It's not exactly a well-kept secret around baseball: If you want to play in the majors, there are certain size prerequisites you have to meet. Being under six feet tall by itself won't kill your career, but it'll lower your stock and force you to prove yourself anew at every level. It'll get you written off and at times mocked by scouts who will file scouting reports with words like "Smurf" in them.
At a listed height of five feet, seven inches, Caleb Gindl was the shortest major leaguer in 2013 and the shortest player ever to appear in more than 21 games as a Brewer. But his contributions to this team weren't limited by his diminutive stature.
Despite being frequently written off by scouts, Gindl was a .293/.367/.462 career hitter in the minors before getting called up to the Brewers in June. He got off to a rough start, enduring a 1-for-12 stretch and a couple of trips back and forth between the big leagues and AAA before cementing a role in the majors with a hot streak in July. He joined the team for good on July 21 and posted a two-hit game, then batted .400/.462/.657 over the next eleven days. The two-hit game on July 21 was his second as a big leaguer, and the first of six in two weeks.
Gindl has enough power to play in the big leagues, although the Brewers may have a hard time finding an opportunity for him to do so with Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Norichika Aoki, Khris Davis and Logan Schafer all back for 2014. He's going to have to earn his opportunities, but that's nothing new for him.
The previously mentioned July 21 game against the Marlins may have been a turning point in Gindl's career. The Brewers only had seven hits over 13 innings in the contest, but Gindl had two of them and his walkoff homer scored the game's only run.
Gindl has about half a year of MLB service time, so he won't be eligible for arbitration until 2017 at the earliest and could become 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
#10: Scooter Gennett
Honorable mentions: Marco Estrada, Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, Tyler Thornburg,Aramis Ramirez, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Bianchi