Brewers' Christian Yelich impresses former teacher Barry Bonds, but Bonds expects more
Yelich is being widely regarded as the NL MVP this season
With the NL MVP race all but locked up, Christian Yelich is striving for bigger things this season. The Brewers star against the Dodgers on Friday night, as the Brewers strive for their second pennant (they won the AL in 1982) and their first World Series championship. The outfielder put up outstanding numbers in his first season with the Brewers, batting .326 and launching 36 home runs. In September, he pulled himself away from a largely unimpressive NL class in the MVP race, batting .352 with 10 homers.
Barry Bonds, who served as Yelich's hitting coach with the Marlins in 2016, is impressed with Yelich's success -- but he doesn't want to see any complacency from the young star.
"You've only got six more to go," Bonds said he told Yelich in reference to his seven MVP awards, via the Los Angeles Times.
"That's who I am," Bonds said. "That's my character. I told him, 'I love you, that's great, now let's move on. I want you to go after seven. We want a repeat. Great hitters repeat. Let's not be happy with one. Let's repeat it.'"
Yelich, however, can't move on from this season. Not yet. He's leading the Brewers against the defending NL champion Dodgers, who may be finding their groove at just the right time after a tumultuous season. Indeed, Yelich isn't even opening a spot in his trophy case for the MVP award yet.
"He's helped me tremendously throughout my career," Yelich said, via the Times. "Any time a player with those credentials is proud of what you have accomplished, that's great. I haven't won an MVP yet. As nice as it is for Barry to say, it hasn't actually happened yet."
Despite his apparent confidence, Bonds also wants to make it clear that nothing is in the bag for Yelich.
"If he does get it -- and I say if, so don't write I said when -- six more to go, brother," Bonds told the Times. "I'm rooting for him."
Bonds' career numbers are, of course, inimitable. The seven-time MVP holds the single-season and career home run records (albeit with an asterisk). He's arguably the most dominant player at the plate that baseball has ever seen.
While Yelich and Bonds don't want to speculate, it's safe to say Yelich has No. 1 pretty well in hand. Everything is in order for him to pick it up this year. However, for Yelich, the bar this season is a lot higher. The Brewers have the World Series in their sights, and they'll need one more great series from Yelich to get there.
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