As Spring Training approaches, it is time to make our 2021 Brewers predictions for the upcoming season. There were some concerns after the 2020 season, but with the right faces brought in and a re-discovery of form from the top players then they could see themselves competing in the NL.
2021 Brewers Predictions: Christian Yelich With Huge Batting Average
The 2020 season threw up some big surprises, one being Christian Yelich’s .205 BA and severe reduction in offensive output. However, we are looking at a season that is unique and unlikely to happen again. For the two seasons before this, he averaged .326 and .329, hitting 80 HRs and driving in 207 RBIs.
Settling into a more comfortable setting and getting back to some sort of normality should allow Yelich to get back to his power-hitting best, something that is music to Brewers’ fans’ ears.
Corbin Burnes Continues to Excel
Burnes’ improvement from 2019 to 2020 was incredible. He was always a strikeout pitcher, but his control was more solid and he dominated the mound as he had done in 2018, but instead in a starting pitcher role.
After getting the last couple of seasons under his belt, 2021 could prove to be even more fruitful for the right-handed starter, as he looks to build upon a strong 2020.
Corbin Burnes relied more heavily on his cutter and sinker in 2020, averaging between 93-96mph and causing problems with his spin rate. His whiff rates significantly increased for his off-speed pitches and there was more emphasis on putting hitters away.
An exciting 2021 follows an impressive 2020. If he can stay healthy, this could be a big year for him.
Brewers Hand a Debut to Either Aaron Ashby or Ethan Small
Maybe the most outlandish of our 2021 Brewers Predictions but the Brewers could very well hand a debut to either one of their pitching prospects.
Although Aaron Ashby was part of the 60-man roster, there is hope that Ethan Small may find his way into the thoughts of the Brewers after some solid performances for Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Midwest League in 2019.
Both showcase an impressive arsenal and are both left-handed pitchers. Ashby sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, as well as potentially the best breaking ball in the organization with his power slider. He also has a changeup that has significantly improved since he entered professional baseball.
Small doesn’t throw as hard with his fastball due to TJ Surgery, but his low-90s fastball is effective because of the way he adds deception to his delivery. His curveball can be slightly inconsistent but with more work, and exposure, he could at least make it an average pitch.
Final of the 2021 Brewers Predictions: The Brewers Win the NL Central
This shouldn’t be much of a conversation given that the Brewers’ line-up doesn’t have massive strength, but the NL Central seems to be a division where there is no clear winner.
The Reds are losing CY Young Winner Trevor Bauer to free agency, so they have lost a key part of their pitching arsenal. They also lost Curt Casali (widely-regarded as one of 2021’s underrated FA) to the San Francisco Giants.
The Cardinals could be losing Yadier Molina to free agency, as well as changes in the pitching department, whilst the Pirates aren’t even considered threats after their poor 2020 season and trading away Josh Bell to the Nationals.
It may require some work over the off-season but my 2021 Brewers Predictions involves them winning the NL Central at the very least.
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