Today is part two of a five-part series of projections being featured on ‘Roll Out the Barrel.’ From now until opening day, we will be highlighting every position and their projected 2013 numbers. Today we are taking a look at the Milwaukee infield.
The Brewers return their entire infield from 2012 and their is a lot to be excited about across the diamond. Aramis Ramirez brings 15 years of experience to the hot corner and Rickie Weeks will be the Opening Day second baseman for the ninth time in Milwaukee. Corey Hart will start the year on the disabled list but Taylor Green and Alex Gonzalez are solid utility infielders. And Jean Segura will be the starting shortstop after flashing plenty of potential at the end of last season.
|#9 Jean Segura SS|
As the centerpiece coming back to the Brewers from the Zack Greinke trade, there is reason for excitement in Milwaukee for the first full season with Segura starting at shortstop. After getting off to a slow start when he came to the Crew, Segura finished his 2012 season batting .343 for the month of September with a .418 OBP in 22 games. One of the biggest areas that I expect Jean to improve upon this year is his activity on the base paths. After stealing only 7 bases in 2012, Segura has the potential to be a 30+ base stealer.
|#23 Rickie Weeks 2B|
Its hard to think that this will be Weeks tenth season in the major leagues, the 30-year-old was drafted second overall in 2003. Weeks is one of the premier power hitting second baseman in the league as he has hit for 20+ home runs in each of the last three seasons. Rickie had a very slow start to the 2012 season, but he went on to bat .261 with 13 homers after the all-star break.
|#16 Aramis Ramirez 3B|
Ramirez has been known as a slow starter, but the end result is well worth the wait. Aramis finished the 2012 season with a .300 batting average while hitting 27 home runs and driving in 105 runs. Ramirez was an extra-base hit machine last season as he 50 doubles and had a slugging percentage of .540. He did a great job of protecting Ryan Braun in the batting lineup after the departure of Prince Fielder. Aramis was also brilliant on defense a year ago and in my opinion was a snub for the NL Gold Glove award at third base.
|#1 Corey Hart 1B|
Hart had surgery in January and it will force him to start the season on the disabled list. Doctors expect him to be out until mid-May but Corey is ahead of schedule on recovery and is eyeing a quicker return to the Brewers lineup. Hart has been one of the most successful power-hitting outfielders in baseball over the last three seasons, but made the switch to first base last season due to the injury of Mat Gamel.
|#5 Taylor Green IF|
|#11 Alex Gonzalez|
*Bill James projections acquired from Baseball Info Solutions and The Bill James Handbook
*ZiPS Projections Courtesy of Dan Szymborski