Throughout the winter, various systems release their player projections for the upcoming season. Steamer is one of those systems. Their model takes into account a player’s past performance and aging trends to develop a realistic projection. In Steamer’s 2023 projections, they have a Brewers hitter surpassing 20 home runs for the first time since 2019. That player is Christian Yelich.
Yelich displayed a surge in power when he first arrived in Milwaukee. During his first year with the Brewers he hit 36 home runs. In 2019 he hit 44 long balls despite missing the last month of the season with a patella fracture.
Since 2019, the ability to hit the long ball has escaped him. In the shortened 2020 season, Yelich hit 12 home runs. Over the course of a full season in 2021 that number decreased into the single digits at nine. Lastly, in 2022 he hit 14 home runs.
How many home runs will Yelich hit next season?
According to Steamers projections, Yelich is projected to hit 21 home runs during the 2023 season.
Along with 21 home runs, Steamer has Yelich’s projected slash line at .249/.354/.418/.772. Over the past two seasons, Yelich has not had a slugging percentage over .400. In addition to the increased projected home run totals, Steamer makes his slugger percentage higher by including 26 doubles in his projections.
Outside of Steamers projections, rule changes such as banning the extreme defensive shift may help Yelich’s statistics next year. No extreme defensive shifts won’t lead to more home runs, but he may see more base hits and balls hit into the gaps for extra bases.
Steamers projections do not indicate a potential return of MVP Christian Yelich in 2023, but they would be better statistics than he has had over the past three seasons.