My 2014 Fantasy Baseball Preview continues with a stop in Milwaukee as I round out a look at the top position battles each National League Central team faces entering spring training.
After another disappointing campaign from the high-priced Weeks, Gennett got an opportunity last season and took the ball and ran with it.
Gennett hit a very nice hit .324/.356/.479 in 213 at-bats at the end of last season and Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin confirmed that Gennett will have the edge over Weeks heading into camp. He earned that right after he posted a .834 OPS with six homers in 69 games as a rookie in 2013.
But with offense being at a premium for fantasy second baseman, many fantasy owners still want to keep an eye on Weeks as well.
While Weeks has struggled badly during the first half of the last two seasons, he can be a force at the plate when he’s going well. He had a .800 OPS with 13 homers and 10 stolen bases in the second half of 2012. He didn’t play much down the stretch last season because Gennett was in the lineup, but he did manage to post a .725 OPS with six homers in his last 48 games.
What could give Weeks a slight edge in the competition is the fact that he makes $11 million and it is hard for a team like the Brewers to eat that.
However given his recent struggles, Weeks doesn’t become much of a fantasy option right off the bat.
Gennett though is intriguing.
At only 5’9″, Gennett isn’t a physical specimen on the baseball field, but he possesses a knack for squaring up the baseball and owns a career slash line of .297/.337/.409 through his minor-league career. He’s always profiled as a guy who could provide a solid batting average and score some runs in standard leagues.
He did club six homers in his limited at bats, but I wouldn’t expect much of a power burst out of him, though playing at Miller Park could see his home run total reach double digits.
Gennett is also a good matchup play as he crushes right-handed pitching, but struggles against southpaws.
After his call-up, Gennett hit .379/.413/.600 against righties and only .083/.120/.083 against lefties.
While he still has a lot to prove, Gennett has shown that he is worth drafting late, especially in deep leagues and ones that employ a second baseman, shortstop and middle infield position.
Prediction: I like what Gennett brings to the table and I may look to get him late in leagues but only if I can pair him with another middle infielder with some power. I project him out as a .290 hitter with 12 homers and 55 RBI, maybe swiping 10-15 bags along the way as well. If he continues his progression, his minor league numbers would indicate that the best case scenario could be a season like Martin Prado had last year.
While not crazy valuable, Prado was the ninth-ranked fantasy second baseman in 2012, which would represent strong value in the late rounds next spring.
The worst case scenario I envision for Gennett is a Daniel Murphy-type of season, which while not great, would rank him among the Top 20 Fantasy second basemen.
As of right now I don’t have Gennett or Weeks among my Top 30 second basemen, but that will change once it becomes a little clearer on how the battle will play out.
You can go back and read previous 2014 Fantasy Baseball Previews as I break down the top battles with the: