The Brewers are this year's Cleveland Indians. With strength across the board and a slew of young players, the Brew Crew are the new black.
Brady Clark is an interesting player. My gut tells me he is primed to get hurt. He will be 33 and playing a demanding position (CF). Last season, his ability to steal bases disappeared, too (10 for 23. I'm not an anti-SB sabremetrician, but even I can see he had no business running.) I can't help being lead to conclude that the legs are going fast.
His OBP was good last season and that will keep some critical eyes off his performance, but even there, I am concerned. He walked 53 times in 353 ABs in 2004. In 599 2005 ABs, he walked 48 times. One would have expected more walks. Interestingly, his strikeouts were equally odd. In 2004, he struck out 48 times and only 55 times in 2005.
Given these conflicting indicators, I expect Clark to disappoint.
The Brewers acquired David Bush in the Lyle Overbay trade. If Mike Maddux is as good a pitching coach as I am led to believe, then Bush is ready to breakout this season. He had great AL WHIPs the past two seasons, 1.23 and 1.25, respectively, and he did this with an increased 2005 workload (136 innings vs 97 innings). A move to the NL will only help him as he no longer has to face the Dave Ortizs and Jason Giambis at DH. I expect his strikeouts to increase accordingly. (Not that it matters in 4X4.)
Along with Chuck James and Sidney Ponson, I have David Bush in my top pitching sleepers.
Previously, I had covered JJ Hardy and Nelson Cruz. My thoughts on both have remained unchanged.