Álvarez, Weeks join player development staff

February 4th, 2022

MILWAUKEE -- Rickie Weeks and Pedro Álvarez know all about the pressures of being a top prospect, and now they will get to share that knowledge with prospects of all stripes in Milwaukee's Minor League system.

The Brewers have hired Weeks, the second overall pick in the 2003 Draft, as an assistant in the player development department and Álvarez, the second overall pick in the 2008 Draft, as an assistant in player development and baseball operations.

Both have ties to the organization. Weeks played his first 11 Major League seasons with the Brewers and is a member of the club's Wall of Honor, and Álvarez, the former Pittsburgh Pirates slugger, is the son-in-law of Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy. The idea, Weeks said, is to shadow Brewers vice president Eduardo Brizuela, one of the club's top player development officials, and to learn a variety of different areas of front office operations. When Craig Counsell retired as a player in 2011 and took a front office job, he followed a similar path.

"I may come to Spring Training to assist on the field a little bit, help out the coaching staff and things like that," Weeks said. "But the main part for me is to follow behind Eduardo Brizuela on the player development side and the baseball ops side -- try to understand the Brewers' systems and how they work, and go from there."

Weeks added: "I've been wanting to do this since I was a little kid, actually. Obviously, [playing] baseball worked out for me, so that took precedent. But once I got done playing, the first thought was to go back to school."

Weeks played baseball at Southern University, but that institution did not have the program he sought so he has been taking classes at Florida International University instead. Weeks, who is based with his family in Orlando, expects to finish his degree in sports management in May.

Weeks won the Golden Spikes Award as the top player in college baseball in 2003, the year the Brewers drafted him second overall behind the Rays' Delmon Young. Weeks made a brief big league debut that September and then returned for good in 2005, part of a core of talented Brewers picks that included Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, and helped lift the Brewers to the postseason for the first time in 26 years in 2008. Weeks was a National League All-Star in '11, the year Milwaukee won its first division title since 1982, and he remained with the Brewers through 2014 before finishing his career with the Mariners, D-backs and Rays.

In 2019, when Weeks was inducted to the Brewers Wall of Honor outside American Family Field, he was already talking about his interest in getting back into baseball in a front-office role, but said the time would have to be right for his family, including his two young children. The Weeks have a six-year-old son and a daughter who just turned five.

"I've always been pulled and geared to the front office side," Weeks said. "I feel that there's things that I can assist with and hopefully help the organization reach the pinnacle. That's what I've always wanted to do."

Asked whether his long-term goal is to be a general manager or to focus on a specific area like player development or scouting, Weeks described himself as, "very open-minded. I have some things in my head that I want to do, but it is not for me to say right now. You're always trying to climb, you're always trying to get to the top. For me, it's coming in and trying to assist. The biggest thing is to create relationships."

Álvarez, drafted by the Pirates out of Vanderbilt, played in the Majors for Pittsburgh and Baltimore from 2011-18, leading the National League with 36 home runs in 2013 for his lone All-Star appearance. He has been married to Murphy's daughter Keli since 2011.