It’s becoming very clear that David Stearns helped craft another masterclass trade with the Boston Red Sox. Not only did the Brewers leave Boston with a series win, but Hunter Renfroe is showing exactly what he can bring to this Milwaukee Brewers team.
If it wasn’t for his two injury stints this year, Renfroe would be getting a lot more attention. The Brewers are 7-2 since the All-Star break, and the 30-year-old outfielder is a big reason why. It was just before the MLB lockout when Hunter was sent to the Brewers. As December 2021 started, the Brewers had a new right fielder to replace Avisail Garcia, and the Red Sox received Jackie Bradley Jr. and two Brewers prospects, David Hamilton and Alex Binelas.
Those prospects will take years to know if they work out. Since his return to the Sox, Bradley Jr. is batting .210 with three home runs, 29 RBIs and an OPS of .578 over 90 games. Renfroe has only played in 68 games so far this year. But, he has a .254 average, 19 home runs, 43 RBIs and a .792 OPS. So far, the Brewers are winning the trade by a mile.
Renfroe should win player of the week for the National League. If it wasn’t for the trade deadline and Aaron Judge being an absolute monster this past week, Hunter might have grabbed more of the headlines. Let’s quickly break down his impressive week/past three series.
Renfroe’s Colorado Series
Hunter wasted no time when the Brewers returned from the break. They faced the Colorado Rockies in a four game series at American Family Field. The first game went to extras, and the Rockies had a 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 10th. But not for long. Renfroe hit a two-run, 447 foot home run to tie the game. Milwaukee would end up winning in the 13th inning thanks to a Luis Urias single. Renfroe had two hits that game, and was hit by a pitch.
He would put the team on the board in the second game in the fourth inning. Hunter hit a 242 dinger that brought in three runs and put the Brewers up 3-1. They would go on to win 9-4. Renfroe was 2-5. The Brewers would win again the next day. And with another win, came another home run. A third inning two-run shot would be hit 418 feet would put the Crew up 5-2. They would win 10-9, and Renfroe had two hits in that game too.
Hunter would go 0-4 in the last game against the Rockies. But that basically summed up the Brewers offense in the fourth game. They lost 2-0 after Kyle Freeland pitched a gem for Colorado. In the first series back, Renfroe had six hits, three home runs and seven RBIs.
Renfroe’s Twins Series
For the first game against Minnesota, Renfroe drew a walk. I’m joking. He did draw a walk, but that was after he had a three-run blast in the top of the second inning. It was his only hit of the game along with the walk and two strike outs. But it had enough impact to keep the team in front most of the game. The Twins would eventually take the lead in the 5th, but the Brewers would come back and win the game 7-6.
Hunter would go 0-5 the next day. It was a day the Brewers didn’t need his help, though. They won the game 10-4 and was the Rowdy Tellez show. He had two home runs and 6 RBIs in that game. After taking three out of four from the Rockies, the Brewers swept the Twins in a two-game series at home and headed off to Boston. Over six games, Hunter had seven hits, four home runs and 10 RBIs.
Renfroe’s Red Sox Series
Hunter only spent one season in Boston. After being traded from the San Diego Padres to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019, he was DFA’d by the team after the 2020 season. He signed a one-year, $3.1MM deal with Boston. The Mississippi native played in 144 games, and ended the season with a .259 average, 96 RBIs and 31 home runs. The Brewers needed a home run hitter, and they went out and got one.
His first game back in Boston was silent. He went 0-4, but the Brewers still won 4-1. Brandon Woodruff could not be stopped, and Milwaukee played small ball to win the game. I know that doesn’t sound real, but it happened.
It’s hard to forget the second game, however. That’s because in the fifth inning, Renfroe hit another home run, this time over the Green Monster.
Hunter Renfroe sends one over the monster 💣 pic.twitter.com/zmG5HMVnkX
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 30, 2022
It was a two-run shot, and helped the Brewers end in a 9-4 victory. The Brewers would lose the last game of the series 7-2. But that wasn’t because of Renfroe.
He went 4-4 on Sunday against his former team. Did that include a home run? Of course it did. He put the Brewers on the board first in the top of the second with two runs and it was another shot to the top of the Monster. He ended Milwaukee’s first nine games with 12 hits, six homers and 14 RBIs. It was Renfroe’s first four-hit day since 2019.
Renfroe Elevating the Brewers Offense
Renfore is batting .315 since the break, and a spark this offense needed. Kolten Wong is hitting solid right now too, which is good to see when players like Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez are in a bit of slump if they aren’t hitting home runs. If the team can add another hitter at the deadline or if Keston Hiura can come back up and start hitting, we shouldn’t be too worried about the Milwaukee Brewers’ offense.
Andrew McCutchen and Luis Urias are finally hitting consistent, and Tyrone Taylor appears to be over his concussion that kept him out most of July. If this team can stay healthy, fans should be pretty happy with their results.
— Logan Hilgers (@BernieBango) July 31, 2022
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