This year, the Milwaukee Brewers have received a huge boost from players acquired during the off-season as well as in the middle of the season. Even with many new faces, the Brewers are currently leading the National League Central and are set up to make a deep post season run. In this article, we are going to rank the top five acquisitions in terms of greatest impact on the team.
All acquisitions from the start of last off-season until today were taken into the account. To be considered, the player had to either sign with the Brewers or be acquired via trade. Players promoted from within the organization did not qualify.
5) Adding Eduardo Escobar At The Trade Deadline
Leading up to the trade deadline, the Brewers needed to add a corner infielder with some pop in his bat. Escobar fit that bill and was able to be acquired without giving up a top 30 prospect. In 21 games, Escobar has contributed six extra base hits and has driven in eight runs. He has been a solid addition and has lengthened the lineup. However, he recently sustained a hamstring injury and will likely miss some games.
4) Signing Veteran Bullpen Pitcher Brad Boxberger
Despite a great spring training, Brad Boxberger did not make the opening day roster for the Brewers. Thankfully he elected to remain in the Brewers minor league organization and within a few weeks he was back in the big leagues. Since then he has assumed the 7th inning role and is one of Craig Counsell’s high leverage relivers. He has maintained this role all season and consistently puts together scoreless outings.
3) Trading For Rowdy Tellez After Vogelbach’s Injury
David Stearns definitely has a type when it comes to choosing his first basemen. After left handed hitter Daniel Vogelbach went out injured, Stearns acquired a replica in Tellez. Aside from hitting left handed, Tellez also is known for having great power and getting on base via the walk. As a Brewer, Tellez has been more productive than we could have ever imagined and has had a few signature late game moments as well.
2) Signing Kolton Wong
The Brewers remained quiet last off season until early February when they shockingly signed Kolton Wong. As a two time gold glover at second base, the acquisition immediately improved the infield. In addition to playing incredible defense, Wong has also excelled as the teams leadoff hitter. He has been a spark plug for the team in all aspects of the game, including on the base paths most recently when he scored on an infield SAC fly. This team would look a lot different had Wong not signed with the Brewers, so lets be thankful that the division rival St. Louis Cardinals parted ways with him.
1) Mid-Season Trade For Shortstop Willy Adames
Prior to Adames, the Brewers elected to trade Orlando Arcia and make Luis Urias the everyday short stop. Urias struggled with the promotion, especially defensively. As a result, David Stearns brought in Willy Adames who since has changed the entire complexion of this season! When he joined the team on May 22nd the Brewers record was 22-23. Since then the team has gone 54-26 that includes several incredible performances from Adames. No player that has been involved in a mid-season trade has won the MVP award, but Adames is expected to get a few votes!
All five players mentioned above have been great this year! As a result, acquiring Hunter Strickland from the Angels missed the cut. Other honorable mentions includes former relief pitcher Trevor Richards. He was great with the Brewers but was then later used in the Rowdy Tellez deal. John Curtiss also showed flashes of being a solid addition but an elbow injury has sidelined him the remainder of the season.
As mentioned, this years Brewers team has relied heavily upon the new guys. Thankfully everything is working out and fans have their eyes set on winning a world series. Only time will tell with that, but for now lets credit the front office for acquiring all of these quality players.
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