2.18.19

Christian Yelich: Journey to the Top

Last January, Christian Yelich got the call. The 27-year-old outfielder was told he would be trading in the sunny beaches of Miami for the industrial cityscape of Milwaukee. His offseason would include meeting new teammates, getting accustomed to a new area, and impressing new fans.

Little did the public know, these weren’t the only adjustments Yelich had planned for the upcoming year.

During his debut season in Milwaukee, Yelich took a giant leap in his journey from standout high school prospect to arguably the best player in baseball. He finished with a stellar .326 batting average, smashed 36 homers, and drove in 110 runs. His statistical performance was so impressive that he easily took home the coveted MVP award, finishing in first place on 29 of 30 ballots cast.

Christian Yelich focused

Yelich’s improvements didn’t come with any changes to his swing. Instead, he credits his breakout year to completely redefining his mentality at the plate.

“I didn’t really make any mechanical adjustments,” Yelich said. “It was more just targeting what I wanted to do and staying disciplined in a routine every day. Flush out whatever happened the night before and stay locked in on what you’re trying to do that day.”

To say Yelich was locked in is an understatement. During the second half of the 2018 season, he smacked 25 home runs and posted an insane 1.219 OPS, resulting in his second career Silver Slugger award.

Christian Yelich batting

Although Yelich’s production at the plate was second to none, he’d rather reminisce on the special moments he shared with his teammates rather than boast about individual accolades.

“My favorite memory from this past year is when we played in Chicago to win the division,” Yelich said. “That was the culmination of everybody’s hard work from spring training. We had this goal to win the division, make the playoffs, and we were all able to accomplish that together as team.”

That focus on team camaraderie over individual success coupled with Yelich’s genuine love for baseball shaped the player that he is today. He even reminds himself to occasionally step back from the grind and appreciate the game that’s given him so much.

“You have to just enjoy the game and realize how fortunate you are,” Yelich said. “You can get so caught up in the pressure and wanting to perform that you lose sight of the fact that it was always your dream to play in the big leagues.”

Yelich throwing

Make no mistake, Yelich’s gratitude should not be confused with complacency. He’s gotten a taste of the postseason and is ready to return next year with championship aspirations.

“I’m looking forward to being back with the guys and chasing that goal of winning a championship,” Yelich said. “I think the fact that we got so close last year gives us that drive and hunger to get back there and experience those feelings all over again.”

As the reigning MVP gets back to the grind of chasing a championship, Yelich will rely on the gear that performs as well as he does. Find Eastbay’s collection of premier baseball equipment here.

Author:

1 Comment

  • Ronald Williams:

    Great Story on “CY”..

Embiid Featured Image

Trust the Process: An Inside Look at Joel Embiid’s First Signature Shoe

Philadelphia superstar Joel Embiid has teamed up with Under Armour to launch his first signature shoe, the UA Embiid One.

Puma Blog Featured Image

Dream Big: J. Cole and Puma Launch Signature Sneaker Together

Welcome to Dreamville. Make your hoop dreams come true in the Puma RS-Dreamer from J. Cole.

DK Metcalf – Built for Battle

DK Metcalf took the league by storm during his rookie season, but his business is far from over. Read more to find out what's next for the physical phenom.

Offseason Training with Softball Superstar A.J. Andrews

Softball star AJ Andrews answers our questions on the importance of offseason training.

Demanding a Change – A.J. Andrews’ quest for female recognition in sports

AJ Andrews, the first woman to win a Gold Glove, speaks on the obstacles women face in sports and what still needs to be done to obtain gender equality in athletics.

SPEED REIGNS SUPREME

From the football factory that is South Florida, Marquise Brown is looking to become the league's next great deep threat. As he enters his second season with Baltimore what can we expect from the young speedster?

Nike Football: The Bond of a Brotherhood

Football is the ultimate team sport. And stars like George Kittle, Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore, and Cooper Kupp know it. Find out more about the brotherhood of football.

HIIT Home Workout with Jamia Fields

Train like a pro! Jamia Fields, professional soccer player, shares her favorite HIIT home workout.

NBA 2K20 Featured Image

The Most Underrated 2K20 Players

There's no better feeling than giving someone buckets in 2K with a player they don't expect. Check out Eastbay's guide to some of the most underrated 2K players.

Eastbay Pro Approved: Get the gear worn by the pros

Look for Eastbay's Pro Approved badge to find the top products worn by professional athletes. Get the gear you need to play like the best in the game.

Lacrosse 101: With Pat Young and Taylor Cummings

Learn from two of the game’s greats – Under Armour’s Pat Young and Taylor Cummings.

Gift Guide Multicategory Featured Image

Top Gifts for Athletes: Shorts, Hoodies, Leggings, T-Shirts

Holiday shopping can be incredibly stressful. That's why we put together a list of the best casual apparel for athletes so they can look their best off the court.

See More