When fans think of great Brewers players, they commonly think of guys who played in Milwaukee for years. Guys like Robin Yount (20 seasons), Jim Gantner (17 seasons), and Gorman Thomas (8 years) are often referenced as fans’ favorite Brewer players ever. However, there have been many ball players pass through Milwaukee, staying for just one year or less. Here, we take a look and the best “one-year wonders” in Brewers history. These guys spent just one full season with the Brewers, but had an impact in their lone year with the team.
#5- Devon White: One-Year Wonder- 2001
When Devon White arrived in Milwaukee via trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers, there were not high expectations of him. A 16-year veteran at that point, White’s career seemed to be going downhill. The Brewers were just glad to be ride of Marquis Grissom’s contract that was looking worse and worse every year.
While Grissom struggled in his first year as a Dodger, Devon White had a good season in his one year for the Brewers. In his 17th and last season, the seven-time Gold Glover and three-time All-Star hit .277/.343/.449 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI’s. He also stole 18 bases in 21 attempts and appeared at all three outfield positions. His .802 OPS was the highest of his career. He retired following the 2001 season.
#4- Don Mincher: One-Year Wonder- 1969
Don Mincher played one season for the Seattle Pilots, who of course moved to Milwaukee to become the Brewers in 1970. However, Mincher deserves a place on this list even if he never played in Milwaukee as he is the franchise’s first ever All-Star.
In addition to being an original Seattle Pilot, Mincher was also a member of the original Minnesota Twins in 1961! After spending seven years with Minnesota, he spent two years with the Angels, making his first All-Star team with them in 1967. The Pilots selected Mincher with the second pick in the expansion draft prior to 1969. In his one year with the franchise, Mincher hit .246/.366/.454 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI’s while playing first base. He made his second and final All-Star team that season.
Before the Brewers started play in Milwaukee, Mincher was traded to the Oakland Athletics for four players, including relief pitcher Ken Sanders.
#3- Dave Parker: One-Year Wonder- 1990
When Dave Parker joined the Brewers in 1990, he had already had 17 years of Major League experience. He was the 1978 NL MVP with the Pirates, a six-time All-Star, and three-time Gold Glover. However, he appeared to be on the downside of his career, looking for one last shot to make an impact.
In his one year with the Brewers, Parker hit .289/.330/.451 with 21 home runs and 92 RBI’s. Playing as the team’s DH, Parker made his seventh and final All-Star team. He was also award the American League’s Silver Slugger award for DH. On a team that still featured Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, Parker showed that he could contribute in a big way.
After the 1990 season, the Brewers traded Parker to the Angels for Dante Bichette. The Angels released Parker in September of 1991, and he finished the season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He retired following the ’91 season.
#2- Willie Randolph: One-Year Wonder- 1991
Exit Dave Parker, enter Willie Randolph. Like Parker, Randolph came to the Brewers after a long and successful Major League career. Before coming to to Milwaukee, Randolph was a six-time All-Star who always walked more than he struck out. He would continue that trend with the Brewers.
In 1991, Randolph hit a career-best .327/.424/.374 with no home runs and 54 RBI’s. He walked 75 times compared to just 38 strikeouts. His .796 OPS was the second-best mark for his career. After one year with the Brewers, Randolph played one more MLB season before retiring. He returned to the Brewers later as the bench coach under Ken Macha.
#1- Yasmani Grandal: One Year Wonder- 2019
After helping the Dodgers defeat the Brewers in the 2018 NLCS, Yasmani Grandal signed with his former foes because he wanted to a part of something special. He signed a one-year deal with the Brewers for 2019 with a mutual option for 2020.
Grandal had a career year catching for the Brewers in his one year with the club. In 2019, Yaz hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 home runs and 77 RBI’s. He set career highs in games played (153), hits (126), runs (79), home runs (28), stolen bases (5), and walks (109). He was named to his second career All-Star team as well.
Unfortunately for the Brewers and their fans, Yaz turned down his part of the mutual option and signed a four-year contract with the White Sox.
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