Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 5/6/12
There hasn't been much good news out of the Brewers camp since the team left for a nine-game, 10-day road trip at the end of April. The road trip resulted in four players injured in four consecutive days and twice as many losses as wins. But amid the recent disappointment has been one very quiet, very impressive breakout success of the season's first month. He's been more consistent than Ryan Braun at the plate and owns the best average of the club's consistent contributors. Yes, not many would expect catcher Jonathan Lucroy to be one of the best, most consistent bats in the Brewers' lineup. But through 24 games, that's most definitely been the case. Lucroy's batting average on the team's nine-game road trip topped out above .400, and his OPS consistently stayed at 1.000 through nine games. Sprinkle in a game-winning RBI, and Lucroy has had himself an impressive stretch of games, while the rest of the offense appears to be breaking down around him. And with an average at .306 this season so far, including a decent two home runs and 10 RBI at the back of Milwaukee's order, along with some stellar defense, and the Brewers continue to look like they made the smart decision in signing him to a contract extension before the season. "God knows, this guy has sky-high talent," second baseman Rickie Weeks said. "And he's going to get better and better." With the Brewers' depth continually being challenged as injuries pile up -- already Milwaukee's backstop appears to be the only position without any depth concern. Lucroy has been consistent and reliable, while backup George Kottaras has been the Brewers' best pinch-hitting threat, without a doubt. The output shouldn't be all that unusual for the Brewers to expect out of Lucroy though. He was quietly effective for the majority of the 2011 season as well, batting .300 through all of April and May. As August wound down though, Lucroy's batting average began to trail off, as his production slowed at the end of the year. He still finished with a .265 batting average, 12 homers, and 59 RBI. But the question remains, with all the inconsistencies plaguing the Brewers this season, can Milwaukee count on Lucroy to continue his day-in, day-out effectiveness? After all, it wasn't long ago -- a little under two years to be exact -- that Lucroy was pulled up to the majors, purely out of necessity. Pitcher Chris Narveson says that Lucroy has the confidence to make that step. "It's very similar to the path that I've taken -- the comfort level is starting to set in where he can know what it takes to succeed at this level. At the same time, I feel like we both can't be content. ... He can't take a pitch off, and he's worked on it and become a lot better, and I think this is going to be a breakout year for him." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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