Who is the greatest left-handed hitter in Milwaukee Brewers history?
Power, Hits, Run Production?
If you are looking for power, you might select Prince Fielder, Geoff Jenkins or Cecil Cooper, all of whom had 200 or more career HRs with the Brewers.
If base hits is your yardstick, how about Cooper or Jim Gantner, Jenkins or Ben Oglivie, or B.J. Surhoff. Each of these five players tallied 1,000 or more career hits with the team.
What about run production? These left-handed hitters each had 500 or more RBI and 500+ runs scored with the Brewers: Cooper, Jenkins, Oglivie, Fielder and Gantner.
Let’s take this discussion in a little different direction. If you had to select a starting lineup with only left-handed hitters at each position, what would your starting lineup look like?
Here’s my short answer to that question. I based these on players who were left-handed or switch hitters, and they had to play at least 50% of their games with the Brewers at that position. Here’s my all-time all lefthanded Brewers lineup.
Catcher: B.J. Surhoff is my choice here with Darrell Porter second. Longevity helps Surhoff. They had similar power numbers, but Surhoff tallied more hits and RBI.
First Base: Cecil Cooper is my choice with Prince Fielder second. Although Fielder wins the power game, Cooper’s .302 average and run production give him the advantage.
Second Base: Jim Gantner is my choice with Fernando Vina second. Gantner piled up a load of stats in 17 seasons with the Brewers. Vina wins out over Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Villar.
Shortstop: Switch-hitter Jose Valentin is my choice with Dale Sveum second. Valentin had decent power numbers. Sveum edges out Bill Spiers and Ernest Riles.
Third Base: Recent Brewer Travis Shaw is my choice with Mike Moustakas second. Shaw tops the list in HRs, hits and RBI. Moustakas edges out Tyler Houston for second.
Left Field: Geoff Jenkins gets the nod over Ben Oglivie. This was probably the hardest choice. Both deserve a spot, and both have similar stats, although Jenkins’ are just a bit better in HRs, hits and run production. Current left fielder Christian Yelich is third on my list.
Center Field: Davey May is the choice with Scott Podsednik second. We must go back to the 1970’s for this choice. May leads the center field group in most stats. Podsednik is my choice over Rick Manning, just based on Podsednik’s two productive short years in Milwaukee.
Right Field: Jeromy Burnitz is my selection over Nori Aoki. Burnitz provided power to that position in his career. Aoki only had two seasons in Milwaukee but was a solid contributor.
Designated Hitter: Dave Parker is my choice over Tyler Houston. Another tough call, but Parker, who played only one season in Milwaukee as DH, was outstanding. Howell had about 160 games as DH for the Brew Crew over four seasons.
So, who are your choices?
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