Brewers 2022 Season Guide - The Essentials

In preparation of the lockout ending, we are preparing 2022 season guides for EVERY MLB team. This is the first for another team other than the Astros. I give you the Milwaukee Brewers. This was by boyhood team. Yount and Molitor were to me what Bagwell and Biggio or Correa and Altuve have been to generations of Astros fans. Enough of the personal refections of a team of 40 years ago; let's talk today's Milwaukee Brewers.


The structure of all of these guides will be the same and be updated with input and changes as I receive and process it especially for the other teams.

  1. Analysis of the MLB projected roster

  2. Heatmap

  3. Projected Batting Lineup per Roster Resource

  4. Projected Pitching Lineup per Roster Resource

  5. Position by position ratings

  6. Greatest Strengths

  7. Greatest Weaknesses

  8. Top Prospects – focusing on those who can impact in 2022

  9. Payroll analysis- flexibility for trades or additional free agent signings

  10. Areas to Address before Start of Season

  11. Season Prediction

The Brewers have been generally a very good team over the past few years

  • 2017- 86-76, 2nd in NL Central, no postseason

  • 2018- 96-67, 1st in NL Central, lost NLCS, tied franchise record for season wins

  • 2019- 89-73, 2nd in NL Central. lost NLWC game

  • 2020- 29-31, 4th in NL Central, lost NLWC series (expanded playoffs)

  • 2021- 95-67, 1st in NL Central, lost NLDS

Let's explore if they can continue their success and perhaps do even better.


Analysis of the Brewers Projected Roster

(per Roster Resource on Fangraphs.com)

Heatmap


Here is the overall projected WAR of each team by position for each team as of January 2022. The key for this table is to understand where the Brewers rank by position to understand their relative strengths and weaknesses as a team to the league. In short, the top team will be deep red, and the bottom team will be dark blue. The table attached is sorted by overall WAR.




Projected Batting Lineup per Roster Resource


The stats shown here are PROJECTED 2022 stats. The table in green shows the league average OPS and wOBA for each spot in the batting order in 2021. It then shows the projected team performance vs. the league average in 2021.


Most of the Brewers lineup is basically average. Spots #7 and #8 are above average. Basically the Brewers have a lot of the same quality of hitters - no one projects as an MVP level superstar but no one projects as an offensively liability.


Projected Pitching Lineup per Roster Resource

The average ERA/ FIP in the NL

Starting Pitchers- 4.22/ 4.22

Relief Pitchers- 4.19/ 4.2

Projected stats in table are heat mapped vs. these averages


The Brewers pitching is awesome top to bottom.


Position-by-position Rankings

The Brewers relative rank by position is shown below.

Greatest Strengths

  1. The Brewers project to have INCREDIBLE pitching

  2. The Brewers project to have the BEST relief pitching in the MLB. Almost every high leverage RP is very good.

  3. Their top three starting pitchers can compete with almost everyone. Overall, the SP projects #3 in WAR.

  4. The Brewers have no real black holes of batting in their lineup.

  5. Yelich is a very good player but does not seem to be the MVP superstar he once was. Read more about Yelich here.

  6. The Brewers were 6th in DRS in 2021. They should continue to be a strong defensive team.


Greatest Weaknesses

  1. The Brewers appear to have very few glaring weaknesses. I think the biggest weakness is the lack of superstar/ MVP level batter beyond a potential Yelich return to glory.

  2. Overall the Brewers bats rank #20 in the MLB and #7 in the NL in projected WAR. From the position analysis the First Base (#24), Catching (#20), Right Field (#19), Third Base (#18), and Center Field (#17) are all below average WAR, but First Base with Tellez is the lowest ranked.

  3. The Brewers are ranked in 28th by Baseball America in Organization Rankings. Perhaps the overall minor league talent is the greatest Brewers weakness.

Top Prospects – focusing on those who can impact in 2022

According to MLB Pipeline, these are the Brewers top prospects.

The top prospects here seem to be capable of filling in for the MLB team if there are injuries. It is still to be seen if the Brewers prospects are ready to start on a full time basis. Mitchell could be an upgrade in the OF if the hit tool develops.


Payroll analysis- flexibility for trades or additional free agent signings

According to the Roster Resource payroll projection; the Brewers currently project to have a $134M payroll in 2022. The CBA negotiations will determine a new CBT level (assuming the CBT system remains.) Assuming a new CBT of $220-230M, the Brewers have significant payroll space but due to the size of their market; but they may not be eager to expand payroll significantly.


Read more about the CBA and CBT here.


Areas to Address before Start of Season

  • The Brewers seem locked in with their pitching to be a good team. The overall below average offense keeps the Brewers from being a GREAT team.

  • IF the CBA leads to a universal DH, the Brewers might pursue an upgrade at 1B and move Tellez more to a DH role. Schwarber and Rizzo would be the ideal upgrade options under this scenario.

  • The Brewers should scout and mine for diamonds in the rough especially with position players. Can they find undervalued players that could be added in the way the Braves did in mid-season last year?

Season Prediction- As currently constructed, the Brewers project to win 84-90 games and finish first in the NL Central. Overall, the division is expected to be fairly weak and a two team race between the Brewers and the Cardinals.


Please give me your thoughts on this guide and any questions you have in the Forums here. I would ENCOURAGE Brewers fans reading this to give me feedback to where I have gotten it wrong for your team, and I will evaluate that feedback and fix this article accordingly.


Select the category "2022 MLB Team Guides" to see the other team guides or check out the Forum index.


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