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Other Valuable Brewers: Jerry Hairston Jr.

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The Brewers acquired Jerry Hairston, Jr on July 30 from the Nationals. They sent OF Erik Komatsu, their minor league player of the year in 2010, to the Nationals in exchange.

At the time, Hairston was appealing because he'd played so many positions and could provide depth at many positions - but there was no plan to use him at third base.

Komatsu would have needed to be Rule 5 protected after the season (behind Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl) so he was likely gone at end of season, anyway. He was projected as a 4th OF, so it was a pretty good trade for the Brewers.

Hairston started off playing second base for the injured Rickie Weeks when previously acquired Felipe Lopez really struggled at the plate. When Weeks returned, we all hoped Hairston would move to SS, but that never really happened.

However, he was slotted in for a struggling Casey McGehee during the final week of the season and ended up playing that position for the entire postseason. While providing some plus defense, he also raked at the plate. Over his final 10 games of the season he hit .391 with 9 hits in 23 ABs.

Combine that with his postseason and he hit .386 over the final month of the season - exactly the same as Ryan Braun over that time. He also had the second highest post-season BA, behind Braun.

He had at least one hit in all six games in the NLCS (and ten of eleven playoff games overall). He had three multi-hit games and four of his nine hits were doubles for a .391/.440/.565 line and +.283 WPA.

He had two multi-hit games in the NLDS, hitting .375/.400/.500 and providing +.134 WPA.

Hairston tied with Randy Wolf for the top spot in our poll for "Brewer of the NLCS."

Sadly for Hairston, he might be more remembered for the error he had in Game 5 of the NLCS than anything else. After making a great diving play, he then let one through his legs for a two-run error. The Cardinals went on to win 7-1, so it could be argued that it wasn't huge, but it was a game-changer.

Despite that, in our end-of-the-season poll, 93% of you said you want to see him come back. Haudricourt reported just yesterday that Doug Melvin is in talks to bring Hairston back to the team. It's likely that Hairston will take over for Craig Counsell as the Brewers main Bench player. His bat is strong and he can back up multiple positions.

Best Game: Since his whole post-season was pretty offensively sound, I couldn't pick one game. So I went with Hairston's defense for this (Game 5 error aside).

On August 15 he played just one of his 10 games at CF for the Brewers and ended up making two outfield assists - his first since 2009. First, he grabbed a base hit up the middle and threw home to keep Dioner Navarro from scoring. In the next inning, he laid out to rob Matt Kemp of a hit and then picked Andre Ethier off of first base.

Contract status: Hairston signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Nationals for 2011. He is a free agent in 2012.