Mic'd-up for Saturday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Yelich owned his failures at the plate:
The 2018 NL MVP entered Saturday's contest hitting .205/.349/.436 with 12 home runs in 56 games. Though he's drawn walks at a career-best 17.6% rate this season, he's also struck out in 31.5% of his plate appearances. He struck out less than 21% of the time in each of his previous six campaigns.
Bad luck could be responsible for some of Yelich's struggles in 2020. His .259 BABIP is the lowest of his career, while his average exit velocity of 94.3 mph is third-highest among qualified hitters behind only Fernando Tatis Jr. and Miguel Sano; the 28-year-old has torn the cover off the ball when making contact.
Still, the results haven't matched the lofty expectations Yelich established after hitting .327 with a 1.05 OPS, 80 home runs, 63 doubles, 10 triples, and 52 stolen bases over his first two seasons in Milwaukee. He was an All-Star during both campaigns, won NL MVP honors in 2018, and finished as the runner-up in 2019. He signed a nine-year, $215-million contract extension with the team as a result.
Milwaukee is clinging to playoff hopes despite Yelich's season-long slump, but it will be eliminated with another loss. If the Brewers somehow make the postseason, they'll need Yelich to be more like his former self to have a chance at playing deep into October.