Brewers look for bounce-back year from Yelich

Yelich seeks a return to form in Milwaukee

Christian Yelich

In the category of players primed for a comeback year, we present for your consideration Christian Yelich.

Indeed, in its 30-year-old left fielder, the Brew Crew have a former MVP and two-time batting champion who has suffered through two straight down years due to a serious knee injury and back problems.

His woes started in September 2019, when he left a game after fouling a ball off his kneecap. Later, an exam revealed the kneecap was fractured, thus ending his season.

He returned for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but hit only .205 with 12 homers, a .356 on-base percentage and a .786 OPS — the latter two numbers respectable but a far cry from his .429 and 1.100 of 2019.

The following year, 2021, was more of same — .248 with only nine homers in 117 games, with a healthy on-base of .362 but the OPS falling to .736. This time, it was lingering back problems that hampered him and kept him on the shelf for much of April and May.

Through the down times, Yelich has been the same steady personality, focused on winning and staying healthy. He’s especially so this season as he and the Brew Crew go for a fifth straight postseason appearance and Yelich tries to return to the form that made him one of the game’s brightest stars from 2016 to 2019.

Yelich and the Brewers can be seen in action Sunday, April 24, when they close out a three-game road series against the Philadelphia Phillies in a contest airing on ESPN.

Player Profile

Full name: Christian Stephen Yelich

Birth date: Dec. 5, 1991

Birthplace: Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Height/weight: 6 feet 3 inches/195 pounds

Teams: Miami Marlins (2013-17); Milwaukee Brewers (2018-present)

Position: Left field

Bats/throws: Left/right

No.: 22

Honors and achievements: NL MVP Award (2018); NL batting champion (2018, 2019); Gold Glove Award (2014); All-Star (2018, 2019); Silver Slugger Award (2016, 2018, 2019); NL Hank Aaron Award (2018, 2019)

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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