Two of the Brewers newest additions, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, have gotten off to fast starts for the team. Cain has nine hits in his first four games while Yelich has seven.
At this pace, Cain will end the season with 365 hits and Yelich will collect 284. Highly unlikely, I might add.
If, however, Cain and Yelich can continue their fast starts over the course of the season, they could become the 2.0 version of Brewers legends Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. A formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup would certainly go a long way to the Brewers having success in 2018.
There has been only one season in Brewers history where two (or more) teammates collected 200 or more hits in the same season. In 1982, Cecil Cooper (205), Paul Molitor (201) and Robin Yount (210) each passed the 200-hit milestone.
If we drop the hit total down to 180 hits in a season, there have also been seven other seasons where a pair of Brewers teammates both had 180 or more hits that campaign. The last time was in 1998 when Jeff Cirillo (194) and Fernando Vina (198) each had more than 180 hits in a season.
Following are the eight seasons when the Brewers had two or more teammates with 180 or more hits in the same season.
1973: George Scott (185) and Davey May (189)
1979: Cecil Cooper (182) and Paul Molitor (188)
1980: Ben Oglivie (180) and Cecil Cooper (219)
1982: Cooper (205), Molitor (201) and Yount (210)
1983: Ted Simmons (185) and Cecil Cooper (203)
1988: Molitor (190) and Yount (190)
1989: Molitor (194) and Yount (195)
1998: Cirillo (194) and Vina (198)
The Brewers are hoping Cain and Yelich (and maybe another player or two) might join this list.
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A lot has been noted this season about the Brewers scoring a lot of runs in the first inning (it happened again on Sunday when they tallied three runs in the first inning). Let’s take a look a few individual stats for Brewers players in the first inning.
A look at the Brewers players stats in the first inning shows that Robin Yount has the team record for most career first-inning hits (578), Ryan Braun holds the team mark for most career first-inning home runs (69) and RBIs (211) and Paul Molitor holds the team record for most first-inning stolen bases (119).
I was a little surprised, however, when I discovered that a current player (not Ryan Braun) holds the team-best batting average in the first inning. For all Milwaukee players who have at least 100 plate appearances in the first inning, right-fielder Domingo Santana has the best first-inning batting average at .368 (I guess Counsell needs to make sure that Santana is batting either 1-2 or 3 in the Brewers batting order).
Here are the six Brewers players who have a .320 or better first-inning career batting average with the club (again, minimum of 100 plate appearances in the first inning to qualify for the list).
Domingo Santana .368
Bill Spiers .358
Jeff Cirillo .333
Dave Nilsson .325
Sixton Lezcano .320
Scooter Gennett .320
With all due respect to the great Hank Aaron, the worst career first-inning batting average for the Brewers (minimum of 100 plate appearances in the first inning) is Aaron’s .184.
Here’s a trivia question for today (the answer will appear at the end of this column)… Can you name the youngest and oldest players to hit a home run for the Brewers?
Last night top prospect Rafael Devers became the youngest Boston Red Sox player to hit a home run in more than 50 years at age 20 years and 275 days. In case you were wondering, the youngest player ever to hit an HR in a major league game was Tommy Brown on August 20, 1945. Brown was 17 years, 257 days old when he homered that day for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Since 2000, the youngest player to hit a home run in the majors was Jurickson Profar of Texas. He was 19 years and 195 days when he hit his long ball on September 2, 2012.
Now to answer the above trivia question… if you answered Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, you know your Brewers trivia. Yount was 18-209 when he hit his first homer for the Brewers. Aaron was 42-166 when he hit his last HR for the Brew Crew.
Here’s a look at the six youngest and six oldest Brewers to ever hit a home run for the team.
Youngest (Years-Days) Robin Yount 18-209 Darrell Porter 19-240 Gary Sheffield 19-296 Sixto Lezcano 20-296 Prince Fielder 21-047 Yovani Gallardo 21-174
Oldest (Years-Days) Hank Aaron 42-166 Rick Dempsey 41-342 Craig Counsell 41-013 Jim Edmonds 40-029 Jim Gantner 39-222 Dave Parker 39-093
Here’s a great trivia question for Brewers fans:
Can you name the five players who played their entire career with the Brewers (minimum of 500 games)? Hint: Two of them are currently on the Brewers roster. (Answer to follow)
It’s pretty rare to find a player who spends their entire MLB career with one team, especially if that career has a lot of mileage. Of the 22 players who played 2,800 or more games in the majors in their careers, only seven played all of their games with one team (Carl Yastrzemski, Stan Musial, Cal Ripken, Jr., Brooks Robinson, Robin Yount, Craig Biggio and Al Kaline).
As most avid Brewers fans know, Yount spent his entire career with the Brewers and holds the number one spot in this stat with 2,856 career games, all with the Brewers. One of Yount’s running mates during his career, Jim Gantner, holds the number two spot on this list with 1,801 career games, again, all with the Brewers.
Here goes… the 12 players who played (or have played) 200 or more career games in the majors, all with the Brewers.
1. Robin Yount, 2,856
2. Jim Gantner, 1,801
3. Ryan Braun, 1,219 (currently on Brewers roster)
4. Dave Nilsson, 837
5. Jonathan Lucroy, 710 (currently on Brewers roster)
6. Scooter Gennett, 320 (currently on Brewers roster)
7. Mark Brouhard, 304
8. Jerry Augustine, 279
8. Matin Maldonado, 279 (currently on Brewers roster)
10. Bill Wegman, 266
11. Ron Theobald, 251
12. Teddy Higuera, 213
How well did you do on the trivia question? Yount and Gantner were easy; Braun and Lucroy was pretty easy guesses, especially with the hint, but Nilsson… that one I would have missed.
A pair of Brewers who were on the roster last year would have been on the above list but are no longer in the organization. Khris Davis was traded to Oakland few weeks ago; he had 321 games with the Brewers and will most likely add a few MLB games to his career with the A’s. Logan Schafer has 292 games with the Brewers in his career, but is now in the Washington Nationals organization.
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With his 12 home runs this season, Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun now has 242 career home runs, all with the Brewers. He is currently second on the team’s career HR list and is just nine homers away from tying Robin Yount for the franchise career mark.
Braun is one of two current players who may take over his team’s career lead for home runs this season. While Braun is 10 HRs away from the Brewers top spot, the New York Mets’ David Wright is 22 four-baggers away from taking over the Mets’ career HR mark. Wright currently has 231 home runs, 21 behind Darryl Strawberry who holds the record.
While Braun and Wright may be the only two current players who could take over their teams’ career HR in the immediate future, here’s a look at the franchises that have a current player within 150 home runs of the team HR record. (Numbers reflect totals through games of May 25)
HRs needed to tie club record for career homers
9: Milwaukee (Ryan Braun 242, Robin Yount 251)
21: New York Mets (David Wright 231, Darryl Strawberry 252)
45: Washington/Montreal: Ryan Zimmerman 189, Vladimir Guerrero 234)
107: Boston (David Ortiz 414, Ted Williams 521)
126: Toronto (Jose Bautista 210, Carlos Delgado 336)
129: Arizona (Paul Goldschmidt 95, Luis Gonzalez 224)
136: Detroit (Miguel Cabrera 263, Al Kaline 399)
138: Miami (Marcell Ozuna 29, Giancarlo Stanton 167*)
142: Tampa Bay (Desmond Jennings 47, Evan Longoria 189*)
* Team leader is still active with team
One final thought: As the title of this blog may indicate, I have some doubts whether or not Ryan Braun will be around to break Robin Yount’s career HR record. Two factors play into my thought; first, the Brewers currently have the worst record in baseball and there are very few signs that a turn-around this season is imminent. That could lead to the club looking to trade some of their higher-priced talent in a rebuilding plan. Braun would be a logical candidate, plus he would have value to teams looking for added punch for the pennant drive. Secondly, Robin Yount is a beloved player in the Brewers history. Braun, on the other hand, had seen his reputation tarnished over the past couple of seasons. It’s possible that some people in the Brewers organization will not want to see Braun take over the career HR mark from Yount. The career HR mark is a very visible record for any franchise. The thought may be that the club would rather have Yount retain that record than see Braun overtake him. Keep an eye on this as the season progresses and Braun gets closer to the record.
I’m just saying…
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