While the Milwaukee Brewers have been around since 1969, they have a surprising low number of Hall of Famers and a lineup that seems like it should be better than it actually looks. At the top are a duo of great Milwaukee greats who could both hit and steal. After them are a pair of power hitters in Cecil Cooper and Ryan Braun. Prince Fielder was also a consideration at first when he and Braun formed one of the best 3-4 combos in all of baseball. Following the sluggers are some other Brewers stalwarts and players who never quite lived up to their full potential.
1. Paul Molitor, 3B (R)
2. Robin Yount, SS (R)
3. Cecil Cooper, 1B (L)
4. Ryan Braun, RF (R)
5. Geoff Jenkins, LF (L)
6. Don Money, 2B (R)
7. Jonathan Lucroy, C (R)
8. Carlos Gomez, CF (R)
9. Teddy Higuera, P (L)
Manager: Harvey Kuenn
2010-16: 346 Runs, 79 HR, 387 RBI, 29 SB, .284 BA/.342 OBP/.436 SLG
If you’re a Cubs fan, you probably own a thank you to All Time Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. In the 2016 trade deadline, Lucroy rejected a trade to the Indians and instead went to the Rangers, citing that he wanted to go to a contending team. Later that season, the Cubs broke the curse and beat the Indians in a best of seven World Series where Cleveland saw very little to no production from the catcher spot. Back in his Brewer days, Lucroy was actually one of the best catchers around. He displayed great hitting abilities and showed the league he could even hit for power.
Honorable Mentions: B.J. Surhoff
1977-87: 821 Runs, 201 HR, 944 RBI, 77 SB, .302 BA/.339 OBP/.470 SLG
After coming over from the Red Sox, Cecil Cooper quietly became one of the best Brewers for their 1980s teams. He had a high batted ball profile and extremely effective hitting in the middle of the lineup. He stood as a power threat in the middle of the lineup and have four 100+ RBI seasons. Additionally, he didn’t strike out much for a power bat and is likely to sit right in the middle of the Brewers lineup again this time around.
Honorable Mentions: George Scott, Prince Fielder, Richie Sexson
1973-83: 596 Runs, 134 HR, 529 RBI, 66 SB, .270 BA/.338 OBP/.421 SLG
While he didn’t start his career with the Brewers, Don Money ended his career in Milwaukee. He quickly took off and became an integral part of the team, earning 4 All Star appearances in his first 6 years. However, his career quickly started going down soon after that. During his prime, Money was a fairly average player who did a bit of everything for the club. There wasn’t anything specific he could do wrong but nothing that he especially specialized in.
Honorable Mentions: Jim Gantner, Rickie Weeks
1971-93: 1,632 Runs, 251 HR, 1,406 RBI, 271 SB, .285 BA/.342 OBP/.430 SLG
Robin Yount was the Brewers best ever player and deservingly so. He was always a force at the plate and captured MVP trophies in both 1982 and 1989. It’s shocking that he was only selected to the All Star team three times. For his career, Yount displayed power at the shortstop position which was rarely seen and scored a bunch of runs. He’s a perfect top of the order bat who knows how to get one base and even steal a few bags.
Honorable Mentions: Jose Valentin, J.J. Hardy
1978-92: 1,275 Runs, 160 HR, 790 RBI, 412 SB, .303 BA/.367 OBP/.444 SLG
Joining Yount on the left side of the infield is Paul Molitor who’s an equally storied Brewer. He was another great leadoff bat for many years who always received ample opportunities to get one base. The Hall of Famer was a 5 time All Star during his career with Milwaukee and one of the best on base getters during his prime. While not much of a power threat, look for Molitor to be a great table setter for the rest of the lineup at the #1 spot.
Honorable Mentions: Jeff Cirillo
1998-08: 661 Runs, 212 HR, 733 RBI, 32 SB, .277 BA/.344 OBP/.490 SLG
Patrolling left field for the Brew Crew will be Geoff Jenkins. He earned a lone All Star bid in 2003 and should serve as an RBI man near the bottom of the lineup. There wasn’t a specific skill Jenkins had other than his ability to stay on the field and be one of the more consistent players on the team. He had good power to all fields and hit for a respectable average season by season. The lefty will make a perfect compliment to the right handed heavy lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Ben Oglivie, Greg Vaughn, Christian Yelich
2010-15: 364 Runs, 87 HR, 288 RBI, 152 SB, .267 BA/.325 OBP/.452 SLG
One of the most animated players on the field and in the dugout, Carlos Gomez is our pick in center field. While his career has certainly taken a turn for the worse once he departed Milwaukee, Gomez had breakout seasons during his last two full seasons and was named to a pair of All Star Games in 2013 and 2014. He was a fairly decent player though his antics eventually drove him off the team. Gomez’s career started slow but showed potential late in his tenure with the team. The batted ball profile was decent at best and rated average at defense. However, speed was his biggest asset and we’ll look to exploit that by putting him at the bottom of the lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Gorman Thomas, John Briggs, Dave May
2007-19: 1,052 Runs, 340 HR, 1,109 RBI, 214 SB, .298 BA/.360 OBP/.533 SLG
While he currently plays left field, Braun has spent time in right the past few years and that’s where we’ll put him for this lineup. The lifelong Brewer originally debuted as a third baseman though he’s thrived since being moved to the outfield. The Rookie of the Year back in 2007 and 6 time All Star was and still is a staple in the Milwaukee lineup. He’s been an MVP though there’s debate as to whether he actually deserved that award. Nevertheless, he’s been a great power bat during his prime and could still be considered a low-end five tool player. He’s good in all five categories though no longer excels at them.
Honorable Mentions: Sixto Lezcano, Jeromy Burnitz, Corey Hart
1985-94: 94-64 Record, 3.61 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
The pick at pitcher is a tough one though the distinction goes to Teddy Higuera. Ben Sheets was the only other real candidate of note though he had some pretty rough seasons to start his career. It also didn’t help that the offense was poor in the years he played from 2001 to 2008 and the team only had 2 winning seasons. Higuera was the direct opposite and found success early on in his career. He was prone to the home run ball and served as one of Milwaukee’s prime starters before injuries ended his career.
Honorable Mentions: Ben Sheets, Chris Bosio, Bill Wegman
At manager, there’s actually a few different directions to go. Phil Garner is the winningest manager in franchise history though he also holds the record for losses. The last two skippers in Ron Roenicke and Craig Counsell are both good options though neither has done anything extremely impressive. Until Counsell manages for some more time and puts more on his resume, we’ll go with Harvey Kuenn who was at the helm for just two seasons. However, he led them to their only World Series in 1982 though they would eventually lose in seven games to the Cardinals. He was fired even after having a winning record in 1983 and watched as the Brewers had three straight losing seasons after his departure.
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