We continue on today with our new series slated to run through the next several months of the offseason, taking a look back at each of the 50 players who suited up for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2017 season. We’ll recap their 2017 campaign with an eye looking forward to 2018 as well, as we remember an unexpected and exciting 2017 season at Miller Park.
BRETT PHILLIPS – OF
THE NUMBERS: Phillips appeared in 37 games for Milwaukee in 2017, batting .276/.351/.448. He collected 24 hits in 87 at-bats, including three doubles and four home runs, driving in 12 runs and scoring nine while also going a perfect 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts.
SEASON REVIEW: After what some considered to be a down year at Double-A Biloxi in 2016, Phillips made the jump to Triple-A Colorado Springs to start the 2017 season and he re-gained his prospect status, turning in a big year in the Pacific Coast League and earning his way to the big leagues. Phillips made his MLB debut with the Brewers on June 5th, but was returned to the minors after just five games. He came back up in July and then returned to Milwaukee once again for the remainder of the season as one of the team’s September call-ups.
A ball of energy who has the speed to play center, but a cannon for an arm that works in right field as well, Phillips provided a spark for the Brewers late in the season with both his offense and his defense. While strikeouts have always been a concern for the 23-year-old outfielder, Phillips handled MLB pitching better than many had expected and by season’s end he was a key contributor as the team made their bid for a wild card berth.
GAME OF THE YEAR: Phillips came through in the clutch on several occasions for Milwaukee during the 2017 season, including making several key contributions as the Brewers thumped the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 8-2 at Miller Park on September 13th. He finished the game 2-for-4 and knocked in a season-high three runs, and also came up big defensively, gunning down David Freese with a strong throw to the plate.
OVERALL GRADE: C+
OUTLOOK FOR 2018: With Keon Broxton slumping and Lewis Brinson out with an injury, Phillips took advantage of playing time in big games down the stretch in 2017. He handled himself well, showing he might just be ready for the big stage and he should be given a chance to compete for a position on the big league roster in 2018. With Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Broxton and Brinson all in the mix as well, playing time might be tough to come by, but manager Craig Counsell has shown a willingness to play the matchups and doesn’t have much problem finding at-bats for all of his guys, which should bode well for Phillips with a strong spring showing.