Over the past two seasons, 3rd baseman Travis Shaw became a fan favorite in Boston, largely due to the efforts of Jared Carrabis of Barstool Sports. Last year, “The Mayor of Ding Dong City” beat out Pablo Sandoval as the Red Sox starter at the hot corner, but following an inconsistent year at the plate, he found himself as part of a trade to the Milwaukee Brewers that brought back reliever Tyler Thornburg. This time last year, Shaw was fighting for playing time in perhaps the worst possible ballpark for a power-hitting lefty. The Mayor now finds himself as the everyday third basemen and cleanup hitter for the Brew Crew. Not only does he finally have job security, but he’ll be playing his home games in the park with the best home run factor for lefties. I’m not a fan of putting stock into Spring Training stats, but Shaw slugged 5 homers with a 1.154 OPS in 22 exhibition games. Through the first 5 games of the season, Shaw is 2nd in the MLB with 5 extra base hits. He is slashing .333/.429/.722 on the young campaign. In the past, Shaw has struggled mightily against southpaws; his two-double performance on Tuesday against Tyler Anderson suggests that he may be able to finally put that problem behind him and become a more complete hitter.
Sure, it’s still April 8th, but there is certainly reason to believe that Shaw will continue to produce. Alongside the always reliable Ryan Braun, breakout candidates Eric Thames, Domingo Santana, and Keon Broxton, and dynamic table-setter Jonathan Villar, the Brewers lineup could be a fun one all season long.
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