, baseball-reference.com, and MiLB.com*