Forget the snowballs and start thinking baseball: Brewers On Deck Fan Fest returns to the Wisconsin Center on Sunday, Jan. 26! For anyone headed Downtown to the sold-out event, here is everything to know ahead of Sunday’s festivities.
Get that ink
The Brewers On Deck autograph options are plentiful this year. From the MVPs Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun to emerging stars Brandon Woodruff and Keston Hiura, Crew fans cannot go wrong with their signatures. Check out the full 2020 autograph schedule here!
Efficiency and analytics have taken over the sports world, and you will want to have the same mindset when attacking the autograph lines, as each signer will only ink up to 250 autographs. Here’s a guide to grabbing the five best signatures for under $82 total.
$25: Christian Yelich (11-11:45 a.m.)
$10: Keston Hiura (11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)
$10: Omar Narváez (noon-12:45 p.m.)
$10: Avisaíl García (1-1:45 p.m.)
$25: Bob Uecker (1:45-2:30 p.m.)
Follow that strategy, and you will walk away from the Wisconsin Center with the John Hancocks of a 2020 MVP candidate, one of the most underrated young players in the game, two offensively-minded newcomers and one of the sport’s most iconic voices – all with $2 to spare!
Welcome the newbies
Milwaukee’s front office made a bevy of moves on the peripheries of the roster this offseason, bringing in a handful of new pieces to complement the core of Yelich, Hiura, Woodruff, Josh Hader and Lorenzo Cain. Several of the additions – including starter Josh Lindblom, catcher Omár Narváez, outfielder Avisaíl García and infielders Ryon Healy and Justin Smoak – will be in attendance on Sunday, providing the Crew’s fan base with its first opportunity to welcome the newest Brewers.
Led by Lindblom, the above five newcomers are projected to total 7.1 wins above replacement in 2020. David Stearns is counting on at least one of those players to pop and provide production worthy of a borderline all-star.
Meet the future
The Brewers are rightfully still wrapped up in the present, as any team with Christian Yelich should. (He has amassed 14.7 WAR since the start of 2018.) But for the prospect nuts out there, you will have a chance to catch a glimpse at the future. Several of Milwaukee’s top prospects will be in attendance, including outfielders Corey Ray (no. 4 prospect in 2019) and Tyrone Taylor (no. 24), as well as pitchers Trey Supak (no. 11) and Devin Williams (no. 13).
Taylor and Williams both acquitted themselves nicely in short stints in the majors last season; Taylor batted 4-10 with two doubles over 15 games, while Williams posted a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings of relief. Both will likely play vital depth roles in 2020.
Ray has not lived up to his lofty draft status as the fifth overall selection in 2016 (.235 batting average in nearly 1,500 minor league plate appearances), but the former Louisville product is still young enough for the Brewers to get some sort of return on their investment. There may be an opening in Ray’s natural center field position at some point in the not-so-distant future if Father Time saps Cain’s offensive production yet again.
Must-see game shows
The Brewers are stacking the event stage with a host of Crew-related game shows, as the players put their skills to the test in Charades, Heads Up!, Pictionary, Family Feud and games from various late night shows. Last year’s performances were a big hit, so make sure to stick around for the hilarities.
Here’s betting Lo-Cain is a Pictionary aficionado, because this play to kick off 2019 was a work of art.
When Brian's not writing about sports, he is probably prattling on about Marquette hoops, digging through statistics, or re-binging his favorite television series. Any conversation that begins with a quote from "The Office" or "West Wing" is a surefire way to grab his attention.