Players who are drafted in the 16th round are not expected to amount to much. These players are often organizational fillers, who play at the minor league level for years and then are shipped off or let go. But when Ryan “Scooter” Gennett was selected by the Brewers in the 16th round, he came out swinging.
There is not a lot about Scooter Gennett physically that makes him standout as a prospect. He is listed at 5’10”, 160 pounds. However Gennett’s scrappy play promoted him to the big leagues last season. He has shown throughout his whole life that he will do what it takes to make it to the majors. His family even moved to Florida when he was young so he would have more of an opportunity to play baseball year round.
In three and a half minor league seasons, Gennett batted .297. While he does not have a ton of power, Gennett’s quick and compact swing allows him to find gaps with regularity and reach base with doubles and triples often. His bat translates well as a prototypical leadoff hitter.
After an impressive start in AAA last season, Gennett was able to earn several call-ups with the Milwaukee Brewers. During his first promotion, Gennett struggled offensively hitting just .214 through the month while splitting time at second base. With each promotion, Gennett’s numbers got better and pressured, incumbent, Rickie Weeks to perform.
In August, Weeks suffered a hamstring injury that allowed Gennett to see his first full-time experience. In this role, he was very successful. He batted a sizzling .423 for the month, including four homeruns. His impressive finish allowed him to end the year batting .323 and caught the attention of the club to be the frontrunner for the second base job entering 2014.
With spring training just beginning, Gennett enters with the second base job as his to lose. His ability to put the ball in play and his solid defense puts him already ahead of Rickie Weeks. If he puts together a strong spring, he will leave Arizona with the job in hand. One adage in baseball is that the best teams are strong up the middle. With Jon Lucroy behind the plate, Carlos Gomez in center, and Jean Segura at short, Gennett can help make the team strongest in the middle of the field.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference