Could another waiver claim from the Cubs be the answer on the Brewer bench?
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 fifteenth installment in that segment. You can see all the player profiles in the Most Valuable Brewers 2012 section.
Jeff Bianchi has to be one of the Brewers holding his breath this winter.
He was a second round pick of the Royals all the way back in 2005, but needed seven professional seasons and three organizations (counting a brief stint as a Cub last winter) to make it to the majors after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. He finally made his major league debut as a Brewer on July 13, but didn't really get much of a chance to make an impression and now his future with the team probably depends on what happens on the free agent market.
Bianchi only appeared in 33 games and made 76 plate appearances as a Brewer, but didn't make a remarkably strong case for himself by hitting just .188/.230/.348. He did play three positions defensively (second, third and shortstop) and flashed a little power with five extra base hits, but I'm not sure that's enough to make him a lock on the 2013 roster.
Bianchi has never shown a lot of power in the minors, carrying just a .413 slugging percentage through 582 career games. His ability to play multiple positions defensively could give him some value off the bench, but that's only if the Brewers don't go out and get a veteran to fill that role.
Complicating matters is the fact that Bianchi is out of options. He needs to make the team next spring or go on waivers.
Bianchi's first major league homer was a big one, as he drove in three of the Brewers' four runs in a 4-1 win over the Cubs on August 28 with a long ball. Here's the highlight:
As a bonus, he also made this defensive play:
Bianchi has less than one year of major league service time, so he's under Brewer control for a long time. He's also, however, out of minor league options.