It’s nearly done to death at this point, but the Brewers acquiring William Contreras in a three-team trade with Oakland and Atlanta may have been one of the greatest trade steals in recent memory. And in his first season in a Brewer uniform, not only did Contreras not disappoint, but he was their best player.
Contreras’ 2023 Season Stats: .291/.369/.459 over 611 PA, 17 HR, 78 RBI, 5.4 fWAR
Contreras led the Brewers in many offensive categories, including perhaps the most important one; Wins Above Replacement. His 5.4 fWAR was more than one point higher than anyone else on the team, and 15th best in all of baseball this year. Perhaps more importantly, Contreras played 141 games as a catcher, a rare feat for the modern game
Contreras also led the team in batting average, on-base plus slugging, hits, total bases, and doubles. He finished second in both runs and runs batted in and placed third in walks and home runs. He also recorded a season-best 18-game hit streak for the Brewers, just one of his four double-digit game hit streaks on the season.
Not only was Contreras one of the Brewers best offensive weapons, he was also one of their greatest defensive players. Both his catcher framing and block above-average stats place him comfortably in the top 10 among all MLB catchers, and he caught baserunners at an average clip, including two in the playoffs.
Runner Up: Christian Yelich
2023 Stats: .278/.370/.447 over 632 PA, 19 HR, 76 RBI, 4.1 fWAR
It was a bounce-back year for Yelich, who was the choice for runner-up. Yelich found himself hitting for a bit more power, getting on base consistently, and playing good defense while he was healthy this year. His importance was second only to Contreras, and he rightfully earned the runner-up spot.
What do you think? Was Contreras the right pick? Please share your thoughts and comments below!
Think you could write a story like this? Brewer Fanatic wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.