3. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich appear to be carrying the team at the top of the order. Can we continue to expect this type of production from them for the rest of the season?
Mike Wendlant: Cain and Yelich have been without a doubt the best acquisitions that aren’t currently in the bullpen since Zack Greinke was traded for, well, Lorenzo Cain among others (including Jeremy Jeffress). Leading the National League in WAR, Cain has been everything the team has asked for and more on the field, and he’s been a leader in the clubhouse already as well. He has adapted into the free-spirit vibe of the team seamlessly, which should help him continue on his pace. As long as he doesn’t press, he’s shown that he’s still got the natural tools to be a tone-setter.
As for Yelich, what can be said about him that hasn’t been already since 2015? The trade is already worth it with Miami as Yelich is arguably the best player in the National League who hasn’t been an All-Star. He’s back to full health finally and it’s shown over the homestand with him hitting almost .500. His average is up to .310, and his OBP at .375. He should be able to maintain that pace if his recent history is any indicator. He’s as good of a natural No. 2 hitter as there is. There is no reason why Cain and Yelich can’t keep this up.
Anthony Haag: I think so. These guys are as advertised. At first, I was in awe of their performance. Now, I just expect them to get a key hit or get the offense going. Both of these players are All-Stars and should continue to perform at All-Star levels.
Yelich’s batting average is currently higher than it was last year, but nothing that he hasn’t done previously in his career which is a good indication this is what we can expect from him for the year.
As for Cain, he has been worth of penny of that $80 million deal. There is no question he is a good hitter, but he has been unbelievable. The difference for him this year has been his plate discipline, as he is being more patient at the plate.
I would expect to see this type of production continue for both Cain and Yelich. These are not young players, they are both veterans and understand it is a long season that has its up and downs. For the Brewers to compete for a playoff spot in the second half of the year, and maybe even make a deep postseason run, they are going to need both Cain and Yelich to continue to provide the offense.
Mitchell Reichert: It’s completely reasonable to expect both Cain and Yelich to continue performing as well as they have throughout the rest of the season, based on how well they both performed during previous seasons.
During his last four seasons prior to coming to back to Milwaukee, Cain slashed .300/.352/.437, while averaging around 36 walks per year, 11 home runs, and 24 stolen bases, all adding up to a 113 OPS+ (100 is league average, so Cain is 13 percent better than the league average batter). Currently, Cain is actually slashing .289/.396/.444, with already accumulating 33 walks, six home runs, and 11 stolen bases, leading to a 127 OPS+. The only thing down compared to the last four years is his batting average, which is still quite good.
Yelich over his last four seasons with the Marlins slashed .290/.368/.436, averaging about 14 home runs and tallying an OPS+ of 122. This season, Yelich is currently outperforming that, slashing a .310/.374/.485, having already hit six home runs and carrying an OPS+ of 131. Both players moved to a better hitting park as well, so in general, I would expect at least more of the same out of both players, if not even greater production