Christian Yelich 2021 Season will Make or Break the Brewers
The National League Central is going to be a tightly contested division in 2021. The Brewers are projected to win the division with 83 wins, followed by the Cubs with 80 victories.
Milwaukee got stronger by signing Jackie Bradley Jr. to a two-year deal today. However, the Brew Crew’s success is heavily dependent on Christian Yelich Jr.
If Christian Yelich Jr. does not perform, Milwaukee will have a difficult time winning the NL Central. Yelich’s down year in 2020 was devastating for the Brew Crew, so he will need to rise to the occasion in 2021 to boost Milwaukee to the postseason.
Christian Yelich in 2018 in 2019
Christian Yelich dominated for the Brew Crew in 2018 and 2019. His effort’s in both seasons led the Brewers to the postseason in back-to-back seasons. In 2018, Milwaukee won the NL Central and made it to the NLCS.
In 2019, the Brewers earned a Wild Card berth before losing to the Washington Nationals in the opening round. Yelich put together two consecutive All-Star seasons in 2018 and 2019. The outfielder was feared by pitchers all over the league.
Yelich hit .326 in 2018 and .329 in 2019 with a combined 80 home runs over the two seasons. He repeated as the Silver Slugger for his efforts in both seasons and won the National League MVP in 2018.
In these two seasons, Yelich was unstoppable at the plate. It did not matter who took the bump. The young star was able to hit for contact, average, and power.
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Brewer for Life
The Brewers knew how critical Yelich was to their team’s foundation for the future, and they did not want to take the risk of losing the All-Star outfielder. In March 2020, the Brewers signed Yelich to a massive deal that would keep him in Milwaukee for life.
The Brewers signed Yelich to a nine-year deal worth $215 million following his first seven seasons with the team.
Yelich deserved this deal, but it meant that he would have to be the man for the Brew Crew over the next decade.
Slumps occur in baseball, but Yelich looked like he could not hit a baseball during the 2020 season after inking his new contract.
A Year to Forget
There were a lot of challenges that players had to face in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yelich was unable to overcome the obstacles, according to his season statistics.
I do not believe 2020 indicated what Yelich would do in the future, but he really struggled at the plate. Yelich slashed .205/.356/.430. A year prior, he hit .329/.429/.671.
His average dropped 124 points, his on-base percentage fell 73 points, and his slugging percentage decreased 241 points.
Yelich will undoubtedly want to forget his 2020 slump, but there is pressure for him to perform in 2021. Of course, the Brewers pay him a lot of money and want to see him play to his potential. Although, if he does not offensively produce, the team does not stand a chance in the division, even with the addition of Jackie Bradley Jr.
The Brew Crew in 2021
When you look at the Brewers’ lineup, a few bats stand out in terms of power. Christian Yelich, Keston Hiura, and Jackie Bradley Jr. are the three hitters that will need to carry the Brewers offensive load.
Yelich is projected to hit 35 home runs with 95 RBIs. That is a huge chunk of production that Yelich can conquer, but anything less will open the door for the rest of the division.
Yelich has taken two at-bats in Spring Training thus far. He is batting .500 with a double, so even though this is early, it’s good to see the outfielder with some early success.
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