As Milwaukee Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks heads towards the final year of his contract, he’ll be reflecting upon a 2013 (though it was cut short), that wasn’t any better than 2012.
Did Weeks’ playing time earn him a solid or poor grade?
Weeks is one of those players that I believe the organization felt had a lot more potential than what was actually there. Yes, it’s nice to see him belt out homers like it’s nobody’s business, but how often does Weeks get and stay hot at the plate? Very rarely. In fact, Weeks’ positives anymore have been completely swallowed by the negatives and his inconsistencies with the bat. 2012 was an absolute horrendous year for him, but things did turn around in the later half of the season. 2013 was an absolute nightmare for the 31-year-old.
While Weeks’ season did end early in August with a torn hamstring, he still had a fair amount of time to make a case this season. Rookie Scooter Gennett swooped in and with ease, took the job at second base which is something he has definitely earned in 2014. The future for Weeks in Milwaukee remains extremely bleak at this point and it’s hard to tell what they’ll do with him in this current off-season.
April was an absolutely abysmal month for Weeks, who hit .191/.296/.319 with 34 strikeouts in 94 at-bats, or 36 percent of the time. Striking out once again was a huge issue for him as his strikeout percentage rose from 2012’s 25 to this season’s 26.3. In fact, senior staff writer Lou Olsen and I witnessed Weeks’ 1,000th strikeout on July 5 in person. The fact that we were counting until 1,000 is sad in itself, but for Weeks there’s not much upside.
Sure, the positives Weeks brings to the table are his power (.149 ISO) and ability to get on base (.306 OBP), but he only goes through these stretches for a couple weeks. Eventually, Weeks regresses back into the hitter we all know, and one that caused him to hit under .200 for three and a half months this season. June was a fantastic month for Weeks who hit .355 and that gave us some hope that perhaps much like in 2012, he could turn it around. When July came, the hot-hitting Weeks was gone and would be for the rest of the season.
To end a season hitting .209/.306/.357 is just unacceptable, especially with the backloaded deal the Brewers gave him as he earned $11 million this year. Sure the 10 homers, 24 RBIs and 40 runs scored are nice, but most of that came in June during his absolute tear. That’s still not enough to justify Weeks as a starter on this team anymore. The talk of platooning Gennett and Weeks for next season is absolutely asinine, Gennett has that job locked up with no doubt in anyone’s mind.
Where Weeks goes from here, I do not know. He’s clearly regressed since his decent 2010 in the past three seasons and going forward, especially with that hamstring injury, it doesn’t look promising for him. Don’t get me wrong, Weeks does have his value, but it comes in short spurts and that is something the Brewers need to drop. 2014 is the last year on his contract (though there’s a team option for 2015) and it’ll be interesting to see if the team tries to move him before the contract runs out. I can’t necessarily fail Weeks because he can be valuable, but he comes close to flunking. In the grand scheme of things it could be worse for Weeks because even Tommy Boy passed college with a D+.
Weeks’ final grade: D+