Monday, May 7, 2012

#167 Mark Brouhard - Milwaukee Brewers

This is Mark Brouhard's second Topps card and the neon green border almost works with the green wall in the background.  Meanwhile, Brouhard has his game face on as he lurks on deck.  Although in his mid-20s when this pic was taken, he always looked much older to me.
Player:  Mark Brouhard originally came up in the Angels organization.  A fourth round pick in 1976, he had a monster season at Double-A El Paso posting a .350/.418/.596 line in 1979.  The Angels left the corner outfielder off their 40 man roster and the Brewers nabbed him in the Rule 5 draft prior to the 1980 season. 

As a Rule 5 selection, the Brewers were obligated to keep Brouhard in the majors all year or offer him back to the Angels.  He didn't play much, at first pinch hitting, then DH-ing, and he even played a handful of games at first base.  Except for a two week stretch at DH in June, he rode the pine most of the year.  He hit well in that stretch (.308/.333/.509) but he finished the year with just a .232 average and five homers in 125 at bats.

Brouhard backed up the corner outfield spots on a powerful Brewer team in '81.  In 199 plate appearances he hit .274 but with only two homers.  The young slugger did not play in the ALDS loss against the Yankees. 

He played even less in '82 and batted .269 in just 108 at bats.  After a stint in the minors, the Brewers brought him back in late August, in time for him to be eligible for the post season and it paid off.  Although he played just one game in the ALCS, he had the game of his life with a single, double, HR and three RBI in Game 4 against the Angels.  That he was able to do so well against the franchise that left him unprotected three years prior had to be very gratifying for Brouhard.  He didn't see action in the World Series as the Brew Crew fell to the Cardinals.

Brouhard never could crack the starting lineup and he never recorded 200 plate appearances in a season.  Warming the bench over the next three years he batted .276, .239, and .259.  Although he provided some pop off the bench in '83 and '84 with seven and six home runs, he slugged just one in '85. 

After the '85 season the Brewers sold Brouhard's contract to the Yakult Swallows of the Japan Central League.  Given the chance to play everyday he hit .258 with 21 HR overseas.  The Swallows released him in 1987 when they picked up Bob Horner as league rules limit the number of foreign players on the roster.  Brouhard returned to the states and played in the Angels system for the balance of the year and retired.   His major league totals: .259/.305/.400 with 25 HR in 985 plate appearances.

Flipside:  May was Brouhard's best month in 1982 as he batted .318 and slugged .591 while getting regular time in right field.  All but two of his extra base hits came in May. 

Oddball:  Brouhard, a notoriously slow runner, was two for thirteen lifetime in steal attempts.

Three of Brouhard's 25 career homers were hit off of Dave Righetti.

Although a bench player his entire career, he did much better as a starter, batting .271 versus .101 coming off the bench.

History:  Brouhard was a slugging corner outfielder who is best remembered as a member of the early 80's Brewers teams.  He never played everyday for more than a week or two at a stretch.  He blasted minor league pitching but it never carried over to major league success.
Today Brouhard owns his own painting business.  

No comments:

Post a Comment