I can't say that I've ever actually believed in Casey McGehee. You look at his career in the minor leagues and you just don't see the player that we see everyday. In 2005 at Triple-A Iowa he had 497 at-bats, hit 12 homeruns and had a .774 OPS. That was the best season he ever had in the minors. Last season he hit 16 homeruns with a .859 OPS in only 355 at-bats and was the Brewers 3rd most valuable player. It didn't seem right. It seemed like a fluke, it was like if someone told you that after all these years of terrible programming Tyra had suddenly became a great talk show. That isn't to say that Casey was the minor league equivalent to Tyra, but that's about how much sense it made.
Yet here we are, 2010 and Casey is still doing it. He currently leads the Brewers in homeruns, RBIs, people saying what a great guy he is and looking like some guy that'd be in my softball league. He also ranks second in OPS, batting average, doubles and hits. As well as third in jerseys worn at Miller Park. (Seriously, those things are everywhere.) The point is that guys who are doing what Casey McGehee is doing aren't supposed to be guys like Casey McGehee. They are supposed to be studs like Jason Heyward of the Braves, you're supposed to see them coming. They aren't supposed to be guys claimed off waivers that make the team out of spring training. I'd love to set the Doug Melvin haters straight and credit him with this move, but honestly even he didn't see this coming. No one did (especially Tyler).
I never thought he could maintain it, I never believed he was really this good and I always thought he was simply holding the spot for Mat Gamel, but now I am ready and willing to admit that I was wrong and the Brewers would suck without Casey McGehee.
|MIL (2 yrs)||147||533||475||77||145||28||23||97||.305||.370||.514||.883||134|
Off the top of my head I can think of at least one win that is strictly because of him, his walk off against the Cardinals on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, but really he's been worth so much more than that. The Brewers are 12-5 in games where he gets at least one RBI. What does that mean? Probably nothing considering when the Brewers win every single player has an RBI, but it sounds good.
The thing I like about Casey McGehee is that he could have fit with a Brewers team in any era. I could easily see him batting fifth behind Burnitz and Sexson, I could see him stealing time from Kevin Seitzer and I could most definitely picture Casey McGehee drinking beers in the parking lot with Gorman Thomas before or after a game. Hell, I could even see him becoming close friends with Brewers first baseman John Briggs in the 70s. He's just that kind of guy.
The Brewers are known around the league as a two-player team and for good reason, their two stars are amazing. Ryan Braun is one of the best hitters in the league and he's not that far from being the best hitter in the league and Prince Fielder is one of the best power hitters in all of baseball. That isn't likely to change, but Casey McGehee is a great third banana and we're pretty lucky to have him.