Last season the Brewers had an offense that in the NL was 6th in runs scored (650), 8th in batting average (.250), 8th in on-base percentage (.311), and 4th in slugging (.397). They did so with the following players getting the majority of AB at their position.
C: Jonathan Lucroy .301/.373/.465
1B: Mark Reynolds .196/.287/.394
2B: Scooter Gennett .289/.320/.434
3B: Aramis Ramirez .285/.330/.427
SS: Jean Segura .246/.289/.326
LF: Khris Davis .244/.299/.457
CF: Carlos Gomez .284/.356/.477
RF: Ryan Braun .266/.324/.453
Among the starting eight from last year, the Brewers are returning seven of them. In the offseason they traded for Adam Lind, who is currently expected to be their starter at first base. Last season Lind hit .321/.381/.479 in a little over 300 plate appearances. If they can get similar production from the 31-year-old’s career average line of .273/327/.466, it would be a huge improvement from the .207/.287/.356 line the Brewers received from play at first base in 2014. Their .642 OPS at the position was the worst in the NL and third worst in all of baseball.
Here are the ZiPs projections for the expected starting eight the Brewers will show on Opening Day:
C: Jonathan Lucroy .290/.351/.454
1B: Adam Lind .291/.356/.468
2B: Scooter Gennett .286/.318/.415
3B: Aramis Ramirez .278/.332/.440
SS: Jean Segura .277/.318/.390
LF: Khris Davis .253/.320/.473
CF: Carlos Gomez .277/.336/.482
RF: Ryan Braun .287/.352/.500
ZiPS expects a small downtick for Lucroy (-.033 OPS), Gennett (-.021 OPS), and Gomez (-.015 OPS) from last year’s results. It also predicts an improvement on last year’s production for Ramirez (+.015 OPS), Segura (+.033 OPS), Davis (+.036 OPS), and a big boost for Braun (+.075 OPS).
Combined with the projected whopping .143 OPS increase from Mark Reynolds to Adam Lind’s projections and it looks like 2015’s Brewers offense, that’ll sport five starters who have been All-Stars of which one is an MVP*, will be improved from their already slightly above NL average offense as the projections expect an averaged increased of .033 OPS per starter. It doesn’t sound like a large amount, but if put into context of a team last season, the Brewers as a team had a .708 OPS which was good for fifthÃ‚Â in the NL while the second place team in the NL (The Dodgers) had a .738 OPS. If their projections pan out, this offense has the potential to be one of the most potent in the NL, leading to some tough divisional series for the Reds.