27. 2B Scooter Gennett
The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Scooter Gennett in the 16th round of the 2009 MLB Draft, the same draft class that produced the 30th spot on our list, Khris Davis (7th round). Both made their debuts in 2013 as well.
When Gennett first arrived on the scene in Milwaukee in 2013, he quickly became a fan favorite, in large part because he went by ‘Scooter’. He kept his status as a fan favorite because he played so well.
2013: 2.0 WAR
Total WAR: 4.1
After making his debut in 2013, Gennett went on to post a .324 batting average with a 127 OPS+. With incumbent second baseman Rickie Weeks on the decline and production needed at the keystone position, Gennett provided a nice boost.
He had taken over the starting role at second base going into 2014 put up another strong season, despite struggling in the second half, along with, well, the rest of that 2014 Brewers offense.
Nevertheless, he finished that season with a .289 batting average and a 107 OPS+, his second straight season of above-average production. Plus, he was just 24 years old. The future seemed bright for Gennett.
However, when the team entered a rebuild phase in 2015, Gennett’s production took a downturn. He posted just a .264/.294/.381 slash line with only six home runs and 29 RBIs. His 84 OPS+ was the worst of his career up until the 2019 season.
Then in 2016, Gennett was once again the starting second baseman and posted a better season, knocking 14 homers, increased his walks and OPS, but it was still below league average. He posted then-career highs in hits, home runs, RBIs, walks, and stolen bases.
However, a player who also burst onto the scene in 2016 was Jonathan Villar over at shortstop. But with hotshot prospect Orlando Arcia arriving late in the season, the clear move for Villar was to second base. There was going to be a competition for second base in spring training 2017 given Gennett’s lack of production over the last two seasons.
The team was high on Villar and Gennett was losing the camp battle. The Milwaukee Brewers tried to trade Gennett but couldn’t find any takers and ended up putting him on waivers. He was claimed by the division rival Cincinnati Reds and went on to have tremendous 2017 and 2018 seasons. Meanwhile, Villar sputtered after Gennett left and the Brewers once again lacked sufficient production at second base.
A fan favorite, Gennett provided two years of solid production at second base and it lands him at No. 27 on our list.