So we've come to the determination that the Brewers 2013 season was a complete train wreck? Let’s not be so quick to make that judgment.
GM Doug Melvin has shown us a few things that may have been thrown into the 'pleasant surprise' category. Khris Davis is one of them. Prorate out Davis' numbers, and it shows some strong potential. Not only with regard to his power, but as of this writing, his batting average as well. Small sample size would be the other side of the argument, but for now, a notch to the good side for Melvin. Scooter Gennett has impressed. The young second baseman was somewhat overmatched the first time up, but now seems to have settled in. Whether or not he is a legit lead-off hitter remains to be seen, but Scooter looks to be a solid major leaguer. The development of Wily Peralta is a work in progress. However, he seems to be durable, taking the ball every 5 games, and learning on the job. A few tweaks here and there and Wily could find himself at the top of the rotation within 1 or 2 years. Jim Henderson has emerged to be quite reliable in the back end of the bullpen. The long time minor leaguer has stepped up and performed well. Will he pitch in the 8th or 9th inning? THAT remains to be seen, but we can agree that he’s been successful thus far. The third base position. Juan Francisco shows tremendous power, but lacks in batting average. If the organization can get Francisco to put the ball in play more consistently, Melvin may have pulled off another good to great trade. Additionally, the trade of K Rod for 3B prospect Nick Delmonico might be something to keep your eyes on. Nonetheless, Melvin saw a hole in the line-up at 3B, and addressed it. Ramirez has only 1 year left on a 3 year deal, and Melvin’s foresight may be praised within 2 years or so. Finally, the young pitchers in the organization are a work in progress. Johnny Hellweg, who struggled at the big league level, certainly has shown his talents at Triple A. If that converts to the majors, a future tandem of Peralta and Hellweg could prove to be powerful. Jimmy Nelson, Taylor Jungmann, Jed Bradley, Devin Williams, along with Fiers, Estrada, and others has the 'strength in numbers' theme to it. Finally, the position players that Melvin has massed, often times, flies under the radar. Braun and Gomez will both be here for years to come. Lucroy and Segura are mainstays and both may be better than we've seen thus far.
So, complete 'Train Wreck'? Maybe. Maybe NOT. Smile Milwaukee, The World Will Smile Back.
The 2013 trade deadline came and went, and the Brewers made just one trade. K rod was moved for 3b prospect Nicky Delmonico. A good trade, everyone will agree. However, some will not agree that Brewers GM Doug Melvin didn’t make any other trades. Is that such a bad thing? Let's examine.
With another year of Aramis Ramirez, could the crew actually get MORE for him at next year’s deadline? Maybe. Weeks value was down, and with the amount of money he makes, the Crew was going to have to pay more than they wanted to move him. He's not such a bad plan heading into next year, especially when he is batting lower in the line-up, expectations are not as high. Nori Aoki is too valuable of a piece to move, as he is under contract (team option) for next year. As like Ramirez, you could move Aoki next year, and potentially get MORE for him. Moving Gallardo or Lohse would take away 2/3 of your rotation heading into next year, instead of doing that, how about adding one more starter, and going into the 2014 campaign with Gallardo, Lohse, Peralta, and that additional signing? The bullpen returns at least 4 successful pitchers in Axford, Henderson, Gorzelanny, and Kintzler. Let's not forget about Figaro, and Marco Extrada when it comes to returning arms.
Analyzing the players returning, a person 'could' make the argument that the team will compete for the division title. I'm one of them...Smile Milwaukee, the World Will Smile Back!