Brewers' Gennett plays bigger than his stature
Diminutive second baseman brings all-out intensity on every play
A Major League roster is based on balance. Some players are asked to supply power. Others perhaps speed. Then there are players that are the glue that solidifies all the parts. Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett is one of those players.
The story of Gennett is more about his ability than his physical stature. That said, lots of people talk about his height.
Yes, there are bigger men than Gennett playing professional baseball. Most in fact. Gennett stands 5-feet-10 and weighs 180 pounds.
Gennett is the type of player scouts like to watch. He gives his all every game, on every play. Gennett gets his uniform dirty. He plays the game with intensity.
I first scouted Gennett in the 2011 Arizona Fall League. He hit like he was 10 feet tall. In fact, Gennett ended the fall with the second-highest batting average in the league. His .411 batting average was second only to San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko. Gennett hit ropes, consistently using a level and compact swing.
The left-handed-hitting Gennett hit .459 in 74 at-bats against right-handed pitching. I liked what I saw of Gennett's ability to make contact, move runners and take pitchers deep in counts. He was a pest.
Gennett got to that fall experience after hitting .300 for Advanced Class A Bevard County in 2011. It was his second year of professional baseball, and he was serving notice he could hit and play solid defense. In fact, Gennett has always hit for average.
The Brewers selected Gennett in the 16th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He attended Sarasota (Fla.) High School, where he played shortstop.
Gennett has quick hands and a good eye at the plate. He doesn't walk enough, but he gives himself a chance to succeed. Good pitch recognition and average plate discipline are components of Gennett's approach at the plate.
Gennett has played parts of four seasons as a member of the Brewers organization. In his first three years, he hit .309, .300 and .293. In this, Gennett's fourth year, he was hitting .297 for Triple-A Nashville before he was summoned to Milwaukee in early June. He has a total of 1,920 Minor League plate appearances. In those times at the plate, Gennett struck out 263 times. But he walked only 100 times.
Gennett does not have much power, but he can hit the gaps with solid barrel-of-the-bat line drives. He's a pesky hitter.
Not known for his speed, Gennett is "sneaky fast." He can steal a base under the right circumstances, but his usable speed is more geared to running the bases efficiently and moving properly on defense with first-step quickness.
For the parent Brewers, Gennett could spell Rickie Weeks at second base, especially against right-handed pitchers.
Gennett's arm strength is best suited for second as opposed to shortstop. His range is good and he should have little trouble making plays.