Teams have taken two approaches to the DH; some look for one player to take most at-bats, often one who is a liability in the field due to age or some other factor. Others rotate it around among players. The Brewers have done both over the years. So, who were the best Brewers to hold down the designated hitter spot?
5. Dick Davis
.264/.291/.390 with 21 HR and 103 RBI in four seasons
Here’s some bar trivia: Name the Brewer with the most seasons as the team’s primary designated hitter. Answer: Dick Davis, who also spent time in the outfield. In three seasons, Davis provided slightly below-average offense from the position and often was thrust into extended playing time due to Larry Hisle’s multiple injuries. After 1980, he was traded to the Phillies for Randy Lerch.
4. Hank Aaron
.232/.326/.360 with 22 HR and 95 RBI in two seasons
Hank Aaron returned to Milwaukee for two seasons in a deal that sent Dave May to the Braves. The deal worked out better for the Crew than the Braves by a thin margin, as Aaron delivered more counting stats. While not quite at his prime when he played for the then-Milwaukee Braves, he still was a force to be reckoned with.
3. Dave Parker
.281/.330/.451 with 21 HR and 92 RBI in one season
The Brewers signed Parker to a two-year contract in 1990, and Parker delivered as the team’s full-time DH, holding down the clean-up spot that season. Parker didn’t just help on the field; he helped the 1990 team make an early run by injecting some attitude – and it may be no coincidence that 1990 was the best season Gary Sheffield had with the Brewers. He was traded for Dante Bichette prior to the 1991 season.
2. Kevin Seitzer
.300/.376/.422 in five seasons with the Brewers, one as the primary DH
Seitzer had two stints with the Brewers and often played third base, but in 1996, he served as the primary DH due to the emergence of Jeff Cirillo. It worked out well for the Brewers, even with his late-season trade to Cleveland, since the return was Jeromy Burnitz, arguably the best right fielder in the team’s history.
1. Paul Molitor
.303/.367/.404 with 160 HR and 790 RBI in 15 seasons, two as primary DH
Paul Molitor will also appear twice in the top spot and is the only Brewer to make the top five at three positions. He not only was the primary DH in 1991 and 1992, but he also spent significant time at the position in 1981 (16 games), 1987 (58 games), 1988 (49 games), and 1989 (29 games).
Andrew McCutcheon gave the Brewers a solid 2022 season. Brooks Kieschnick posted 1.2 Wins Above Replacement as the Brewer's primary DH in 2003. Khris Davis served as the team’s primary DH in 2013. Dave Nilsson was never the team’s primary DH but spent significant time at the position in multiple seasons. Greg Vaughn was the primary DH for one season and spent a lot of time there in two others.
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