If you know the slightest thing about baseball, it’s probably that the most positive thing you can do is base sharp judgments on players’ performances nine games into spring. It’s just the right thing to do. Kind of like bunting in the top of the first.
For modesty’s sake, we’ll tone down the reactions a bit for the sake of this article. World Series rings aren’t decided within the first week of spring training games, but it can get a player off on the right track and help some players make a name for themselves–just ask Khris Davis, circa 2013.
Which players can we overreact to the most, both positively and negatively after the Brewers’ 5-4 start? Let’s find out!
The 20-year-old Taiwanese southpaw, having never pitched above rookie ball, came into spring already facing heavy odds to make the big league roster. But unlike most players with his age and lack of experience, Wang’s only option in order to not get released is to open up the season with Milwaukee as a Rule 5 draft pick. He’s not making that decision any easier on Brewers’ personnel. Through two outings spanning three innings, Wang has mixed speeds well, had good movement, and spotted the ball well, allowing only one base runner while striking out four. If he keeps going at this rate, it will make for a tough decision come late March.
Okay, okay, yeah, yeah. I know. Ryan Braun wasn’t not going to make this team (sorry, Jim from Racine). But coming into camp, his stock has never been lower. And just when people were looking for reasons to make headlines about his post-suspension struggles, Braun reminded everyone that he doesn’t, in fact, suck at baseball. He hit a no-doubt home run in his first at-bat, and, through four Cactus League games, has only made one out in nine plate appearances with two homers, three RBI. A casual slash line of .857/.889/1.857. You know. The uzhe.
The 23-year-old outfielder won’t be making the team this spring, but the former second round pick has started making people notice this spring. Last season, he emerged as the top prospect from the Brewers 2012 draft class. After dominating in the Arizona Fall League, Haniger is 4-7 with a homer and five RBI. Ron Roenicke said he “looks like he’s going to be a guy that can play every day.” Mitch Haniger is a baseball player and it’s truly a beautiful thing. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
OKAY EVERYBODY CALM DOWN SCOOTER IS GOING TO BE FINE. I hope.
Through four games and 13 at bats, Scoots McGee is hitting .077. He’ll still split time with Rickie Weeks come the actual season, but a shaky spring from a player the Brewers are heavily investing in after 69 games as a rookie doesn’t make me sleep well at night. Here’s to hoping he’s just working on regaining his #grit. That freaking adorable dog must have taken it all away.
Hey, um, Hunter. Yeah, man, you’re not really convincing people that you can produce at the big league level thus far. After scuffling in AAA last season, Morris still had an outsider’s shot at a roster spot coming into camp, or, much like Khris Davis last year, could have raised his big league stock with an impressive camp. So far? No hits in 11 at bats. He’s looked uncomfortable at times and not yet able to get his timing down.
He’s only appeared in one game, but it was Ugly. With a capital U. Three hits, one homer, three runs, no outs. Oh, Johnny, oh.
Scouts saying his swing could use some work. Rolling over on literally everything. C’mon Ben.