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Fantasy Baseball: Will The Brewers Run More In 2011?

I drafted Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun with the 5th overall pick in my big money NL-only league this year, with the thought that he would hit 30 homers and steal 20 bases this season. Instead he went 25-14. I also targeted Brewers SS Alcides Escobar, who stole 76 bases in his last two seasons in the minors, thinking he could steal 30+ bases this year. Fortunately, another owner grabbed him a few spots ahead of me. Escobar stole all of 10 bases this season.

A few other Brewers also fell short in the SB category-Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. Weeks stole 25 bases in 2007, and 19 bases in 2008, but only stole 11 this season. Hart stole just 7 bases this year, after stealing 23 bases in 2007 and 2008, and 11 bases in an injury-shortened 2009 season.

The common denominator for me is manager Ken Macha. But, in a move that put smiles on the faces of Brewers fans, the Brewers elected to decline Macha's 2011 option to manage the team. I am sure the Brewers next manager will see the talent on his roster and see that he can manufacture some runs utlizing the stolen base.

What can we expect from Brewers hitters in 2011? I can see Weeks stealing 20+ if he can stay healthy, as he did in 2011. Could Weeks go 25-25 in 2011? I don't think we have seen the best from SS Alcides Escobar either. Escobar could steal 30+ as he matures and learns to be more patient at the plate.

As for Braun, many think he has a 40 HR season in him, but his power has declined the last two year from 37 HRs in 2008 to 32 in 2009, and just 25 HRs in 2010. I don't see him stealing more than 15 bases in 2011, but can see him improving in the power department.