The home run has been a big weapon for the Milwaukee Brewers over the past seasons. Last season, the Crew hit 219 homers, good enough for second-best in the National League and third-best in Major League Baseball.
If we pull back the historical curtain to 2016 until this just-completed season, the Brewers have been in the upper one-quarter of teams that top the majors in long balls. From 2016-22, the Brew Crew hit 1,374 home runs, good enough for the sixth-most in the majors, and second-best in the N.L. behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hitting home runs, however, does not always equate to success in the win column. And sometimes, teams with a preponderance of hitting home runs find other parts of their hitting skills painfully suffer.
That has been the case for the Brewers. Here are three home runs stats that will open your eyes to the other side of a team’s home run dependence.
Home runs and batting average
The Brewers in 2022 set a new MLB record for the lowest batting average for a team that hit 200 or more HRs. The Brewers hit 219 homers this past season and had a team batting average of .235. There have been seven teams in baseball that had seasons where they hit 200+ home runs yet had a team batting average under .240. The seven:
Milwaukee, 2022… 219 home runs, .235 average
Toronto, 2019… 247 home runs, .236 average
Seattle, 2019… 239 home runs, .237 average
New York Yankees, 2021… 222 home runs, .237 average
Chicago Cubs, 2021, 210 home runs, .237 average
San Diego, 2019… 219 home runs, .238 average
Cleveland, 2021… 203 home runs, .238 average
Home runs and strikeouts
In 2022, the Brewers and Atlanta Braves offenses were the only two teams in baseball to hit 200 or more home runs and have over 1,400 strikeouts. Teams with 200+ HRs and 1,400+ strikeouts happened 36 times in baseball history. Five franchises have reached these numbers in three or more seasons: Milwaukee and Tampa Bay have done it four times, while Atlanta, the Cubs, and the Yankees have each done it in three seasons.
For the record, the 2019 Brewers are the only team in MLB history to hit 250 or more HRs and strikeout 1,500 or more times. That year the ’19 Brewers’ offense hit 250 home runs and struck out 1,563 times.
Home runs and the post-season
The Brewers in 2022 were the only team with 200 or more team home runs that did not make the playoffs. This was the sixth time in Brewers’ history they hit 200+ homers in a season and did not make the playoffs. It also happened in 1980 (203 HRs), 2001 (209 HRs), 2007 (231 HRs), 2012 (202 HRs) and 2017 (224 HRs).
There have been 115 times when a team hit 200+ HRs in a season and did not make the post-season. The Toronto Blue Jays top this stat with 10 seasons when they hit 200+ homers and did not play in the post-season.
Yes, home runs are fun and exciting. But in many cases, there is a downside to depending on the home run. The Brewers know all too well about that… especially in the past few seasons.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content