Mike Rennhack was selected in the seventh round by the Houston Astros in the 1992 MLB draft, but wouldn’t hit his stride until he became a farmhand in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. After four years with the Astros, the switch-hitting outfielder was acquired by the Brewers before the 1996 season and he went on to have his best minor league campaign at Stockton.
The Brewers acquired Rennhack and the San Jose native posted a great year at A+ Stockton in 1996, ranking him in the Top 25 in the Top Hitters in Milwaukee Brewers Minor League History.
#20 Mike Rennhack, 1996 Stockton (A+)
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Rennhack earned bonus point for being two years younger than league average (21 vs 23.1) and for playing in a pitcher’s park, Billy Hebert Field. The big (6’3, 200#) switch-hitter ranked fifth in the California League in RBI (103) and tied for sixth with 32 doubles.
He led the Ports in hits, doubles, homers, and RBIs. He walked nearly as often as he whiffed (53 vs. 66) and knew how to drop down a sac bunt on occasion, with a pair of them on his stat sheet. Rennhack tried to steal bases, but was successful on only 8 of 18 attempts. That speed, or lack thereof, might have contributed to his relatively low run total of 67.
Again, the lack of information back in the day does not allow me to give many details as to the rest of the 1996 Cali League season.
The following year, Rennhack was promoted to Double A El Paso, where he either became a platoon-type player or had injury issues, as he played in only 106 of the Diablos’ 140 contests. He did slash .276/.342/.463 in 417 plate appearances, though. Despite only playing three-fourths of the games, Rennhack tied for fifth on the squad in extra-base hits with 44.
Rennhack had to be disappointed in 1998, as he once again was dispatched to El Paso.
He played 82 games there before (most likely) being trading to Colorado, moving to New Haven in the Double A Eastern League. He played 52 games for the Rockies, finishing the season with a combined .297/.371/.441 in 501 trips to the plate.
From there, he moved to the Cubs organization and played at two levels before calling it a career.
Mike Rennhack never made it to the big leagues, but had a very solid minor league career. In 3,323 plate appearances in eight years at five different levels, Rennhack slashed .271/.346/.410, including 258 long hits and 432 runs batted in.
A good career, but the best season was in 1996 at Stockton.