The Milwaukee Brewers had an exciting 2021 regular season, but their year came to an end in the NLDS.
It was a frustrating end to an otherwise memorable season for Milwaukee.
Still, fans should be optimistic about the year’s developments.
Along the way, the club’s rotation emerged as arguably the best unit in the big leagues.
But with the staff being loaded with elite arms, some of Milwaukee’s pitchers went overlooked this season.
One guy in particular fits that description: Eric Lauer.
The 26-year-old had an outstanding campaign, and today, we’re giving him the attention he deserves.
Lauer’s 2021 Season In Review
The 2021 season was Lauer’s fourth at the MLB level.
He made a statement, putting together a career year by almost every measure.
He made 24 appearances (20 starts) and posted some extremely impressive numbers.
The southpaw registered a 3.19 ERA, 134 ERA+, 4.04 FIP, and 1.14 WHIP.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 30, 2021
Near the end of the season, he went on an incredible run in which he pitched to a 1.78 ERA over a span of 14 appearances (13 starts).
He was lights-out during that stretch, and that was when it became clear what he’s capable of.
It’ll be fascinating to see where he goes from here.
If he can post similar numbers in 2022, it’ll be time to put him in the conversation with some of the league’s other brightest young stars.
The Surprise Of The Year For Milwaukee
Candidly, very few people saw this type of year coming for Lauer.
Prior to the 2021 season, the lefty had been iffy at the MLB level.
He posted a 4.34 ERA in 2018, 4.45 ERA in 2019, and 13.09 ERA in 2020 (over limited action).
Expectations weren’t very high for him going into the 2021 season.
But whatever those expectations were, he blew them out of the water.
Eric Lauer has been very underrated this season
— George Robbins (@george_f_r77) September 8, 2021
He’s now projected to be a key piece of Milwaukee’s rotation for years to come, and that’s great news for all involved parties.
Lauer is proving that he belongs on the roster of a championship-contending team.
The Brewers Have Lauer Under Club Control Until 2025
Although Milwaukee didn’t get the job done in 2021 in its quest for a title, the organization’s window to win is going to be open for several years.
With Lauer under club control until 2025, Milwaukee is going to be the beneficiary of his growth for a long time.
Of course, if he continues to look like a top arm, then the Brewers should consider extending him before he becomes a free agent.
If Milwaukee wants to be a sustainable contender, then retaining young talent has to be a priority.
Plus, elite lefties don’t come along very often, which is exactly what Lauer was in 2021.
The Brewers need to take a step forward in 2022.
As mentioned, their window to win isn’t closing anytime soon, but fans are getting frustrated with the fact that the Brewers seem to take an early playoff exit every year.
Despite making the playoffs in four straight years, they haven’t advanced past the NLDS since 2018.
Only time will tell if that changes in 2022.NEXT: Brewers Likely Stuck With Jackie Bradley Jr. In 2022 For Better Or Worse