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Thursday, July 18th 2019
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What It’s Like Being a Milwaukee Sports Fan

The city of Milwaukee is one of if not the most tortured sports cities in America.  If you take away the Packers (who play in Green Bay), the city has 2 teams that have combined for a single championship.  The Bucks won that championship in 1971.  In 1982 the Brewers made the World Series, but lost.  The Cream City has gone 46 years without a league championship.

What’s interesting is despite the drought, Milwaukee fans are among the best in sports.  They are very knowledgeable about the games the teams play, they are incredibly friendly, and they are committed to their teams.  You can get into an hour-long conversation about basketball at a Bucks game.  Even Cubs fans will get invited to a tailgate at Miller Park during the I-94 Rivalry series.  Above all, the love the people of Milwaukee have for their teams is unmatched.

You would expect fans to either not care or switch to more successful teams after decades of losing, but that is not the case in Milwaukee.  Even when the Bucks were the NBA’s punchline the players were showered with affection.  That stays true today with a rising team.  Giannis Antetokounmpo is becoming one of the most loved athletes in Wisconsin.  As for the Brewers, ever since they came into existence they have had great attendance.  Going to a Brewers game is almost a sacred tradition in Milwaukee.  In 2008 and 2011 the entire state was going crazy about the Brewers.  The 2011 Brewers had some of the most lovable and fun players ever.  I can clearly remember one day at school in 2008.  We had over an hour until the final bell, but the teachers decided the learning could wait.  We watched the beginning of the Brewers game vs the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Brewers had been losing for years, but for a few days in the fall of 2008, nothing was more important than cheering on the Crew.  I was so excited when they won a game in that series.  Even though they lost the series, that will always be one of my favorite memories of the Brewers.  My favorite is the Nyjer Morgan walk off that got the Brewers into the NLCS.

Another major part of being a Milwaukee sports fan is realizing that your teams get no coverage in the national media.  If you watch Sportscenter or any other national sports show, you can easily go a couple of weeks without seeing the Bucks or Brewers be discussed on there.  Even now with a very exciting Brewers team and a rising star on the Bucks, very little attention is being paid to Milwaukee’s teams.  Believe it or not, I’m fine with that.  I don’t want a media circus distracting our players.  We saw what happened with Ryan Braun a few years ago.  I don’t want that to ever happen again.

Being a fan of Milwaukee sports is not easy.  We haven’t seen a championship in 46 years.  Our teams get no respect anywhere outside of Wisconsin.  Even with the history of losing that has been synonymous with “Milwaukee sports”, now is a very exciting time to be a fan.  The Bucks are on the rise.  The playoff series against Toronto showed that the Bucks can win, they just need a little more experience.  Once they get that, the NBA better watch out.  The Brewers have promising young players like Orlando Arcia.  They are still rebuilding, but this year they are in 1st place in the NL Central and are looking like more than just a rebuilding team.  In a couple of years, we could see them not just compete for the playoffs, but possibly the division and beyond.  For years now both teams have talked about the future.  It’s clear the future is coming soon, and when it does we could see a new era of Milwaukee sports.  It will be a fun ride, and I’m ready for it.

Brewers Week In Review: 8/14-8/20

Milwaukee entered the middle of August needing some big wins to keep pace with the Cubs near the top of the NL Central, and it’s safe to say they got them. After a 2-game series win over Pittsburgh at Miller Park, the Brewers began their critical 9-game road trip out west with a visit to Colorado and, beneficially, Coors Field. The environment brought some aid to the Crews’ struggling offense, as power hitters shined and players both tenured and new recorded much-needed base hits. With series against San Fran and L.A. on the horizon, will the Brewers’ hot streak continue?

Let’s take a moment to look at the week ahead.

The Week Ahead

 

Upcoming series: @ San Francisco (8/21-8/23) and @ Los Angeles Dodgers (8/25-8/27)

Pitching probables @ San Francisco: Zach Davies (14-6, 4.26 ERA) vs. Chris Stratton (1-2, 4.91 ERA); Jimmy Nelson (9-6, 3.74 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.79 ERA); Matt Garza (6-7, 4.81 ERA) vs. Matt Moore (4-12, 5.54 ERA)

Pitching probables @ Los Angeles: Chase Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) vs. Kenta Maeda (11-5, 3.88 ERA); Zach Davies (14-6, 4.26 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (14-1, 2.30 ERA); Jimmy Nelson (9-6, 3.74 ERA) vs. TBD

Weekly Awards

Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)

Winner: Neil Walker

The new guy makes his way into the awards section of the Brewers Week In Review. Since coming to the Crew, Neil Walker has played great, hitting 9-for-20 with 1 home run and 5 RBIs. Also, to be honest, there really wasn’t anyone else that I could think of to put in this spot, as everyone just played solid baseball rather than go “balls to the wall” so to speak. However, that is not to say in the slightest that Neil Walker doesn’t deserve the heck out of this award.

The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)

Winner: Jesus Aguilar

Until the last two games of the Rockies series, this award may have gone to one Neil Walker. However, I mean, come on. How can you beat two home runs, both of which turned out to be crucial in terms of insurance for the Brewers in their series win, the award has to go to Aguilar this week. Not only was this the best week of the season for Aguilar, it may just have given him the edge over Eric Thames when it comes to the battle of first basemen for the rest of the stretch run.

The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)

Winner: Chase Anderson

Just like two weeks ago, the Ben Sheets Award goes to a pitcher who waited a long time for his next opportunity to come. This time, it’s Anderson. Making his first appearance following a serious oblique injury in June against Cincinnati, the right-hander impressed. While he was on a limited pitch count (threw just 73 pitches in 5 innings), he was often dominant in shutting down Colorado’s potent offense, giving up just two hits and one run while striking out four and notching his seventh win of the year. While he did struggle with walks and the bullpen did make things a bit… interesting near the end, Anderson did get the job done in his return, one which came just in time for Milwaukee in their pursuit of a playoff push.

Prospect Update

AAA: Colorado Springs

Lewis Brinson (Brewers No. 1 Prospect; MLB.com’s #15 overall): .331, 22 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB (76 games) Currently out with hamstring injury

Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .268, 13 2B, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 7 SB (46 games played with CS)

Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 12 Prospect): .316, 23 2B, 10 3B, 19 HR, 76 RBI, 9 SB (98 games with CS)

AA: Biloxi Shuckers

Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 3 Prospect; MLB.com’s #79 overall): 4-6, 4.00 ERA, 83.1 IP, 75 K, 32 BB, 1.19 WHIP, .220 Opponent AVG

Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 7 Prospect): 3-3, 2.20 ERA, 69.2 IP, 72 K, 10 BB, 0.95 WHIP, .217 AVG

Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 18 Prospect): .289, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB (10 games)

 

A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect; MLB.com’s #67 overall): .239, 25 2B, 7 HR, 46 RBI, 23 SB at A Adv Carolina (100 games)

Keston Hiura (Brewers No. 5 Prospect; MLB.com’s #92 overall): .347, 9 2B, 2 3B, 15 RBI, 2 SB at A Wisconsin (24 games) Currently on 7-day DL

Lucas Erceg (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .246, 29 2B, 13 HR, 70 RBI at A Adv Carolina (118 games)

Trey Supak (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): 3-4, 4.81 ERA, 67.1 IP, 55 K, 26 BB, 1.31 WHIP, .244 AVG at Adv A Carolina

Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .249, 14 2B, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 9 SB at A Wisconsin (94 games)

With the 21st pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers select Brice Turang

As the 2018 Brewers team is just starting to get into mid season form, the Brewers front office prepared for the 2018 MLB. I know the MLB draft does not have as much hype as other drafts in sports, but it is still a big deal for a team’s future. The Brewers went into the draft with the 21st pick in the first round looking to add to their already talented farm system.

With that pick the Brewers Selected Brice Turang, a shortstop from Santiago High School in Corona, California. The 6 foot 1, 161 pound, 18 year old was a player the Brewers had their eyes on leading up to this draft, but thought he would go sooner than pick 21. In fact, the Brewers had been scouting him since he was a freshman and, he was on the Brewers Fall team.

Batting left handed, he hit .352 with 5 homers and a .464 on-base percentage in his senior season in high school, and was a member of the USA Baseball team last summer, and is an LSU commit.

Interestingly, the Brewers drafted Brice’s father, Brian in 1987 in the 20th round. The Brewers are hoping to get a better result out of Brice than they did his father, Brian never played in a Brewers uniform because he never signed, he did make it up to the bigs briefly, for the Mariners.

With the selection of a young shortstop, the Brewers are most likely going to try to pair him with last year’s first rounder, Keston Huira who is likely to play second base, for the middle infield of the future.

It will be a long road ahead for Turang, he is a solid defensive shortstop, as well as decent hitter, but he is lacking power. At just 160ish pounds he needs to build some size, but again he is still 18 so he has time to build some muscle. He is not as pure of a hitter as Huira, who is now in AA Biloxi, so I would not expect him to make that much of a leap in his first full year, but I would guess in 5-7 years, we could be seeing Brice Turang in Milwaukee.

Exactly What The Doctor Ordered

It is no secret that second baseman, Jonathan Schoop, has struggled ever since he became a Brewer. However, in last night’s rout against the Cubs, Schoop had the game he desperately needed. Before last night, in 79 ABs, Schoop was batting .215 with 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, and 23 SOs. This is obviously not what Milwaukee acquired him to do. Schoop came in the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning and was thrown into a position where he had to perform.

In his first AB, with runners in scoring position, Schoop hit a deep sac fly to right field that was caught on the warning track. The ball was mere feet away from being a homerun. Schoop stayed in the game defensively and got another chance at the plate. In his second AB, Schoop smoked a 2-run single to left field. In 2 ABs, Schoop had 3 RBIs and displayed power to both sides of the field. Even with a productive night at the plate, Schoop’s best play came as the final out in the 9th inning. With 2 outs and Matt Albers pitching, a ball was smashed in between first and second. Schoop (who was playing second base and shaded up the middle) broke towards the ball and made a spectacular diving stop then threw the batter out from his knees.

For a player who has been struggling as much as Jonathan Schoop, this is exactly the kind of game that can get a player out of a slump.

Analyzing the Brewers’ Return for Keon Broxton

The Brewers made some noise on Saturday amid a relatively quiet offseason for the club by sending Keon Broxton to the New York Mets in exchange for three players. While Broxton appeared to have a breakout year in 2016 when he posted a slash line of .242/.354/.430, he has consistently been plagued by strikeout rates that exceed 30%, leading to underwhelming results in 2017 and 2018. Given the Brewers current outfield depth and Broxton’s lack of remaining minor-league options, he made sense as a trade candidate.

The Brewers received three players in return for Broxton: Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, and Felix Valerio. Let’s take a look at which each could offer in the future to the Crew.

Bobby Wahl, RHP

Wahl fits the profile of a prototypical power-reliever. He has a fastball that reaches into the upper-90 mph range, paired with a power slider that can generate whiffs. He is a strikeout artist, as he recorded 14.4 K/9 in the minor leagues last year to accompany a 2.20 ERA.

He has some brief major-league experience, throwing 13 innings over the last two seasons with little success. In these appearances, he has a combined 6.92 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP. The one area Wahl struggles with most is his control, and to be effective at the major-league level he will need to reign it in. He also has an injury history, as he missed extensive amounts of time in 2015 and 2017 with a nerve injury in his elbow and thoracic outlet syndrome, respectively.

Wahl will compete for a bullpen spot on the opening day roster, and we are certain to see him in Milwaukee during 2019 barring injury. If he improves his control, he could turn into a high leverage arm.

Adam Hill, RHP

The Mets selected Hill with their fourth-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. While he pitched mostly out of relief in his first taste of professional baseball after signing, he is a starting pitching prospect with the potential for a solid three-pitch mix. According to Hill’s MLB.com pre-draft scouting report, his fastball is his best pitch, which tops out at 95 mph. He pairs it with a pair of average pitches in his slider and change-up, each of which flashes potential to be “plus” pitches. Hill fits the profile of being a collage arm lacking polish that the Brewers have had success developing over the past few seasons (e.g. Corbin Burnes, Zack Brown), so hopefully they see some untapped potential here that could turn him into a legitimate prospect. If all goes well, he could be an arm that fits in the middle of the rotation.

Felix Valerio, INF

Valerio is the lottery ticket of this trade. He spent the 2018 season with the Mets’ affiliate in the Dominican Summer League and played well, hitting .319/.409/.433. In the field, he mostly played second base, where he committed four errors over 66 games played. Valerio is a small guy, as he stands 5’7” while weighing in at 165 lbs., so it is fair to say his power projects to be modest as best. However, he has clearly shown a penchant for getting on base given his .400+ on-base percentage. Look for him to spend the 2018 season with one of the Brewers’ stateside rookie affiliate clubs.

Brewers’ Starting Pitching Bounces Back

There’s no other way to say it: the Brewers’ starting pitching was dismal to start the year. They routinely failed to eat innings, and at the end of April they had the 7th worst ERA (5.14) of any starting rotation in baseball.

Some of these struggles were due to the performances of individual players. Corbin Burnes, after being a lock-down reliever during the Brewers’ playoff run in 2018, failed to acclimate back to a starting role, posting a 10.70 ERA in 4 starts and allowing a gargantuan 1.285 OPS to opposing batters. Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff encountered troubles of their own, with Peralta’s first inning problems resurfacing and Woodruff always seeming to be one bad inning away from a good start. Compounding the rotation’s issues was Jhoulys Chacin looking like a completely different pitcher than the one who anchored the Crew’s staff into October, recording a 5.24 ERA in April.

However, the turn of the calendar brought a rotation that has performed a complete 180-degree turn. Since May 1st, the Brewers starters rank 2nd in the league in ERA (2.53) while holding opponents to a .681 OPS and allowing only 8 home runs in just over 84 innings pitched. Limiting the long ball has been a huge factor, as the rotation allowed 1.83 home runs per nine innings (HR/9) in April. Thus far in May, they have dropped that to 0.85 HR/9.

Individually, the Brewers have received some stellar performances to aid this turnaround. Gio Gonzalez has been phenomenal since his acquisition, covering 21 and 1/3 innings while posting a 1.69 ERA. Zach Davies is in a battle for the best ERA in the league, and has only helped his case with a 1.80 ERA in the month of May. Brandon Woodruff has seemingly turned a corner, giving the Crew four solid starts leading to a 1.44 ERA, including an 8-inning, 2-run gem that helped the Brewers take the series finale from the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. Finally, Jhoulys Chacin has started to looked like his 2018 self, recording a 3.38 ERA in three May starts.

While successful personnel adjustments like the insertion of Gio Gonzalez and Chase Anderson into the rotation are part of the reason for this turnaround, a more simple reason may also be contributing their current success: the Brewers aren’t playing the bulk of their games against offensive juggernauts anymore like they were in April. Over the first month of the season (March included), 23 of the Brewers’ 31 games were against teams with top-10 offenses when measured by weighted runs created plus (wRC+). Playing the Dodgers and Cardinals a combined 17 times is expected to be tough on your pitching staff, so it makes sense that they experienced difficulties that could easily have been exacerbated by some start of the season rust.

Going forward, the Brewers’ rotation will be an interesting situation to say the least. The Brewers currently have six healthy starters in Anderson, Chacin, Davies, Gonzalez, Woodruff, and Peralta, with the first five of that sequence having their starting roles locked down. However, Jimmy Nelson is nearing the end of his rehab program, meaning that he could be a potential seventh starting option that the Brewers need to find a place for. Given the rotation’s current success, it is difficult to predict how Craig Counsell and the front office will shuffle the group to make room for Nelson, who when he is “right” is the closest thing the Brewers have to a true ace.

One move that is almost certain to result with a Nelson return would be Freddy Peralta either moving to the bullpen or being optioned to Triple-A San Antonio. He is simply too volatile at the moment to warrant a starting role over the other options available. Triple-A would be a good environment for him to continue to hone his command of his pitches, as he has proven that he can be dominant when he is able to locate his pitches.

As far as Nelson, the Brewers could clear up the logjam by using him in a “piggyback” role with another starter. Counsell rarely allows Chase Anderson or Gio Gonzalez to face a lineup a third time through, which often limits them to starts of under six innings. If Counsell wanted to really eliminate the potential for any damage from either of those starters facing a lineup multiple times through, he could combine four innings of Gonzalez/Anderson with three from Jimmy Nelson, effectively giving them seven innings of rotation-caliber pitching. This would be a way to ease Nelson back into things while also playing on the strengths of the staff.

The other options for Nelson are to simply insert into a starting role at the expense of a current rotation member, convert him to a true bullpen pitcher (as compared to a “piggyback” role), or keep him in the minor leagues as a starter. Of these three options, both the bullpen and the minor leagues seem highly unlikely, as the Brewers have stretched him out to starter-level innings and he is simply too talented to revert to a bullpen role. Insertion into the starting rotation is possible, but once again would require the Brewers to determine a new role for one of their five currently successful starters.

Regardless, things are looking up for the Brewers rotation. Despite an early-season panic regarding their viability as a group, it looks like David Stearns has managed to put together a staff that can keep the Brewers in the pennant race and hopefully lead them to their postseason aspirations.

Why the Brewers Should Add a Starting Pitcher

Last year, the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff was firing on all cylinders, Chase Anderson was starting out his electrifying season at an amazing pace, Jimmy Nelson was turning into the pitcher the Brewers hoped he would be, and Matt Garza was continuing to make it through onto the starting staff for Milwaukee. At the deadline, the Brewers were in the hunt for a starting pitcher, they looked at Jose Quintana, but he was ultimately traded to the Cubs because of the asking price. The same goes for Sonny Gray, who ended up going to the Yankees. David Stearns was not willing to pull the trigger to give up some prized prospects to get a pitcher to help them coast into the postseason, will he pull the trigger this year?

David Stearns and Co. gotta steal picking up Jhoulys Chacin on a 2-year 16 million dollar contract and he has been lights out since a rough start to the year with a 4-1 record pitching to the tune of a 3.39 ERA.  Junior Guerra has been the Brewers’ best pitcher so far this season pitching to the tune of a 2.83 ERA. Brent Suter has been good as well filling in for Jimmy Nelson and all the other Brewers pitchers who have gotten injured.

Meanwhile on the other side of things, Chase Anderson has had good and bad moments this season, he has had a couple of very short rough outings, his recent one against the Mets, he went 3.1 innings, and gave up 5 earned runs on 5 hits. His other bad start was against the St. Louis Cardinals back on April 3 where he went 4 innings and gave up 4 runs (all earned) on 8 hits. The only time he has gone past 6.1 innings was in a start against the Chicago Cubs on April 26, and he ended up losing that game 1-0 as he gave up 5 hits and only one run. In a start against the Pittsburgh Pirates he gave up 5 runs (all earned) but managed to get into the 6th inning. Home runs have been the biggest problem for Chase, he has served up 13 home runs already this season, which is one off from his total of his entire season last year of 14. Zach Davies has been up and down on the disabled list the entire season so far and when he is off the disabled list he hasn’t been very good, (2-5, 5.23 ERA). Another pitcher who the Brewers had high hopes for coming out of spring training was Wade Miley. He pitched lights out in spring training and had his roster spot locked until he injured himself in the last game of spring training along with Boone Logan and ultimately had to go on the 10-day DL. In his second start back from the DL on May 8th, Miley left the game with something wrong with his leg. He ended up having a strained oblique and went on the 10-day DL once again and was transferred to the 60-day DL a few weeks ago.  Jimmy Nelson and Wade Miley are still not expected back until sometime after the all star break, so is it time for the Brewers to make a move?

Chris Archer, a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays is an option the Brewers looked at this offseason and last year at the trade deadline as someone who is under contract for a few years and is also durable and would fit well into the rotation. Archer has struggled a bit to start the season but has picked it up over his last few starts. Archer is currently on the DL with an abdominal strain. The trade scenarios for Archer might have to include the Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura, who is tearing it up down in the minors and actually got a promotion to Double-A not too long ago. Only time will tell if the Brewers are willing to part with top prospects to grab a pitcher to help them lock up a spot in the postseason this October.

Season in Review: Top Takeaways from the 2016 Brewers

2016 generally went as expected for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers struggled on the field and key veteran pieces were traded for promising prospects, but faithful fans still arrived to Miller Park in droves, helping eclipse the 2.3 million tickets sold mark for the eleventh straight season. Numerous stories helped define the Brewers season, and here are some of those which stand out most.

The Most Hectic Offseason Possible

“Slingin” David Stearns had his work cut out for him when he assumed the position of Brewers GM in the fall of 2015. He was handed an underachieving big league roster and a mediocre minor league system, and wasted little time in tearing it apart. Heading into spring training, more than half of the 40-man roster that began the 2015 season with the Brewers had been flipped. Following up on his plan to infuse young, controllable talent into the minor league system, Stearns made a bevy of trades to acquire players that fit this mold. Two of the larger deals were sending power-hitting outfielder Khris Davis to Oakland for prospects Jacob Nottingham and Bubba Derby and trading Jean Segura to Arizona for starting pitcher Chase Anderson, infielder Aaron Hill, and prospect Isan Diaz. Both Diaz and Nottingham are regarded as top-20 prospects in the system and Chase Anderson proved to be a decent rotation option at the big league level. Hill, however, was traded to Boston in July after a hot start to the season, netting two organizational depth prospects in infielder Wendell Rijo and pitcher Aaron Wilkerson.

Brewers Week in Review: Crew experience ups and downs

Brewers Week in Review: 4/24-4/30

4/24-4/26: vs. Cincinnati

Record: 3-0

Results: 11-7 W, 9-1 W, 9-4 W

Star of the Series: Hernan Perez (6-for-11 (.545), 2 HR, 8 RBI)

All Hop on the Arcia Hype Train? Not Quite.

Recently, Orlando Arcia has looked to be fulfilling the top prospect status that he rode through the minor leagues. His scouting reports often lauded his future potential to be a .300 hitter in the MLB, making his ceiling that of a gold glove caliber shortstop with a plus hit tool and gap-to-gap power. By racking up hit after hit over recent weeks, Arcia has increased his batting average considerably. While he flirted up over .290 during this hot streak before the All-Star break, he now stands at a solid .283. The one big question: Is this streak legitimate, or luck? The cynic in me tends to lean towards the latter.

Looking at traditional statistics, it looks as though Arcia has figured it out. His average splits have risen steadily since his .247 mark at the end of April, improving to .256 and .326 in the months of May and June. He also improved his ability to hit for power, slugging .478 in June after a rather pedestrian .432 in April and an unsightly .311 in May.

Advanced statistics add the color between the lines to these numbers above. One important statistic in evaluating Arcia is Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP). This measures the batting average of a hitter based solely upon the balls that he puts into the field of play. A groundout would count towards this average, while a strikeout would not. If a hitter only had the two outcomes of a base hit or a strikeout, his BABIP would be 1.000. BABIP depends on three main factors: the quality of contact, the quality of defense, and luck. With Arcia, it is easiest to focus on quality of contact, and from that we can interpret luck.

For April and May, Arcia sported a BABIP of .288 and .286, respectively. In June, that number rocketed up to .406; for those not proficient in mental math, that is an increase of .120. To experience an increase that large, a player must either be extremely lucky or have made extreme improvements. With Arcia, I believe that it unfortunately is due to luck more than ability.

The main reason why I am skeptical of Arcia’s elevated offense numbers is due to the quality of his contact. In April and May, he hit balls “hard” 27.4% and 31.7% of the time. In June, that dropped to 25.4%, and thus far in July, it is down to 23.3%. His soft contact, accordingly, increased from 24.1% in May to 28.2% in June. Simply put, Arcia may show flashes of improvement, but it is by no means definite. From this, we can attribute luck as being a significant part of his offensive surge. With a BABIP of .406, balls are falling in the right places, and it is certainly not always due to the hitter’s ability level. Unless there is a history of sustained success with a BABIP that high, it would be illogical to take it for anything more than what it is: a hot streak with a dollop of luck.

While his .283 batting average gives off the impression that Arica is an above average hitter, there is one more statistic to consider: Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+). This number measures a player’s offensive contributions compared to the rest of the league, with 100 being considered “average”. Arcia, with his .283 batting average, has a wRC+ of 87. This can mainly be credited due to his 5.4% walk rate and his .418 slugging percentage, both which are well below league average. He simply is not a constant offensive threat at this point in his career.

This article is not meant to say that there is no hope for Arcia and that he is a bad baseball player. That is not the objective of this piece. The purpose of this is to temper expectations for Arcia in the second half of the season. I hope I am completely wrong. I want the Orlando Arcia hype to be true, right here and right now. The Brewers deserve a franchise shortstop, and Arcia has shown flashes of having that potential. However, Arcia still has a way to go in his development as a hitter until he gets to the point where this level of play can be expected. The future is bright, but it has not yet arrived.