Opponent / FA Focus

A (Mostly) Objective Review of The Brewers Options at 2B…

If you are a Brewers Fan, odds are that you have been thinking about second base. Hopefully not the base itself but who will play it. We know David Stearns has given it some thought. He has already met with Ian Kinsler & Troy Tulowitzki who signed with The Padres and Yankess, respectively. The free agent dominoes are definitely falling now. After coming one game from the World Series, The Brewer Fan Base is thinking October or bust. A sense of urgency has spread through Milwaukee which we will try to harness here…

In a true ‘no-holds barred’ manner the ‘2B’ issue will be attacked HEAD ON (‘Not 2B’ will be discussed at a later date). Streamlined facts, pretty pictures, and graphs will be designated for assignment to you, the reader. The goal is to present them in an objective fashion and allow you to come to your own conclusions. Everyone considered here is either available or rumored to be – short stops who can play second base will also be considered.

NOTE: All statistics referenced are explained at BREW MATHs

 

* IN-HOUSE OPTIONS *

Hernan Perez ($2.5M)

Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers

  • Any metric we rate Perez by tells us the same thing… he is consistently ‘good’ (around league average) but that seems to be his ceiling.
    • Reinforcing this, we can see his BABIP and wOBA have been steady over the last several years. Both near league average.
    • His on-base percentage has leveled off despite the fact that his K% and BB% have fluctuated (K>BB). He is resourceful and figures out ways to stay productive.
  • Perez’s greatest strengths are his flexibility and his ability to be the same player every day. While he is not going to break any offensive records, he should hit around 0.260 (AVG) and play solid defense.
    • wOBA = weighted on-base average; one of the best single metrics to rate overall hitting
      • Perez’s wOBA since he has become a Brewer: 0.312 (430PA) / 0.298 (458PA) / 0.292 (334PA)
      • Perez does almost the same against lefties and righties. He is also the same home and away…
  • In the end, we know what we will get from Hernan and this team benefits from it. That said, his numbers have leveled off around “bench player” as opposed to a bonafide MLB Starter. Much like the guy we  compare him to next (and in the fourth graph, above)

Tyler Saladino ($887,500)

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Perez and Saladino are very similar in terms of plate production. In fact, if you use ANY statistic to compare these two they come out pretty close (AVG, SLG, BB/K, BABIP, etc). The only real quantifiable difference between the two is that Perez is better at stealing bases. Saladino is also a bit more aggressive at the plate but his overall numbers end up Perez-like. The similarities in key statistical areas are endless:


Corey Spangenberg ($1.2M MLB v. $250,000 if demoted aka ‘Risk Free’)

No, no… don’t freak out… those are both Cory Spangenberg… no literal clones here, only statistical ones 🙂 While Spangenberg plays a similar style to HP & TS, his numbers are slightly lower across the board. If Perez is 1A and Saladino is 1B… Spangenberg would have to be 1C:

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Mauricio Dubon (AAA)

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  • Dubon has started running again after suffering an ACL injury last summer. Many people of heard of Hiura but Dubon is closer to The Bigs…
    • Barring any set-backs Mauricio should be ready by Spring Training
  • Dubon’s contact and power were trending upward.
    • They both shoot up in 2018 but the power numbers do even more.
      • He seemed to be figuring things out at the plate before getting hurt.
  • The Brewers #7 Prospect has also performed very well in Spring Training (See Table, Above). While those numbers are probably not sustainable, they are very impressive.
    • If his rehab continues to go well and he has another solid spring, the 24-year-old may be poised to be a full-time contributor now. BREW MATHs is pretty high on ‘Dubie’ and rooting for his recovery…

Travis Shaw (Arb 1) – Shift from 3B to 2B

Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants

We all know what Shaw brings to the table… a top-tier left-handed bat that will produce consistently in the middle of the lineup. He also is a gold glove-caliber defender as Reviewing The Brew summarized nicely in November.

The fact that Shaw is willing to play second base opens up The Brewers options. Instead of just zeroing in on 2B, Milwaukee can expand their pursuits to other infield positions. This ‘infield chess’ allows the team to potentiate their lineup and is only possible due to players like Mr. Shaw (and to a lesser extent, Perez). That said, if any starter were to shift permanently, it is probably because Stearns hired one of these guys…

 

* External Options *

The Big Shots: Jed Lowrie ($16.6M) / Brian Dozier ($11.3M) / DJ Lemahieu ($13.9M) / Mike Moustakas (No Market Listed; $8-10M is a reasonable guess)

There is nothing free about these free agents (all salary info from Spotrac)

 

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  • Jed Lowrie will cost the most but hits 30 points lower than DJ Lemahieu (?)
    • A WAR Machine (like Dozier), he is a baller.
    • Short-term deal thought to be possibility
  • DJ Lemahieu leads in the most categories but not by much.
    • He was batting champion two years ago and hit 0.348
      • Last year he hit 0.276
    • Probably looking for a long-term deal at this time.
  • Brian Dozier has the best power numbers out of the bunch and has accumulated a the greatest career WAR. He also is rated to be as fast as DJ.
  • Moustakas would be a familiar option and can be thought of as a slower version of Dozier (for these purposes)
    • All of these players are solid contributors and know how to win. They would likely be a significant upgrade. However, they will cost you dearly.

Step Down?: Asdrubal Cabrera ($9.6M Market Value) / Jose Iglesias ($8.1M)

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  • Cabrera’s numbers are comparable (or even a little better) than Lowrie’s.
    • Cabrera would cost considerably less.
    • This might not be as “sexy” of a pick but he can hit, the numbers don’t lie.
  • Iglesias looks like he would be more of a true stop-gap (if considered at all). Out of all the players we have looked at, his stats warrant the least attention. That said, he is young, flexible and comes at a relatively reasonable price.
    • He is a shortstop by trade

Others To Consider: Freddy Galvis ($11.7) / Josh Harrison (No Market Listed; Probably the Cheapest Here)

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  • Galvis will likely demand a high salary but his numbers do not seem to warrant it.
    • He is young, versatile and fast and will fit wherever he goes… like Perez, he’s the ideal utility player.
      • That said, he is a shortstop first
  • Harrison coul be the most underrated of anyone we’ve considered
    • His numbers are similar to the ‘Big Shots’ (considered above) but he will probably not cost close to what they will.
    • He is the fastest person on this list

So Who Do YOU Think?!?

Do you ‘go for it’ and sign an expensive veteran to a more restrictive deal?

Will you trade assets and go ‘all in’ on The World Series?

Wanna just sign a stop-gap and develop The Farm?

Is your player even on this list?!?

 

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