Just before the MLB lockout went into effect, the Milwaukee Brewers made a pretty big splash.
They completed a deal with the Boston Red Sox to acquire star outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
In return, Milwaukee sent Jackie Bradley Jr. and prospects to Boston.
Outfielder Hunter Renfroe has been traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 2, 2021
Brewers fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about Renfroe.
He’s a clear offensive upgrade over Bradley and should add a lot of pop to Milwaukee’s lineup.
But that’s just one of many reasons.
Here are a handful of others.
3. He’s Coming Off Of Arguably The Best Season Of His Career
The Brewers are getting Renfroe at a great time.
The 29-year-old just put together arguably the best season of his MLB career so far, and the hope is that he’s entering the best years of his career.
In the 2021 campaign, he posted an OPS of .816 and OPS+ of 112.
He smacked 31 home runs, 33 doubles, and drove in 96 runs.
— The Pesky Report (Red Sox Podcast) (@PeskyReport) August 25, 2021
He has had other good power-hitting seasons in the past, but in 2021, he reached base at a much higher clip (.315) than in past years (he had a career OBP of .290 before the season started).
There’s certainly still room for improvement when it comes to his OBP — after all, a .315 mark is still below league average — but it was a big step in the right direction for him.
If he can marginally improve his OBP and also hit for power in 2022, he’s going to become a massive star for Milwaukee.
2. He Has Great Career Numbers Against NL Central Teams
The 2022 season will be Renfroe’s first year playing for a team in the NL Central.
However, over the years, he has seen his fair share of playing time against NL Central clubs.
And although the sample size isn’t huge, he has great numbers against teams in this division.
In 75 career games against NL Central clubs, he has a slash line of .249/.320/.563 (.883 OPS) with 19 home runs, 18 doubles, and one triple.
Moreover, he seems to like hitting in NL Central ballparks.
He has appeared in 40 career games at NL Central stadiums and has an OPS of .807 with 10 home runs and eight doubles.
These are all very good signs.
1. He Does Damage At The Brewers’ American Family Field
Of course, now that Renfroe is a Brewer, the majority of his games are going to be played at Milwaukee’s home stadium, which is (as of recently) known as American Family Field.
Welcome to Milwaukee, Hunter Renfroe🥂
David Stearns swings a trade to bring the talented outfielder to the Brewers. Renfroe had an .816 OPS with 31 HR and 96 RBI in 2021 with Boston. This is good news for offense @Hunter_Renfroe pic.twitter.com/qsjLI1jsen
— IKE Brewers Podcast (@IKE_Brewers) December 2, 2021
And throughout his career, Renfroe has done some major damage at this ballpark.
He has only appeared in nine career games at American Family Field, but his numbers are too crazy to overlook.
In those nine games, he has registered a .303 batting average, 1.197 OPS, five home runs, two doubles, and 27 total bases.
Some guys just see the ball well in certain stadiums, and it definitely seems like that’s the case with Renfroe at American Family Field.
No one is expecting him to maintain a 1.197 OPS, but the fact that he has had so much success at Milwaukee’s home stadium throughout his career is a great sign.