Milwaukee Brewers Top Bounce-Back Candidate For 2023

From All-Star in 2021, to cast-off in 2022. It's been a very quick fall from grace for the Milwaukee Brewers' new designated hitter, former first-rounder Jesse Winker. 

But this is precisely why he is the Brew Crew's top bounce-back candidate for the coming season. Upon closer examination, there are myriad reasons why Winker has a good chance to return to respectability in 2023. 

  • Ballpark: Winker went from the great hitting environment of Cincinnati in 2021, where he hit .305 with a .949 OPS and 24 home runs, to a ballpark in Seattle in '22 that ranked 19th in home run friendliness for a left-handed hitter such as Winker. American Family Field in Milwaukee ranked 5th-best in that department. 
  • Health: Winker spent the 2022 season in Seattle trying to play through a meniscus injury in his left knee, as well as a serious neck injury. He had offseason surgery to correct both. In the case of his neck, he said the disc replacement procedure paid immediate dividends; it was something that had plagued him for years.
  • Positive Regression: In his five previous seasons in the big leagues, Winker had never had an OPS below .830, and in fact was over .900 three times. So the .688 of last season was a clear outlier.
Oh and by the way, he's back home in the NL Central, where he's done some damage in some familiar stadiums:
The only real question is can Winker stay healthy for a full season. If he does, the Brewers just may have a nice bounce-back candidate on their hands. 

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports