MLB Analysis: Christian Yelich Traded to Milwaukee Brewers

By Matt Johnson on Thursday, January 25th 2018
MLB Analysis: Christian Yelich Traded to Milwaukee Brewers

A few days after the Milwaukee Brewers reportedly made an offer for Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, the teams now agreed to a deal. On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Miami sent Yelich to Milwaukee for prospects Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, Isan Diaz and Jordan Yamamoto.

Yelich requested a trade out of Miami after the team started its teardown this offseason and shipped off outfield mates Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. Yelich saw the writing on a wall and requested a trade, seeking to move away from an organization set for 100-plus losses in each of the next two seasons.

Milwaukee's decision to give up its No.1 and two additional top-10 prospect to land Yelich speaks to a clear desire to be in the thick of a playoff race this coming season. It's only further fueled by rumors linking Milwaukee to free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain, a deal that would allow Milwaukee to trade Domingo Santana for a starting pitcher to upgrade its rotation.

Last season in Miami, Yelich posted another All Star season. In 695 plate appearances, the 26-year-old posted a .282/.369/.439 slash line, .348 wOBA, 115 wRC+, 18 home runs, 16 stolen bases and scored 100 runs for the first time in his career. In terms of overall value, Yelich finished with the third-highest fWAR (4.5) amongst center fielders with 145-plus games played.

Miami moved Yelich to left field for defensive purposes in 2017. The move went fairly well as Yelich finished with the fourth-highest RngR (6.5) amongst qualified outfielders and finished 10th in Defensive Rating (2.4). In terms of plays made, it shows center field proved to be a greater challenge for Yelich. Amongst players with 900-plus innings in center field, Yelich finished with the worst conversion of 'likely' plays at 66.7 percent, but he finished top 10 in unlikely plays converted.

He should do well defensively in center field for Milwaukee, but the biggest change for him will be the benefits of Miller Park with his bat. Yelich's move from pitcher-friendly Miami to one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball should do great things for the youngster as he seeks to put a jump in his power numbers.

The landing spot for Yelich statistically and in terms of fit is perfect and should help establish him as one of the game's top-15 outfielders.

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