This year, we watched as long-time second baseman Rickie Weeks finished off his career as a Brewer. It was sad for many people as it signaled the end of an era in Brewers history. However, with the end of this era comes the beginning of a new era, as we are starting to see a new group of Brewers prospects reach the majors and impact the team. One of those is Scooter Gennett, a 16th round draft pick from 2009 who has taken the spot as the Brewers second baseman of the future. His appearance at #10 this season is his second straight year at #10 in the poll.
When you look at Scooter Gennett, you don't see much flashy with him. His best feature is his batting line, and he put up a line of .289/.326/.378 in 2014. He also had 9 home runs, 54 RBI, and 6 stolen bases. On defense, he generally doesn't make the big plays, but also doesn't make many mistakes. He had a DRS of -5 in 2014, with 9 errors committed (6 fielding, 3 throwing). The overall numbers have him as an average defense with a 0.6 UZR/150 in his career. None of that is impressive, but it's solid. Average defense and an above average bat is what the Brewers can use from their second baseman.
The biggest complaint about Gennett so far has been his ability to hit left-handed pitching. In his limited career in the majors so far, the numbers agree with that. This season, he hit .103/.125/.128 against left-handed pitchers, though only had 42 plate appearances against them. Ron Roenicke intentionally protected Gennett from facing many left-handed hitters throughout the season. It's a strategy that worked well, but it also forced the Brewers to carry a right-handed second baseman on the bench. If the Brewers want to continue to plan for this strategy, they will have to make an offseason move to support the bench.
Scooter Gennett is still young (he will be 25 next season), so it's possible that he will continue to develop and strengthen his hitting against left-handed pitching and his defense. Even if he doesn't, being the starter against right-handed pitchers in a platoon is still a good role to be in. Being an average defender with an above-average bat is something that is coveted by many teams. Gennett has a very promising future ahead of him, and it will be exciting to watch him develop over the next few years.
Scooter Gennett's best game came on July 13 against the Cardinals, when he went 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, and two RBI. However, there's not much to show for highlights from that game, so let's pull out his biggest hit of the season. On June 25, the Brewers were down 1-0 to the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg in the second inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Scooter Gennett came up to the plate, and he hit his first career grand slam. He would go 2-for-5 on the day with 5 RBI, a career high for him. Here is a video of the grand slam (with the call from Bob Uecker):
With only a year and 84 days of service time built up so far, Scooter Gennett will be earning close to the major league minimum for the next two seasons. He will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2017 and a free agent in 2020.
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