6 Milwaukee Brewers (+ one fan) to watch for this season

From William Contreras to Colin Rea: Brewers players to know

Photo courtesy of Erik Drost/CC BY 2.0.

By Ryan Pitkin

May 9, 2024

The Brewers are off to a hot start. These are the hitters, pitchers, and even a fan to familiarize yourself with as summer nears.

The playoffs are in full swing for both the NBA and NHL, and with football still months away, Major League Baseball will soon be the only “Big Four” sport in action.

To be fair, so the MLS season has been underway since February, and no disrespect to them, but when we think summer, we think baseball. Especially in Wisconsin.

Heading into the season, Milwaukee was expected to win just 78.5 games in 2024, which would amount to a losing season. And yet, since Opening Day on March 29, the Brewers have come out of the gate hot, winning 20 out of 33 games and, at the time of this writing, sitting atop the National League Central standings.

Time to hop on that bandwagon while there’s still room! For fans new and old, here are the players (and fan) to watch for:

William Contreras

Catcher

From William Contreras to Colin Rea: Brewers players to know

Photo courtesy of D. Benjamin Miller/CC0 1.0.

In December 2022, backstop William Contreras was part of a three-team trade that sent him from the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves team, where he had played the first three years of his career, to the Brewers, where he has since become a beloved part of the roster.

Earlier this month, Fox Sports’ Deesha Tosar called Contreras the best catcher in baseball, and it’s hard to argue with that take. After 33 games, he was leading the team in hits, runs, doubles and RBIs. Contreras has also been greatly improving his defensive skills during his short time with the Brew Crew, making his acquisition in 2022 even more of a steal.

Christian Yelich

Left Fielder

Arriving from Miami in a trade following the 2017 season, Christian Yelich went on to make an immediate impact, playing in the 2018 All-Star Game and bringing the Brewers their first batting title in franchise history — taking MVP honors home in the process.

In the time since, he’s become a fixture in Milwaukee, and he was off to a hot start this year, hitting .333 over 11 games before falling to a back sprain in mid-April.

Yelich’s absence has left a gaping hole in the Brewers’ lineup, so fans took notice in early May when he finally began to take batting practice on the field with his teammates, signaling that he may return without needing to go to Nashville for a rehab assignment in the minors.

Brice Turang & Willy Adames

Middle Infield

From William Contreras to Colin Rea: Brewers players to know

Photo courtesy of Brice Turang via X.

Having replaced Willy Adames for 10 games in 2023, Brice Turang has now joined him in the middle infield, with Adames at shortstop and Turang playing second base. The two have become a dynamic duo — you might even say lightning and thunder.

From William Contreras to Colin Rea: Brewers players to know

Willy Adames courtesy of All-Pro Reels/CC BY-SA 2.0

Adames has provided the thunder with a team-leading six home runs to start the season while Turang has shown flash on the base paths, stealing 14 bases without getting caught once. No one else on the team even has half that number.

Colin Rea

Starting Pitcher

From William Contreras to Colin Rea: Brewers players to know

Photo courtesy of Orixbaseballclub/CC BY-SA 4.0.

When the Brewers announced on Feb. 1 that they had traded 2021 Cy Young Award-winner Corbin Burnes, many fans wondered who would be the team’s ace in the new season. Colin Rea has stepped up to fill that role, winning three of his six starts with no losses and keeping his ERA well below 3.00. With Wade Miley now on the injured reserve, his production has been all the more crucial.

A bit of a journeyman, Rea not only played for the Padres, Marlins and Cubs before arriving in Milwaukee, he even played a stint with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan between his two terms with the Brewers. Now in his 14th season, Rea is a gem in the clubhouse for his experience, but it helps all the more when he’s dealing like he has been.

Bryan Hudson

Relief Pitcher

From William Contreras to Colin Rea: Brewers players to know

Photo courtesy of MLB.

Everyone knows you need a strong bullpen to compete, and with a number of relievers on the IL, Hudson has been lighting opponents up, striking out 21 batters in 19 innings. With an ERA of just 0.93 in those 19 innings, he’s been an important piece of the puzzle out of the bullpen early this year.

Hudson threw his first pitch in the major leagues last June, and the young southpaw came to Milwaukee from Los Angeles in a January trade. Having played high school ball in Alton, Illinois, he’s right at home back in the Midwest.

Bonus: The Girl Behind Home Plate – Amy Williams

She’s not a player, coach, analyst or even on staff at American Family Field, but anyone who watches enough Brewers games on Bally Sports will recognize Amy Williams, aka Front Row Amy.

Williams has sat in Row 1, Seat 5 for more than a decade now, gaining national attention during last year’s playoff games. According to a profile in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last October, Williams wasn’t even a baseball fan until she attended her first Brewers game in 2007.

A resident of Oshkosh who drives 90 minutes to every game she can make it to, Williams has found that she prefers attending baseball games alone, bu if you’re lucky she’ll snap a pic with you.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.6 Milwaukee Brewers (+ one fan) to watch for this season6 Milwaukee Brewers (+ one fan) to watch for this season

Author

  • Ryan Pitkin

    Ryan Pitkin is a writer and editor based in Charlotte, where he runs an alternative weekly newspaper called Queen City Nerve. He is also editor of NoDa News, a community newsletter in the neighborhood where he has lived for 15 years.

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