As we dig deeper into the Brewers organizational depth chart we move to second base, a position in which the Brewers current roster features their past and their future at the position.
The pseudo platoon of former All-Star and potential free agent Rickie Weeks and future full-time starter 23-year old Scooter Gennett has been pretty one-sided thus far in 2014. Gennett, enters the day with a total of 29 at bats in 11 games and is hitting .276 while Weeks is hitting .118 in 19 at bats over 8 games. To Weeks defense his starts have been against some tough customers in Jon Lester, Cliff Lee and Francisco Liriano but as you watch him the pop and explosiveness that made the Brewers select him second overall in the first round of the 2003 draft is missing.
Gennett is the logical choice for the Brewers moving forward, especially with Weeks likely heading to free agency following the season. Still, Weeks serves a critical role in 2014. Gennett is a career .163 hitter versus left-handed pitching making Weeks a needed starter versus lefties as Gennett continues to develop in this phase of his game.
As we travel down to Triple A Nashville you will find an array of names that have occupied the position so far in 2014. However, none of the names led by Pete Orr would seem to be anything more than potential veteran utility men if an injury were to happen. Orr leads the way with 5 games played but Elian Herrera, Irving Falu and Eugenio Velez have also gotten some time at the position this season. Only Herrera, 29, is under 30 years of age leaving little potential for anyone in the group to help at the big league level.
In Huntsville the Stars have split time between 25-year old Greg Hopkins and Josh Prince, who had a brief cup of coffee in Milwaukee during the 2013 season. Both Hopkins and Prince, who is 26-years old, are advanced age for the level to really be considered anything more than just marginal prospects. However, both are extremely versatile and could develop into utility bench players in Milwaukee. Hopkins has played primarily at second and third base but has also seen time at first base this season and has some limited outfield experience. Prince is even more of a positional chameleon actually registering the highest amount of appearances at shortstop over his career. He has played everywhere in the outfield and adds third base and second to his resume. This season will be critical to both as they look to advance within the system.
Brevard County features two highly thought of middle infielders within the system in Yadiel Rivera and Orlando Arcia. Both have played shortstop exclusively throughout their careers but Arcia has occupied second base primarily this season for the Manatees. Arcia is the Brewers fourth ranked prospect according to Jonathan Mayo and has transitioned pretty smoothly in 2014. The brother of Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia, Orlando is still young (19 years old) and needs to have a larger body of work to really project him as a professional but the Brewers should feel strong about his potential. In 2013 while playing at Wisconsin, Arcia hit .251 and stole 20 bases while only striking out 40 times in 486 plate appearances.
The Brewers return Chris McFarland to their other Single A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2014. McFarland has struggled defensively with 35 errors at second base over the 2012 and 2013 seasons and shouldn’t be thought of as anything more than a prospect. However, the T-Rats have an intriguing prospect in 20-year old Dominican born, Francisco Castillo. While it is way to early to project Castillo because of his limited bat thus far in his career, the potential is there for fans to get to Appleton and see for themselves.
While the depth at the position is limited fans can expect that 23-year old Scooter Gennett will be entrenched at the position for the forseeable future. This positional stability coupled with the prospects of a permanent move of Arcia give the Brewers security while depth is developed.