Rowdy Tellez had some memorable moments in his first full year with Brewers
If there was a way to endear himself to Milwaukee Brewers fans, Rowdy Tellez did it on Friday night.
First, he hit a two-run home run in the first inning that opened the scoring in an eventual 5-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds at American Family Field. Tellez followed that up by stealing second base in the third inning – an unlikely moment that caused the 6-foot-4, 255-pound first baseman to throw his hands in the air in celebration and the dugout burst in. cheers.
Then, for good measure, he secured the line of the night in stride.
“I didn’t throw it,” Tellez said afterwards, referring to his secondary lead and eventual robber who caught Reds receiver Michael Papierski so off guard he was never even ejected .
The stolen base was the second of his career and the first since June 12, 2019, when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Speed kills,” he said. “I can’t wait to see all the memes that look like cheeseburgers or hotdogs floating past me, running around. They’re going to be everywhere, so it’s going to be fun. Luckily I don’t have social media.”
A home-run hitter with wheels and sense of humor?
Rowdy Tellez leads the Brewers this season in many offensive categories
It doesn’t get better than this in Milwaukee, where the “Row-dy! Row-dy!” the chants got louder and more abundant in 2022 with Tellez entering Saturday leading the Brewers in homers with 22, runs scored with 70, doubles with 20, total bases with 171 and added hits with 42.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” Tellez said Saturday, ahead of a rare day out of the lineup. “It’s a job; there are ups and downs that go with it and stress that goes with it. But being somewhere where you’re wanted and appreciated – not just by the manager and the front office, but the whole city – It’s great. It’s a really good feeling.
“I just try to be as real as a person as I can be. I joke a lot. I have fun. But I also eat, sleep, breathe and tie my shoes like everyone else, unless I have my velcros on. I was just blessed to be able to hit a baseball, and that’s really the only difference between me and other people.”
Tellez had some memorable moments for the Brewers in 2022
Tellez just celebrated his first birthday with the Brewers on July 6, and since moving from the squad at first base to the team’s daily option there.
While his .240 average isn’t what he or the Brewers would like, he’s otherwise done a terrific job as a run producer and hasn’t been a liability with the glove.
On May 4 against the Reds, he broke the franchise record for RBI in a game with eight and set a career-high four hits — including a pair of home runs, one of which was a grand slam — to win. a victory.
Then on July 27, Tellez hit two more homers and drove in six runs, joining Geoff Jenkins (2001), Jonathan Lucroy (2015), and Ryan Braun (2016) as the only players in team history to have played in two six-RBI games in one season. .
Tellez has also produced four of his nine career two-homer games so far.
He also does some of his best work at the most important moments, with a .333/6/43 line and 1.162 OPS with runners in scoring position and a .314/2/18/1.149 line with runners in scoring position. score and two outs. .
Tellez’s overall production at this point (in 101 games in 399 plate appearances) is very similar to the .227/21/54 line he put up in 111 games and 409 plate appearances in 2019 with Toronto, when he was in a peloton with Justin Smoak.
“My dad talked about it last night, actually,” Tellez said. “I just think the ability to play on both sides of the ball every day has helped me and being a consistent factor in the line-up has been a big thing for me.
“Being able to drive 70 races with two months to go puts me in a good position to really achieve some goals to help this team win – and in the long term too.”
Analysts also like Tellez’s season to date, as he ranks in the 73rd percentile or better in baseball in seven different offensive categories with maximum exit speed (98th) and expected slugging percentage (94th), his peripherals the most powerful.
Tellez’s plate discipline can continue to improve, says Counsell
“He’s had a good year, he’s done a good job,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Obviously there are paths for him to improve and we will continue to pursue them with him.
“One of the things Rowdy can do better is make contact – which is a good thing – but expanding his sweetspot is probably what gets him out a bit. I think you see teams trying to go after that.”
Tellez’s 77 strikeouts are third on the team, but his strikeout rate (61st percentile) and smell rate (65th) are reasonable. He’s also chasing a career low 27.7% of the time and swinging on the first pitch a career low 20.1%.
In short, there is certainly progress on the way and more room to grow as a hitter for the 27-year-old, who is under the team’s control until 2024.
“This is my first real full season playing every day,” Tellez said. “I want to finish strong. I want to help this team win. I want to go as far as possible. And if that means I have to take the load, then I will take it.
“But I’m here, just like the other 25 of us trying to get into the World Series and win it. For me, it’s just going as far as I can go. If I don’t hit another home run and that I’m not driving in another race this year, but playing Gold Glove defense, or if it’s the other way around, all they need me to do is what I’m going to do for this team.”
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