Brewers’ Yelich beginning to look like himself again
The 2020 season was not very welcoming to Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich.
After winning the 2018 NL MVP and finishing runner-up to Los Angeles slugger Cody Bellinger for the award last season, we all watched as Yelich began the 60-game sprint with one of the worst stretches of his career. It was magnified, of course, since it happened at the beginning of the season — and a shortened one at that.
Over Yelich’s first six games of the season, he went 1 for 27 with one walk and an astounding 12 strikeouts. He logged a -0.6 WAR, the lowest mark in baseball. Yelich was connecting with just 61.2% of pitches he swung at, well below his career clip of 78.3%.
Frankly, the former MVP looked overmatched at the plate.
“When you watch Christian struggle, the talent and skillset isn’t going away,” Brewers hitting coach Andy Haines said over the weekend. “All the things we brag about with Christian – the toughness, the aptitude – all those things come into play. Like I said, the game will torture you.”
Well, it appears Yelich has turned a corner.
In his last six games, the slugger has gone 6 for 20 with one double, one triple, three homers and eight walks, adding up to a .300/.500/.900 slash line, which is much more on brand.
He’s once again found the knack for extra-base hits. Of his seven hits so far, six have gone for extra bases, adding up to an 85.7% clip, which ranks second in the big leagues behind Detroit infielder C.J. Cron.
And we’d be amiss if we didn’t mention Yelich’s absolute tank he launched against Cincinnati on Sunday, a homer that nearly dented the scoreboard.
— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) August 9, 2020
Yelich and the Brewers begin a three-game set with the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Monday night. Tune in to FOX Sports Wisconsin at 6:30 p.m. for Brewers Live.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar, baseball-reference and FanGraphs.