MVBrewers is a player-by-player look at the most valuable members of the 2012 Brewers, as voted on by you. Here's our top ten:
The series now continues with Lesser Brewers, to cover some of the remaining Brewers that we have not covered so far. This is the twelfth installment in that segment. You can see all the player profiles in the Most Valuable Brewers 2012 section.
If Brandon Kintzler goes on to have a long major league career, the path he traveled to get there will be quite the story.
Kintzler was a 40th round draft pick for the Padres in 2004, but was released after just two pro seasons and no games pitched above low-A ball. He then pitched for the independent Northern League's Winnipeg Goldeyes and American Association's St. Paul Saints before finally latching on with the Brewer organization in 2009.
The righthander had been in the Brewer organization for two years when he finally made his major league debut as a September callup in 2010. He was back with the Brewers in 2011 when injury struck and cost him most of the year.
Kintzler was back on his feet in 2012, though, posting a 2.87 ERA over 45 appearances in the minors and earning yet another trip to Milwaukee in September. He pitched in 14 games for the Brewers down the stretch and posted a 3.78 ERA, striking out 14 and walking seven over 16.2 innings. He allowed just one home run over the course of the month.
With the Brewers overhauling their bullpen this winter, Kintzler will almost certainly get another chance to win a spot on the Opening Day roster in 2013. If he makes it, he'll be one of the team's best stories.
Kintzler provided a solid outing when the Brewers needed it most on September 9, allowing them to crawl out of a late inning hole against the Cardinals. He entered the game with the Brewers trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth and recorded six outs while facing six batters, allowing a single but following it with a 4-6-3 double play. He was still in the game when Norichika Aoki tied it in the ninth with a two-run homer, but was out when the Cardinals eventually won on a walkoff single in the tenth.
Unfortunately, MLB.com doesn't have any highlights from the outing.
Kintzler enters 2013 a little short of two years of MLB service time, so he remains under team control for the time being. He also has an option remaining, so the Brewers can send him back to the minors if he doesn't make the team next spring.