The Brewers made headlines today when it was reported that the team acquired star outfielder Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins in exchange for four prospects. This move was somewhat surprising considering the fact that the Brewers were not linked to him often, prior to the actual completion of the deal. Regardless of that, Yelich should be a heavy contributor to Milwaukee’s lineup and should also resolve some concerns about the team’s outfield that were present going into the offseason.
Last season, Yelich hit 18 home runs and had 81 RBIs last season while batting a respectable .282 from the plate. However, Yelich is a career .290 hitter and should be able to improve his offensive production in Miller Park as opposed to the much larger Marlins Park.
According to the Brewers’ depth chart, Yelich is likely to become the team’s starting center fielder which would force youngster Keon Broxton to sit on the bench. Last season, Broxton showed signs of greatness at the plate and in the field but was extremely inconsistent. Despite the occasional great play in the outfield, Broxton batted a pedestrian .220 from the plate and committed seven errors in the outfield. Although Broxton could produce an occasional spark, Yelich is definitely a clear upgrade.
In return for Yelich, The Marlins will be receiving outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, infielder Isan Diaz and pitcher Jordan Yamamoto. Brinson, the 23 year old outfielder, is the best prospect in this deal as he has the potential to be a superstar outfielder in the not so distant future.
According to ESPN’s Keith Law, Brinson is the 32nd best prospect in all of baseball. In the minors last season, Brinson batted .331 along with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. However, he did struggle in his brief stint in the major leagues last season.
This trade suggests that Derek Jeter’s fire sale of personnel is still underway. After already trading star outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna earlier this offseason, now Yelich is also gone. Although the Marlins got two top-100 prospects back from the Brewers, this upcoming season appears to be extremely bleak for Marlins fans as the team will probably finish in the basement of the league.
As for the Brewers, Yelich will be a quality addition to the team’s lineup due to his ability to hit consistently for average and power. Shockingly, no Brewers player hit for a batting average above .280 last season, which is unacceptable. Yelich should be able to change that by himself and could be the piece that the Brewers have been missing.
With Yelich now on the squad, the Brewers will look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Only time will tell if he can make that happen.