NOTE: This post is going to be a little shorter than usual. I have some final homework to wrap up. My apologies!
Moving on to the right side of the field, we’ll now discuss second base and where it stands. For much of the season, Scooter Gennett handled the reigns. Below are the number of starts made at 2B by Brewers players:
Scooter Gennett (127)
Aaron Hill (20)
Yadiel Rivera (13)
Hernan Perez (11)
Jonathan Villar (11)
Jake Elmore (3)
Colin Walsh (1)
2016 saw Gennett post a career-high in home runs with 14, five more than his total of nine in 2014. He also eclipsed his RBI total from that year by two, marking a career high in that category as well. However, outside of that, his numbers remained mediocre. He saw an increase in OBP and SLG from last season, though they weren’t enough to drool over. He was placed near replacement level, but in large part due to his defense.
Looking at the arbitrations for this offseason, Gennett has a 3.071 in terms of service time. MLB Trade Rumors has his projected arbitration cost sitting at approximately $3 million.
Assuming Gennett is on the roster come Opening Day 2017, the Brewers could have some different options they could take. Sure, they could keep him as the their second baseman, but would that end up being the most ideal scenario? Remember, Gennett only had a slash of .263/.317/.412 — nothing above average.
Hopefully, the Brewers won’t be in selling mode next season as much as they were this year. We all knew that back in April, the team was going to sell as many pieces as possible. However, that part of the rebuild is done. In an essence, the rebuild is done. The Brewers have their pieces for the future.
But just because they’re out of the rebuild doesn’t mean trades can’t be made. If there’s a player that has a high chance to be moved, it’s Scooter Gennett. Some team will need a second baseman, and Gennett might be able to fill that void. However, if a trade is to be made, one would think it would have to be made prior to the season. I mean, could you see a trade at the deadline to a contending team with the main piece being Scooter? Yeah, I’m having a tough time buying that.
As the year progresses, hopefully Isan Diaz takes major steps in his development, as he currently sits as the second baseman of the future for Milwaukee. If so, it would then legitimatize a Gennett trade even further. To fill in the vacancy of Gennett, the Brewers have multiple options. They could have an Arcia-Villar combo, creating a speedy up the middle-of-the-infield defense. That would also align with the fact that the Brewers are reluctant to use Villar at third base.
If they do elect to keep Villar at third base, then maybe Hernan Perez could receive some action at second. As the data above shows, he made 11 starts there last season. It would also allow Counsell to keep his bat in the lineup if he continues progressing in terms of power.
The last option is bringing Yadiel Rivera up and instilling him as the starting second baseman. However, many of his skills remain to be unseen and he might not be trusted as the everyday starter. Also, would the Brewers use a permanent roster spot for him? Most likely not.
So who knows, perhaps the Brewers don’t elect to trade Gennett at all. However, it appears that his time in Milwaukee is ticking and this might finally be the year he dons a different uniform.