The Chef's Table: Is It Time To Buy Into Scooter?
See Why the Fantasy Chef Thinks It Is Time to Start Paying Attention to Scooter Gennett
If you made it big in the restaurant business, you got a Chef’s Table.
At Fantasy Alarm we have one too. Expect here you don’t need a reservation. Or a fat stack to pay for it.
The best part about the Chef’s Table is that you get to watch the preparation of your food from start to finish. Seeing every intricate detail that goes into your dish while enjoying the company of family and friends. Well, that’s what I’m gonna give you here.
Each week I will profile a player based on increased street cred throughout the industry. Whether because of a recent hot streak, increased playing time or a promotion because of an injury. From there I will break down the recipe for that player’s success and determine if he is just a flash in the pan or someone who is gonna bring home the bacon.
Today’s Special: Scooter Gennett
Heading into Wednesday’s action, the Brewers are sitting 3.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central standings, with the majority of their success coming via their high-powered-offense. Although today’s player of interest is not known for hitting home runs or driving-in base runners at a high clip, he has the intangibles to be a beneficial fantasy option for those in need of depth at the second base position.
For much of the better portion of the last decade, the Brewers relied upon the bat and glove of Rickie Weeks to man the keystone, but due to inconsistency at the plate over the last couple seasons, it has opened the door for Scooter Gennett to place his claim. Having started the majority of the games at second base in 2014, Gennett has managed to slash .306/.342/.458 with four home runs, 20 RBI and 26 runs scored over his first 216 at-bats, which has earned him the new role of hitting atop the Brewers batting order. Earlier in the season Gennett was cemented in the bottom third of the Brew Crew’s lineup, but with the emergence of Carlos Gomez and a few injuries along the way, management felt it better suited his skill set to move up to the first third of the order to take advantage of his above-average on-base percentage.
Since making the move up the lineup, Gennett his hitting .318 (36-for-113) with two home runs 12 RBI and 17 runs scored while chipping in three stolen bases batting between leadoff and the two-hole. During that time he has managed to strikeout only 16 times, resulting a 14.2 percent strikeout rate, which is what you want to see from a player hitting in the top third of your batting order. Not to mention he has been a beat when playing his games at the friendly confines of Miller Stadium, slashing .351/.398/.553 over 94 home at-bats.
Unlike his predecessor, Gennett is not going to be a hitter that as the ability to go 20/20. That just isn’t in his skill set, but he does possess a ground ball-to-fly ball rate that could lead to 10-plus home runs (0.77) while adding doubled-digit steals as long as he can maintain a solid on-base percentage. However, with the powerful bats of Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez slotted behind him, his biggest asset may be in the runs scored department, which is arguably the most overlooked category in all of fantasy baseball.
The Brewers have generated the third-most runs overall in the Nationals League with 316, trailing only the Rockies (360) and the Marlins (317), while averaging 4.38 runs per game (72 games). I know I am beating a dead horse here, but if you mix the offensive success of the Brewers and the high on-base percentage of Gennett, especially at home, that is a recipe for success, especially for those lacking in the runs scored department.
Now that we know a little about Gennett it is time to determine just where he might fit in regards to fantasy. Gennett is small in stature (5’10”, 170 pounds), which is going to limit his power upside before you even get into the specifics. Although he has be able to get on-base at a high clip, he is going to have to learn how to take more walks as the season progresses, taking only 13 free passes through his first 66 games in 2014. With that said, if he was to cool off after a hot start to the month of June (.415 BA), we will quickly see a drop in both his on-base percentage and runs scored if/when he falls off slightly.
The Brewers may have been somewhat of a surprise team to start the season, but they are clearly here to stay. And so is Gennett. With only the underwhelming Weeks to fight him for playing time on the 25-man roster, he has little to worry about in terms of losing at-bats. He has now proven himself at the big league level enough to say that he is going to be there future at the position, at least for the next few seasons, so it is time to start investing in his services.
As of Wednesday Gennett is riding a five-game hitting streak in which he has logged at least two hits in each contest, but is still sitting less than 15 percent owned throughout the major providers (ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS) which is going to change fast if his hot-hitting continues. Although you would like to see more steals from your leadoff hitter (4 SB) it will only be a matter of time before he starts to come around in that aspect as well, while being a solid contributor for those in need of aid in both batting average and runs scored. Unless you are playing in a 10-team league or shallower, Gennett is worth a shot, at least until his recent hot-hitting comes to an end.