As the Brewers 16th round pick in the 2009 draft, Scooter Gennett had been on a set plan through the minors. He debuted in 2010 with Class A Wisconsin and spent the whole season there, then went up for High-A Brevard County for all of 2011. He took the next step in 2012 going to Double-A Huntsville, and began 2013 in Triple-A Nashville. The plan in 2013 was to leave him in Nashville for a full season, and maybe give him a September call-up for a taste of the majors. However, when June came, the struggles of Rickie Weeks at second base combined with a hot start to the season by Gennett prompted an early promotion for him.
Scooter Gennett hit the ground running in 2013, starting his season by batting .403/.425/.468 in April for Nashville. May was a little rougher on him as he only hit .244/.298/.336 for the month. However, with Rickie Weeks struggling in Milwaukee, the Brewers decided to see what he could do and promoted him to the majors on June 3.
He made his major-league debut on June 3 with a pinch-hit appearance, then made his first start the next night and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Gennett couldn't get going in this month as he batted .214/.250/.357 in 10 starts & 7 pinch-hit appearances. Meanwhile, Weeks started playing better, and when Weeks returned to full-time starting at second base, Gennett returned to Nashville.
Back in Nashville, Gennett wasn't as hot as he had been before. Over his next 29 games, he only batted .252/.299/.361 and struck out 27 times in 119 at-bats. It looked like he would spend the rest of the season there, but fate worked in Gennett's favor. He was recalled from Nashville on July 30 to serve as an extra player for a double-header against the Cubs, and started the game that evening. After the game, he was officially optioned back to Nashville, but was added right back to the Brewers roster when Gallardo went on the disabled list.
He went back into a platoon with Weeks, but a week later Weeks was placed on the DL with a hamstring injury. Gennett became the full-time starter at second base, and he took full advantage of it this time. Between August 4 and August 23, Gennnett went on a 14-game hitting streak in games he started (with the only hitless game a pinch-hit appearance). It was the beginning of Gennett's rise as he hit .440/.481/.780 during the streak, which included four home runs, three doubles and a triple. Overall, he made 46 more starts in 2013 and hit .351/.381/.509 during those games, including 5 home runs, 10 doubles, 25 runs scored, and 16 RBI.
Gennett's hot finish to the season put him into a good position entering 2014. In his end of season press conference, Doug Melvin admitted that Gennett has the inside track for the starting second base job in 2014, though he did not promise that Gennett would have the job. Rickie Weeks will be back in 2014 for one more season, and Gennett will compete with him for the starting job. If Gennett can replicate some of that success in spring training, he may earn himself that starting job in 2014.
Scooter Gennett isn't known for his power, but on one day in August, it was his power that saved the day. On August 13 against the Rangers, he only went 2-for-4, but both hits left the park. He led off the third inning with a solo home run to put the Brewers on the board and give them an early lead, then hit another home run in the fifth, this one a two-run home run to give the Brewers the lead for good. Here is video of his two home runs (as well as the Brewers hazing him a little bit):
Scooter didn't collect a full-year of service time in 2013, so he will have three more years of pre-arbitration contracts coming up (and the time he did collect should keep him away from Super Two status). Assuming he sticks in Milwaukee, he will be arbitration eligible for the 2017 season and a free agent in 2020.
Previous MVBrewers posts can be seen at the links below:
#1: Carlos Gomez
#2: Jonathan Lucroy
#3: Jean Segura
#4: Kyle Lohse
#5: Norichika Aoki
#6: Jim Henderson
#7: Brandon Kintzler
#8: Yovani Gallardo
#9: Wily Peralta