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.
MANNY PINA – C
THE NUMBERS: Pina saw action in 107 games for the Brewers in 2017, leading the ballclub with a .279 batting average. He collected 21 doubles and nine home runs while driving in 43 runs and scoring 45, and he finished the season with an OPS of .751.
SEASON REVIEW: Entering Spring Training there was a three-way battle for two catching spots on the Milwaukee roster between Pina, Jett Bandy and Andrew Susac. Pina and Bandy made the 25-man roster, but it was Bandy who got the Opening Day nod for the Brewers. It didn’t take long however for Pina to claim the starting job, as he turned in a productive season both at the plate and behind it. An injury suffered late in the season, knocked him out for the final few games, but the impact that Manny Pineapple had on the Brewers was significant.
An outstanding defender, who cut down 36% of opposing base stealers in 2017, Pina also proved to be one of the best bats in Milwaukee’s lineup. With an aggressive, but consistent approach at the plate, Pina hit for a high average and also showed some pop in his bat, and while there’s no real metric to measure clutch, he did fare better with two outs, late in ballgames and with runners in scoring position than in other, less pressure-filled situations.
GAME OF THE YEAR: Pina came up huge for the Brewers in multiple games in 2017, including three-hit games against Cincinnati, Washington and Arizona, and a four-hit contest against the Reds on April 14th, but no game was more memorable than his performance a month later on Mother’s Day against the Mets. In a wild game at Miller Park, Pina went 2-for-5, including a huge three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the Brewers on top as they went on to defeat New York by a score of 11-9.
OVERALL GRADE: B
OUTLOOK FOR 2018: Pina went down late in the year with a wrist injury following a play at the plate and the Brewers felt his loss. He should be 100% again in 2018 and is the odds on favorite to be Milwaukee’s starting backstop heading into the season. His ability to swing the bat, handle a pitching staff and control the running game make him one of the top catchers in baseball and the Brewers will be thrilled to have him back for another season.