Milwaukee Brewers: Christian Yelich has exceeded everyone’s expectations

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers prepares for this at bat in the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 15, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers prepares for this at bat in the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 15, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Brewers’ All-Star outfielder Christian Yelich is impressing everyone and is having an MVP caliber season. He’s exceeded expectations so far.

The Trade

On Jan. 25, 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers made two splashes in one day. General Manager David Stearns signed center fielder Lorenzo Cain to a four-year deal, but the biggest and most debatable move (at the time) was trading for Christian Yelich of the Miami Marlins.

Yelich was a young outfielder who showed a lot of potential, but people thought the price was too high. The Brewers pulled the trigger and traded top prospects Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison and Jordan Yamamoto for the young outfielder.

Fans saw this as a questionable move due to the fact they traded Brinson, Diaz and Harrison who were all seen as players that could make a big impact for the Brewers in the future. But Stearns decided to take the chance and right now it seems like it paid off. Here are the stats of the players as of August 10th, who were involved:

Brewers traded:

Lewis Brinson   .186/10 HR/30 RBI/.570 OPS/.232 OBP(290 AB w/ Marlins)

Isan Diaz   .252/12 HR/52 RBI/11 SB/.820 OPS/.370 OBP(345 AB w/ AA and AAA)

Monte Harrison   .235/14 HR/41 RBI/23 SB/.698 OPS/.313 OBP(421 AB w/ AA)

Jordan Yamamoto   5-1/1.92/51.2/61 K/0.97 WHIP(9 GS w/ High A and AA)

The former Brewers haven’t shown much. Brinson has had struggles in the majors and is now on the 10-Day DL. Diaz has been playing average baseball, but will likely be in the majors as a September call-up or get called up next season. Outfielder Monte Harrison’s stats are down, but he still has a tremendous skill set of speed, power and great defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just an off year. Jordan Yamamoto has shown a lot of potential in his nine starts, but also, it has only been nine starts. His fastball sits around the mid-90s with average offspeed. If he stays consistent, we could see him in the league in the next two to three years.

The Stats

I don’t want to speak too soon, but it looks the Brewers may have one this trade *jinx knock on wood*. Yelich has been raking for the Crew all season. His average is up to .316 (.350 against lefties) with 18 HR, 60 RBI, and an OPS of .909. One key stat is that Yelich has maintained is a 4.0 WAR, which is considered an All-Star player, according to Fangraphs. The Brewers haven’t had a player like this since Ryan Braun in his prime. And something nice to know about Yelich is that the Crew has him for four more years.

Yelich’s stats this season are something special, but his stats these past few months are even better. Yelich is batting .422 with an OPS of 1.286 OPS. For something to compare, an average OPS right now is around .728, according to Baseball Reference. An OPS that high is unheard of in this era. Yes, it hasn’t be very long, but a 1.286 OPS is something to marvel at.

Christian Yelich   .316/18 HR/60 RBI/14 SB/.379 OBP/.909 OPS

Projected   .311/24 HR/81 RBI/18 SB/.379 OBP/.899 OPS

For the Team

Without Yelich, this lineup wouldn’t be the same. He has added a lot of pop to this Crew’s offense. From leading off the game with a double to hitting home runs in the two and three hole. This is a player that the Brewers have needed in the lineup for a while now. He is setting himself up for success and has set his teammates up for success by getting on, stealing bases and being aggressive. With Braun getting older and regressing, there needs to be that trustworthy guy they can have every day. And Yelich has become that guy.

His playing has been great, but what he’s done for the organization and the fans isn’t unnoticed. He has become a fan favorite in the Brewers community. When you walk around Milwaukee and when you go to Miller Park, you’ll see fans wearing his shirt and wearing his jersey. And with his tremendous season, regular baseball fans are taking notice of what he is doing. If you ask an average fan about the Brewers, it’s not just Braun anymore. They talk about Christian Yelich too.


There has been a lot of talk going around on who should be the NL MVP. And as the season has progressed. Yelich has moved his way into the discussion. He has the average, has shown power and has been a great defender throughout the season. But, there’s a problem. He has a lot of competition.

Javier Baez   .296/25 HR/88 RBI/19 SB/.330 OBP/.911 OPS (422 AB)

Nolan Arenado   .308/29 HR/82 RBI/.391 OBP/.979 OPS (415 AB)

Freddie Freeman   .318/18 HR/70 RBI/7 SB/.398 OBP/.922 OPS (437 AB)

Matt Carpenter   .281/31 HR/63 RBI/.393 OBP/.991 OPS (398 AB)

Will he win the MVP this year? Honestly, I can’t see it happening. But I do see a silver slugger this season. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns himself an NL MVP in the coming years.